A couple of weekends ago, still completely wiped from our whirlwind trip to New Orleans, I packed up and set off on a 48-hour, 1000-mile road trip to witness the blessed union of my dear friends Meghan and Ryan.
Meghan started off as what you might call a second-hand friend. Joe, my roommate/bff from my New Orleans days, was Meghan's bff in high school, so Meghan came down to NOLA to visit Joe pretty often. It wasn't long before I claimed her as a friend of my own.
Ash and Joe and Meghan and I have a lot of fun stories from those days. Actually, that's a lie. Those nights are mostly a smoky blur in my mind's eye. (As Lanier and I like to say, "Ah, those were the days. Wait...when were those days?") But a really FUN blur, and that's what matters.
Circa 2004 in Joe's bedroom. Friends don't let friends wear maroon lipstick.
So when the gorgeous vintage postcard save-the-date came in the mail, I did not hesitate to pencil the date in on my calendar. Knowing Meghan and Ryan and their rowdy Irish roots, I knew this wedding was not to be missed. Nick was super busy with school, so I decided to go solo. I packed up the old Spruce Goose and I was on my way.
It looks exactly like this except there's a disembodied baby doll head on the dashboard and an unsightly dent in the driver's door. The Spruce Goose!
Being far, far too cheap to pay for two nights in a Cincinnati hotel, I opted instead to spend Friday night with my parents outside Nashville. I drove up to Nashville on Friday night after work, got in after midnight, and spent approximately 20 minutes visiting with my parents in on Saturday morning before I had to keep on driving on to Cincinnati.
I planned the whole trip out very carefully, making a list of items to pack and printing off Google Maps directions to and from every place I planned to go. However, in my careful planning, I somehow neglected to pack any shoes except the brown Aileen Wuornos boots I had selected to accessorize the trucker-chick outfit I was wearing to drive in. I got to take a short detour in northern Kentucky to the Target to grab a pair of heels. I must have looked really strange.
Do these pumps come in a 10?
Things started to look up after I got into Cincinnati. On a whim, I tried my hand at Name Your Own Price on Priceline and ended up with a room at the Cincinnati Westin (4 stars!) for $70. It turned out to be hands-down the most pleasant stay I've ever had in a chain hotel. Check out this room!
just like the pictures!!
I was in Cincinnati for less than 24 hours, so the trip was kind of an open-bar, old-friends blur. Joe fetched me from the hotel, and we fetched Ash and Dave, and just like that the old crew was back together again.
The ceremony was held at Meghan's high school's chapel and it was gorgeous and appropriately Catholictastic.
After the ceremony, Ash and Dave and Joe and I headed up to the Something Heights for a couple of rounds before the reception. Joe and I adjourned at one point to go to the scenic overlook and appreciate the frozen, gray landscape of Cincinnati.
Joe and Dave sporting matching ties
After a few rounds, we headed over to Krohn Conservatory for the amazing reception. I probably shouldn't say anything, but...things got a little steamy.
Meghan and Ryan rented the whole place out, so we got to explore the rainforest room and the cactus room and all of the neat ecospheres. Here's Joe and I enjoying Meghan and Ryan's signature Rainforest Cocktail in the rainforest room:
The whole thing was wonderful. So much talking and laughing and food and dancing and merriment.
gonna slap him if he's gettin too drunk drunk
amazing cake topper and homemade cake!
I would be remiss if I did not mention the quote of the evening, taken straight from Ryan's father's toast:
Not the heat that burns down shanties--
the heat the brings down panties!
48 hours, 1000 miles, and more old friends than my heart can hold. Laissez les bon temps rouler, Erin go bragh, and Here's to the heat!