North To The Future With Velveteen Rabbits And An Alligator Man
Time for a little recap on the events of the previous week. Let's see, what happened? Oh yeah, The Teacher and The Architect got hitched. Last Thursday we were preparing for rehearsal, while the rest of the state was sweltering in the heat. On the Tuesday prior, I did the drive up and met The Teacher for an appointment in Longview. More details from this will be released later, but it was a damn hot day indeed. It could almost be described as Vegas heat with humidity. Nasty. At The Teacher's house we had been struggling to get her upstairs bedroom window open. In a previous house painting effort, the window was painted shut. On a normal cool day this wasn't really much of an issue, but the room was probably about 140 degrees on this day. Hot damn. A moment of clarity gave us the Yoda mentality: Do or do not, there is no try. We were either going to get that window open, or break the glass. Seriously. Thankfully a tall ladder and a sharp knife helped remove the final layers of paint holding it shut. Her parents had an air-conditioning unit that we put in the opening and finally the bedroom was going to be habitable again. There was slight humor in thinking that going to the coast was going to give us relief from the heat. Of course, over the next few days Astoria returned to it's typical mid 70's Summer weather. If that had not happened, I'm not sure how keen I would have been to wear the wool suit I had. We certainly didn't want a Speedo wedding, so Mother Nature worked with our plans and not against them. Practice Makes Perfect
So, back to last Thursday's rehearsal. We gathered the relevant parties, and made the short hike up to the site. We took the long way up (yes, there were more than one way up), and received several comments about the physical exertion that was required.
Of course, at the top it was easy to see that it was worth it. Shively Park was quiet, shaded, and the rumors of wild cougars being sited in the area only caused a few of us to briefly survey the site.
Jenni, or The Rev, as she's been known more of lately, led us through the rehearsal and she was pretty staunch about not letting us get any practice kissing in with the practice vows. Just one? Not on her watch.
Certain Paperwork Is Required
Last Friday was the actual day, and you all know of a little thing called Murphy's Law. We did pretty well, but there's always small details that get overlooked. In our case it wasn't something that was overlooked, but rather misplaced. A tiny little thing known as the marriage license. Hmmmmmmm. We figured that we wouldn't be the first couple in history to have this happen, so we headed back to the county clerk's office. As Yogi Berra coined it, it was like deja vu all over again. With the final detail taken care of, we were able to get back to the actual day's events. I do, I do, I do
The Teacher and I went our separate ways until the ceremony. While she got ready at her sister's house, my daughter and I went into town and met up with my dad and Pam. I had a few small errands to take care of, so I did that while everyone else went swimming. After many miles of driving back and forth the car needed a good wash as well. I know, I know, would I be tempting fate for an outdoor wedding by washing a car, and thus causing it to rain? Danger is my middle name, and fate was tempted. After returning with a shiny car, the ladies got ready while my dad and I went to a nearby tavern for a beer and some video poker. You know, typical pre-wedding ceremony activities. After that we went back to his room and got dressed. My awesome wedding present from The Teacher was a pair of monkey cufflinks. They worked well with my charcoal suit, white shirt and black tie.
With my tie tied and my buttons buttoned, we headed out to the site about an hour before the ceremony. This gave me a nice parking spot, a leisurely walk up the hill and ample time to scout for cougars. Clint was one of our photographers and was there as well, while Debra was photographing the bride's preparation. The Rev was there as well with mosquito coils and lanterns. However we had no firearms in case a cougar jumped from a tree. Like I said, Danger is my middle name. We had about 125 people in attendance for the ceremony, which was just about the perfect amount for the site. It felt very intimate, but not crowded in any way. It made it easy to meet some of the guests I didn't already know as well as get hugs from my new large extended family. Shortly after five o'clock, everyone was fixed on the entrance area for the bride. It was very scenic in every way possible. I had a huge grin on my face when I first spotted her. Would you expect anything less? I didn't. The ceremony itself was very touching. The Rev read some passages from the beloved children's book The Velveteen Rabbit about what makes something real and transitioned that to statements about love and marriage for The Teacher and The Architect (which The Rev actually mentioned The Teacher and The Architect in her closing statement - awesome!). Overall, It was amazing and VERY REAL. We sealed the deal with a kiss and no cougars jumped from the trees to spoil the moment.
Dance Hall Days
After the ceremony we did a bunch of group photos, and then sent everyone else off as we got a few candid shots as we walked to the freshly washed car. We didn't linger too long, because we had reception to get to. While we looked over several possible sites for the ceremony, the reception site only took one look. The Red Building (yes, it's actually called that), was perfect in every way possible. The Teacher and I decided to put a little humor into our entrance and after being announced and would walk in to John Williams - Imperial March from Star Wars. I think this was the only goof-up, because after we were announced the music played was our regular reception music and not an announcement from The Dark Side of The Force. A small detail, but it would have been extra awesome. Of course only a few of us actually what we were going to do, so nobody else expected it and thought otherwise. After a long day of getting ready for the ceremony, a good meal sounded dandy. While I had initially teased about catering the reception with KFC, The Teacher and her mom decided to class it up a bit (not that there's anything classless about a bucket of original recipe). Now, for someone who likes good food, this was a dream buffet. I think the best touch was having clam chowder in addition to all the other yummy dishes. You can't come to the coast without having clam chowder, and if you have a coastal wedding you might as well do the same. There was dancing, there was cake and cheesecake too. It was dang good. Don't Come Knocking
When we started planning all of this earlier in the year, we had some grand plans for a honeymoon abroad, but some other things popped up and also knowing that moving still needed to be done after we got back, a simpler honeymoon was planned. So, yes, as I write this my wife is 260 miles away packing boxes. So, onto the actual honeymoon. We kept it much closer and headed to a smaller inn located in Longbeach Washington. Seriously, how could you go wrong with a honeymoon located in the same city that features Jake, The Alligator Man? While we did visit Marsh's Free Museum, that wasn't the focus of our stay. Seriously after the last bunch of weeks, it was so nice to just relax and get away from everything.
We had some very nice meals, with the highlight at the 42nd Street Cafe in Seaview. And, like I previously mentioned, we relaxed between beach and boardwalk walks, shopping and other fine moments.
Pack It Up
Last Monday we headed back to Astoria, and had a tasty lunch at the Urban Cafe, before heading back to The Teacher's to load up the wedding booty into my car. Tomorrow I get to head back and help pack up the rest of her stuff and over the weekend we'll get it moved over here. Almost there! Woo hoo!
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