Monday, July 26, 2010

Branden and Amy's Wedding

Branden and Amy got married this past weekend down in Cleveland so Norah and I took a trip out there. We rode the Megabus down, which was much, much better than I had anticipated. The bus felt brand new and Norah seemed to really enjoy herself. The ability to get up and walk around made it much better for her, even if we only walked to the bathroom. Now that I've taken the Megabus from Chicago to Cleveland, I'd have to say I honestly prefer it over flying. There's just so little stress involved, the people talk to each other, and you don't feel like a terrorist when you get up to use the bathroom.

My brother Jim picked me up in downtown Cleveland and I'm glad because it was really good to see him. I hung out with my brother Jeremy that night, and then drove my mom's car down to Canton for a bachelor party camping trip that was the creme de la creme of camping trips. I pitched my brother Jim's tent, which is probably the biggest tent ever made. It's a five bedroom six and a half bath sort of thing with three stories and a nice view of the river. That night we went and played just about the rowdiest game of golf I've ever played. We definitely would have been kicked off of just about any course for some of the antics that night. For some reason the grass growing out of the floorboards of the pontoon boat that was parked next to a couple rusted out golf carts made us all think it was okay to golf in tee shirts and flip flops with about a hundred beers stuffed in our bags. Basically, it was awesome. I shot just under a thousand so I was happy.

That night I played poker until five in the morning, went to bed, and got up at 9 because the sun decided to repay me for something mean I said in Junior High. We ate breakfast and then sat in our camping chairs wondering why we picked a camp site that had no shade trees. There was cornhole, and lots of water drinking, but basically the morning was a big game of "Try not to sit on each other's lap in the shade of that Honda Civic." Eventually we hung a tarp between a car and a sapling and played, "Try not to sit on each other's lap in the shade of that tarp."

Around three or so, we went down to the river to ride some kayaks. Holy cow. 1) I've never seen that many people on a river before in my life. 2) I've never seen that many coolers on a river before. 3) I can't believe I didn't witness a drowning. I'm thinking there were close to a thousand people on the river that day, everyone just floating down drinking beers and chasing kids who were squirting us with squirt guns. I don't know if it's always like that on the weekends there or if we managed to congregate on some strange vernal equinox of drunken river riding, but it was fabulous. We basically tucked our oars in, grabbed the nearest kayak, and just floated down river. Branden managed to score some free beer off of passers by because he told them he was on his bachelor party. The rest of just just got jealous and floated for a couple hours enjoying the cool river.

That night we sat at the campfire and ate hobo dinners. (Cut stuff. Toss stuff in tin foil. Add fat. Toss tin foil ball into fire. Eat.) I went to bed relatively early that night (around 1) and got up in the morning to cook breakfast, tear down camp and drive home. Norah got to spend the weekend with Grandma, Poppa, Jim, Jer and Char and finished her visit by spending the day at the farm park milking cows and riding horses. She's talked about it a good deal since we got home. Meanwhile, I drove to my folks house and we went to dinner for my birthday.

I then spent the next couple days in Cleveland with my folks before Branden picked Norah and me up to help out at the Dreniks' where Branden's wedding was going to be held. We helped build a deck there until about midnight, and the next day my friend Tammy picked me up and drove me down to Canton. There we ate some tacos (delicious!) and went for a quick jaunty to Tagarts. Then Babs, Ryan, Clay and I hung out at the fire pit in the driveway.

Babs and I went to the Dreniks' the next day for some grass cutting, deck building, posion ivy raking, beer drinking, pool playing and a poker tournament. We were in bed around four in the morning, and then ate brunch at Yours Truly. Which means we beat you at the game of "Who can eat the best brunch on Saturday, July 24, 2010."

The wedding itself was probably the most fitting ceremony I've ever been to. Branden and Amy walked down the isle together and Amy's dog followed wearing a blue dress. The ceremony was in the back yard under a great big shade tree and a blue grass band played on the newly constructed deck. After the ceremony, I followed B and Amy in the car while they drove off on his motorcycle, and Kristin hung out of the passanger windo taking pictures of them while they drove. We got back, packed up and headed off to the winery where I ate a lot of cheese and drank a good deal of vino. There was something about that night with all my Canton friends, laughing and drinking and eating lots of cheese that made me remember again just how much I love that community of people. I can't really express how much I miss them while I'm gone, all I can say is that honestly, when we get together, I don't want it to stop. Ever. It's like the most sappy unreaslistic lifetime made-for-TV-movie you've ever seen—minus the domestic violence, kidnapped children, and drug abuse.

On Sunday, we caught up with Heather and Ryan who were driving to Michigan, and decided to swap out driving partners. So I rode with Ryan and Rach rode with Heather all the way into Indiana. It was really great to spend that extra time with the Battles's because I didn't get to see anywhere near enough of anyone the whole time. The extra hours in the car were like dessert. We parted ways in Indiana and Rach, Norah and I got home in time to unpack, and play some video games until we went to bed. (Ok, Rach went to bed early. I played video games.)

So, basically, this past week and a bit was one of the best weeks I've had in a long, long, long, lots more longs, time. Thanks to B and Amy for the wedding and a deep-hearted "I miss you" to my family and all my Canton friends.

I wish I had taken more pictures, but I'm an idiot and forgot my camera in the bag for most of the time. The pictures I did take will be put up on Facebook later because, yes... I'm back on Facebook. I know, I know. I'm eating my hat.


Doug said...

Glad you guys were all able to get together, sounds like a great time. I think the only thing you guys left out was smoking cigars at the monument, and visiting Pat at Perkins.

Joshua said...


Carrie Babcock said...

What...back on Facebook. I am very angry!!! Post some pictures on your flickr account if you can for us non-facebook people. It was great to see you guys.

Anonymous said...

Loved reading about it! :) Makes me miss seeing people. But traveling with 2 soon to be 3 (yes, 3) kiddos is not the easiest thing. - Jenn (merwin) Rappard

Wendy said...

"It's like the most sappy unreaslistic lifetime made-for-TV-movie you've ever seen—minus the domestic violence, kidnapped children, and drug abuse." This, Josh Elek, is why I love you!

Joshua said...

@Carrie: I'll post some on the Blog so that you have them. I wonder if I even have the Flickr account activated still... I'll have to look into it.

@Jenn: Man I understand. It was rough getting down there with Norah, and she's just one kid, and you're a good bit further away. If you come out to Chicago though... let me know!

@Wendy: Your face, that is the reason I love you. That and your money. And your husband. And your baby. But mostly your money.