re: culture shock on return to US (and Denver, despite being towards the west of the country, does not, in my book, qualify as 'hinterland')...it's fine. our transition was helped by the unbelievably surly, incommunicative, and uncaring staff at the EWR Starbucks on arrival in the US. I had to help a poor woman who was laying over from Amsterdam get her son an iced mocha. otherwise I think she would have been there all day, stuck between surly server and cranky, tired son. but it's fine.
we have decided we entirely dislike driving. traffic, construction, stoplights--it's a madhouse. and people tend toward the negative when behind the wheel--to say the least. patience? we're all in the same boat? no worries? none of these emotions seem to be those felt by drivers around us, all in massive cars and SUVs. but these things are not unique to the US. the collective blood pressure does, however, seem to be a bit higher here.
we have succeeded in having Mexican food for all but two of the meals we have had thus far. not perfect, but we're working on it. the count progresses.
and the wedding was a rousing success: fun had by all, pretty people and flowers and vegetarian wellington, and last (and first) but not least, an open bar. and we even had a pseudo-crasher, I think. this fab euro guy in big sunglasses, pencil trousers with pin-stripes matched by a skinny pin-striped jacket. he was seen watching the photo shoot and then later pre-dinner. sadly he didn't stay for the dancing. he could have been 'that guy'. every wedding has to have 'that guy'. I hope he shows up in the pics.