One thing that I realized prior to this trip is that I need to learn to relax before leaving... I don't know what happened, but for the last few trips, I got so nervous and ended up having to run around like a headless chicken... it's just not fun ^_^; Although in my defense, this time around, there were a few details that were a bit iffy. First, we flew to Washington D.C., but the wedding was actually in Annapolis - it's about 40 miles away. Therefore, I had to rent a car and that's not my favorite thing to do. Also, my cousin from Germany was coming for the wedding, so we had to coordinate pick-up with him. Hotel rooms, how much money to give to the happy couple, what to wear, etc. So many things to plan and organize and guess who was in charge? Yep, yours truly. Then, there were a few changes of plans which necessitated modified reservations and so on... So yeah, I was a real bundle of nerves!
The trip was from Thursday to Sunday, with a rehearsal dinner at 6.30pm on Thursday and the wedding taking place at 6pm on Friday. I don't know about you guys, but Friday evening weddings are not very common for me. Then again, apparently, the bride and groom didn't really have a choice because the bride's paternal grandmother is very traditional and superstitious and the only good date to get married in September was that Friday LOL... and in the end, I think it was meant to be :P
Initially, the plan was for me and my sister to arrive in Washington D.C. at around the same time as my cousin, wait for him at the airport and then proceed to get the car and drive to Annapolis. Then, my sister asked about shopping... Now, me and my sister seem to have acquire a reputation for being shoppers LOL. I'm not saying it's undeserved, but really, we're not that bad :P I mean, if you go to a country or state that sells things cheaper than where you live, wouldn't you take advantage of it?! Anyway, back to the topic, shopping. There's a Premium Outlet not far from Annapolis and we wanted to go and I thought Friday would be good since the wedding only started at 6pm. However, my sister was adamant that we spend time as much time as possible with the family and so, instead of arriving around the same time as Oliver, i.e. 5.30pm... We got to Washington D.C. at 9am. LOL, okay, maybe we deserve our reputation... However, it worked out great because we got to shop to our heart content without dragging our cousin which I'm sure wouldn't have been interested anyway and then, spend time with the family the rest of the week-end :)
Here is my sister shopping :) We were actually on a mission because she was looking for high heels for the wedding. She saw a pair earlier this summer, but hesitated and missed her chance to buy them. Shen then found a similar model at DSW, so that's where we headed. She was also on the look-out for running shoes and have been searching for leather boots... Most of the time, we have goals and purposes while shopping :) We did stop at Barnes and Noble, but I didn't really have any books to buy ^_^; We also hit Trader Joe's for dried mango... but I didn't buy enough! We only have two packs left... Luckily, I'm heading for the States soon again :)
My cousin's flight ended up being delayed and arrived at 6.30pm instead of 5.30pm. Poor guy because his itinerary was Luxembourg to Paris, Paris to Detroit and Detroit to Washington D.C. Yes, Detroit ^_^; Apparently, it's my fault because I told him to go to Ronald Reagan National Airport... I thought it was the bigger international airport, but turns out I was wrong. Oups ^_^; Then again, he paid about 500€ for his ticket, so he didn't mind. LOL. In any case, his flight being delayed worked out well because that meant we had time to do everything we wanted and also, miss the traffic. Once we picked him up, we rushed to the rehearsal dinner. It was great to see our relatives again!! After the dinner, we went back to the hotel and called it a night :P
The next morning, we went sight-seeing :) My relatives are mostly from Boston, but the groom's family is from Maryland IIRC. They chose Annapolis because the groom and bride wanted their wedding near the water. I guess what makes Annapolis stands out from other touristic towns around Chesapeake Bay is the US Naval Academy and that's what we ended up visiting. The tour was very interesting! It's just a pity we didn't have time to see everything.
Up there is the picture of my aunt - mother of the bride - and her brother. It's funny how relaxed she was LOL. We thought she'd had lots to do, but nope... I guess that's the advantage of a wedding away. So as usual, she played our guide and figured out what we'd do and where we'd go :)
Soon, it was time to get ready for the wedding :) Here are some pictures!
Earlier, I said that it was meant to be because it was a lovely wedding and the weather was simply perfect for it :) Warm, but not too hot and sunny. What more can you ask? The venue was also very nice and they were able to get the dance floor (wasn't sure initially given the number of guests). First picture is me, my sister and my cousin from Germany. In the second cousin, my older second cousin with her two kids. The picture with the older couple is the bride's maternal grandparents. The older gentleman is my maternal grandmother's older brother. My cousin walking my aunt down the aisle. My older second cousin's kids were the flower girl and ring boy. Groom waiting for the bride... I was surprised because I thought the groom would be decked out in his uniform as he's part of the Army (National Guards). However, for him to wear his uniform, that means they would have had to hold a military wedding with a series of requirements and they didn't want to. The bride is also my second cousin :) Isn't she gorgeous! I loved her dress! It suited her perfectly! And guess what? It had pockets! Which my sister thought was amazing LOL.
What is cute about their story is that she's only 23 years old, but they've been together for 9 years! They met when both families were on vacation at the beach :) They kept contact, did the whole long-distance relationship thing and when she graduated from college, she moved in with him and found a job in the area. 9 years! Although they are young, I do think they're going to make it work :)
The wedding was very simple and it fit them perfectly. What was cute is that the bride is a big fan of Star Wars and was able to add a few touches of her fangirlness to her wedding :) There was a photo booth at the wedding which I think is now the trend :) And plenty of Star Wars props to play with. Her party favors were chocolate shaped in Star Wars icons - Darth Vader, Yoda, etc. And you can't see, but on the wooden stick of the programs, on one side there was the symbol of the Empire and the other, the Rebellion. Cute :)
While I thought it was weird to have the wedding on Friday, it was kind of cool at the same time because it gave us a lot of free time to do stuff for the rest of our trip :) So we did what we wanted to do: hang out with the family :)
Then on Sunday, it was time to leave... and we managed to squeeze in a little bit of sight-seeing. We went to the memorial monuments with my cousin before dropping him off at the airport. And after that, we went to the Smithsonian museums.
And that was it :) Everything went super, the weather was gorgeous and we managed to do everything that we wanted! Well except seeing the White House, but next time! LOL.
On that note, two more pictures I'd like to share with you guys :) The first was taken 11 years ago!! The two ladies with us in the pictures are the bride's sisters :) How time flies...