Sunday, May 29, 2011

I'm here to tell you: Colombians know how to party

It's been two days. You missed me. Admit it. I missed you, too.

My little brother tied the knot yesterday. After days of rain, we woke to a sunny view of the mountains and a perfect breeze. And then the madness began. We were in various stages of hair, makeup, and dress starting at 9 a.m. Also, there were errands to run around the village of Blowing Rock, so I showed up at most places looking like a dubious beauty contestant from the neck up and a farmer from the neck down. But at 1:55, the bride was strapped into her dress and we were ready to roll.

My family may appear tough, but damn we're emotional. As soon as my brother saw his beautiful bride come around the corner in a horse-drawn carriage, he welled up. And then I welled up. I had to count things to stop from thinking too much about how happy I was for these two amazing people. I counted stones in a bridge nearby, squares in the minister's yoke, you name it, I was counting it. But I made it through, and even managed the benediction without an ugly cry. The kids held it together.

Shut the fuck up, Kel. Just post the fucking pictures. Alright! Marta, roll the tape.

Perfect weather.
A perfect (sideways) bouquet. 
A perfect bridesmaid bouquet.
Following the ceremony, there was a cocktail hour(s) at the boat house. Michael, his groomsmen, and one friend took a ride around the lake. We crossed our fingers and hoped no one would fall in. The groom may have come back a little wet in the seat after doing a Footloose move (one foot on each paddle boat, fists in the air) ...

Michael (back), Al, and Kias.
Andrew and Joe, looking all cool in front. 
I'm lucky--my brother and I get along really well. So while we usually act like this to each other:
We really feel like this about each other:
 With Mom and David. We clean up well. Mom, you look beautiful.
Meanwhile, Ligia was having a moment with her lovely sister, Alex.
Michael and Ligia take a walk along the grounds.
Obligatory wedding cake pic.
Michael and our mom dancing. Somehow our family can manage to be funny and touching at the same time.
Earl and Keith get close during a slow song.
Allow me to introduce to you the amazing, stunning, incredible Flor (I'm not sure that's the spelling, so feel free to correct me). This woman puts Tina Turner to shame. She outdanced everyone. She exudes confidence and a love of life. All the young women were trying to keep up and learn all the dance moves. But no one moves like Flor. And in heels the whole time.
David almost, sorta danced with Ligia. Michael and I enjoyed the moment thoroughly.
The DJ kindly played a few Red Sox favorites (ahem, a Yankee married a Red Sox today; this is not a light matter). Here, Kias and Michael rock to the Dropkick Murphys. Wish I'd caught it on tape; it was pretty entertaining. The kind Colombian contingent smiled on, surely a little concerned.
All the Boston boys had a moment on the dance floor. Michael's lucky in that his Boston friends have been close to him since kindergarten, in some cases. They're truly great guys.
Even if they do pose foolishly with their lovely girlfriends. Ahem, Kias...
That's better.
The happy couple.
Wait--Jason Lee? Is that you? I swear, it was uncanny head on. But it would have seemed creepy if I'd tried for a head-on shot.
The menfolk take a breather from the festivities.
Ligia has a moment with her sweet dad, Jose. 
And behold: ping pong in the gazebo. Yeah, you don't get that every day. 
Possibly the world's most romantic ping pong ball. Yes, that's their silhouette.
The whole day was perfect. And it was definitely the most diverse wedding I've attended, which made it so much more fun. Ligia's family and friends are incredible. So kind and genuine. And not to be stopped. The power cut out for a bit toward the end. But Ligia's side didn't miss a beat. Holding candles and tapping on tables, they continued to sing and dance. So much joy.


Cut to today. I had to start out for home, unfortunately. And while Michael and Ligia are meant to be, the Blue Ridge Parkway and I are decidedly not. I hopped on for kicks. But after 15 miles or so, was kicked off because the northbound side was closed. What? You will now suffer a few action shots from the Parkway.

The detour put me on a dodgy back country road. A few too many confederate flags for my taste, followed by this. Hard to not feel cynical. 
Then, back through dinosaur country. 
And look! I stop at the visitor center and a fucking dinosaur lands on my c... what? That's a BUG? Why is any bug this big? I thought it was a pterodactyl. Shit.
Jesus Christ Is Lord--not a swear word. Damn straight! What do you think is in this truck? Curious agnostics want to know.
You didn't think I kept a tidy car, did you? The back seat is strewn with visions of last night.
Craig at the Staunton, VA, Hampton Inn gave me a room with a couch, where I'm happily typing right now. And on the third floor, so I have a grand view of the Shenandoah valley. Mad props, Craig.
Good night, y'all!

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