Just a few days after I returned from a work trip to Baltimore, I turned around and packed up my bags and was off again. This time, Husband got to tag along. We've been together for almost a decade, but we had never traveled on a plane together before. He had never been to the state of New York, and I had never been to New York City proper. We were in for an adventure.
After two hours of sleep, we were up and out the door by 3 a.m. to catch an early morning flight, with a layover in the Airplane Mall of America, also known as Detroit. This is where I obtained my first blister.
We reached Middletown, NY around noon, and my sistercousin and her husband, who drove out for a cruise to Canada the week before, kindly carted us around for the whole weekend. We were exhausted. Exhibit A:
I can still smile, even while semiconscious!
That night we had dinner with the impending newlyweds at my aunt's home, somehow managing not to fall asleep in our plates of lasagna.
The next day, we went to see my cousin (the groom's brother), his wife, and his two adorable boys at their home, just across the border in Pennsylvania. We wandered around their subdivision's wonderful lakeside beach and then had a picnic on the lawn of their adorable home. We had only ever met the oldest boy, who was just a few months shy of one year old at Husband and my wedding almost four years ago!
Sistercousin and Brother of the Groom Cousin.
Sistercousin and me.
Possibly still semiconscious.
After lunch, sistercousin, cousin's wife, and I got our nails done in town. Our husbands got lost on their way to pick us up (*cue Deliverance banjo music*). Eventually, we were all reunited, and we ventured into Middletown for the rehearsal dinner where we saw the most spectacular display of stereotypical New York/New Jersey guido behavior. It was beyond our wildest, delighted dreams.
As we approached the pub where the rehearsal dinner was to be held, a giant, rather unattractive man pushed a very tiny, mincing man out of the front doors and commenced screaming at him. "You disrespectin' me?" he asked. "No! I wasn't disrespectin' you, Tony," the mincing man replied fearfully (I don't remember if the guy's name was really "Tony," but I can only assume that, yes, every guy with that brand of accent is named Tony). They went back inside, and we followed. But, unfortunately, there was a second set of double doors in the foyer of the pub, which the pair set up shop right in front of, continuing to argue in a lopsided fashion. We eventually edged our way around them without taking any elbows to the face.
It. Was. Awesome. And became the running joke for the rest of the trip (ok, we're still reliving it. Often).
The next day we had to check out of our hotel before the wedding, so eight adults got dressed and primped in my aunt's house (note: one bathroom). It worked out well, though, and I even did my aunt's make-up. Then we made our way to the church for the Catholic Lite wedding (no communion, easy on the kneeling, and the bride and groom didn't even sit, phew!).
My cousins are handsome blokes.
The bride looked just beautiful.
It was a wonderful ceremony.
Eww, stop that!
And they done got hitched.
Upon our exit of the church, we were greeted by a bagpipe player. So unique!
After the ceremony, we drove an hour or so up a mountain to the Ardmore Mansion, the reception site.
We took pictures, partook of the hospitalities provided, and danced the night away. I am so happy for my cousin and his gorgeous bride. Watching them wed was worth the long journey there. It was a whirlwind weekend, but we got to spend time with everyone we'd hoped to see, and we made some lovely memories. I wish you all the best in the world, Mr. and Mrs. H!