So this last Saturday, July 29th, my little sister Erica became Mrs. Erica Gerdes and honestly, I couldn’t be happier. The whirlwind of days surrounding the event were fun, stressful, exhausting, joyful- the list of adjectives could go on and on. But before I delve into my observations of the whole event, I want to regale you with my latest travel misadventure:
[So, this post is REALLY long, so if you don’t want to plow through it, you can just click on any of the photos of simply click HERE to jump straight to the pictures. There are more photos than the one’s I have included in this post.]
Part One: The Ordeal
Wednesday, July 26th- So here’s the long and short of Day One: I was scheduled to leave Columbia at 9am via a Northwest flight, have a layover in Detroit, then arrive in Chicago around 12:30pm, just in time for some lunch and an afternoon to relax and visit with the folks before the really intense part of the week began. Katie dropped me off at 7:30am (way earlier than necessary for our little airport, but I didn’t mind) and 9am rolls around, we board, get settled, the plane cranks up and we roll a little before we stop and idle on the runway. In no time at all, I am asleep. Sometime around 9:30 I awake to an announcement about a malfunctioning hydraulic and paperwork. Yes, we are still sitting on the runway. At about 9:45 we are informed that our plane has been officially grounded and that they would do their best to rebook everyone on flights to get us where we are going ASAP. As a humorous aside, this little Asian lady had also immediately fallen asleep next to me on the plane and had slept through all the announcements. When she awoke, she assumed that we had made excellent time to Detroit. I had to gently bring her down…
I’ll be the first to say that as annoying as this situation may be, I’ll never begrudge an airline for taking precautions to prevent my untimely death. It’s much easier to fix a problem on the ground that at 30,000 feet in the air (especially if it involves gremlins on the wings) However, before we even had the opportunity to deboard the plane, another announcement informs us that all the network computers are down and there’s no way to access our flight info or to rebook us. Essentially, we’re SOL and there’s nothing they can do but to give us the 800 number for NWA reservations. Lots of payphone calls later (because I have no cell phone), I am informed that the next available flight for me is 4:15 that afternoon. I’m pissed, but I opt to just wait it out in the airport rather than bother Katie on what was to be a very busy day for her. But this is OK, because the airport has tons of stuff to do, such as looking at all the other non-broke-ass planes that are actually taking off or sitting around in the shitty food court. It ROCKS!!
So from my arrival at the airport to when I actually leave Columbia, I waited around for about 8 hours. However, as annoyed as I was to be missing time with my family, I hooked up with two other stranded travelers and we became fast friends. Tim was a machinist who builds custom machines for different companies and Tanya was in the Air Force (and was trained to kill, my friend. TO KILL). I couldn’t understand why with their combined skills, they didn’t just volunteer to fix and then fly the original plane, but they seemed to think they couldn’t do that. We spent the time bitching, complaining, and making fun of everything. It was a lot of fun. We FINALLY made it to Detroit, where we were delayed yet again due to weather, but finally we each parted ways for our respective destinations, undoubtedly never to see each other again. We didn’t swap emails or anything (though Tim did go to my blog, so Tim may in fact be reading this post). I really enjoy those random moments in life where strangers are thrust together to spend just a few hours of their lives together. It really does make life more interesting. Completely unanticipated but a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
I got to Chicago that night at 8:15-ish, and was picked up by Erica, Fuzzy, and my mother. I stayed at E & F’s place that night to help Erica’s “frame of mind,” which was a little stressed out to say the least.
Part Two: Uh…Everything Else
OK, from this point on, I’m going to describe some of the major points because the whole thing just flew by so fast (in fact, the following week did, too, because as I write this, the wedding was already almost a week ago). This is the observations and shout-out section:
Thursday was the day when a lot of family was coming into town. It was a pretty stressful day in and of itself, because, well- there was a lot of family in town. In the Reid contingent were my mother and father and my two grandmothers. My grandmothers were stressed about how much effort it took for them to get around in Chicago (even with public transportation, a wheelchair, and a rental car). My folks were stressed out at how much effort it was to do anything with the grandmothers in tow. Erica was stressed out about the fact that everyone else was stressing her out (and if that sounds silly, you’ve obviously never planned a wedding). And I was- well, I was stressed because of all of the above. But that being said, it was good to see my family. Hey- we’re stressful; we’re Reids.
Oh yeah, did I mention Erica was sick as a damn dog and had lost most of her voice?
My newest In-Laws are all very nice. There was a lot of Fuzzy’s family in town, but I really only spoke to the most immediate members. Fuzzy’s brother Disco is cool, his folks are very nice, I hardly spoke to his sister Heidi and maybe not at all to her husband, but their kids Jake, Amelia, and baby Luke. We bummed around with Disco for a while and went to the Threadless office (pretty rad). That night we went out to eat at this tripped out restaurant named Paradise not far from E & F’s place. I thought the food was good, but the rest of my family didn’t seem to like it so much. But there was great crazy Indian dancing on the TV (as well as some quite delectable belly-dancing footage), so it was a lot of fun.
Paradise Restaurant. Bizzarro.
Friday, things started happening. Lots of prep for the rehearsal that night. My lovely wife Katie arrived. The rehearsal was held on the back patio area of E & F’s place, and once we were done we had more people over and had a cookout. Lots of fun. Click HERE to see one of Fuzzy’s Flickr sets of the day.
The rehearsal. And Fuzzy is showing everyone his “Where’s my Leg?” trick.
Saturday of course was the big day. Being in the bridal half of the wedding party (the patron –of-honor, if you will), I went with Erica to a salon after attending a brunch with mom and Erica at E’s friend Mel’s apartment. A flurry of activity as the event begins to take shape, suits and dresses on, photos on the roof, and here it is 2:00pm and the wedding is on.
Man, this was not a reserved ceremony. I felt like a rock star even in sidekick mode. There was 200 or more people there and as the wedding party entered everybody was clapping, cheering, and hootin’ and hollerin.’ Kate, the “Best Man,” and I looked at each other in a little bit of shock at the noise. We just laughed as we came out because it was a big, rowdy crowd. Then the bride came out and the place went wild. During the ceremony there was a place when the whole crowd got to yell out in support of the union. The ceremony was short but very sweet, and everyone was crying. , Being the rugged, manly man that I am, I myself even shed a tear or two. When Sara, the officiant, announced them married, they had a big old kiss, turned to the crowd, and Erica said “That’s it!” And Fuzzy said “We got married!” And off they went down the aisle to screams and clapping.
The rest of the afternoon was dancing to live music (courtesy of the band Ruth Buzzy) and lots of photos, food, visiting, and fake moustaches).
At about 5:30 clean up began. E & F stayed to help a bit but eventually retired to their hotel for the night. Katie and I got back to E & F’s place about 8pm and hung out with Jeremy, Adam and Sarah, Kenner, and Kate. It was a nice counterpart to the chaos of the day- a nice, chill evening of simple conversation with friends, old and new alike.
Sunday was again an event day, with a picnic that ended up happening in E & F’s apartment, lots of folks and more food. Katie and I had to take off to the airport around 3pm, so Jeremy left with us and rode the train a while until we also parted ways (though, in pure Jeremy fashion, we later saw him just boppin’ along in the airport, nowhere near his terminal, so we hung out another hour or so.) The ride home was fairly uneventful, and we collapsed into bed.
A few comments more:
My sister Erica is my oldest, dearest friend. Little sister, the wedding was wonderful, thank you for letting me be a part of it. I wish you and Fuzzy the best. You are a beautiful person in every way. And you’re a dicknot.
Fuzzy, welcome to the family. I can’t put into words how happy I am that you are with my sister. This last weekend, there was a moment when my sister was really stressed and sobbing. You patiently and lovingly swooped in, calmed her, and helped get everything back together again. You could see how much you loved each other, and at that moment I knew you were the perfect match for my sister and that I could rest assured that she would be happy and safe with you. Thank you for that.
To my folks, I love you both (and the grandmothers, who do not read blogs). I know it was stressful and we had a few moments, but when we think back on this event, will we even remember the stress?…Well, Mom will. (And thanks for all those kind words on your blog. Just doin’ my job, ma’am.) [Click the following links to read some of mom’s comments about the wedding: Post One, Post Two, Post Three]
There were so many awesome people at the wedding, many of whom I do not get to see enough, two of which are Hanson and Rine-Stone (Scmooches, ladies!Y’all did so much to help!) And we made new friends, too, one of which is “Best Man” Kate O’Leary, our new bad-ass illustrator rock star friend.
Others of note, the wedding pirates: Yes, there were wedding pirates. Erica L. and Sara were actually designated “the wedding pirates” in the program. They each had fake tattoos, eye-patches and plastic swords during the ceremony. Who knew eye-patches could be so sexy?
Adam and Sarah, great to see y’all. Sorry we crapped out on ya Sunday. And a good contingent of the old Vicksburg crew was there: Alex, Melissa, and The Cap’n.
Ah yes, Cap’n Hardqore (AKA Homeskillet)is a total pimp. He’s flashy with his grille and a mix-master with a blender. Yeh!
OK, so that’s enough of that. I’m sure I forgot someone to give a shout out to, but forgive me. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE WHOLE PHOTO SET ON FLICKR. There will be plenty of other photos showing up from numerous sources, so I’ll post some as they come. (The wedding photographer alone took over 800 pictures on Saturday!) If you made it to the end of this entry, then you have my utmost respect.