When Jenna arrived, I wasn't at the front door with my suitcase; so we had some quality time chatting up my parents before starting on our journey. After leaving my house, we made a stop at the Maltby house, where I got a chance to check out Cindy and Brad's basement crib and look at the Rhiannon Scrapbook (sans pages from the guy slacker delegation). More importantly, I met Ben and tried to be entertaining by hitting myself on the head with baby toys. It sort of worked, although he seemed to be interested/in need of a nap. The Maltby family also has a giagantic dog called Tula and I thought about whether it would be weird to be a baby in a house with a horse-sized animal.
All of the parent-chatting and baby-interacting put us a little behind schedule, but eventually Jenna, Jennifer, and I hit the road. The drive was really nice on account of the excessive autumn colors. I'd sort of forgotten about the number of photogenic deciduous trees in those parts.
Upon arrival, we were put to work in the program preparation factory. Since I was the only guy helping with that particular facet of the operations, some of the ladies thought that it was really hilarious that I was "scrapbooking." Really, it was just using a glue stick, but people are funny sometimes.
Eventually, a pick-up truck full of pumpkins arrived and provided a new purpose for my afternoon. Gutting and carving pumpkin table markers was a welcome task, since I hadn't yet done any halloween-related activities this year. As far as I'm concerned, number 8 was my crowning achievement.
Once the wedding party arrived, it was (1) a little later than expected and (2) getting cold out in the tent but (3) still light outside. They quickly practiced the ceremony without a lot of stage management and I practiced recording it. Then we went inside and had dinner. The funniest part was that five of us had to stand by the kitchen door for a really long time while the kitchen staff retrieved only four veggie burgers on plate. As dinner wrapped up, Rhiannon and Jason passed out presents to all of the participants. I got a rad book to help me hone my villainy skills.
Dining complete, and hot chocolate consumed, we (+Cindy and Brad, with a pitcher of beer) piled in to Jenna's car and went back to our room to to change into our costumes. I didn't really have a costume plan, but I brought along last Halloween's Yakuza assassin thrift store tuxedo. Without the sword and mask, and paired with Pumas, it was still costumey enough to avoid scorn and a trip to Cindy's tub-o-costumes (which included a very compelling child's knight outfit, an inflatable pumpkin, a referee shirt, and many other options). In my head, the idea was "runaway groom", but I pretty much agreed to anything that people guessed including "30s mafia person into working out" and "Fox Mulder", "Dolly Parton's Manager", and even "Clay Aiken".
Any party with Fun Dip if fun by definition and this one lived up to the promise of its snacks. Fred and Tracy arrived, costumeless but fun-enhancing. We mostly alternated between the outside tent and the downstairs bar, depending on beverage needs, resistance to the cold, and sociability concerns. By the end of the evening, some costumes were shed and others were exchanged. There was a fair share of drinking, some jukebox problems, trombone playing, and attempts to convince Rhiannon's cousins about the goodness of Harry Potter. We tried to persuade Fred and Tracy to crash in one of our rooms by hiding their coats, but they outsmarted us by finding them and escaping through the back exit.
With a need for earlyish wake up calls all around, the party broke up before the evening got into the too wee hours. Naturally, Jenna and I managed to stay awake for a long time with more of the catching-up on things. It occurs to me now that I could have gotten more sleep if I actually used the telephone from time to time.