Tag Archive | family wedding

Circus Trip 2018: A Break

I’m in Michigan visiting my extended family.  Yesterday was my cousin’s wedding, so I got the chance to see quite a few of my aunts, uncles and cousins.  It is so nice to catch up and hear the old stories!

Today we had a lunch with the family who could make it, and ended up with a reunion of 19 of us at the Polish restaurant in town.  Good food and great conversation!

Tomorrow I’m off to visit my mom’s side of the family on the other side of Michigan.  I will be there for a few days, and then I will be getting back on the road.

It has been a nice respite, with good food, a real bed, and lots of hugs from the family.  I am blessed to have such a good family.

The photo is me in the dress I wore to the wedding.

I hope you are all having a great weekend!


Wedding Mania!

After not being to many weddings in a while, I have now been to two in two months’ time!  One in Washington and one in Michigan!

So, remember the purpose of our trip to Michigan was two fold.  My cousin’s wedding – and visiting my Grandma.  Saturday, September 8th was the wedding portion of the trip. The wedding was two parts – the church wedding was at 2 pm, and the reception was at 5 pm.  We had a relaxing morning on Saturday reading, surfing the net and working out in the workout room in the hotel (hello treadmill!).  Then we got ready to go and heading out to the church – St. John the Evangelist at Michigan State University.  The service was beautiful, and the church was more progressive than other Catholic churches I’ve been to (bongo drums!).  The choir was fantastic – and they really had fun with the hymns.   It is in this same choir where my cousin met his lovely fiancee (now wife).

After the wedding, there were a couple of hours before the reception.  Jon and I went and got some coffee and perused a used bookstore that had all sorts of fabulous Civil War books!  If I lived there, I would probably visit it regularly.  But I behaved myself, and left without buying anything.  I already have a tall stack of “books to read.”  Several stacks, if you must know…  I blame the fact that I have to have a full time job.  If I had that anonymous benefactor, I wouldn’t have to work and would have way more time to stay up on my reading.  And these blog posts would probably be a lot more timely too…  Just sayin’.  Click here to donate to my PayPal account (just kidding!).

So, after killing a bit of time at the bookstore and the coffee shop, we headed over to the reception, which was about 15 minutes away in the next town over – Grand Ledge.  It was at the historic Grand Ledge Opera House.  The building was built in 1884 as a roller skating rink – I didn’t even know they had roller skating back then! – and then was converted to an Opera House around the turn of the century, to be used as a theatre for vaudeville acts and local entertainment.  The Opera House has been converted to a modern facility, but does maintain some of its original charm.

The Grand Ledge Opera House – Promotional Photos – http://www.gloperahouse.com

The reception began out back on the lower Terrace level, where there was a cocktail hour and some light Hors d’oeuvres, and lots of extended family pictures (what can I say – I have a big family!).  We set our wine glasses and purses and cameras down and smiled and posed and laughed and hopefully they turn our marvelously.  I wore my 3 inch heels, so maybe I have a chance at not being completely dwarfed by my much taller cousins.  My cousin’s daughter, who is 12, is already 5’6″ to my 5’3″.  I think my shortest cousin on that side of the family is 5’8″.  Clearly, my mom’s side had the dominant height gene (or should I say short gene)…

Then we headed upstairs for our sitdown dinner.  Toasts were made, jokes were cracked, my cousin’s obsessive love of Star Trek was mocked (numerous times), and our meal was blessed.  And it was delicious.  Dinner included your choice (or all 3 if you wanted!) of potato salad, spinach salad with berries and cheese crumbles and an Asian style salad with sesame seeds, shredded carrots and artichoke hearts.  I didn’t have the potato salad, but the other two were amazing!

Then on to the main courses.  You could have four types of kebabs: vegetarian, chicken, beef or shrimp.  They were all lined with tomato, yellow squash (or zucchini to my mom), and onion, plus the meat selection you chose.  The next table contained a do it yourself mac and cheese served fancy style in martini glasses, with your choice of white cheddar or regular cheddar, and with optional toppings of bacon bits, tomatoes, shredded cheese and something else I can’t remember (maybe green onions?).  After that, you could select your choice of four types of potatoes in ramekins: garlic mashed, mashed sweet potatoes (topped with nuts!), and two other types – sorry my memory is failing me!  Then, if you weren’t already stuffed, you could have baked apples (YUM!) and a pulled pork sandwich.

The Wedding Dinner – Great Food and Lots of It!

Following dinner, there were more cocktails – still your choice of red (Good Harbor – Harbor Red) or white wine (Uncle John’s Apple Honey), beer (Budweiser), or you could have an Appletini! The Appletinis were garnished with a couple of slices of Granny Smith apple.  The Appletinis were delicious – fun and refreshing – and they coordinated with the wedding colors!

So for the rest of the evening, we laughed and chatted and caught up on lives… and I even danced a little.  Hanging out with the family was great – I enjoyed seeing a great couple start their married lives together, and I got to spend time with my family.  What a fantastic day!

Radio Silence

Again, we’ve been out of communication for awhile and for that, I apologize.  But we had the opportunity to travel again – this time to Michigan – home to most of my extended family!  It was a crazy week, trying to get ready to go, and the night before we were supposed to fly out, I had to work until almost 8:30 when we decided to keep working on a contract negotiations that was so close to a settlement!  After work on Wednesday, September 5, Jon and I drove down to Seattle, had a delicious dinner with Jon’s sister and brother-in-law, and flew out on a non-stop red-eye to Detroit, due to arrive at 6:10 am. Our flight was completely booked!

The purpose of the trip was two-fold – my cousin was getting married in East Lansing on the Michigan State University campus, and my grandmother is 95.  It worked out that I could squeeze a week’s vacation in between my coworkers’ time off and get enough of a reprieve from union negotiations to get 5 full days with no negotiations at work.  Once I had those days scheduled I had to guard them with my life though – there were several times I was asked about these dates – not available!

Obviously, the red-eye has its drawbacks, one of which is not getting a great night’s sleep on the plane.  We learned on our trip to the South that we can make it through the day without much sleep, as long as we don’t have too long of a drive after we get there.  The days leading up to the trip were really busy, so we didn’t have that long to research a few things to do.  I did have a few things on the itinerary, for the couple of days we had before meeting up with the family.

The Motown Museum – Jon is a music fanatic, and this has been on his list for a long time.  Motown is the record label founded by Berry Gordy, Jr. with an $800 family loan.  The tour includes the studio where Motown hits were recorded in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Detroit Institute of Arts – We were debating about either visiting this world renowned art museum, or the Titanic artifact exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum.  The Detroit Institute of Arts won out.

Sandhill Crane Vineyards – I won a gift certificate to their new cafe on a contest on a wine blog back in April.  I was pleased, but we didn’t have a trip to Michigan scheduled at that time – so I had to wait until I would be visiting!  So we made sure we would be able to visit!

And for Jon, Encore Records in Ann Arbor – Again Jon is a music fanatic, and on his bucket list is a goal to visit each of the top 25 best independent record stores in the nation (actually he only has to visit 24 now – since one has since closed).  This record store would be his third.  I just found out about this unique goal the other day – so I suppose I will be visiting record stores even more than I already do!

The rest of the trip would be played by ear – fitting in what we could in between visiting family and traveling to the next location.  Now that we are home, I’ll tell you all about what we saw and did in upcoming posts!  Stay tuned!