[photo above by Vrai]
The wedding reception went by in a blur. People clinked their forks on their glasses, us newlyweds kissed, there was a first dance, but without thinking I had already pulled my brother onto the dance floor before that, since he knew how to dance to the big band version of "Creep" that was on.
Amanda and I pantomimed James Brown being covered with his cape and bursting up out of it, and lots more dorky dancing went down, I could barely think of eating my food, we had a terrific groomsman speech, which the videographer completely missed capturing along with the first dance (he's new at this, and we got him free anyway). We visited from table to table, and before we'd even invited guests to come n' get the cupcakes, the guests who were leaving early the next day were already making their exits.
What? All that planning and it was over so soon? Yes, all the marrieds had warned us that was what happens, and our event was no different.
Oh! And my dress exploded.
Perhaps I overstated that. But two of the little yellow bits at front came untucked, much to my dismay, and even further to my dismay, my sister in law came up behind me to inform that many more bits were coming out at the back. We hightailed it to the Cal Neva bathroom, where you can always hear the arena rock hits of decades past, and she quickly sewed in all errant yellow bits.
That's probably the worst mishap, so, good for us. No tumbles worthy of America's Funniest Videos, at least for us (one attendee did have an incident later that night).
We rounded up everyone who was still going to our suite for an after-party, which carried on a few more hours. Shockingly, no neighbors complained, and nothing was tossed off the balcony that we know of. The party-goers must have been too distracted by the million-star-studded sky curving over us.
What a relief to not have to look or be our best anymore! But the trip wasn't over at all at that point. Sunday was the first day of the rest of our lives. And it boded well for the future: it was hi-LAR-ious.
At breakfast we hashed (har de har) over the events of the previous evening, including the gambling that had gone down after we kicked the revelers out of our suite. Two of our friends were taken to task by the pit boss for cussing (?) and they were all eventually booted out. So just to review: a casino effectively said, "Stop giving us your money and get out of here." That's how obnoxious it apparently got, and the only surviving photos of the blackjack tables seem to confirm that. For the protection of all, I shan't run them.
We also learned that our best man had some difficulty getting into his room at that point in the wee hours, didn't realize he could just go get a new room key, and ended up taking a little unplanned nap in the chair by the elevators.
After leisurely extended breakfast time, two carloads of us (guys in one car, gals in the other) attempted to get to a boat tour or go on a tram up a mountain, didn't make it on time to do either, but had a blast driving clockwise around the whole lake. We stopped at Sand Harbor, which was gorgeous, even though the staff there are jerks.
When the roads got scary, we nearly drove off when laughing about driving off the cliff like Toonces the Driving Cat. We stopped at the overlook for Emerald Bay, and the light at that time of day made everything crisp and mesmerizing.
But we barely noticed because we were laughing our asses off.
That photo embodies the day. We were absolutely giddy in the girls' car for the last quarter way around the lake, and the guys' car later told us they could hear us laughing when they stopped at lights, with their windows up and music on. Yesss. I miss times like that!
Back at the hotel, we discovered non other than Jon Hamm, aka Mad Men's Don Draper, was staying among us! (ecs & I tried to prank him the next day, but a recording told us he'd already checked out.)
Then it was time to bring two of our fellow travelers, Leah and Therese, down to Reno, since they were flying out early the next day. Along with Hubbs and I, ecs & Ed all squeezed into one car, and we headed down the winding roads into the desert.
So with Vegas the clear superior of the two big gambling cities, already drawing a rogue's gallery of its own in tourists, who purposely chooses the runner-up gambling city? Well...the also-rans. Everywhere we turned there was a sight to behold: crutches, limps, gimps, femullets, Billy Ray Cyrus mullets, other insane hair configurations, Internet-top-ten-worthy awful tattoos, long-ago guests from Jerry Springer.
Reno is so rife with freakishness and tragedy and unintentional comedy (so often the best kind) that if you like to observe these things, it's a very special gem in the desert. Now I have a lot more understanding of the context for the show Reno 911. Also for shooting a man in Reno just to watch him die.
Say, Is the bad art rife in Vegas also prevalent in Reno? You betcha!
Here's a fountain ripped off from every fountain in Rome, only colored in, presumably to make art less hard to look at.
It was about 10 pm on a Sunday night, and for the life of us we couldn't find a place to eat (that didn't require a half-hour wait).
Not sure if that sign is funny, but it sure seemed so to us before Reno amusement threatened to turn into Reno rage. We finally settled on a farewell meal of fried stuff at Mel's Diner, adjacent to the Sands.
Only one song comes to mind when I think of Reno. It's a 90s hard rock hit (and one-time WSOU staple) that I haven't thought of in many a year.
With relief, we headed back up to the Alpine lake and from there, to our suite. It felt too good to be true there.
The view from our honeymoon suite was different at every hour as the light changed.
Monday was our last full day, and sadly everyone from the wedding had gone or was leaving. Hubbs and I started out with a fantastic lunch on the lake.
From there, we checked out a port filled with stunning vintage ChrisCraft boats. Great, now I want an antique boat that costs $100K plus.
And from there, back to the other end of the spectrum of arts and crafts. Please note that this bear has American flags in its eyes.
And then, as the light changed again, to Lauren our officiant's home.
From there, a quick dinner at a Thai restaurant, where we discussed our upcoming honeymoon...TO THAILAND! We are just thrilled.
Now, even though we're suffering through a brutal Louisiana summer, that trip gives us something huge to look forward to. It's a good, happy time.
And so far, we're enjoying this "opposite marriage" business, as espoused by Miss California. (Though sames should be allowed to marry too.)