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Holy Cross Abby – Colorado’s Premiere Wedding Destination

Holy Cross Abby in Cañon City, CO. Photo provided by Holy Cross Abby.

Holy Cross Abby in Cañon City, CO. Photo provided by Holy Cross Abby.

It’s Wedding Planning Season! JR’s Carriage Service will be highlighting several wedding destination across the State of Colorado. Who knows….one of these locations could be your dream wedding destination! 

The Holy Cross Abbey is located on 200 acres at the eastern edge of Cañon City, Colorado. The monastery building is a charming, four-story, English Gothic structure that has been enrolled in the National Registry of Historical Places. About fifty acres of the land constitute the Abbey campus. The remaining area is mostly under cultivation or used for various shops and farm buildings. Two Benedictine monks from St. Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, PA came to Breckenridge, CO, in 1886. Other monks followed in ensuing years, moving from Breckenridge to Boulder to Pueblo to Cañon City, where the foundation was named Holy Cross Abbey. Until 1985, the monks of Holy Cross Abbey conducted a boarding school for high school students, and at times, also for middle school and college students.

Several years ago, some simple Benedictine Fathers had a dream…a dream of a fine winery located on the grounds of the historic Holy Cross Abbey. Today, that dream is a reality and the staff at the winery proudly invites you to share in the vision of those dynamic and innovative monks. Since July 2002, The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey has been attracting visitors from all over the world. Located on the pastoral and serene grounds of The Holy Cross Abbey, nestled against the spectacular backdrop of the Wet Mountains, the winery and tasting room are shining examples of what draws visitors to Cañon City and Fremont County. This wedding destination offers the accommodations for both the ceremony and the reception. Their reception area is large and surrounded by window that overlook the grounds. Click Here to view more pictures of the venue and/or for more information on the Holy Cross Abbey.

Holy Cross Abby - Cañon City, Colorado Photo provided by Holy Cross Abby

Holy Cross Abby – Cañon City, CO. Photo provided by Holy Cross Abby

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Barrel Into Spring!

Barrel into Spring 2014Mark Your Calendar! You can quickly fill your calendar with unique social and memorable events that take place throughout the Grand Valley. Spring fever is filling the air as winter temperatures slowly fade away. This often means that you have to pick and choose between overlapping events.  The abundance of events and excuses to get outdoors is one of the many reasons I love living in this community! For the past two years, I have discovered and participated in the Grand Valley’s annual barrel tasting event. A hidden gem amongst the many events that take place in Western Colorado’s Wine Country.

Barrel into Spring 2014Over past 12 years, the Grand Valley Winery Association (GVWA) has offered this two-day barrel tasting event to a limited number of ticket holders. Tickets for this event, with no surprise, are sold out soon after they are released. The experience takes place twice a year (one weekend in April and another weekend in May). Event times for both weekends are Saturday 10am-4pm; Sunday 10am-3pm.

Barrel into Spring 2014Yes! It’s as good as it sounds! Your ticket (valued at $70/person) for the weekend gets you two solid days of exclusive wine and gourmet food parings, behind the scenes guided tours, a souvenir wine glass, and sampling directly from the barrels.

Canyon Wind Cellars, Carlson Vineyards, DeBeque Canyon Winery, Garfield Estates Vineyard & Winery, Grand River Vineyards, Graystone Winery, Plum Creek Cellars and Two Rivers Winery & Chateau are amongst the participating wineries. The majority of these wineries also happen to be stops on JR’s Carriage Service’s Horse-Drawn Wine Tours.

Peach Street

GVWA wineries (those listed above) offer event participants an additional 15% discount on their wines. With little self-control and a love for wine; we purchased three cases of wine after only our third stop. We finished each day with a signature drink at the Peach Street Distillers. Our experience at the distillery is worthy of it’s own blog. I encourage you to visit the Grand Valley Winery Association’s website for additional information on this event. Contact JR’s Carriage Service for all the tips and tricks on this event and other Grand Valley festivities.

Barrel tasting at Canyon Wind Cellars with Joseph R. Burtard, Tiffany White and Ryan White

Barrel Tasting at Canyon Wind Cellars with Joseph R. Burtard, Tiffany White, and Ryan White

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Cheers! From Around The World

JR’s signature wine glasses and pint glasses are making their way around the World!

Girls Night Out! Palm Desert, CA

Girls Night Out! Palm Desert, CA

JR’s Horse-Drawn Wine Tour and Horse-Drawn Pub Crawl clients now have an opportunity to share their photos (of our souvenir glasses) with everyone. Our friends, from around the world, are filling their glasses and snapping photos. You can find this pictures in a photo album on our Facebook page called “Cheers! From Around The World. We have seen some really creative pictures in some amazing locations! We encourage our friends to tag their pictures with the location and the name of beverage (maybe event add a fun caption of hastags)  The JR’s Team is looking forward to seeing and sharing your creativity! Here is a sneak peek at some of our favorite photos:

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Equine Yoga

JR’s Carriage Service has a really impressive employee benefit package which includes a health and wellness program. Here are a few photos from our last yoga session.

"Downward Dog" Pose (Picture: Commander)

“Downward Dog” Pose (Picture: Commander)

The "Extended Boat" Pose (Picture: Chief)

The “Extended Boat” Pose (Picture: Chief)

"Modified Cobra" Pose (Picture: Commander)

“Modified Cobra” Pose (Picture: Commander)

"Boat" Pose (Picture: Chief)

“Boat” Pose (Picture: Chief)

"The Class Clown" Pose. Ugh, leave it to Chief! (Picture: Chief)

“The Class Clown” Pose. Ugh, leave it to Chief! (Picture: Chief)

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Reflection On Wedding Pink

When we were first asked to participate in “Wedding Pink by Cheryl Ungar Gives” it seemed so far away in the horizon. The day and more importantly the experience has since come and gone.  Cheryl Ungar describes the Wedding Pink as an annual, heartfelt wedding giveaway package presented to a couple whose lives have been recently touched by breast cancer. Cheryl Ungar, the founder of The Wedding Pink, is a 22-year breast cancer survivor and a wedding photographer. In addition to Cheryl donating her own wedding photography services, she has put together an extraordinary team of some of Colorado’s top wedding vendors, all of whom have generously agreed to donate their services and products to ensure The Wedding Pink is a spectacular event for one very special couple. JR’s Carriage Service provided wagon rides through rows of peach trees at High Country Orchards during the wedding rehearsal dinner. On the wedding day we picked the Bride and Groom up following the ceremony at Wine Country Inn and took them for a romantic carriage ride through area vineyards prior to their grand entrance at the reception. Here are a few photos that capture our unforgettable experience with the various vendors and the amazing couple. Many blessings to Cheryl Ungar!

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: JR's Carriage Service

Photo By: JR’s Carriage Service

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

Photo By: The Wedding Pink

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JR’s 1900’s Carriage Collection

LOGO JR’s antique carriage collection celebrates 110 years of history. At the age of 14, Joseph R. Burtard purchased a Vilie Surrey that was built in 1903 by the Grandson (Willard Lamb Velie) of John Deere. The surrey tells an interesting story of the John Deere family and the transportation revolution in America.

JR's antique carriage collection celebrates 110 years of history

JR’s antique carriage collection celebrates 110 years of history.

Willard Lamb Velie was an executive at Deere & Company before starting his own companies, which grew to become Velie Motor Company. He developed advanced engines for automobiles and even airplanes. He was the third of five children born to Stephen H. Velie and Emma Deere, the daughter of John Deere.

In 1902 Velie founded his first company, the Velie Carriage Company of Moline. It manufactured buggies, carriages, surreys, driving wagons, and spring wagons called the “Wrought Iron Line” of vehicles. In 1907 alone the company made 21,000 buggies and surreys. When his cousin William Butterworth became president of Deere & Company in 1908, Velie was elected vice-president. Three years later he became the first chairman of the executive committee when it was formed. At the same time he founded the Velie Engineering Company, which produced gas, steam and electric motors and engines, plus automobile accessories and motor trucks.

In 1916 he merged his two companies and began making tractors. Their first was the Velie Biltwel 12-24, a four-cylinder tractor powered by a Velie-built engine. While this appeared to be a conflict of interest, Velie was a strong supporter of Deere & Company’s acquisition or development of a tractor. For the most part, Velie’s product lines and Deere’s lines remained separate. He and Butterworth were in disagreement, however, about the company’s operation and so Velie resigned his executive committee positions in 1918 and severed all ties with the company in 1921.

The surrey tells an interesting story of the John Deere family and the transportation revolution in America.

The surrey tells an interesting story of the John Deere family and the transportation revolution in America.

While still at Deere & Company, W.L Velie incorporated the Velie Motor Vehicle Company in 1908. While he kept his tractor lines separate from the Deere line, his automobiles were marketed through Deere’s branch houses. When he merged his companies in 1916 he formed the Velie Motor Company. The products produced by the company came to be known for their quality at a reasonable price. By 1912 the company’s stock was valued at $1.5 million and four years later it was worth $2 million. Between 1913 and 1915 the Velie factory was turning out an average of 30 cars a day.

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Family Fun Fair

The Chick-fil-A cow wowed the crowd when he hitched a ride with Clyde the Clydesdale.

The beginning of the school year seems to be weighing heavy on everyone’s mind. This means summer break is quickly coming to an end. JR’s Carriage Service teamed up with other local businesses to host an annual Family Fun Fair. The objective of the Family Fun Fair is to provide an entertaining environment for families to help them prepare for the upcoming school year. The event offers FREE services and activities for the entire family, including; haircuts, backpacks, school supplies, bump-n-jumps and carriage rides.

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The Fence Post

Horse-Drawn Wine Tours

Horse-Drawn Wine Tours

We are excited to announce our feature story in the Fence Post! The Fence Post is a nationwide agricultural based newspaper that reaches around 80,000 readers each week. The article on JR’s Carriage Service highlights our educational horse-drawn wine tours in Palisade, Colorado. In addition to learning about wine, our clients have an opportunity to hitch a ride in the drivers seat. Each participant gets to take hold of the reins and experience the art of driving a team. Visit the article and let us know your thoughts!

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Whoa Nelly! It’s Hot Out There!

The Grand Valley is experiencing a major heat wave with several days of 100 degree temperatures! What are you doing to help keep your pets cooled down? Hot Tub

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Celebrate Independence Day With JR’s

Salt n' PepperJR’s Carriage Service is celebrating Independence Day at the Downtown Grand Junction 4th of July Parade. We are excited to announce that our hitch was selected, for the second year in a row, to promote the upcoming Mesa County Fair. Our team of horses will be number 19 in the lineup. The parade starts at 10am. Make sure you show up early so you can get a good view of “the boys” as they make their way down Main Street. We can’t wait to see you and your family out celebrating our independence. We have a busy weekend ahead of us with horse-drawn wine tours, a horse-drawn orchard tour and of course, time with our amazing family. Image

Did you know? The 56 signers of the Declaration did not sign on July 4, 1776, nor were they in the same room at the same time on the original Independence Day. The official signing event took place on August 2, 1776 when 50 men signed the document. Several months passed before all 56 signatures were in place. The last man to sign, Thomas McKean, did so in January of 1777, seven months after the document was approved by Congress. Robert R. Livingston, one of the five original drafters, never signed it at all since he believed it was too soon to declare independence.

Wishing you and your family a happy and safe Independence Day!

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