Mountain Mayhem: From Kenya to Colorado |

Mountain Mayhem: From Kenya to Colorado

The bride and groom leave St. Mary's church as Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Cardillo. Guadalupe Laiz photo.

A budding romance that originated in Africa (by way of Newark Airport) led to a long-distance relationship between Penn State (for him) and the University of Denver (for her), resulting in a surprise proposal (on the way to Cathedral Lake) and wedding on April 8 (at St. Mary’s church and the Mountain Chalet).

The bride, Cornelia Carpenter, was born and raised in Aspen, the daughter of Curt and Cindy Carpenter. The groom, Christopher (Chris) Cardillo, grew up in Falls, Penn., the son of Greg and Terri Cardillo.

The happy pair met in 2009 on their way to Nairobi, awaiting their flight to southwestern Kenya for four months of studying wildlife in a bush camp in on the outskirts of Amboseli National Park. “Our common love for animals and conservation brought us together,” the bride blushed, adding, “it was a crush at first sight for us both.”

After their African sojourn, they kept in touch as Chris finished up his studies at Penn State in 2010 with a degree in ecology; Cornelia pursued degrees in geography and studio art at DU, graduating in 2011. They moved to Aspen afterward, where he was a summer naturalist intern for Aspen Center for Environmental Studies then worked on Buttermilk ski patrol and for the City of Aspen in the Environmental Health Department. Cornelia worked seasonally at the Aspen Cross-Country Center and The Aspen Institute, then spent the past three years working for Aspen Public Radio, where she hosted the local radio feature The Non-Profit in the Spotlight. All the while, Cornelia continued to work on her art, which has been shown in the Aspen Chapel Gallery and the Red Brick Center for the Arts. Her most recent series of linocut prints features winter scenes in Aspen and the surrounding mountains.

Over Labor Day weekend, on Sept. 5, 2016, exactly seven years to the day after they first met, Chris popped the question on a classic Colorado fall day. Aspen was the clear choice for their wedding as it “holds a special place in our hearts as it does for many people who live here,” said the bride.

For their honeymoon, they spent several nights at the Limelight Aspen then took a two-week road trip around Four Corners area to explore the desert from Utah’s Goblin Valley to Arizona’s Canyon de Chelly to Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico.

They’re now back in upstate New York where Chris is entering his fourth and final year of medical school at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and hopes to specialize in Emergency Medicine and bring his career back to a mountain town after residency training. Cornelia will continue to grow her illustration business from her studio. Best wishes to the newlyweds on their new life as Mr. and Mrs. Cardillo.

Contact May with insights, invites or info:

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