In an attempt
to distract myself from my life, I ran away last weekend. I packed my bags, grabbed Peter and we high-tailed it to Bucks County, PA. Long before these messy health issues were upon us, we had been invited to my cousin's wedding and we realized it would be the perfect time for a weekend special at the Sheraton.
We had originally planned to do the uber-romantic B&B thing, however we ran up against two issues: they are pricey and they don't always have what you want. If I am back-packing across Europe, I don't mind having to share a hall-bath. However, a romantic weekend getaway that is running us $200/night? We darn well better have a clawfoot tub/Jacuzzi and most definitely a private bath.
Even when we thought we would have a bit extra from Peter's time in B'dad (those days are LONG gone), the thought of spending that much on a weekend away made us a bit ill. Then my cousin mentioned that there was a post-wedding brunch at the hotel on Sunday, and we realized we could suck it up and consider the Sheraton our place of choice for a whopping $99/night (pre-paying Friday morning saved us $105 alone!).
It wasn't until our arrival at the hotel that we realized that our last stay there had been the evening of May 17, 1997 (ahem, think wedding bells for us...). So, while it may not be the B&B we hoped for, certainly brought back many good memories (minds out of the gutter, I was remembering our moms singing a duet of "I Will Survive" during a Karoake session at the post-reception party). Oh, I must find those pictures!
We checked in and had but a few minutes to scoot to the rehearsal dinner. My aunt (technically my cousin, but I don't feel up to semantics) had invited us to nearly every event possible. The dinner was held in West Trenton and upon arrival, we realized we didn't really know that many folks, nor did we have a clue where to sit. We did the small talk thing, sipped a nice pinot and then we were motioned to sit...but where?
All of the available seats were taken, save for two at the table with the bride's parents and their best friends. Rather sheepishly we took our places and felt like complete intruders...until they learned about Peter's job and our travels. Instantly it opened up the conversation for the men. However, I was a bit, well, shy and unsure of how to fit in. Then fate took a hand.
I admit, I spent a good portion of the night texting with our 'sitter'. We had never left Nicholas for an entire weekend before and while I assumed he would be fine, I didn't want to jinx myself. Just as I was putting my iPhone back in my purse for the 100th time, I felt a pair of eyes on me. I looked up (having hoped all of my texting had gone unnoticed) and there was the mother of the bride, with just the tiniest gleam in her eye.
"You have an iPhone?" she asked.
"Um, well, yes, just texting home to check on the Little Guy!" Huge gulp and quickly imagining being kicked out of fabulous dinner. Busted!
"Don't you," and she paused to look around, "Don't you just LOVE it?"
She then looked down at me, gave me a big grin and stated (oh so proudly),"I got an iPad for Christmas...I don't know what I ever did without it!"
Commence at least 30 minute conversation on iEverything. The rest of the evening flew by, and the next thing we knew, it was Saturday afternoon and we were off to the first wedding we had attended in years. Even when we have been state-side, our schedules/circumstances haven't always allowed for us to be able to participate in family events. To actually be present at a wedding and catch up with family we haven't seen in years was an enormous treat.
The reception lasted well into the night and the reports from the homefront said that all was going well. We ended the weekend with a post-wedding brunch on Sunday morning and headed home after making a brief, but necessary stop at the cemetary.
Normally not a topic one would associate with the emotion 'happy', but we had stopped to ensure our satisfaction with my mom's gravestone. We have been waiting years (quite literally) and it wasn't until last fall that it was finally completed. Despite my fears, it was not the upsetting trip I thought it might be. We found the grave, marked it on Peter's GPS (if you know my mom, she would love that...), and added a small Christmasy decoration. I really wasn't sure what to do, as it still seems wrong to be doing any of this so soon...she was just so young. I got through it though, and realized that I was fine. No tears, it just is what it is, even if seemingly years too soon.
Then we went home. We had a dinner to attend that night in Annandale, so we picked up a quick lunch (Jules, how we have missed you!) and headed back to 95. We didn't have a chance to do everything we originally planned (no romatic stroll along the canal), but Peter wisely figured those items left undone could easily be added our list for the next trip. Still, we had more than 48 hours just to ourselves and they were absolutely priceless, especially considering the timing. The next few weeks to months will likely be less than stellar and I will need all of the happy weekend memories as motivation to slug through it all. Pete swears that island vacation is not on the back burner, as I feared...guess we shall see?
Um, yeah, kind of forgot to have anyone take a good pic of us and not sure when the official family wedding photos will be ready. As an FYI, that is not a giant pimple on my face in the first photo, it's a dimple...I swear!