Drive we did.
From Alexandria, Virginia to Stowe, Vermont.
It took eleven hours.
This was our glorious chariot - a black Chrysler Sebring Limited edition convertible. Ah, I miss my car.
That's Paul sitting in the back seat, deep in contemplation about how to purge the last remaining shred of self-respect from his system. You can almost hear the thoughts.
Blow goats? No, that won't be enough. I need something that will really alienate my friends. Somthing that will earn me a new title of self-loathing.
And here's Chris, come to join us on this great Odyssey.
Chris has two modes - focussed, efficient action and full stop. Both are a bit infectious. If he's moving full tilt, you want to get caught up in whatever it is he's doing, even if it's scrubbing the tub. If he's indolent, his listlessness is a powerful soporific. It even puts the cat to sleep.
In this photo, he is in his Action Man mode.
Some of you have never seen Old Town Alexandria or been to visit me in Virginia. You should come in summer or early fall, when the rivers are still warm and we can go creeking and swimming out in Shenandoah National Park.
Anyway, here's an example of a random old townhouse in the Gamla Stan; I chose this house because we were parked in front of it and I was too lazy to walk elsewhere.
Driving conditions were less than ideal. Most of the trip it looked like this outside the window.
At around four in the morning, Chris and I were woken up by the sensation of the car trying to leave the ground. Paul was doing 110 in this fog, arms taut, beads of sweat forming and trickling down the side of his face, eyes bulging.
Vermont was gorgeous once we got there, though. Pine covered mountains, lazy cows lounging on idyllic hillsides and lots of sunshine.
On the way from the hotel to the wedding site, we saw a WWII memorial and stopped to take a few pictures; I doubt if many folks know it's there.
Pictures from the wedding itself:
Danielle and Laura, the Maid of Honor.
The Groomsmen walk on.
Here comes the bride, as radiant as she should be on her wedding day.
Okay, actually, she looks just a bit unsteady. The look on her face seems to say: "My God, what am I about to do?" which seems like a pretty healthy sentiment to me. I know if I were walking down the aisle, about to marry Karl, I'd be thinking the same thing.
We couldn't help but notice that the little bottles of maple syrup that they gave us on the table looked a lot like naggins of bourbon. Unsurprisingly, they tasted just like maple syrup.
Karl and Danielle started off the dancing; this is the happy couple making their way to the floor. The dinner and dance was outdoors, under a huge canopy. We could look right out over the Vermont mountains - absolutely beautiful.
This is Gregg & James. Gregg was the photographer, but he's also one of four best friends that are still quite close: Bj, Gregg, James and me. Bj couldn't make the wedding because of other commitments, but here are Gregg and James; it was awesome to see them again. I don't see them anywhere near enough.
Gregg is a brilliant photographer; James is a brilliant politician. May they have long and distinguished careers.
That night there was much rejoicing. The next morning, there was much lamenting of the previous night's rejoicing. Here is a "Maid" of, er, "Honor" being snuck back to her hotel in the black convertible chariot of Valour!
And here's a picture of Astrid, Karl's cousin from Germany!
Here's me and Gregg; the picture was taken by Gregg, who has a knack for taking self portraits at arm's length. I don't know how he focuses the camera. As I said, pure genius.
Laura Dunn, the Maid of Honor, has a more complete photo album of the wedding. You can find it here.