This past weekend we traveled to New York to celebrate my husband’s niece’s wedding.
This was the second cousin wedding on this side of the family, my son’s being the first, but this one was planned in advance, didn’t have COVID cramping the festivities (luckies!), and was held in high summer, all which meant: of the nine kids in my husband’s family, seven were able to make the trip, traveling all the way from Oregon, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Virginia, and Hong Kong. (The two missing families, from Las Vegas and Oregon, have four teens between them, and my younger son who was in NYC was also missing.) Oh, and a foreign exchange sister who flew in from Japan!
We ALL stayed at my brother-in-law’s house. For those of you who enjoy numbers, that’s 39 people, according to my sister-in-law who was hosting (so she should know), and the majority of the kids are between the ages of 17 and 23.
the same sign that’s been on the door since 2017
inside Teen Club
It was a full house.
Soon after we arrived, my husband and I drove to the venue to help set up.
We arranged votive candles on the tables, hung decorations, and draped twinkle lights. Then that evening everyone showed up for the rehearsal dinner followed by a pizza and wing feast by the lake.
The next morning, the day of the wedding, there wasn’t much to do, so rather than sit around, a few of us decided to hike the gorge.
We went early, which turned out to have been a very wise decision: on our way up, the trail was mostly empty, but by the time we worked our way back down, we had to squeeze our way through the throngs.
I’ve hiked the gorge on several different occasions, and its beauty always catches me off guard. I love to pick out which spots in the river I’d swim in, if the water were open to the public. I get why it’s not (see above re the word “throngs”), but still. Some of those stone-lined, deep water holes would be the perfect spot for a private party.
At the very top, there’s a huge trestle crossing the gorge and just as we reached it, a train barreled across.
It was terrifying, seeing the train flying through the air so high up above.
Back home, someone had put a white board on the bathroom door.
So everyone could have a turn, people started showering hours before the departure time. (The bridal party had an AirBnB close to the venue, and my brother- and sister-in-law had rented a camping spot at the venue to park their camper so they’d have a place to escape to over the weekend.)
And then, quite suddenly, everyone was buzzing around doing hair and makeup, strapping on heels, and waltzing out to the driveway-turned-parking lot.
The wedding ceremony lasted all of fifteen minutes (if that), and then, after the cocktail hour and photos, we feasted on a pasta bar with meatballs, chicken, and sausages.
And then there was the dancing. The cousins (and some other people but mostly the cousins) hit the dance floor and didn’t stop until the DJ quit. Those kids rocked it.
Towards the end, they all ran into the lake to cool off, some of them in their swimsuits, or undies, or still in their wedding finery.
We all cleaned up a bit, and then sometime around midnight we headed back to the house and fell into bed.
carrying the leftover wedding cake back to the house on my lap
After sleeping in (I slept until 8:45!!!), we lounged around downstairs, blurrily sipping our coffee. And then my husband, who’d been texting with his brother, announced that they’d be returning with their camper in half an hour and how about we blitz the house?
Thirty minutes and thirty(ish) hands — BAM. It was magic.
Then there were photos of all the cousins on the lawn…
missing six: the four from out west, my son, and the youngest who was napping
…followed by The Traditional Cousin Send-Off for the bride and groom who were driving to Louisiana where he is stationed.
My husband and I headed out by ourselves to go shopping (I needed t-shirts) and get a little space, and then I cam home and took a nap.
The rest of the day was spent eating candy (a bunch of the cousins had gone on an excursion to a candy store), and eating, playing games, setting of fire crackers, and visiting.
We slipped out of the house early and made it home in time to play Ultimate.
This same time, years previous: banana pudding, the coronavirus diaries: week 70, movement, Sunday, roasted feta with honey, the quotidian (7.11.16), the puppy post, a tale, er, tail, what my refrigerator told me, zucchini skillet with tomatoes and feta.