S: Patrick & Nicole's Big Move to Colorado - The Engagement Year
FC: Our Engagement and First Year in Colorado
1: Our Engagement
2: 5/7/10 - Glenora Winery The weekend began with Pat telling Nicole to put on a dress and pack a bag because they were going away for the weekend since they had been working so hard on getting Pat's house ready to sell. Nicole resisted at first, thinking that she had far too much to accomplish at home that weekend to possibly go away, but she eventually conceded to Pat's request. We took an afternoon drive up the west side of Seneca Lake and enjoyed visiting some wineries. The last stop of the afternoon was Glenora winery, where Pat had arranged for us to have dinner and stay overnight. There was some free time before dinner, so we decided to go for a walk through the vineyard and down by the lake. Halfway through the vineyard we stopped at a pavilion and Pat gave Nicole a scrapbook which contained all of our memories from our first two years together. We continued walking toward the lake. Closer to the water, Pat stopped, got down on one knee, pulled a diamond ring from his pocket, and asked for Nicole's hand in marriage. Nicole was quite shocked by Pat's proposal and took a few moments to find her voice to say yes.
3: Pat tried to place the ring on right her ring finger, but Nicole was quick to give him her left hand. Pat then pointed out the last two pages in the scrapbook (which were taped together) which explained how Pat had used a diamond from his grandmother's engagement ring to create a ring for Nicole. Nicole was still a bit in shock as we walked toward the restaurant to enjoy a celebration dinner. Somewhere along the way the reality of what had just happened finally hit Nicole and she began crying tears of joy over the idea of spending the rest of her life with Pat. That night Nicole could not sleep at all as her head was swimming with excitement and wedding details.
4: Engagement Weekend | Is that new?
5: Final Days in New York | Celebrating our engagement with our friends. | Nicole's graduation from Vet School | Packing up the house.
6: 6/1/10 - Colorado Bound... The movers had come two weeks before we left due to the closing date on the house. We crammed the last of our possessions (including Orion) into the Jeep and the Saturn and hit the road for the 26 hour trip. Nicole drove in the Jeep with the talkative cat and Pat followed in the Saturn. The trip took 2.5 days with a stop-over in South Bend, IN and another in Nebraska. We stayed in two questionable Motel Six hotels and even Orion seemed sketched out by the choice in hotels. There was one mishap along the way when the Saturn ran out of oil in Nebraska. Other than that we made it out just fine, but were certainly tired of driving!
7: Orion in jail and some pictures from our stop at Notre Dame.
8: Our First Place Together When we first arrived in Colorado all of our things were in boxes in our apartment and we could hardly move! Within a few days though, we had the place unpacked and set up the way we wanted. | Before | After
9: We were so excited to be living together and starting our lives together.
10: 6/5/10 - Molly and Lucas' Wedding Nicole was a bridesmaid in Molly's wedding shortly after we arrived in Colorado. The wedding was beautiful and we had a great time at the reception (as far as Pat remembers). Nicole enjoyed seeing her college friends and we also got some good ideas for our own wedding.
11: Moving in together was a bit of an adjustment for both of us since we had each lived alone for several years. Overall though, the change was easy to make and living as a couple seemed to come naturally. We approached problems as a team, made time for each other, and were very happy to be able to see one another every day. Nicole started her internship halfway through June and found herself working very long hours. Pat was working from home which made it easier to spend time together. We made it a point to make the most of our time off together. We spent our free time doing activities we both enjoyed and exploring Colorado. Our first summer living together we enjoyed baseball games, outdoor movies at Red Rocks Amphitheater, exploring breweries and plenty of hiking in the mountains. We also started to plan our wedding.
12: Summer 2010 - Baseball | Rockies vs. Blue Jays - 6/11/10 Rockies vs. Red Sox - 6/23/10 (note the Yankees hats...)
13: Summer 2010 - Red Rocks
14: Summer Hikes | Radical Hill - 12,367' 6/10/10 - Our first real Colorado hike!
15: McCoullough Gulch 11,920' 7/20/10
16: 8/6/10 - Engagement Photo Shoot in Rocky Mountain National Park
18: Toward the end of hiking season we decided to tackle some 14ers. First we climbed to the summit of Grays Peak. It was a beautiful day and we decided to cross over the saddleback to reach Torreys peak as well. The trip was 8.25 miles with an elevation gain of 3,600'. We were very tired at the end of the day, but were happy to have achieved our goal. | 8/21/10 - 14ers
19: Grays Peak - 14,270' | Torreys Peak - 14,267'
20: 8/28/10 - Buena Vista, CO | For Nicole's birthday, we took a trip south to Buena Vista. We stayed at a peaceful bed and breakfast near a stream. Our room was cozy and had a jacuzzi tub. The baked French Toast for breakfast was amazing! Our quiet weekend away was perfect and exactly what we needed to escape from stress. While in Buena Vista we took a scenic drive to Twin Lakes and checked out a local brewery. Before heading home we went on a hike through the Collegiate Peaks. We contemplated hiking to the top of Mt. Yale, but it was late in the day and the trail was difficult. Pat got Nicole a new backpack for hiking which was put to good use.
21: Mt. Princeton | Mt. Yale | What about Cornell??
22: September 15, 2010 | Unfortunately, not everything in the "engagement year" was happy. On September 15, 2010, Pat's father passed away after a short battle with esophageal cancer. This was a very difficult time as Pat & Nicole had just settled on a wedding venue and date and brought the information with them to try and cheer Pat's father up. Pat's parents had been married 38 years.
23: Rocky Mountain National Park 10/10/10
24: 10/31/10 - Denver Zoo
25: 11/25/10 - Thanksgiving Mom Kilfoile visits Colorado
26: Christmas 2010
27: 12/28/10 - Buffalo Bill Hike
28: Hockey & Basketball Games
29: Copper Mountain Ski & Snowboard
30: 1/26-30/11 - VanGurp Family Visit
31: 2/20/11 - Table Top Hike
32: 4/11-15/11 - Florida | We went to Florida for a palm tree dedication ceremony in Pat's father's honor. While we were in Florida, we decided to spend the day at Disney before going up to Ocala. Luckily, one of Pat's friends was able to let us into Disney for free!!!
35: Tree Dedication Ceremony
36: 6/24/11 - Intern Party
38: May through July 2011 House Hunting | 811 Sanctuary Circle | 521 Sandpoint Drive | Our journey to find a house began in May. We thought we had found the "Kilfoile Sanctuary" in mid-June, but the home inspection revealed some issues so we walked away. It was a bit stressful and frustrating, but we continued looking and found the right house in the beginning of July!
39: 7/4/11 - Intern Camping | All good things must come to an end and this was a great weekend to say good-bye. We went camping in Golden Gate Canyon and had a great time hiking and playing Can Jam, Polish Horse Shoes and of course Flip Cup.
42: 7/17/11 - Mt Bierdstat 14,065 ft
43: 7/29/11 - O.A.R. & Films at Red Rocks
44: 8/6/11 - Rose's Wedding
45: 8/13/11 - Bridal Shower | After Rose's wedding, Pat went back to Colorado and Nicole stayed in Syracuse to visit her God Parents - Tim & Sandy. Afterwards, Nicole went to New Jersey for her Bridal Shower and Bachelorette party. Pat surprised Nicole on the day of her Bridal Shower with a dozen long stem chocolate covered strawberries.
46: 9/13/11 - Our First House | On July 14, our offer on 521 Sandpoint Drive was accepted and we began the process of closing on our first house together. Our closing date was August 17, just 1 month before our wedding. It was a tense month of unpacking and getting settled, but we did it before our parents arrived!
47: 9/17/11 - Rehearsal Dinner
49: Nicole went back to the house with the girls while Pat spent the night in the hotel with the guys. The next day they would get married and start the next chapter of their lives together....