Saturday, November 04, 2006
The Travel Tome
Whew, ok...where to start? We are back from Texas and we had a fabulous time! We went to see Corinthian and Ellen Aim get hitched. We all went in costume...there are great pictures on Ellen Aim's blog and Triana's (see the sidebar on right for the blogs). This picture is the lovely bride herself! My mom made the gorgeous dress.
I guess I will start at the beginning. We got up at the ungodly hour of 3:30 AM and trucked on down to Dartmouth Coach in Lebanon, NH. The bus was very clean, they showed good movies and I was impressed. I also discovered Sophia gets motion sickness on the bus. Good thing we are seasoned parents and had a change of clothing for her. Too bad I didn't have any for me. I also had Dramamine with us, but I thought I'd be using that for the plane. I should mention here that we were traveling with only carry on luggage and the huge Britax car seats. I mailed our costumes and clothing to my parents' house.
Our flight didn't leave until 10:15 (and it takes about two and a half hours to get to Boston airport from Lebanon) but with rush hour Boston traffic and the increased "security" at airports, I thought it would be just enough time. Rush hour traffic did suck, but the security line went really quickly. I would also like to cheer for on-line check-in. I printed out boarding passes and since we had no luggage to check, we sailed right on the plane (after checking the stroller--a.k.a car seat transportation--at the gate). It's true, though, at security everyone takes their shoes off...even 2 year old Sophia who was wearing her little leather Robeez (just a sort of slipper/shoe, very comfortable, flexible, and hard for kids to take off--ha ha!). All jackets come off. Even Fiona's fleece layer. I totally forgot about my tiny Swiss army knife on my keychain and that went through undetected. Oh well. It's really small.
The plane ride was hell. Sophia and Fiona were next to each other in their car seats (for a variety of reasons, we decided not to check them with the stroller)(I am now reading through this and I want to clarify that I do indeed mean the car seats and not Sophia and Fiona). Since these seats put them higher up, Sophia's feet naturally came to the middle of the seat in front of her and she kept kicking the seat in front of her the whole time, despite our best efforts. Thankfully, that person was very understanding. The kids slept for the last hour of the plane ride. They actually were not interested in the DVD player. They were interested in all the wrapped dollar store treats I had in my carry on, however. That was a great idea and I also recommend that.
At the DFW airport, which is way too big for its own good, we took a bus to the car rental place. Let me just say Thrifty isn't that and look out for all sorts of stomach dropping fees. I also somehow rented a tank, and I blame myself (and my travel agent) for that. At least we felt very safe.
At last we were at my parents' house and Fiona was thrilled to be there. Sophia warmed up pretty quickly. I felt like I hadn't been in Denton in years. Oh wait! That's because it had been years! The rest of that day and Wednesday are a bit of a blur (I'm also finishing this entry about a month later, by the way). We went to the North Park Mall with Alex and got there way too early for the LUSH party. We had a pretty good time, though, and Alex introduced me to the heavenly evil of the Starbucks Pumpkin Latte. Thankfully, there is no Starbucks here (actually, there are at least 2 in Burlington, incredibly). We meet up with Triana and look at Christmas LUSH goodies. I was very good and bought nothing (mostly because Doug went on a bit of a spree for me when he was in Montreal a few weeks before!). However, despite my RSVP, LUSH did not have me down on the guest list, so while I did get my free goodie bag, I did not get one for Alex. That was really lame. Triana got on the list, but she called twice. I mean, how hard is it to take names down? Honestly. Sorry, Alex. I'm making you your own goodie bag.
Then the cake making! Triana and I had great fun in Ellen Aim's kitchen (They have a fabulous house that is very nicely painted. Alas, that I did not sample the legendary hot tub. Another day.). Ok, here is one of the cake:
Looking at this, I am pretty sure that this cake picture has been cropped to hide the part where the goddamn strawberries kept falling off because the buttercream was melting in the heat.
I screwed up the buttercream the first time. I did the "Neo-Classic Buttercream" from the Cake Bible, which is a wonderful recipe and, I thought, nearly foolproof. Nope. It's not. All that butter. All those eggs. The chocolate. I weep still. The second batch was divine. The chocolate dipped strawberries kept leaping to their demise during the wedding, however. Next time: either store the finished cake in the fridge until the last minute (a perilous task, however) or ice the cake at the last possible moment with many people watching you. I am used to people watching, so I should have done that. Oh well. I was otherwise pleased with the cake (a butter cake with lots of red food coloring, strawberry jam in one layer and raspberry in the other, and triple sec syrup) and I believe the bride, groom and guests were as well. Triana made these hilarious finger cookies (the recipe came from the eGullet forums) and the famous eyeball cake. I must show you more pictures.
The wedding itself was perfect. I loved reading Ellen Aim's and Corinthian's account of it (his blog can be found if you go to Ellen Aim's. I am too lazy to link.) Fiona was the flower girl (and I hope there are pictures of her somewhere!) and did an amazing job---not only was she the first to come out, but she had to walk out into a crowd of strangers, who were all wearing costumes! Doug and Sophia spent most of the wedding outside. I only cried a little during the vows. I think that is because I couldn't see Ellen Aim's face. They both did so well and the minister they got was really good. (I have to confess here that I totally blubbered through the vows at my own wedding. I cry at everything. I am utterly hopeless.) The barbequed boar was delicious as was the homemade pumpkin ale made by a friend of the newly wed couple. I was surprisingly not that hungry, however. That happened to me while I was working, too. At the end of the day working on the line, I would be happy with a bowl of rice. But I digress.
The happy couple went on their honeymoon (Dallas, then Austin) and Triana went home to Austin. We spent the rest of the trip with my parents and Alex and went trick or treating with Doug's brother Matt's family in Keller (near Ft. Worth). Fiona and Sophia have cousins there, Taylor, 13 and Sydney, 7. Fiona is completely smitten with Taylor. She wants to call and write him all the time. Every day. He is very sweet. Still, I've been curbing things a little so he doesn't get overwhelmed! At the first house we went to, Sophia went right in when they opened the door. That was rather alarming, but she wised up after that. Sophia and Fiona were both unicorns. Here's Sophia:
I forgot to mention the costumes we wore to the wedding! So the kids were unicorns and I was a genie (some thing I picked up at Jo-Ann's fabrics with a purple wig) and Doug wore his fabulous cape (that he made!) and Ren-fest style leggings and shirt with sexy boots. Here's a picture of me, Ellen Aim, and Alex. Alex is wearing the Lolita Gothic style. She looked amazing!
Oh, and dig those roses. So fragrant and the most amazing roses ever. The color was also amazing.
We did go to the Ft. Worth Zoo with Matt's family and Fiona got to feed and hold the parakeets (and by the way, we now have a second parakeet named Pippi---she and Sweety are getting along wonderfully!)
The trip home was uneventful. At the airport, they didn't board people with kids and other people who need assistance first (which I have never seen before). So that was interesting because we weren't even the only people using carseats on the plane--in fact, also Britax--and putting carseats on the plane with everyone else on board is not easy or enjoyable for anyone involved. Thank you, American Airlines. Oh, and they do feed you, but you have to pay four bucks for each snack tray. I did buy one on the way down to Texas even though I had more than plentiful snacks with us. I wanted the "meat stick". It's ok to laugh at this. Yes, I know what's in (or probably in) the "meat stick". I don't care. Rather, I do care, but I needed meat. Sophia slept for most of the plane ride. Fiona had her turn with motion sickness on the bus (no change of clothes this time! At least we were on the next to last leg of the journey). Our '94 Civic got a crack all the way across on our drive home.
It had been too long since our last visit and I am so thankful we were there for Ellen Aim's wedding. I think Fiona wants to live in Texas (I think she really just wants to be closer to our families!) Sigh, so do I!