Grand Times in Grand Lake

July 18 2005, 2:33 PM
I need an extra day to recover from my weekend. Rather than rest and relaxation, the past three days have been a whirlwind of parties and events. With a birthday bash on Friday, a wedding in Grand Lake on Saturday, and the Denver Polo Classic on Sunday, I am officially exhausted today. But I loved every minute of it. It started out slowly enough, with a Friday night birthday party at Lipgloss. The DJs spin indie rock and retro tunes - a nice change from the techno and hip hop at most other clubs - and the crowd responds by packing the dance floor until the bright lights come on and they usher everyone out at 2 a.m. When Saturday rolled around, I packed up my overnight bag and took my only-slightly-hungover self up to Grand Lake for a friend's wedding. Actually, two weddings. It turns out that an old friend of mine from Kansas City was also going to be in Grand Lake on Saturday for a different wedding, so we arranged to meet up. I have yet to see Wedding Crashers, the movie, but our version was a lot of fun. Now I do know that it's rude to bring uninvited guests to a wedding, so we went our separate ways until after dinner and the cake cutting at each reception. Then we wedding crashed once the events turned into after-parties. In a town as tiny as Grand Lake, it's easy enough to do; virtually everything is within walking distance, and both the Grand Lake Lodge with its stunning view from the hill about town, and the Water's Edge - literally a stone's throw from the shoreline - offered absolutely gorgeous settings for the two mountain celebrations. If you've never been to the town before -- this was my first trip -- you are really missing out on one of Colorado's prettiest settings. Nestled at the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, the town itself is fun, casual, and friendly, and sits on the shore of Colorado's largest natural lake. Nearby Lake Granby and Shadow Mountain Lake are both large reservoirs, giving the area nearly 150 miles of shoreline and an endless variety of activities. Last weekend featured a classic boat show, and many people hit the lake for kayaking, sailing, fishing, or simply admiring the view. I can't wait to go back -- next time for more than a quick overnight stay -- and hit some of the great hiking trails bordering the lakes as well. After once again packing up my things and making the two-hour drive (this time with a not-so-slight wine headache), I changed into my best "Pretty Woman" outfit for the Denver Polo Classic yesterday. Hats and sundresses are the thing to wear for women, and several of the ladies broke out their best Kentucky Derby-worthy creations. Some of the best were actually done with the help of silk flowers and feathers courtesty of Michael's craft store (I inquired where they had found such over-the-top fabulous hats), and others were bought on site from an enterprising hat maker. The polo match itself was great fun to watch. I grew up with horses, so I enjoy any equestrian sport, but for many people the polo game is nothing more than a background event, with the real game being all about people watching. Of course the first stop for our group was straight to the Bloody Mary tent for a hangover helper, and soon were soaking up the sun (and the cocktails) and enjoying the day, the crowd, and the match. So today, it's back to work, and business as usual. Thank goodness. I need the rest.