In any case, the end of May was pretty crazy. I went to Lisa and Jake's wedding - nice, simple ceremony at Devil's Elbow looking over Hauser Lake. Lisa looked radiant, and Jake looked like the cat that got the canary. The reception was at the Barrister Bed and Breakfast, as was a smaller breakfast the next morning. Other highlights from the Montana leg of the trip include hitting our standard Helena spots - Blackfoot Brewing, Miller's, No Sweat Cafe, the Gold Bar, and Mt. Helena.
Blackfoot is my favorite brewery which makes my favorite IPA). They also have a beer engine, and happened to have a nice barley wine on tap. Montana law tightly regulates what breweries can sell. Quoting the Growler Fills blog:
A small brewery may, at one location for each brewery license, provide samples of beer that were brewed and fermented on the premises in a sample room located on the licensed premises. The samples may be provided with or without charge between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. No more than 48 ounces of malt beverage may be sold or given to each individual customer during a business day.Blackfoot implements this by giving you a little business sized card with three spots on it, where they write each of the beers you order. It's enough of a small town, local kind of place, that they trust you to pay at the end of your visit.
Of course, the real highlight of the trip was seeing the whole Montana crew, with everyone getting together to celebrate the wedding.
After the wedding, I headed to Knoxville for Destination Imagination's Global Finals. I missed last year due to my Tokyo trip, but this is an event I try to volunteer at each year. I was part of the Event's team this year, and was asked to help announce affiliates coming in during opening ceremonies. This was in Thompson Boling Arena, and was the largest venue and group I'd had to speak in front of . The previous experience was much more speaking, as I was the emcee for the college of engineering graduation ceremony.
Here's a view from the stage before the parade started - from what I understand, there were about 14,000 people in the arena. In any case, my part was small, just announcing the name of the team and a random piece of info (e.g. introducing Pennsylvania and adding some Liberty Bell quip), as they entered the arena. A video montage of the opening ceremonies can be seen here. More pictures are in my flikr account. The kids on the teams are amazing - there was a rad use of a QR code by one of the teams. The code was on a shirt, which when scanned showed team information. The kid who designed the shirt and code looked like he was 10 or so.
I also got to have Yuengling, which I was surprised to see in Knoxville. (Yuengling is the oldest US brewery, and I thought they were limited to states around PA.)
The weet was a blur, as always, with long days, not enough sleep, and pure exhaustion by the end of the week. I'm going to guess this lack of sleep is what caused me to have such a bad cold when I got back - took me about a week to really shake it off.