No, I’m not dead.
Anyone who’s read any blog I’ve maintained over a period longer than a month should probably be aware that I am liable to vanish off the face of the Earth and then return, apologetic, and full of vows to never desert my blog again, some time later.
Being now older, more cynical, and less likely to lie to complete strangers, I can admit freely that while I may have the intention to never again abandon my blog for so much as a week (let alone many weeks) and allow it to slide into murky stagnation, I know full well that I am extremely likely to do so again.
It’s just my way.
Anyhow, with my half-assed justifications over with, where have I been? Mostly kicking around our house catching up on Work-work, yard-work, and Holy Crap Our Wedding Is Only Three Months Away HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?-work. Prior to that, though, I was very lucky to be invited to a beautiful small wedding in Fredericton!
Marie-Claude and Jason got hitched on April 18th, and Maria and I drove down to join some of the guys in the wedding party, and tag along for the fun!
As per usual, I didn’t take enough pictures (sorry), but I did take some. Highlights and/or rough narrative of the trip:
It all started with an 11-hour drive. Okay, so that in itself wasn’t so spectacular, but Maria and I had fun, stopping at Subway for tasty sandwiches, getting confused by Montreal’s completely inaccurate directional signage (seriously, how does an entire city operate when their cardinal points are off by ninety freaking degrees??), commenting on the strip clubs the boys (in the wedding party; they left around 8 hours before us) may or may not have paused in, and listening to comedy.
Arriving sleepy but safe in Fredericton around 4am, we were just in time to wake up Dan before falling gratefully into the greatly squishy beds in the hotel.
The next morning, of course, we woke up at 9:30, ready for adventure! (“We” in this case refers to Maria and myself. Dan was much groggier and slightly skeptical at our ability to be up so early since we got in later than he had.)
Once Dan was coaxed out of bed, based on the suggestion in Maria’s guidebook, we had breakfast at the Fackleman Chocolaterie/Patisserie, owned by a friendly German fellow and his family, a little outside the “main” part of Fredericton
We all misunderstood the signage and assumed they would serve things like muffins and croissants as well as delicious cakes and schnitzel, so were a little surprised to find ourselves snacking on fabulous cakes, pies, and in my case strudel for breakfast. Also: they had the foamiest, creamiest hot chocolate I have ever paid for. It’s well worth it if you’re in the area.
Aside from feeding hungry tourists, the restaurant also had some local fauna we stopped to pet. (There was also, poetically enough, a chocolate lab on-site, but I didn’t get a picture.)
Based on the above attire, it becomes pretty obvious that for all my previous grousing about how slowly spring was creeping into Ontario, it was even further delayed up in Fredericton (which admittedly is a fair ways north of here).
After our (very nutritious) breakfast, there was a good deal of wandering around downtown where Dan, being the very prepared Boyscout-type that he is, needed to buy a dress shirt for the following day’s festivities. We looked into an awesome vintage men’s clothing store (based on the recommendation of the very friendly Luke From The Art Store), but although we didn’t find Dan a shirt, I did find someone extremely familiar-looking:
Is she not creepily similar to my very own Princess The First? The story of Felicia (the cat on the poster) was posted in the store, and I found it both a little sad, and also very touching.
Anyhow, after some measuring and story-telling, George (owner of the vintage store we were in) suggested Dan head to Moore’s for his white french-cuff needs, so off we went!
While heading south into the suburbs, we came across the single most specific road sign I have ever seen:
Quite frankly, it’s almost a little… un-Canadian?
Anyway, we made it to the mall, bought a shirt, and headed back downtown (a whopping 4-minute drive!) and had tasty pho for lunch. I wish I’d taken a picture of the sign warning of the dire $25 fine which was the consequence for not paying the exorbitant $0.25/half hour parking fees. Honestly, even with the fine, parking in Fredericton is still cheaper than some places around here. Honestly.
Later, we found the bride and groom’s car on the street (Ontario plates!), mock-vandalized it, and wandered around marvelling at the smallness of the town. We visited a student-friend of Chrispy’s at the university and revelled once again in what it was like to be a student. (We’ve become spoiled and yuppie in our house-ownership it seems.)
After the rehearsal, and an extremely filling dinner, fell into bed. Again.
Next day, not being saddled with important wedding party duties (such as: get a straight-razor shave at a barbershop that will also serve you a beer), Maria and I headed to a rummage sale (where I did not take pictures), to the Saturday market which featured indifferent danishes, and pretty good samosas (and where I did not take pictures), and then for a walk along the riverside (where I did take pictures!):
It is a well-known fact that giving any city some water and bridges to cross it increases its good looks and photographic appeal at least tenfold. I’m not sure what to say, though, about a city that has so much beauty it can even leave the pilings of old, dead bridges laying about and still look good.
(Side-note: are you seeing that sky? Was that not an awesome day to get married?)
After that, we noodled about town a little more, had Greek food for lunch, then went home to primp. We made it out in plenty of time for the ceremony (where I did not take pictures… but we were inside a church, you know?) and then followed the bridal party and parents out to their photoshoot.
Now where, in a city on a river with tonnes of bridges, would a couple go to get nice pictures? Why a scenic, disused train bridge of course! Long live rust!
If you look closely, you can see a couple of the bubbles we harnessed a fleet of younger girls to blow (after supplying them with dollar store bubble jars). I love bubbles. I feel most outdoor weddings can be improved by the addition of a couple of sincerely-blown bubbles.
(Since returning to Ontario, I have of course, put my leftover bubble to good use confusing the cats. They won’t admit it, but they’re a little worried about this squishy new prey. It keeps vanishing on them.)
After that, the two groomsmen faffed about playing secret agent, while Maria and I documented the occasion. (Boys! Voluntarily dressed up!)
At that point everyone headed back to the hotel to relax a bit before the night’s festivities began. (As a side-note, I must comment that it is wonderful to stay in the same hotel that is hosting the reception. Really. I recommend it to everyone.)
Our first sight upon stepping back into the lobby was the feet and backside of another bride, who was camped on the grand piano, posing for a picture. It was… well, it wasn’t very bridely, let me tell you. I’m not one to judge people on their wedding day (out loud), but I was very relieved to hear that our bride had no such plans.
At this point, I have to pause my narrative, since that’s about as far as I’ve gotten in sorting out my photos. (What? You didn’t think I would abandon you all only because of my poor track record with writing did you? Of course not. My horrific photo-removal-from-camera lag was probably the bigger reason.)
So! To be continued whenever I deal with the rest of the photos…