it was fantastic. we packed as much as we could into those 8 days, but also lazily enjoyed our mornings with little to do. we filled the days with family. with being silly.
with staying up way past bedtimes and sleeping in. with antiquing and shopping.
with meeting brand new little cousins and catching up with bigger ones.
with sightseeing. with doing the touristy thing.
with skipping naps and taking marathon ones. with swimming.
with whipping up homemade smoothies and milkshakes after home-cooked meals. with all family dance parties. with being close and being together.
our week ended on saturday with a wedding. my cousin, david, got married and was the main reason for us making the voyage to the area. friday night, on our way home from the rehearsal dinner, a wicked storm kicked up, with 80 mph winds, thunder, lightning, pounding rain and hail. it knocked out power to over 1 million people. included in the no power area was the church and hall where the wedding was held. so in over 100 degree heat, with the small church lit only by candles and the stained glass windows and doors all open, we watched as he and michelle made their vows during a 90 minute traditional tridentine latin wedding mass (only the vows and homily were in english). it was followed by a short reception across the street with cold cuts and potato salad for a wedding meal, no music to dance to, only candelight and sunlight. no one was less bothered by it all than the bride and groom. they became husband and wife. they said i do and it was all that mattered. and it was so joyful to see.
ironically enough, believe it or not, this same thing happened the night before my uncle john's (david's father) funeral 2 years ago. a mean storm came through, knocking out power, and we held the funeral in a church with no lights. i remember candles being the only lighting for visits to the restroom. so, in all my spiritual belief, it only makes me feel that uncle john was there for david and michelle's union. i just wish he could have let us know in a different way, instead of knocking out the power and cool air conditioning.
these photos are only a taste of our week. if you care to see more (and have 11 minutes to spare), i've included a video. (you'll see in the wedding photos the massive trees that were destroyed and how everyone is glistening from the heat!) if you care to watch, enjoy.