Travel

Weekend in the Country: Part 2

Saturday – Rest:

I slept like a queen in my king-sized bed on Friday night. Saturday morning, I woke up early, dressed for the gym, and ran to breakfast to beat the other guests to the buffet line. I’m not a huge people person (and I suffer from horrible social anxieties) so if I can avoid a crowd, I will. However; when I got to the lobby, there were children running around everywhere — not exactly my cup of tea. I ate quickly and then fled for the gym.

Thirty minutes on the elliptical, ten minutes of interval running on the treadmill, finished off by ten minutes of free weights. At least the workout calmed me. Afterwards, I went back to my room, but the maid hadn’t come in yet so I grabbed my computer and book and sat in the lobby to work a little bit. I answered a few work emails, ordered some last minute wedding gifts from Pottery Barn that would ship to the home of the bride and groom, and made my September selections for Book of the Month : If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman, The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup, and Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur . It started to get too cold in the hotel lobby – I was barely dressed, but still – so I picled myself up and went back to the gym for round 2. I hopped onto the elliptical and did just another 10 minutes before declaring that it was time to head back to the solace of my room.

I ordered a large White Pizza from Tino’s, ate about half of it, and then took a three hour nap. I had meant to shower, but carb coma hit before I work my way to the bathroom. Eventually, I did shower and get dressed because it was date night! Buffalo Wild Wings date night! This was the night I finally braved the idea of going out and venturing down the hill from my hotel back into civilization, if you can even call it that. Once I walked down, I realized that things really weren’t as far as they felt and that being outside was so nice. I should have walked around sooner. Damn my social anxiety!

Pizza for lunch meant Caesar Salad for dinner, but I ordered myself a Mai Tai and two rounds of Angry Orchard. My hungry eyes were tempting me to go crazy, but I was determined to not feel too bloated and blah for the wedding. Slightly tipsy, I cautiously walked myself back up to the hotel in the pitch black and on my way, I encountered a little family of deer! There they were, just standing in front of me, staring. SO cute! They actually stood still for the longest time. It seemed like they really weren’t that afraid of me, but then a car came roaring up the hill and that scared them down the hill. It was the coolest thing to be that close to them. The rest of my night was pretty much low-key as I attempted to finish reading at least one of the three books that I bothered to pack: two hardcovers and a paperback.

A friend of mine called for a little while before I laid back in bed, book in hand. The last thing I remember from that night is the sound of the hardcover novel falling to the ground beneath my bed.

Sunday – Wedding Day:

I didn’t want to get up that morning, but I knew that if I slept in that I wouldn’t be ready in time for the wedding. My life, most days, works on a tight schedule. I like knowing what I am supposed to do and where I need to be every hour of the day. So, I get myself up and out of the room, wearing my gym clothes, book and laptop in hand.

I spend an hour in the gym and then another hour trying to unlock my work laptop because the encryption won’t let me back into the system…sigh. Finally, I surrendered and went back to my room. It was only 11:00 and I didn’t need to start getting ready for the ceremony until 1:00 so I took myself back down the hilltop to Buffalo Wild Wings – this time for wings! I ate a few there and brought the rest back to my hotel room as my drunk snack for later in the night.

I showered, dried and straightened my hair, applied makeup, and got dressed in record time. I’m always super early for events when I’m nervous. I had about an hour of downtime still, before needing to board the bus to the estate – 45 minutes from my hotel. I used that time to put everything I thought I would need or want into my purse — cash, lip balm, tissues, the gift, perfume roller, and of course, a book. I ended up not reading on the bus, but that’s besides the point.

The bus ride was pretty much un-eventful…until the moment we made a wrong turn and then had to do a complete u-turn ON THE SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN! As the bus would back up, you could feel the wheels slipping against the hillside. Very unsettling feeling and I was on a bus full of strangers – my friends’ family members that I didn’t know – but still! When we finally made it to the Stonewall Estate, I forgot all about the janky bus ride and my nerves because of the natural beauty surrounding me. Everywhere I looked – trees, mountain side, and sky. It was one of the more amazing views that I have been privileged to experience. It was so peaceful that you would never remember that there was life, somewhere, farther below us.

The wedding ceremony was on a hilltop, at sunset, with the gorgeous view in the background. While the skies did get gray, and at one point I felt rain drops, the rain never came and the wedding continued as planned. There were these beautiful wooden chairs for all of the guests to sit on – the estate is 30 acres of gorgeous land where you could have up to 300 guests!

Bryan officiated the ceremony like a professional. The things he said were so sweet and then he incorporated the bridal party into the ceremony. It was all so beautiful, especially their vows. I ALMOST cried, but I didn’t want to ruin my makeup, ha!

After the ceremony, we all proceeded down the hill to where the cocktail hour and reception would be held. The cocktail hour was held on the blue-stone patio, under a tent, near this adorable little heart-shaped pond and one of the best viewpoints of the whole place. I hadn’t felt that happy and at peace in…god…three or four years at least. It felt good to feel happy and to be there celebrating the love of two people whom I am grateful to have as a part of my life.

The reception was held in a 7500 sq.ft. barn that was generously decorated with rustic chandeliers, dangling from the ceiling, creating the perfect ambiance in the twilight of our natural surroundings. There were long wooden tables set with a runner of, what looked to me to be, an array of gorgeous green leaves and other such plants. Evenly spread out, in the center of the table, were lanterns holding a candle inside of it. I LOVE rustic weddings! I’m not much of an outdoorsy kind of gal, but I do love planning a rustic reception.

It was a truly fabulous event – I drank…a lot, laughed, danced, and made merry. Leaving the venue is kind of a blur, but I remember walking through my hotel room, scarfing wings down my gullet and falling into bed. It was one of the most perfect evenings I have ever had with friends.

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