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Monday, May 29, 2006

Ken's wedding, and a busy weekend

Well, this weekend was really busy. On Wednesday, I started work at about 6AM, and finished shortly after 1PM. I went to the cleaners, picked up the morning dress, packed the stuff I would need for a long weekend, and went to Front Royal. In Front Royal, Christine and I had another dancing session. She was helping me to get ready for the wedding this weekend...

Bright and early on Thursday, I got up, and got ready to go. After making all of my final preparations, I went to the Chapel Crypt at Christendom, where I waited for Mass. During this time, I burned two CD's for Christine C. and her drive out with Dr. P. Mass was at 11:30AM. After Mass, I dropped off the CD's for Christine at Seton, and headed over to the girl's house. Sarah H. wasn't packed yet, so we loaded up her car while she packed, and then we got on the road by about 1:30PM.

Sarah, Rachel P., and I piled into Sarah's car, and Mike E., Carissa B., Alex S., and Ashley F. piled into Carissa's. The two cars left within five minutes of each other. Our first stop was to pick up some lunch in Winchester. After that, we got on the highway, stopping once for gas.

We got a little separated -- Sarah, Rachel and I took the scenic route; that's the story we're sticking to, anyway. The other car beat us to Youngstown, Ohio by about an hour, but I'll be their drive wasn't as cool. :-P

When we got there, it was overcast with sightings of funnel clouds. Wonderful prequel-to-a-wedding weather, huh? We unloaded our stuff and went to Alaina's house, where everyone was heartily partying. After eating some really good food, a large group of us went for a walk around the neighborhood. By this point, it was dark outside, and sometimes rainy, but while we were walking, it barely sprinkled. We got back to the house, and I got a phone call from Jenny D., who I haven't spoken to in some time. We chatted for a few minutes, and after I got off the phone with her, it was time to head back to the hotel.

The next day being Friday and the day before the wedding, there was the wedding scare. I don't know if this is a tradition at all weddings, but to the best of my knowledge, it isn't, or if it is, it's rarely of this caliber. Father O'K. left Front Royal early on Friday morning, and no one had seen or heard from him since. The party that he was supposed to leave with weren't ready at the appointed time, so he took off without them. I was fairly confident that he was going to show up and everything would be fine, but like everyone else, I also had my doubts. Lots of "what if" scenarios ran through our heads, and we all came up with a number of different options to handle the situation if necessary.

After this, the groomsmen all got together for the groomsmen lunch. There was a large group of us: Ken F. (of course), Peter F. (the best man), Mr. F. (father of the groom), David F., Michael F., Mr. W. (father of the bride), Matt W., Alex S., and Mike E. Lunch was really good, and then Ken gave all the groomsmen their gifts. I did not know that you were supposed to do this. Mike E. got a letter opener from Scandinavia. Talk about nice! Matt W. got miniature sword replicas from the Lord Of The Rings movies. I got a gold pocketwatch. Alex S. got a silver platter and a crystal glass set for his fancier alcohol. All I have to say is, "Wow." Ken knows me pretty well. :-D

We went back to the hotel and chilled for a while, and then drove to the church. Fr. O'K. was there and he was just fine. The run through went over just fine while the choir and the organist practiced. The groomsmen had out own little practice: we practiced coordinating all our actions, so that we would work as one unit. It was hard work!

After all this was said and done, we went to a restaurant and had dinner. After dinner, we all went back to the hotel. I was in a room with Alex and MikeE, and our room was designated the party room. We had a big group of people talking, eating and drinking well into the night.

Saturday morning, I got up at about 7AM to eat, shave, take a shower, and make sure that everything was done with plenty of time to spare before the wedding. (Yes, I'm vain, but it's Ken and Alaina's wedding!) After all this, and everyone was up, dressed and ready to go, complete with watches and pocket squares (thanks, Ken!), we got into our respective vehicles, and headed for the Church. Fr. O'K. and I rode together, and we got to the Church about an hour before the ceremony.

As normal for the groomsmen, we got some pictures taken, and we escorted people to their seats. Some of the bridesmaids got lost coming to the Church -- they were later than intended, but not too late for the wedding. The wedding began fairly promptly, and everything went very well. More photos followed, and then the reception took place.

At the reception, there were a decent number of people who I knew, as well as a lot of family members. The food was excellent, the toast was awesome, and the bride and groom began to mingle. The bridal party took it as their cue to mingle as well. Not too long after this came the cutting of the cake, the first dance, the dance with the parents, and the bridal party's dance. During the first dance, Alaina kept stepping on her long dress, so two bridesmaids attempted to carry it for her, through the dance. Ken and Alaina quickly spun out of their control, and they gave up the cause. However, Peter and I got the bright idea that if we could get the girls to do it again, the two of us would go grab Ken's morning coat tails and "assist" as well. It made a rather humorous picture, which I do hope managed to get snapped before Ken and Alaina started dancing quickly again...

MikeE was the Master of Ceremonies and the DJ. He played Flora's Secret by Enya as the opening dance, What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong for the parent's dance, and With Or Without You by U2 for the bridal party's dance.

The bouquet was tossed (Ashley caught it), and then the general dancing began. MikeE played some waltzes, and I asked for a tango. He put on Hernando's Hideaway which I danced with Christine. I think we both needed a bit of a warmup session, but after we made a couple mistakes, we got the hang of it again...

I tried to dance with most of the girls who I knew or had just met. I still hold to the fact that I'm not that great of a dancer, but I guess I was doing decently well, because I didn't get turned down by anyone...

At about 4:00PM, Alex, Peter and I went to Alaina's car and "decorated" it. By 5:30PM, the party was over. A relatively large group of us went to go see X-Men III: The Last Stand. When that was over, we went to Buffalo Wild Wings, had dinner, and hung out for a while.

On Sunday, we went to Our Lady of the Rosary, a FSSP parish with Father V., whose previous assignment was in Dallas, TX. He hasn't changed since the last time I saw him. After Mass, we said goodbye to Emma Fr., Sarah Fo., and Lizzie B., and then headed out to brunch.

Brunch was at Tara: A Country Inn. It was a very cool place. It looked like it was taken straight out of Gone With The Wind -- a fact that made it cool because of the period, not because of the movie. A number of rooms were appropriately labeled, such as "Scarlet O'Hare' Room", or "Confederacy Hideaway". Mom and Dad, if you were around here, you would have loved the place and the meal. The food was some of the best that I've had.

We left there at about 2:30PM. Sarah and I drove back together. As we approached Breezewood, PA, her car's alternator went out, and the car died shortly thereafter. Ken and Alaina weren't too far behind us, and Peter and Rachel were not too far behind them. Ken and Alaina pulled off and charged up the car's battery, enough to get the car to a service center. We had to leave it there, because they didn't have the parts on hand.

We loaded up Peter's car with our luggage -- by the grace of God it all fit. Peter and Rachel got cozy in the back. The car was now weighed down with four people and their luggage -- it was not too happy, but it was moving.

A couple minutes later, I noticed a funny sound coming from the car -- an odd buzzing sound. Peter told me that Jonathan had attributed it to pistons knocking. Never a good sign, but one that could be dealt with. All of a sudden, the car lost all power, and the engine would not propel the car anymore. I used the momentum that was left to get us off the highway, and came to a complete stop. I tried driving again, and the car was just fine. Once again, by the Grace of God, we go underway.

About ten minutes into the journey, I had forgotten that the car was an automatic, and attempted to use the clutch. The pedal that I hit was most definitely not the clutch, because the car very suddenly slowed down. Twice. Why twice? Well, I thought that I had simply missed the clutch and had accidentally hit the brake the first time around, so I moved my foot over a bit and hit the pedal again. Needless to say, the pedal did not change from a brake pedal to a clutch pedal. I'm such an idiot sometimes...

Aside from that, the drive back was uneventful. We got to Sarah's house where we ordered pizza. After eating, I went back to the college, and returned the vestments and other things that we borrowed for the wedding. I headed over to Dane's to visit for a bit, and got back to the apartment at about 1:30AM.

Today, being Memorial Day, I had it off work. I slept in until about 11AM, got up, took a shower, and unpacked completely. Since then, I've spent most of the day checking my e-mail, and blogging. It's 5:42PM, and I'm going to go to the gym, now. Wish me luck...
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