C: Males are encouraged to wear superhero or cartoon socks to wedding. I bet you already have some. smile emoticon
R: Is that true or are you trying to make me look stupid? Sadly I don’t own any goofy socks. I have superhero boxer shorts, does that count?
C: How does the cartoon king not have goofy socks??
R: i dunno. maybe i’ll get a pair in your honor
That evening we went shopping at The Mills, where I scored the perfect pair of footwear at Citi Trends. Don’t ask me how I knew to shop at Citi Trends. I couldn’t wait to share the good news.
R: I got the most awesome pair of socks today. You better not be punking me.
C: Lol. What are they? I bought the pastor some Popeye ones. Eric has ironman. Bob has Spider-Man.
R: It was a two-fer, so Andrew will be wearing Iron Man and I will be wearing The Avengers – Thor, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Hulk and Capt. America. I was quite excited to find them in the clearance rack
C: Yey! Clearance even better! I still need snoopy ones for my uncle.
R: I almost bought SpiderMan ones. How tacky would that have been for me to show up with the same socks as the groom?
Say, what cartoon related thing is the bride wearing?
And so it was that Laurie, Andrew and I packed up the Honda and took off for a weekend in New Albany, Indiana, to attend the wedding of Cheryl and Bob. They had conveniently picked a 3-day weekend for the event so we wouldn’t have to rush around.
They also set us up at the Sheraton in Jeffersonville, just across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky — birthplace of The Wife. Laurie was very excited to spend a couple of days in her homeland. I was excited because it meant she knew how to get around there so I wouldn’t have to drive.
At the hotel lobby we ran into Sandy, Cheryl’s older sister and my second-favorite member of the Smith family. When the clerk learned we were there for the wedding, she handed us a gift bag.
“Why are we getting a present? She distinctly said ‘no gifts.’ It’s a good thing we didn’t listen ’cause now I’d feel stupid.”
The bag had directions and tourist guides and snacks and a Kentucky Derby glass and a couple of rum balls. Mmmmm, rum balls. As we headed up to the room Sandy informed me that Cheryl was on the way and wanted to see me. So we quickly headed to the seventh floor to dump our luggage and headed back down.
Cheryl was in the lobby wearing a white dress with a gold bracelet looking like Cleopatra arriving from the Nile. Somewhere in these past 30 years I went from skinny nerd with big ears to fat, balding man while Cheryl remains unchanged. How is that possible? Why is that possible? Ah well, if one of us had to go to pot, it’s just as well it was me.
We hugged, we chatted, I met Bob, then they had to go one way and we had to go to dinner. Laurie took us to Kingfish, one of her favorite places, where we bought way too much food. As we were eating we heard a large explosion. Walked around the corner and there were fireworks going off over the river. Grabbed our food and found a bench where we could eat and enjoy the pyrotechnics. There was a band playing nearby but they weren’t that great. Talked too much. If you’re not going to play requests, stop asking for them.
Our first stop was the pedestrian bridge near the hotel. It crosses the Ohio River from Indiana into Kentucky (or Kentucky into Indiana depending on where you’re coming from). Why can’t St. Louis have nice things like this? We blow up our bridges when we can’t drive on them anymore.
I liked the bridge because it was long and flat (Except for the stairs to get to the bridge, which almost killed me. Hey, it was unseasonably hot.) and had lots of signs that said “SLOW.” Laurie and Andrew actually obeyed the signs on the way across, but then Andrew couldn’t go slow no mo, so they charged on ahead on the way back. At the bottom was a farmers’ market and a playground. Andrew got to swing for a bit but it was too hot to hang out for long so we left.
Andrew in early stages of meltdown next to the autism horse in downtown Louisville. Weirdly appropriate.
It was early for lunch so we got in the car and drove over the river we’d just walked over and stopped in downtown Louisville. There was a parade going on and a very loud band and in no time Andrew was in meltdown mode. No tours of the bourbon factory today.
After he was sufficiently chilled we just walked up and down main street, then headed back to the car. Paid the machine for parking but did not get back a ticket. Banged on machine. Begged machine. Kicked machine. No ticket to get out. Now it was the parents turn to have a meltdown while Andrew just stood there all chill. Eventually we figured out the intercom and after yelling repeatedly into it someone let us out.
Had a delicious lunch at one of the many restaurants near the hotel. Got back to the room and Laurie passed out until time to get ready for the big event. Socks were a major pain. I assumed they were one-size-fits-all but they were not fitting. Made of some stretchy material that didn’t stretch in the right places. Tore a hole in Andrew’s pair trying to get them on him. Don’t think we’ll be wearing these again.
Got to the wedding with only one wrong turn and 5 minutes to spare. It was a lovely, 20-minute ceremony. Catholics, take note.
Short drive to the reception, which was in an old theater that had been renovated as a reception hall. Very ornate. The outdoor marquee marked the occasion, complete with red carpet and movie-poster-sized photos of Cheryl and Bob kayaking and zip-lining and– well — I don’t think the Roys and the Thesiers will be vacationing together.
Sandy! When did Cheryl become all outsey-doorsey? I can remember when the most athletic thing she did was twirl a baton!
I know. Crazy, isn’t it?
Andrew and I found a table in the far corner. In minutes Laurie was chatting it up with Bob’s friends’ wives. Andrew and I checked out the appetizers. He chowed down on cheese and fruit while I helped myself to the cocktail shrimp. They had a help-yourself soda machine which was awesome. Why don’t all weddings have that? There was also help-yourself tea and coffee. I love not having to deal with the bartender. Always feel like I should tip him.
The wedding party entered to a variety of movie themes. It was the goofiest wedding I’ve ever attended, and I mean that in the nicest way. The Village People stopped by, a Blues Brother sang a song, there were beach balls flying…I can’t imagine what happened after we left.
Did I mention the candy bar? When did this become a thing? I approve. The far wall was lined with candy and plastic bags to fill up. Andrew went through two and then started getting antsy (coincidence?) so I took him for a walk around the block. It was lightly raining but I didn’t mind.
Didn’t see much of Cheryl but didn’t expect to. Weddings are pretty busy for brides. Had a nice visit with Jennifer. Left a little before it was over because I feared we would get lost going back in the dark. We didn’t, but not for lack of trying.
Woke up to find Laurie in bed with Andrew. Apparently she was snoring too loudly and didn’t want to disturb me. Ran into the newlyweds in the lobby as we were going to lunch. They invited us over and I said we’d be there if things worked out. They didn’t.
Andrew got stressed as we were leaving the restaurant so we decided to take a drive around Louisville rather than disturb the happy couple. Wound up at Cave Hill Cemetery, where you will find some of the most outrageous tombstones known to man. Laurie has family there but we couldn’t find them. It’s a giant maze packed to the brim with large, ornate death markers. I enjoy going there.
Eventually we made our way to a mall since it was too hot to walk outdoors. Found a nice souvenir t-shirt for Andrew for sale in a head shop. Hey, it was way cheaper than what you’ll pay in the official souvenir stores.
Got back to the hotel where Laurie passed out again and Andrew and I checked out the pool. It was small but it was OK for our purposes.
That night we had dinner at Cluckers which specializes in — you guessed it — chicken. When we got back to the hotel they were shooting off fireworks again which we could enjoy from our hotel window. A nice finish to a special weekend.