Thursday, September 29, 2005

And now it can be told: My Boston Trip

I thought I would be able to sleep in on Friday morning. No way. I had to wake up even earlier than I usually do. Blech. I got up, got to it, and got my ass on a train. I headed down to the airport, and saw immense lines for security. Oops. Glad I didn't procrastinate too much. I'm waiting in line, getting grumpy. I know when my flight is, and I want to grab some breakfast before the flight. No such luck.

I bounded my way to Midway's gate A4A, the least accommodating gate, next to A4B, in the world. They're basically a long corridor made of semi trailers, carpeted and with some seats along one side. I figured I was getting there just in time for boarding, which I was, but no. We're not boarding.

I grabbed a seat and started doing crossword puzzles, as my modus operandi dictates. I was bored. I was impatient. They were late. Our boarding time, according to my ticket, was 15 minutes in the past. Finally, they told us we were going to be delayed. Damn.

The people around me and I stuck up a conversation. Turns out each time they've flown to Boston, they've had problems. Myself, I only had a problem once, way back when I was flying there from Newark, and wound up on the tarmac for 2 hours. Finally, they get around to telling us that the reason we're delayed is that they cannot locate the crew. Hm. No pilot, no co-pilot, no attendants. The woman sitting next to me left to get some breakfast, something I should have done. Instead, I stayed put, and did more crosswords. 10 minutes later, a flight crew walks up, to the thunderous and rather tongue-in-cheek applause. They announced boarding, and on the plane I went. Oddly, the woman sitting next to me talking about all her woes flying to Boston was sitting next to me on the flight. We had many a pleasant conversation.

I finally get to Boston and head towards Harvard on the T. Sadly, I had just missed lunch, but at least I got to see Wendy and Joey et al and say hi. I bee-lined it to Charlie's Kitchen for lunch, then checked into my hotel, with hopes of a nap. No such luck, however, but there was quite a bit of ESPN watching as I tossed and turned.

It came time for rehearsal, so I showered, shaved, and called a cab. I got to know the dispatcher over the weekend, too. By Sunday morning, he recognized my voice. Not bad. I headed to the Charles, and met up with everyone. Rehearsal was rehearsal. At dinner, several of us decided to go for some of the more exotic drinks. My choice was the Scorpion Bowl, a drink that was not surprisingly, served in a bowl. It was large. It was tasty. It was full of rummy goodness. Pictures will be posted as soon as I get them.

Zoom-zoom back to the hotel for coffee, drinks, and dessert with the out-of-towners. I got to run into quite a few friends I met during last year's trip to T'ranna. I forgot how fun they were, but I had to cut my time short, as I had an appointment with the lovely, talented, and fascinating Ceerock. We headed to Grendel's for a few drinks, some very nice conversation, and some of the worst service I've ever had in a bar. Third time's the charm trying to get a glass of water in that place.

Finally, the big day was here. I had to try on my barong to make sure everything was kosher (yes, bad pun intended). I met up with Joey and we hung out for a bit, visiting various relatives and cousins and aunts and uncles and nephews and nieces. Everything was set, so we met up with Joey's friends for lunch at Legal Seafoods. Being from the Midwest, I'm not too keen on seafood. I know. What a crime. I had a Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad, and got a sunburn on my scalp. After lunch, I hurried back to my hotel for a shower, shave, and a little pampering before I was to return to keep the groom company.

I got back to the Charles, running late, and Joey and I encountered a bit of a crisis- the studs for his barong didn't fit. He asked for mine, which I happily gave, and started some fruitless searches for local men's clothing stores. Eventually I went to the concierge, who pointed me toward J Press. They were, I think, a little taken aback by my appearance. I was wearing dress shoes, dress pants, and Dutch (as pictured). This used to happen all the time, back when I had hippie hair and all that. Some folks just can't acclimate to anything outside of the norm. Then again, maybe it was a little weird for a guy to come running into their store, dressed as I was, bald, wearing sunglasses, and carrying a barong. Who knows?

It took a bit of work, but 20 minutes and 75 dollars later, I had cufflinks, studs, and a barong to boot. I headed back to the hotel for pictures and changed in the bathroom, as our "staging area" was not ready yet. Unfortunately, I do not have pictures yet, but as soon as I have one, I will post it. I have to say, I looked pretty damn good. So did all of us, as a matter of fact. I wish I had more opportunities to wear a barong, honestly. After pictures, we had some time to kill, a ketubah to sign, and yarmulkes to tape to bald men's heads.

Ok- just one bald man's head. Wendy did the honors herself, and while she put on the second piece of tape, I heard the now familiar click of the wedding photographer's camera. I CANNOT wait to see that picture.

The ceremony was beautiful. I was moved. Never mind that it was a definite one of a kind ceremony, it was just plain incredible. Indescribable. Some pictures are posted here, and you can read the transcript here (including AKMA's phenomenal homily), and see the program here.

The reception started with the happy couple retreating to our "staging area" for 20 minutes or so, for some well-deserved alone time. I found a bar and ordered a vodka tonic and mingled. Finally, Joey and Wendy returned, and the room was ready for the reception. Dinner, dancing, drinks. Toasts were given, and the band played on. Did I dance? Yes, but only with Wendy, and only when Joey was playing accordion. For reasons only known to me unconsciously, I thought that was important. Although I had a hard time not joining the conga line.

Inevitably, the reception ended. I headed back to Charlie's Kitchen with some guests, and partied until close.

Sunday morning greeted me with a nice hangover. Champagne, for some reason, does it every time. I stayed in bed a bit, and realized that my time in Boston was limited, so I went for a walk along the Charles River. The walk took longer than I had expected, and I was rather late to brunch, but I was there. I called Bosco, who was in town visiting his parents, and we went candlepin bowling. We had a blast. After bowling and a longer-than-expected foray of pinball, we headed to Bosco's friend's house, where we watched some football in the pinnacle of guy-rooms. He had a beer vending machine. In his house. I was thrilled beyond comprehension. I was rather unhappy about having to leave, but my flight back to Chicago beckoned.

I had such a good time. I can honestly say it was one of the best weekends I've had in a long time. Big thanks to everyone who was a part of it (except that shitty waiter from Grendel's)!


Blogger cynthia said...

yes i guess my discourse on chili dogs was quite fascinating. the wedding sounds lovely...

11:48 AM  

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