Saturday, August 26, 2017

Where Did the Summer Go?

What a busy summer. Classes have already started for the fall semester. Seems like the summer just started. Seems to be what I hear everyone saying about where the summer went. It was a busy summer which made it fly by fast!

I had actually planned on posting a update over the summer and making it plans for the summer. Well, that did not happen and here we are almost to the end of August. Wow! So, to provide some updates from the summer months here we go.

The spring semester ended and I passed my class. Second class in the Communication and Leadership master program. Doing weekly postings and various papers for eight weeks kept me plenty busy.

Bachelor Party at the Twins vs. Royals Game
Target Field for the Twins vs. Royals game on Friday, May 19, 2017
About two weeks after the semester was over, I went on a road trip to Minneapolis, MN for a bachelor party weekend. Erin and Greg wedding date set for June 10. We did a road trip in a van to Minneapolis on Friday, May 19 and we planning to be there for two Royals games through Sunday. As it turned out, we were only able to attend one game on Friday night. We had a blast... even though the Royals lost. Sunday we spent the day eating, drinking, and having a great time.

We had a lot of great beers and a  lot of fun that weekend. I will remember it forever. I was honored that Greg asked me to be his best man. I will admit, I was a bit nervous about giving a speech in the upcoming weeks. I had plans to have it all written before the bachelor party weekend. That did not happen though and ended up writing it the week of the wedding. More on this later though.

One of my favorite spots we went to that weekend was a Town Hall Lanes. A brewery with bowling lanes. We had  blast! I would not mind another trip to Minnesota to see a Royals game and go to that bowling alley. Fun time! We spent the afternoon at the boiling alley Saturday as it was pouring down rain. They ended up doing a double header on Sunday which of course we had to miss as we were driving back to Topeka. Still, we had a lot of fun and it was great to get to know the future in-laws and close friends of Greg. Great group!

A week later we did another road trip to Dallas, Texas and then on down to Houston, Texas for a big party. We were gone for ten days and had a blast! We were going down for a combined birthday celebration and wedding anniversary for Carrie and Tommy Galloway. A live band, dancing, and a whole lot of fun was had by all. We were in Houston for the Memorial Day weekend and spent the day at the pool. More fun before we finally drove back and spent a few more days in Dallas with my friend Javier. We hit up a lot of places to drink good beer and ate a lot of great food. Carrie and Corrie drove back to Dallas a day later and we continued to have fun going on wine tours and eating very well.

Carrie and I were back in Topeka the week of the wedding for a few days anyway. I had a conference to attend in Hays, KS for work. I was out there Wednesday and Thursday that week. It was a great conference before the rehearsal dinner scheduled for Friday, June 9, 2017. This is the week that I worked on my speech for the wedding day.

Erin and Greg Listening to Rehearsal Dinner Speeches
Rehearsal Dinner June 9, 2017
What a wonderful evening we had on Friday, June 9, 2017. Rehearsal dinner for Erin and Greg. The dinner was held at Arterra Event Gallery in Lawrence, KS. A beautiful location and wonderful setup for any event. The food was wonderful and the drinks were delicious too! We heard speeches from the father of the groom (Eddie), brothers of Erin (Cole and Drew), Tommy Galloway (family friend referred to as Uncle Tommy and best friend of Eddie), and Robert (Uncle to Greg). With the weather perfect that weekend, we were able to sit outside and enjoy the outdoors while people visited before dinner.

I was able to record all the speeches that evening, although I have not had a chance to export or do anything with them yet. I hope to have those available in a future post to share. It was a fantastic evening and prepared us well for the wedding day.

The day of the wedding, Greg and I went to get our first straight edge shave. Nice and close shave although we both had to admit that when the aftershave went on it burned a bit more than we expected. It was a great way to start off the day.

During the day, the guys stayed in the hotel while the ladies had their hair done and makeup in the afternoon. We had to be over at Macelis for pictures and prepare for the wedding by 3 pm that day. The guests were scheduled to start arriving about 5:30 and the wedding set for 6 pm. Beautiful wedding and everyone looked great!

The reception began at 7 and time was getting close for Carrie and I to give our speeches. Food and drinks were so good! I am not sure why I did not eat more. I think it was nerves from having to give a speech. Of course by this time both Carrie and I had our speeches written and had gone through them a few times.

For my speech, I had done research and tried to make it unique and light. I also wanted to have a lot of toasts in my speech. The one thing I forgot to do was make sure everyone had a full glass of something to drink. Other than that, I thought it went well. Carrie did a great job with her speech too.

The Wedding Party with Another Dude (Javi) in the Picture too... After Party!
Fun in Lawrence... Guys Table
Here is my speech in full (Best Man Speech June, 10, 2017 for Greg and Erin Wedding) which I wrote up and had on my phone. It was better that way rather than me trying to read off of notes or remember what I had planned to say. I know everyone wanted to get through what I had to say so we could get to the partying, so I did my part and kept it less than five minutes.

Wedding Party Having Fun After Wedding
Fun in Lawrence... Girls Table
Following the reception, the wedding party, friends, and family went out on the Lawrence town. Great fun was had in Lawrence following the wedding. We were out late having fun and the plans were to be up early to do gifts. I think Carrie and I were a little late getting to the gift opening party the next morning. I think I was just a little hung over, but not too bad. Fun night!

Two weeks after the wedding, we had Tap That Topeka to attend which is a beer tasting event in Topeka. This was the forth annual event and again, we had a wonderful time. We went with the newly married bride and groom and many of our friends. Another great evening! There was dancing and more drinking that evening following the beer festival.

July 4 feel on a Tuesday this year, so it was very low key for Carrie and I. We did not fire off or watch any fireworks this year. It was kind of nice and we were able to comfort Oliver who was a little freaked out over the loud booms in our neighborhood. We stayed indoors and watched movies most of the day into the evening.

A few more weeks pass and suddenly we are into the middle of August. About a week ago I purchased a Big Green Egg. So excited to finally have a grill that can really cook and more import smoke meat. I have only cooked twice on it so far, but plan to do a lot more and try a lot of different cooking techniques. More on this in the upcoming months as I plan to post updates on what is cooked along with pictures.

Note, I only made it to one Royals game this year and it was up in Minnesota. With classes having started this past week and my assignments all due on Friday (including papers), I am not sure I will make it to a game at Kauffman Stadium this season. I hope so, but it will depend on how disciplined I am in reading and writing for class. The Royals have struggled a few times this season and also had some good winning streaks. We are still a few games out of first where we have been most of the season. Still within striking distance and just barely out of the wild card hunt.

I hope you have had a wonderful summer. Watch for more posts regarding cooking and my experiences with the Big Green Egg.

Thank you!


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