Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wedding Palooza in New England

I hung up my tomboy outdoorsy pants for a bit to road trip up to Maine for my gorgeous cousin's wedding. It all starts with a relaxing, site seeing, wine tasting drive up the coast...and excellent way to reward myself after a summer of working and not showering.
Mystic Connecticut 

John Edwards Winery
Once up in Maine, vacation was on pause for me. I spent my time supporting my cousin, helping her, and being blessed to be included in her big day. Dinners, hair appointments, and wedding set up was the name of the game, and I enjoyed every second of it...especially when I saw her grin as she came up to the ceremony on Saturday. Marilyn looked absolutely stunning and I want to humbly say she had a very beautiful set of bridesmaids that rocked our royal purple dresses. Our work of a year came to a wrap on Sunday morning and Marilyn has remained as unbridezilla as a girl can be through the whole thing...signs of a true down to earth girl. And now, being the dork I am, I LOVE being able to text her messages that include sentences with "your husband" in them.  It still makes me so excited

Rehearsal supper with the beautiful girl

Our dresses 
All of Marilyn's female cousins

Their first dance :)
The wonderful bridal party! 

Life of a Desert Rat

Sorry for the delay folks, life has been quite a whirlwind since leaving Alaska.

I will go back to the beginning of my California adventure that started promptly after leaving Anchorage.

My second group of kids was a whole new adventure. The whole thing started with a few crazy coincidences: for starters, my coleader graduated from Montgomery Blair High School in 2006, we then continued onto Reno where I camped with someone who graduated from Blair in 2006 as well, and halfway through the summer, I was in a coffee shop planning our rec trip and we ran into one of my coleader's friends from Blair (class of '06 as well). Never before have I met so many Blair grads in one location so far away from home. That story aside...
I was actually working somewhere close to where I had been in my childhood, which was a new experience for me. I certainly enjoyed returning to an old stomping ground as an adult and share the beautiful area with a new group of students. Our work was disorganized to a point where I worried a little about their interest in continuing with trail work, but at the end of the summer, each one said to me that they couldn't wait to do more with SCA, so I suppose my mission was accomplished! With temperatures between 100 and 115 and mundane work, crew morale was a little bit difficult to keep up. But somehow we managed as a crew to truly enjoy our time together in this space. 

Some of our work involved a lot of fence repair
We spent one off day in Bodie Ghost Town, which was a whole new experience for a group of east coasters, and the next off day recovering from some dehydration and heat stroke issues. I would say my second crew more challenged my patience, risk management/response, and leadership abilities (and I say that with gratefulness, not bitterness), I was truly pushed by my California crew, but all in the ways to allow me to grow as a leader and an educator. 
I am officially hanging up my white hat (for now at least) and writing this from Maine...which I will save for a later post.

Hiking during our recreation trip in Yosemite
Conditions made having a fire hard, but we did give them one night of "camping"
Last night supper with their 2 "moms"

Their smiles are contagious, and both crews have me seriously considering teaching