Audrey and Patrick’s Montana Wedding Spectacular

Wound up back out West a week after leaving Colorado. En route to the Bozeman, MT airport I changed planes in Denver and landed at the gate across the walking escalator from the one I left a week ago. This time, I traveled sans husband and baby, which meant such a light load that I kept feeling like I was a bag (or six) short.

The Beam, Andy, The Nurse and I joined forces and shared a cabin in Big Sky for the nuptials of our friend, Audrey, to her sweet man, Patrick. You may remember Audrey from the time we went to Honduras and got attacked by sand flies. Audrey is a spirited adventure seeker from Houston-by-way-of-Austin-and-Berkeley whose mind runs 800 miles a minute and none of us can quite comprehend. But we love her for the candor, authenticity and joy she brings to all situations.

Audrey spent a few years as a scuba divemaster in Australia and the Caribbean before settling down and getting two masters degrees and moving to DC to work for the Defense Department in sustainability issues. Patrick is a phD whose heart is in the mountains and one of the most talented amateur skiiers any of us know. So we knew they’d pick somewhere beautiful and outdoorsy, and as soon as they chose Montana, we committed to being there.

And what a place. They wed at the 320 Ranch, just miles away from Yellowstone National Park, where there were a couple grizzly bear attacks on humans this week, so everyone brought bear spray on their hikes. The weather was dry and beautiful, we walked along babbling brooks to get to and fro, got lifts from Belgian horses to picnics by the Gallatin River, made smores in a shared firepit, took long and interesting hikes, met the couple’s favorite people from all parts of their lives and all over the world, heard their stories in a rehearsal dinner evening of lovely and hilarious speeches, and on Saturday, watched them wed against the stunning mountain vista. They are enchanted with one another, and we were enchanted by the weekend.

Some other trip notes:

On the flight there I got seated next to a couple trying to soothe their crying four-month-old. The father joked about lethal injection. I told them I didn’t mind and that the baby would be a great traveler — turned out, I was right, and I soon learned that he was a fellow journalist: a Reuters correspondent based in New Delhi, India.

While waiting for a third wedding guest to arrive at the Bozeman airport, The Beam and I decided to check out downtown Bozeman and somehow wandered into a college bar full of bros. We were the oldest people there by at least a decade. The whole scene was rather humorous, watching young women twerking on the dance floor and the fratty Montana boys acting like big men on campus and what not. We are old.

Huckleberry everything! Huckleberry vodka, as pictured in my hand in one of those photos, was my favorite huckleberry concoction. But huckleberry bars were also quite delicious.

Wildlife: Saw a ram getting a snack on the side of the road, plus a fox, a few horses and many, many, many flies. Beam, who drove into Yellowstone, saw a lot more.

In Big Sky, which we visited briefly on wedding day, there was a CrossFit Convention or something at the Big Sky Resort. For people who love CrossFit so much that they traveled to a resort to be with other CrossFitters to do their CrossFit workouts together. No comment.

That Time We Went to Honduras for a Weekend

Epilogue

As our spankin’ new Boeing was descending into the US after a couple of days getting raped by mosquitoes in Honduras, I was suddenly awakened by the most searing pain I’ve ever felt. It was only on one side of my head, somewhere around my brow and behind my right eye. I later learned it had to do with sinus pressure and the quickly changing altitude of the jet. Apparently I was sick and congested and only then, as my eye teared uncontrollably and I curled up in wrenching pain, that I realized my sinuses were THAT backed up.

24 hours later I was checked into the hospital because they seem to take things like phlegmy lungs and not-breathing-very-well quite seriously when you are six months pregnant. I had to watch Jeopardy cause I didn’t expect to get admitted, so I didn’t pack any diversions. I also got wheeled around in a stupid gown and padded booties because it’s hospital policy to not let people walk on their own. The X-ray tech gave me two blankets to cover up before our wheelchair journey. “There are a lot of pervs in this hospital,” she said. I laughed. “No, I’m serious,” she said, without any irony. Yikes.

But anyway, the time in Honduras was fun. The food was surprisingly delicious. Our resort complex boasted the only real BBQ pit/smoker on the island. Excellent pulled pork.

Here I Sit, On Temptation Island

All aboard the twin engine plane by SOSA Aerolineas. Audrey was praying. I was sweating.

We learned from our condo caretaker Kent that one of the three seasons of the now defunct reality show, Temptation Island, was shot here on Roatan, where my friend Audrey and I are spending the weekend.

ROATAN, ISLA DE BAHIAS, HONDURAS — This is what it took to get here: A 5:30am flight out of DCA that we nearly missed because Audrey had set out her things to pack the night before but did not actually pack bags until I got to her house to pick her up for the airport. She had accidentally fallen asleep and ended up assembling her things in the span of 18 minutes that I gave her before I was going to head to the airport without her.

From DCA we flew to Houston, made a quick connection and then both got our first class upgrades for the longer flight into San Pedro Sula. The guy sitting next to me was super friendly and Audrey thought he might be with a drug cartel. We know not…

Arrive in San Pedro Sula to a customs area without a ceiling. Good thing we were the first off the plane because the customs situation was not swift.

Had three hours to kill before our flight to the islands. Filled the time the following ways:

A great way to pass the time at an airport.

1.) Laying out in the grass outside the airport watching some Hondurans load a casket into a truck

2.) Eating at the Wendy’s at the airport and not getting change cause they didn’t have it, later being asked to sign a guest book with comments about the food. (I just put Buen Provecho cause it’s something I learned in Spanish class.)

3.) Doing tricep dips off the airport chairs because they are the perfect height for tricep dips and Matty never lets me do them while traveling with him because he thinks I look like a total idiot. Audrey gamely joined, then…

4) Doing a set of wall sits for one minute each, also to pass the time.

5) Buying some really ugly postcards. How come all the postcards here have sexy ladies on them? I want just one, good environmental shot.

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