Quick Summer Trip, Part One: Friday

I was on vacation last week. The first few days were fairly uneventful, just chillin' at home, having lunch with my dad on the Fourth, etc. Then, on Friday, the free-form unscripted part of my vacation was over, as I was off to Detroit to attend my mother's wedding. I'm going to break this up into three parts, since it's going to be fairly long.

Mom was widowed a couple of years ago when her husband Bob died. She and Bob were both avid sailors, and had a large circle of friends in their sailing club. When one of the other members decided that he needed to spend less time sailing and more time with his family, his sailing buddy Lary also was also left without a sailing partner. Mom and Lary ended up on a sailing trip together and really hit it off. They came down to Florida last fall to visit me and told me that they were going to get married. I was very happy for them, because I know that my mother has spent most of her life married and is happier as part of a couple, and Lary seemed like a really nice guy.

Anyway, the wedding date they chose was July 7th. They claim that it had nothing to do with the 7-7-07 thing, that they were merely trying to work around the sailing race that comes up next weekend. Perhaps they're even telling the truth. However, the wedding service was set for 7 p.m., so even if it was accidental, they seemed to be playing those 7's for all they were worth.

I was only going to be gone for a couple of days, so I put out extra food and water for the critters and left for the airport around 7 a.m. I made a point of arriving early in case there were any security lines or delays, but everything went quickly and smoothly. I'd bought a pair of cheap navy slip-on canvas shoes as my traveling shoes, so I could just slide them off at the checkpoint, and then slip them back on after I went through. I brought my digital camera, cell phone and iPod, as well as the Warren Zevon bio that I'm reading. Not surprisingly, I listened to some Zevon albums while reading the book.

My seat on the flight to Detroit was in the very back row. I had the middle seat, but man next to me, who was herding his four small children, asked if I could move to the window seat, which was fine with me. The man showed an exemplary amount of patience with the kids. They weren't too badly behaved, all things considered.

When we arrived at the terminal in Detroit, I called Mom on my cell phone to let her know I was at the very back of the plane and would be the last one off. When I got off the plane, there she was, and she gave me a big hug and told me how glad she was that I had come for the wedding. My brothers Kurt and Karl, and Kurt's 17-year-old daughter Rachel, were also there. Karl had flown in from New York, while Kurt and Rachel had driven from Kansas City, with a stop at the University of Illinois-Champaign. Rachel is going to be a senior in high school this year, and is considering UI-C because they have a very good civil engineering school, and that is what she is looking to study. Rachel also was going to be the maid of honor at the wedding.

Once I got my checked luggage from the carousel, we went out and had some lunch. Kurt had one slight problem: He'd lost his bank check card, and figured out that he'd left it at a McDonald's back in Illinois. He called and canceled it. We all went to Pizza Uno and shot the breeze while eating lunch. I had a flatbread Hawaiian pizza and salad, with a couple of Hacker-Pschorr beers (A good German beer from Munich). Kurt and Karl were discussing how packages say "Some settling may have occurred during shipment" and that it really should say "Some settling has occurred during shipment, deal with it!" Kurt was complaining about how a bag of chips he'd gotten had been mostly air, that it was almost like it was a bag of chip. We had a good chuckle over that. After that, the topic of conversation turned to Rachel, and how she was becoming an accomplished young woman, with her work on the school yearbook, robotics competition, playing on the soccer team, etc. To which I said, "So she's all that and a bag of chip!" It's a good thing that nobody was drinking anything at the time, or we might have had a true Recycled Sip moment, because everyone was laughing so hard.

After lunch, we went to Mom's condo on the lake. We were all going to be staying there, while Mom was going to be at Lary's house. We put Rachel in the master bedroom, since she was the only girl, then the brothers got the two beds in the other bedroom and I laid claim to the couch. It had a fold-out bed, but I just said, "Give me a pillow and something to roll up in and I'll be fine."

We killed a couple of hours there, just catching up on things, and then we went to the wedding rehearsal at 7 p.m. The brothers and I were slated to be the ushers, but they didn't really give us a whole lot of instruction on what we were to do, other than that the guests were supposed to be coming in through the back door of the sanctuary, and then we would have them exit out the front-side entrance at the end so that they could make their way downstairs to the reception after the wedding. We met the other members of the wedding party, including Bob and Heather, a Scottish couple who were old friends of Lary's from when he studied at a college in Scotland. Indeed, the wedding was at the local Presbyterian church and the groom and the best man both wore kilts; there was also a bagpiper who led the postlude processional at the end of the service.

After the rehearsal, we all went out to the rehearsal dinner, then back to Mom's condo for some sleep.