Sunday, October 29, 2006

There and Back Again

Friday we loaded up the car and headed for Houston. This trip was centered around the nuptials of Richard W. and his finance, Laura T., both of Houston, Texas.

We got into Spring fairly early, were horrified by the unnecessary construction and "growth" out near my old haunts, and generally irritated with the increase in traffic and addition of stoplights. Spring is/was an aesthetically pleasing little hamlet with lots of tall, skinny pines and leafy oaks, but that's being rapidly replaced with 3/4 empty strip-malls and the derelict shells of abandoned failed fast-food restaurants.

On the flip side of this, Spring residents can enjoy the fruits of their neighbors' controlled zoning in the Woodlands which up and built a pre-planned Bedford Falls-type downtown area sometime in the past four years. Well, not exactly Bedford Falls as it IS The Woodlands and folks like The League couldn't actually afford much in the way of shopping in the little city-center. BUT... I guess I find it interesting (and encouraging) that there is still an interest in a deeply embedded suburban area as The Woodlands to have a nostaligic town square. Even one that feels a bit like a Disney attraction with overpriced shopping. It was a little charming to wander around their pre-fab town and see so many people NOT dashing in and out of cars, but sharing space and not elbowing one another to get the first table at Applebee's.

Saturday we hung out a bit with The Admiral and Karebear (always a pleasure), and then The Admiral loaned me the use of his totally sweet ride (a BMW M6 Coupe) for our drive down to Shannon and Josh's pad just South of town. I can say this now, because evrythings fine... but there is a bit of difference between hitting the gas and changing lanes in a BMW M6 than in a V4 Subaru Forester, and it took me a spot of time to adjust.

Shannon and Josh have a really nice Kennedy-era house in which they are held hostage by several cats, not the least of which is the astounding Annie. We dressed (Jamie looked absolutely stunning. Your humble narrator, not so much...), then headed down to the Houstonian for the wedding.

People, if I have one bit of advice for you, it is as follows: Nobody cares what you have to say to one another during the wedding ceremony. Keep it short. Richard and Laura managed to have a lovely, brief ceremony in which we all got the idea, saw the lovely dresses, hit all the major points of a wedding, and then were released to the open bar for pre-dinner cocktails. I don't often cry at weddings, but so grateful was The League for the brisk pacing, that I was moved to tears of joy.

The wedding was outside, near dusk, which in Houston in October could well have meant rain. Instead, we got clear skies, low humidity and mid-70's for temperatures. I was stunned.

Also, Shannon read a poem that I pretended to understand.

Inside we had a lovely sitdown dinner which was also served in a timely fashion and was actually very good. I sat with Jamie, of course, and beside a high-school/college/post-college chum, Mark L. Mark works for, I think, Ticketmaster in some capacity which I completely don't understand. But he was responsible for obtaining tickets for Richard and I one fine evening about ten years ago when we saw Crystal Gale with the Houston Symphony. No, really. And George and Barbara Bush sat about four rows in front of us. It was an evening so strange that Richard and I tried to drink it out of our memories before midnight. Obviously, the plan failed.

I am not always a fan of bands at weddings. They are very loud and often very bad. The band Richard and Laura hired was about seven people and really good. I say really good, mostly because they knew a lot of early Michael Jackson. And, Leaguers, your humble League and Mrs. League certainly cut a rug. Especially to the 80's-era Michael Jackson tunes. Sure, sure... Josh and I took center stage for our dance during "Proud Mary", and I did a mean, mean robot... But Jamie danced enough that this evening her knees no longer bend. They are "owie".

But, mostly, she looked extremely cute in her outfit.

Today we returned to Spring, picked up Mel from my folk's house, picked up Lucy from Jason's house and returned home. I think I am lightly sunburned from the drive home.

Congratulations to Richard and Laura W.

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend.

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