Day One: The Drive

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Well, we left the house at 8AM this morning, and we drove and drove and drove, and finally, 14 hours later, we’re here in Chicago and checked into our hotel.

The highlight of the day was the stop we made in Elkhart, IN. Kay had been on the phone recording her radio show, Exposed!, from 6:00PM until 7:30PM, so I wasn’t able to stop for gas, and by the time we got to Elkhart we were running on fumes.  We hit the first gas station we saw after exiting the highway and filled up.  Once our car’s hunger pangs were assuaged, our own tummies started rumbling, so we headed out down the road to find someplace to eat.

We saw a couple restaurants, but then we spied something special: The Simonton Lake Drive-In.  It was an old-fashioned drive-in with homemade ROOT BEER!!!  Kay and I ordered two burgers, some fries and onion rings, and two frosted mugs of root beer.  It was all quite delicious, and it took me back to my childhood in the 1970s when my parents used to take me to an A&W Drive-In in Whitehall, NY.

So now it’s time for Kay and I to get to bed and get some sleep, because tomorrow’s our first full day in CHICAGO!

Somewhere in Ohio…

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Hellooooo Friends!

Hmm. Somehow I feel like I should be saying something deep and profound in this, my first Chicago honeymoon blog. Well, so far we’ve, uhh… been driving.

A lot.

Seriously, though… I think the only truly proper way to start off is by taking yet another moment here to thank all of you who attended our wedding. It was simply wonderful to see just how many friends and family were able to make it out. Packy and I were talking earlier (I’m gonna guess around mile marker 150 or so? We’re up to about 400 right now… tooooldja there was a lot of driving)

Anyway, the two of us were talking about just how happy we were with the ceremony and reception. We managed to be both traditional and decidedly UN-traditional, which is sorta how the two of us do everything else in our life. Our musical taste was VERY clearly on display- folk, the Beatles, Broadway, classic rock and more. Our geeky science fiction side showed up too with everything from a Tardis beside the wedding cake to the Star Wars Throne Room music that was played for the recessional, (tell me you caught that… please tell me you caught that!)

Looking back at the photos from the day and watching the video (thank you, Denise!) it seems we somehow managed to make all the individual pieces fit together and put on a heck of a show in the process. I kinda wish I’d been a guest! Hehe. Yes, I was warned about it by my married friends, but when you’re in the middle of things at a wedding, they have this tendency to blur by you. I have a number of very CLEAR memories, of course… but there are also bits that sorta whipped by me at a zillion miles an hour. I think it’s kinda inevitable.

Which is sort of an apt thing to be saying right now actually given the fact that we’re currently driving through Pennsylvania. Lots of things whipping by. Lots of town names and businesses and people’s homes… but, really, I wouldn’t want it any other way. If I’m given the choice between flying to a destination or driving, I’ll pick the car almost 100% of the time. It’s not a phobia of heights or anything. It’s wanting to remember things and- without getting too cliche here- wanting to take in the beautiful countryside of America.

I know. THIS coming from the girl who loves to complain about how friggin’ WIDE Pennsylvania is. My friend Abi and I have this joke: “Pennsylvania is like quicksand. The harder you struggle to get out, the deeper you get stuck.” At least, it can feel that way when you’re driving I-80 the whole blessed way through.

(My relatives from PA are currently throwing things at the computer screen, I’m sure.)

But back to my point: I love road tripping. My Grandma Barber used to take me for long drives around Saratoga County as a little girl, so I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for this sort of thing. Sure, we’re going to have traveled nearly 800 miles from NJ to Chicago by the time we pull in to the Howard Johnson’s tonight, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂

Check in later. Again, wedding guests…. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

– Kay

Rest Stop

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Stopped in the Pennsylvania Wilds to stretch our legs and take in the local wildlife…

And we’re off!

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Well, the day has finally come! Kay and I are heading out shortly on the 13 hour drive to Chicago, but before we left I wanted to share with you all something we just got yesterday: our chibi wedding portrait!

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Before our wedding, I commissioned my sister Alice to do a portrait of Kay and I in the same style as Chibi Jesus, and when she arrived yesterday to start kitty-sitting for us, she had our portrait ready!

Many thanks to Alice for taking care of our cats this week, and thanks to all of you who are checking in on us while we blog about our honeymoon!

Mini-Honeymoon

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Just so folks now, Kay and I are taking a mini-honeymoon, or as Kay wants to call it, a “minihoneymoonlightdesires“. We’re heading up to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls to see the Canadian musician Lawrence Gowan perform solo for the first time in a decade.

Larry!Mr. Gowan hasn’t been out of the limelight during the past decade, however.  He’s been out and about with Styx as their keyboard player since the band parted ways with Dennis DeYoung; the gig allows Gowan to exercise his bombastic and showy tendencies, but he doesn’t have much chance to showcase his catalogue of songs from his earlier solo career.  The most that usually happens is when Styx plays a show in Canada, Larry is required to trot out his 1985 #5 hit, “A Criminal MInd” (this is the real reason Kay and I were freezing our to tuques off this past New Year’s Eve in Niagara Falls, Ontario–Styx was appearing live as part of the celebrations).

This time, however, Styx has a little downtime and Gowan decided to, in celebration of the 25th Anniversary re-release of his “Strange Animal” album, perform a few concerts in his home country.  This time, Kay and I will be indoors and we’ll be able to sit down in comfort.  We’ll also be staying in the hotel adjacent to the concert venue, so there won’t be long walks in the snow/rain and border crossings in the wee hours following the concerts this time, either.

We’ll blog about it, of course, because it’s our mini-honeymoon!

It’s got fancy pants!

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OK, now Kay and I will start blogging about the really cool wedding gifts we got.  The folks who got us things on the honeymoon registry will have to wait until July when we actually TAKE the honeymoon for their blog posts, but my brother was one of the people who broke free from the registry and got us a really cool gift.

In their card, it said they’d gotten us a picnic basket (and yes, the first thing that went through my head was “Hey, Boo-Boo! It’s a pic-i-nic basket!”) but I had no idea how spiffy it was until I got to work and found it sitting on my desk (I also misread the card and thought that it had been ordered, but I’d have to pick it up at BB&B).

I think the thing that impressed Kay and I the most was not the plates, mugs and cutlery that this comes with, nor was it the large insulated interior to keep food and drinks at the perfect temperature and safely stored.  We both agree that the most impressive thing was the fancy pants.  And the whalebone skirt and parasol.  And the butler who comes with it to hold the parasol.  The butler is stored in a little compartment behind the plates, and he grows when you place him in water.

We’re going to put this present to good use this summer, once I’ve trimmed off a few pounds and can fit in the fancy pants that came with it.  Of course, I can imagine that hauling this to the top of one of the mountains surrounding Ramapo Lake might burn off a bunch of calories on it’s own, so maybe we’ll use it without the fancy pants…

Thanks, Kevin, Terry, Heather, Jennifer and Sammy!

Our Wedding Photographer: YOU!

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Since we want to spend most of our money on feeding all the guests at our wedding, Kay and I have decided that one of the things we’re not going to do is have a professional photographer recording the event.  This would cost us a minimum of a thousand dollars, and while it may result in fabulous photos, we think we’ve got a better idea: Crowdsourcing.

A lot of people are going to have cameras at our wedding, and they’ll be taking pictures anyway.  Why not have everybody who takes pictures upload them to a central photo gallery, so we can all share?  This way, Kay and I get pictures of our wedding and reception from more angles than a professional photographer could get.

I’ve set up a photo gallery on the wedding website, and anybody who wants to can request a login to upload photos.  I’m still figuring out the particulars of integrating the gallery into this WordPress website, but I’ll have it straightened out soon enough.

Caterer count!

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As of Saturday’s mail (which we got when we got in about a half-hour ago), we’ve had 71.67% of the people we invited return our RSVPs. We’ve determined that another 7.37% of them are definitely coming, and we’re guessing that another 30% of the remaining people will wind up coming. This means that we’re telling the caterer that we’ll be feeding 110 people, which is a comfortable number for us to seat in the hall.

58.4% response rate!

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Which means there’s only 73 people who we have to guess about whether they’re coming to the wedding or not! But not to worry, we’ve got another, what? Two days until the RSVP deadline?

Fun, fun, fun!

Eh, I’m not sweating it. When it comes time to give a number to the caterer, I’m just going to multiply the number of people who’ve responded by 1.25, round up to the nearest multiple of ten, and call it a day. If people show up who hadn’t RSVPed, they’ll have to be satisfied with eating what’s left over after the people who did RSVP have had their fill. I mean, that’s only fair, right?

Oh, and I think we’re at the point where if all 73 people respond to say they’re coming, we’ll be able to seat them all. It’ll be tight, but I think we can do it.

Today’s responses: 49.86%

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We got three more in the mail today, bringing the total response rate up to 49.86%.  I think if we get one more RSVP tomorrow, we’ll break 50%!

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