So it’s official, we are leaving for our honeymoon two weeks from tomorrow, to Patagonia for two and a half weeks. We have spent the past weekend and much of this week creating an itinerary, booking flights and booking hotels. All the hotels are booked. One night we will have to camp, and I am still trying to reserve camping equipment, so we don’t have to lug all our own. We will spend two days in Buenos Aires, then fly to El Calafate in Southern Argentina. There we will hike the Perito Moreno Glacier (with crampons) and the Fitz Roy mountains (I discovered recently that the mountains in The Little Prince – my all-time favorite book – are the Fitz Roys – that St. Exupery was a pilot in Patagonia for two years.) Then we will bus over to Chile to do the “W” trek, the shorter version of the Paine Circuit. Each night we will stay at a mountain “refugio” except for the one night that we will camp (but still eat at the refugio – pretty cush camping!) Then we will bus back over to Argentina for another two days of hiking in the Fitz Roys before flying to Buenos Aires for another day, and then home.
We thought about taking a three-night cruise from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia to see more glaciers and penguins, but that would have added $3000 to our already expensive trip, and we figure cruises are for old people anyway. So we’ll have to try to do a day-trip to see some penguins. SO … we leave February 16 and return March 5. I can’t wait!!!
Thursday before the wedding I let my family (my brother and his family had also arrived by that time) sightsee on their own so I could take care of last minute details (no matter how hard I tried to have everything done weeks ahead of time, there were tons of last minute details.) Friday, too, I spent running around and at 5 p.m. Martin and I spontaneously decided to invite my family over for dinner. Some were already on their way to wine country, and some were too jetlagged to make it, but still we had about 22 visitors. My only condition was that I didn’t have to do any work, so we ordered several large Zachary pizzas and ate off paper plates. With the wedding and the “rehearsal” dinner planned down to every detail, it was wonderful to have one fun, casual, stress-free night to just hang out with my family. I showed my nieces the photos of my bachelorette party, much to the dismay of their mothers, but it was all pretty innocent fun. The kids got to drink cocktails, smoke cigars and catch up with their cousins (many of those “kids” are over 21 now), my family got to see where I live, and I got to forget about all the details for a night.
The Wednesday before the wedding, my two sisters and their families arrived from Michigan. They were all staying at this hotel near Union Square (I forget the name), so I walked there to meet them for dinner. We were all standing in the lobby getting ready to walk to Chinatown when my future brother-in-law pulled up in his friends Miata and told us he was sorry he was late but he had to drive around the block because someone had been shot one block away. My eldest sister didn’t want to leave the hotel when she heard that, but I convinced her that we would be walking AWAY from, not TOWARD, the shooting and that it was probably drug related anyway. I remember working at Highland Hospital for a couple of months and arriving at work one morning to find my usual parking spot occupied by about eight police cars. There had been a double murder the night before and they’d found the two bodies that morning. Another shooting occurred up the block the following week, but all three turned out to be drug related, which made me feel safer, like you weren’t likely to get shot if you weren’t involved in any shady business. Martin met us in Chinatown, and the fourteen of us sat around one big round table. The party had finally begun!
You didn’t think I’d ever get around to writing about my wedding, did you? Well, the sad part is that I’ve probably forgotten a lot of details, but I’ll do the best I can. I think it was Friday, nine days before our wedding, that we finally completed writing our ceremony and handed it over to Kasia, Martin’s sister and our officiant. Kasia got certified through the Universal Life Church online and yes, it may sound hoaky, but in the end we figured we’d rather have a friend or family member officiate the wedding than some minister (Catholic priests can’t say weddings outdoors and we were set on having our wedding at the ranch). Writing the ceremony was the most difficult thing we did to prepare for our wedding. First we had to figure out what GOES in a ceremony by asking friends and looking up ceremonies online. Then we had to make lists of readings, poems and songs we liked-then we had to WRITE the whole thing. Since we met at the rock climbing gym and had a rock climbing theme to our wedding (the tables were named after places we’d climbed and the favors were carabiner keychains that read “Rock On M+M, 8.6.06”), we decided to incorporate that into our ceremony. After much discussion and many revisions, we finished it a week later than our deadline and handed it over. Then all that was left to do were a few little things—like finish place cards for guests who RSVP’d late.