The pictures in this post are sometimes sideways. I think this has to do with the metadata attached to the image and certain browsers’ inability to process it. I’ll work on fixing it but for now just kinda tilt your head a bit.
Well, I stated in my last post that I wouldn’t have much time for sleep, and it wound up being pretty close to accurate. As it turns out, Saturday I was able to sleep in just a little bit. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Thursday was my last day of work before the four-day weekend started. It was a pretty decent day, and at the end of it I went to Baltimore Perl Mongers. I was debating not going due to the trip, but I’m glad I did. We had our largest turnout yet, in spite of having no planned talks. We mostly chatted about what everybody did at work and played back a few YAPC memories. Afterwards, my fiancé Larry drove downtown to join Dawn and myself and we hit up a nearby Sushi bar. It was pretty nice although I’d already filled up on pizza so there wasn’t much desire on my part to eat anything.
Afterwards, Eric’s cats needed some care before we left. I normally provide catsitting services when he goes back to St. Louis, but since I was following him for a few days, that needed doing as late before I left as I could manage. After finally getting home, I packed and crashed for a few hours before flying out. That’s when things finally got rolling.
After I landed in St. Louis (the flight was a flight, nothing special so not worth talking about much), I headed over to meet Terri Langerak to rent her harp. She was very nice and really laid back, and I’m sorry we didn’t get to spend more time talking to her, but unfortunately both Larry and I were very hungry and pretty close to just falling asleep from our short night before, and I still had many errands to run. I will say, though, Terri played a couple tunes, one of which she wrote, and it was awesome. I hear tell she some recorded tracks available for purchase and I shall have to find those (I’ll post it in a comment if/when I do). But we got the harp and headed to the hotel in downtown St. Louis.
After grabbing some food at the hotel (Crowne Plaza Riverfront, it’s pretty awesome), and my taking a few winks, I ran up to pick up my tuxedo at Memory Lane in East Alton, IL. On reflection, food at the hotel was probably not our best idea. It took forever for the food to come out, even though when it did it was very good. If we hadn’t been so hungry and not on a very tight schedule, I don’t think I would have minded the wait so much. Still, I was, on both counts, and so I minded. Whatever, water under the bridge.
Then, tragedy struck! The place was closed before I got there. After swearing a blue streak, I realized there may still be hope. I’d been afraid they were closed on Saturdays, but they weren’t! So, I ran to drop off a portion of the money necessary for pickup of the tux at Eric’s mother’s place. He and Kristin (his now wife) were still running around getting final details hammered out, so I just sat and talked with his mother for a while. In spite of this being the first time I’d met her in real life (and only once having talked to her before, on IRC), she was very pleasant and willing to talk. I even almost got to see some baby pictures out of the deal but unfortunately they were in a drawer somewhere she couldn’t quite remember.
As I was driving out of town, and swinging by a funny little store called Steve’s Antiques that Eric had long ago told me about, I was called and told to swing around and pick up Eric and another friend of ours, Andrew Herbig, as they were stuck without a ride since the best man was hung up on a job. So, I took a few pics and hightailed it back to the house. There, I finally met Andrew (we’d previously only talked online). As we drove back to St. Louis, Eric pointed out many landmarks I’d only ever heard about. Sadly, we bypassed the place where he’d proposed as it was apparently a significant drive out of the way and quite a walk. Still, it was good to see some of the other places I’d heard so much about.
After we all three made our way back to the hotel, I grabbed a quick shower and we hit up Mike Shannon’s Steakhouse. The food was pretty much amazing, though I didn’t have much of, say, the gigantic appetizer that Justin ordered.
I did, however, partake of the quite-amazing Johnnie Walker Blue that was ordered for the table at the end of the evening. Never thought I’d actually have any of the stuff, it’s usually too rich for my blood (and my wallet). But that right there is a bucket list item successfully checked.
On the way out of the bar, we passed by several horse and carriages, but we really wanted to snag this beast which was parked out front.
We hit up more bars, and I’m pretty sure there’s no photographic evidence that can be used to incriminate anybody. Actually, it was pretty tame, just plenty of drinks all around. Thank god I limited myself, I don’t think I would have wanted to be hungover for the big day.
Speaking of, it was at a house by a beautiful lake owned (currently) by Eric’s grandparents’ siblings, but soon to be sold to his cousins. It was way far out into the country north of East Alton, and was very quiet and peaceful. Plus, there’s that lake!
The ceremony went very well – it got started behind schedule but I don’t think it’d be a proper wedding if it got started on time. They did the mixing of the sand, and I gotta say, that particular demonstration is growing on me. Eric and Kristin also read the vows they wrote out, which I gotta give them credit for, I think it’s the first time I’ve heard someone getting married actually say their vows such that people could hear them. Usually peoples’ nerves are far too frayed to do much more than mumble them. They were also very heartfelt and fit in nicely with the ceremony.
I had another entire day in St. Louis, but I’m about to pack up and travel for my trip back home, so I’ll have to fill in the rest of the details of my trip later.