Stephanie (collacentaur) wrote,

Vacation report: Sunday and Monday (3/12 and 3/13)

Sunday morning, I slept in. Then I met demongrey, museasylum626,palingyuan, oidhche and N for breakfast at Waffle House. After breakfast, I went back to change into my dressy clothes. We all piled into the SUV again, and headed for the wedding.

We arrived in good time, early enough to say hello to johnstevensaul and R before finding seats. soupkills and calloocallay, however, had not arrived by the time the ceremony started. Drawing on previous experience, I suggested that they would come in just after the vows.

I honestly have no idea how long the ceremony was, because it was very well-paced and kept my interest. Before long, ourika and taoist_pagan were handfasted, everyone was going back out the aisle, I was drying my tears, and we were off to the reception.

No pictures posted here, at Ourika's request. Those who know her (or me) in person may contact me elsewhere if you want to see them.

Have I mentioned that this was very much a couples weekend? I had been a fifth wheel (or third, or seventh) for everything we'd done before, but mostly I'm accustomed to it and don't let it bother me. At a wedding, however, it's hard to forget. I wandered around taking pictures of couples, and kept thinking of the character Mark from Rent.[1] Most of the music that was played was the sort of thing you need a partner to dance to, as well. Usually I'm not above dancing with an imaginary partner, but there were some really good dancers there, and I didn't want to get in their way. For once, I could really see why people bring dates to weddings.

Most of us hadn't done anything about wedding presents, and turtle_morn suggested that one thing Ourika really wanted was a digital camera to take on the honeymoon. They had very sadly bought disposable cameras that morning. So, Oid, Paling, Soup, and Emily disappeared for about an hour in search of technology. When they returned, we presented the camera and accessories to the newlyweds, who were shocked and pleased. T_P said words to the effect of, "Wow, I'm not the only one with totally awesome friends!" Ourika didn't stop bouncing and squeaking for at least fifteen minutes. I would say it was a very successful gift.

After the reception, we went back to the hotel to change and collapse. Ourika had invited us, along with the rest of the wedding guests, to come hang out at a local bar with her. Paling decided to stay and sleep, so I drove Oid, DG and MA. This is the point where I feel vindicated about my opinions about the rental car, because when Oid saw it, he said "Oh my God, this thing is a boat!" Yep, that's what I'd been saying.

The bar was a nice place, but understaffed, and completely overwhelmed by having a large portion of the wedding descend upon it. We waited for quite a while for a table, but realized that it would take forever to get food. So, we said our goodbyes and went in search of a restaurant, accompanied by TM and N. We ended up at a nice Japanese place [2] shortly before their closing, but they were very friendly and patient with us. They sold pocky, and I immediately acquired some, as I'd been wanting it ever since Soup and Emily introduced me to it in Buffalo.

After eating, we went to the used bookstore we'd been hearing about since we arrived, Bookman's. They have a huge stock, especially for certain genres. I was actually kind of disappointed, because while I did find one book I had been looking for[3], I didn't find much else. I think TM described it best: it would be a great place to go to spend several hours and discover a few new authors. It was not so great for trying to find specific things.

Then, there was packing and sleep.

In the morning, I loaded my luggage into the car and checked out. DG and MA came to the airport with me. They were scheduled for later flights than mine, but they wanted to try to get onto the earlier flights. As it turned out, that wasn't going to work out for them. Chicago had high winds, and most of the flights were delayed. I boarded approximately on time, but halfway through boarding the flight was delayed most of an hour. This gave me time for lunch without anyone in the next seat to be disturbed by my elbows. Before they boarded the rest of the passengers, an attendant came through offering a $200 voucher to anyone who would get off the plane and travel the next day, since they had overbooked the flight. I considered it, briefly, since I had an extra day available, but I'm not likely to fly anywhere in the next year anyway. If it had either been cash or a higher value, I probably would have done it.

They boarded the rest of the passengers, and we taxied out to the runway, but we got delayed again while we were there. By then it was over an hour of delay, and my layover was only 90 minutes. I didn't stress about it, figuring my connecting flight was sure to be delayed as well. When I landed, however, my flight was still listed as on time, meaning that boarding would be starting pretty much immediately. I hurried to the listed gate, which was displaying information for another flight entirely. The desk agent advised me that boarding would begin in about 10 minutes, so I heaved a sigh of relief and visited the ladies' room. We took off no more than 15 minutes late, and made up the time on the way so that we landed in Philly on time. It was one of very few flights in or out of Chicago that day to be on time. I felt lucky.

I collected my checked luggage, and noticed that the zippers were not where I usually put them, leading me to believe that my bag had been searched. When I got it home and opened it, I was certain of it, and very glad that I packed mostly in ziploc bags. I ended up back at home at exactly the time I had projected when I planned the trip.


[1] After I got home, I finally saw the movie version, which only served to reinforce this impression. I don't treat it as a Great Cause, but I do use photography – and journaling – as something to do to keep me busy when everyone else pairs off. It's not the same, but it is something I should keep an eye on.

[2] The abundance of Japanese restaurants in Tucson surprised me. It turns out that there was a nearby WWII internment camp, and the people who stayed influenced the cuisine.

[3] The Complete Venus Equilateral, by George O. Smith. It's a collection of related science fiction short stories, most written in the 1940s. The collection was printed in 1976, with a foreword by Arthur C. Clarke recognizing 30 years of these stories, which were influential to people developing telecommunications satellites, including himself. He said that he hoped that in another 30 years he would still be around to enjoy them and to think about the future. This is 2006, and he's still around, although Smith is not. To my mind, the stories are not nearly as dated as 60-year-old SF frequently is. The store had two copies, and it occurred to me after I left that I should have bought both of them, given how much wear I put on my dad's copy.
Tags: vacation, weddings

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