As someone who has an event planning background, I know just how difficult weddings are in the planning department. As such, during our time away I had really hoped that we’d be able to be of help during the wedding. But I also knew full well that sometimes these things are so carefully orchestrated that stepping in at the last minute to help can be more a hindrance and annoyance than a help.
Miss Butterfly and I arrived in Alabama at 10:30 am on Friday morning. We’d gotten up at 3:30 am to do that. We picked up our car, a nice red Nissan, and headed out to find our first coffee of the day. I remarked to Miss Butterfly that it was nice to be given a bright red car as a rental, because it would be easy to locate in a parking lot. We went in for coffee. We came out to our car, and tried to get into 2 other bright red cars before we managed to find our own. I blame lack of sleep and coffee.
I had not been anticipating seeing the Alabama family that evening as I knew they’d be busy. However, they are also gracious hosts and pretty good at realizing that good company is the most important thing. So, I was surprised to get a text that they had sandwich fixings at the house and we were welcome to come over. I headed to the Inn, picked up my parents, and then to the Alabama family.
And that’s when I realized we were going to be able to be helpful after all. After a long swim in the pool (it was in the 90s the entire time we were there, so pool was a must!) we headed back to the Inn to check in, drop off our bags, and get ready for the rehearsal dinner. Then we picked up some supplies from the store and some flowers on order, then went to the restaurant to create vases of flowers for the tables. Nana (My mom) and Miss Butterfly created some beautiful vases while Pop pop (My dad) and I cleaned up behind them. We were so glad to be able to help!
And the vases looked truly lovely once they were done, though there were a few moments where we had worried we didn’t have enough flowers for the large vases. The restaurant was in an old train depot, so my nephews had a great time watching the trains go by.
We all had a lovely social evening, making a great start to a wonderful weekend.
Day of wedding I am struggling to remember what we did! This does happen sometimes when there’s so much going on. But I do remember that we needed to be ready by 4 for potential photos. I was surprised to see not only my nephews matching, but that unexpectedly, Miss Butterfly matched them.
So very cute!
I did get a selfie with Miss Butterfly in the chapel right before the wedding, so I’ll post that tomorrow with the detailed makeup look included.
Sunday was a day spent at the farmhouse with family. Many treats were consumed, it was an all day feast of homemade delights. And so much good company as well. Miss Butterfly swam all day, getting good and tanned. Many naps were had by various family members. It was a day of mostly relaxing and hanging out.
My cousin was struggling with a sore back and a blown out knee, so biking was not in the cards for him. My brother and I rode his route without him. We had some serious hills and great directions. At the top of the mountain I decided we needed a selfie. It was ridiculously bright out and I managed to get my brother in the frame as well as some of the top of the mountain but not much of me at all!
Anyhow, it’s a beautiful ride, too bad I wasn’t in a position to actually get a shot of the valley. Or me. It was so hot and humid! We talked about how we were going to eat homemade perogies and jump right into the pool with our bike clothes on. So, we did just that. We rolled in, quickly removed our helmets, gloves and shoes, and cannonballed into the water. My cousin handed me a beer. A pool beer!
This really is the most refreshing way to ride on a hot day. The promise of a full body temp cool down really did make us feel like we could get through the ride. And while the temp change was absolutely shocking, it was very welcome.
Here’s a quick look at what my view from my hotel door was, isn’t that spectacularly relaxing looking? Turns out at night the frogs get to talking and are so loud they are deafening. It was a great venue and fantastic experience.
Miss Butterfly and I stuck around until Tuesday at the farmhouse. On Monday we took the kids into a town so they could hang at a coffee shop and feel like proper adults while my cousin’s wife and I visited some antique shops. We had planned to grab a late lunch and then see a movie to beat the heat, but once the kids ate they all decided they wanted to go back home for naps. I guess the weekend really wore them out. On Monday evening my cousin and his wife were talking about how they still had to go over and pick up stuff from the reception hall. I told them that since we weren’t flying out until afternoon, if we planned it early enough I could go help. They thought this might be good as they weren’t sure how much stuff the bride had brought that needed to be picked up.
Turns out my offer was a good idea. We took two trucks over, backed them right up to the reception hall, and then set about doing a major clean up and pack up. We completely filled one truck and partly filled another. Once home, we worked on washing the many table clothes, sorting through boxes, getting the perishables indoors, and then unloading the rest of the equipment into the barn. Since we hadn’t anticipated the large job, we were both underfed and underhydrated, so we grabbed a bit more breakfast, more of a brunch really, then I hopped in the pool once more before we left for home. After an extremely smooth trip home, we are glad to be settling in at home and also sad to know that there won’t be monthly Alabama trips anymore. But I do think our goal of finding ways to help during what is always a stressful time was successful.