In the last episode, our superheros were celebrating their anniversary by snoozing on the comfortable Marriott beds. With no little ones to take care, no set time to be anywhere… the alarms were turned off and only Mother Nature’s internal clock would be the wake-up call at this hotel.
After waking up, we received a call from Gray with some errands that he would need to run this afternoon. We also had some things that we'd like to check out. So, we decided that we'd meet for Lunch at the Thai restaurant just down the street. This would give us about an hour to take care of our errands and time for him to take care of his.
I wore my nice relaxing Old navy surfboard shirt, khaki shorts and my Nike khaki sandals… I was on “vacation” and loved it. We made it to Payless so that Jen could show me a few shoes that she wanted plus some for the kids. And we hit the Wal-mart next door. I almost looked for a watch since there is a big tax difference between VA and TN, but I didn't. We did get a few snacks, but I forgot the AA batteries that I needed for my camera, so my digital camera was DOA for the rest of the weekend *sigh*
we ate at Ruan Thai in Innsbrook and it was very good. Jen thinks that Thai is her favorite food right now, because of the different, unique flavor of Thai food. Gray and Darryl (another groomsman) met us for lunch and it was outstanding. We had more of our share of food and had to take some home. After Lunch, we decided that we'd run a few more errands, go pick up (John) Devaney and then go over for our Tuxes. Jen would make her way to Old Navy to find some outfits for the kids for the wedding.
So we were off in Gray's Jeep. We first went to Maggiano's, the restaurant where the reception was going to be held. I was amazed at how much the area had been built up in the past 5-10 years. There were so many new buildings and shops… We then swung back around to the bank, so that Gray could get some small bills for his trip. I mean you can't be giving out a 2-spot as a tip every time. And Gray even brought Darryl and me lollipops from inside the bank (we stayed outside in the sun). Devaney was ready and we made our way back to hotel to get him.
I had forgotten that people I know actually read this blog… and he asked me how my shoulder and arm was doing. See here if you don't know how I injured myself. We went to the Tuxedo place and tried on the tux. Devaney's jacket was wrong, but was able to have it fixed onsite. Gray looked like Tom Hanks in the movie Big when we turn back into a kid. Grant's (another Groomsman) tuxedo was off too. Darryl's vest was off and my tuxedo was okay, but the pants were a little big, even if I had them the tightest they could go. I wasn't going to trade them, but I realized that others would have to get refitted, so I opted for the pair of tuxedo pants that actually had my waist size in the range. Last time I calculated, the number 32 does not fall within the range of 34-36. SEE you even need to have math skills if you sell tuxedos… who said you'd never need this every again. But we'd have to be at the Tuxedo place at 10am to get our gear, which meant that we'd have to be particular speedy since we'd need to be at the church at 10:30am! So, if worse came to worse, I would have NO PANTS.
So off we went to the hotel to get changed for the rehearsal. We had about an hour before we need to leave to get to the church. On the way back to hotel, I got myself a Slurpee! In Tennessee, they only have ICEE which is okay, if you can't have Slurpee, but when you want a Slurpee, you have to go to 7-11 for a Slurpee. I got my Slurpee fix, but right now, I would like to have a Slurpee… mmmmmm
so, we get back to hotel and Jen's back from Old Navy with some stuff she got for the kids. WooHoo success. Everything is going great until… what was that noise? That was very distinct… could it be? OH NO DUN DUN DUN… that was sound of a Homo Sapien, female gender approximately 2 -4 years of age… and HER SISTER! And neither of them was very happy… NOR the mother. Ugh! That is going to TOTALLY suck! Crying kids sure do kill the mood… which is why we left them at the grandparents! Granted our whiny kids have been with us in hotels, but measures needed to be taken. However, clothes for the rehearsal dinner needed to be donned, we were leaving soon.
The dress code for the rehearsal dinner was “Dressy-Casual” which for me…at one time was tying the string to my Umbros. Dressy-casual sounds fine until you really try to decode what the person is saying. A waiter outfit is dressy but casual. A nice solid shirt with black slacks could be dressy, if done right, and is definitely casual. Dressy Casual, for a college student could be a button down shirt, a tie and shorts. Well, the official Dressy-casual was Look nice, but not as good as the Bride and Groom. So, I had a nice button down shirt and khaki pants. Repeat, a nice button down shirt and khaki pants… a nice button down shirts and what else? Khaki… hey, where are my pants? There are not too many places for them to hide… right?
“…when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” – Sherlock Holmes
The Khakis were in Tennessee… and there was not enough time to do anything about it. Well, except to get on the Bat Phone and see what Gray might have. Gray had nothing. There wasn't any real time to get to his house and get a pair of pants that would be too big for me. So, we had to consult a higher power to see what real option I had for the Dressy-Casual attire. I had my button down shirt and my cargo-style khaki shorts plus either my khaki socks/shoes combo or my Nike Sandals. Devaney, my local fashion consultant said that it was a must, for a wedding event to have closed toed shoes. So much for the sandals. So, I had my attire for the rehearsal… button down shirt and shorts with shoes and socks. *ugh*
Then the kids next to us started making another ruckus. Okay, time to deal with the kids. I left the room and went down to the front desk and explained our situation. None of our kids… alone time… kids kill the mood…it's our anniversary… and within 5 minutes, we had a new room on the Concierge level. You know, the ELITE level where you need a keycard to even get to that floor, much less your room! Score! So with less than 10 minutes before we had to leave, we piled all of our crap and moved it to the new room. Dumped everything inside and took off. We had a rehearsal to attend.
Gray picked a crew of guys that not only get along with each other but also no how to give each other crap. There's the all-knowing Devaney, the 6'5″ Darryl who could crush you in an instant but would rather give you a helping hand, Grant the world traveler who has learned everything in the country of its origin, John the super-secret military officer whose wrist-watch has more than 1000 features including contacting the Space Station, creating a hologram of himself, laser cutter, and more… and of course, yours truly.
We were fairly well behaved during the rehearsal… I only had a few remarks here and there. The hardest thing was that Lauri looks right at me during the vows (not vowels) and most of the ceremony. Well, we were having a hardtime keeping a straight face because even when I was not trying to get her to laugh, she was laughing. The rehearsal was over, and we went to go eat some BBQ in the church fellowship hall. It was good BBQ and was what Gray and Lauri had on their first date. But with the rehearsal dinner out of the way, there was some drinking to do!
The plan was that we meet at Capital Ale House which was very close to the hotel and had a 10 page beer list, one sorted by name, the other by type. There were 10 of us crammed into a table for 8. I ended up having a delicious Stout and 2 brown ales, from where I have no clue… I just remember that they were good.
Gray presented us with our Groomsman gift… mine was AWESOME. It was a flask that was engraved with the words “… the best of friends we'll always be…”. The story behind that is there is a drinking song that we use all the time and it goes:
“Here's to you… Here's to me… the best of friend's, we'll always be… but if we ever disagree… then F* YOU! And here's to me”. Ten years ago when Gray was my best man, he got a flask that said “Here's to you… Here's to me…”. So it was very cool. He also gave me a bottle of Pepe Lopez, but that's a WHOLE different story. I joked with him that all the alcohol he bought for us is going to be 2/3 the price in Jamaica!
So we all said adieu and made our ways to go sleep for the big day…