Wedding turns into mini-adventure - Valerie Baldowski

This is the second installment of what I began writing last week, regarding family weddings. I am now convinced that too many of them, coming too close together, can make a body come unhinged. The mind will soon follow.

Nephew No. 1 is now hitched, a married man. The celebrations began at 5 p.m., Friday, with a Hawaiian-themed luau party on Red Top Mountain in Cartersville. I found out almost at the last minute that my mother-in-law and a brother-in-law were riding with us to the luau. That necessitated a trip from Morrow to East Point to pick them up, then on to the luau, a one-and-a half-hour trip, taking into account rush hour traffic. When we got to their house, we crammed their luggage in the trunk, and my son, my mother-in-law and I sandwiched ourselves into the back seat. We went in my husband's car, which is a compact. It was a tight squeeze.

The only detail we forgot was that they were staying in another hotel than the one we were staying in. That complicated matters, as neither of us knew how to get to their hotel. They decided they wanted to go directly to the party, which was a problem, because my husband and I needed to check into our hotel, first, and change clothes. That prompted a few crabby complaints, but since we were in my husband's car, he called the shots. When we finally arrived at the party, it was pouring rain.

Happily, the rain slacked off soon after, and we had a good time. My son was so keyed up and excited he hardly ate anything at the party, which was too bad, because the food was really good. After the party broke up, my mother-in-law and brother-in-law got a ride with someone else to their hotel room, and we went to ours. My child was exhausted, although he would never admit it. He went to bed way too late, after munching on cookies, tortilla chips and a fruit-and-cereal bar.

We woke up rather early the next morning, and went to a breakfast place next door, but my son was too excited to eat his waffle. Plus, he was so tired from the night before, he could hardly sit still. That was not a good choice on his part, as we had no time to stop for lunch before the 3 p.m., wedding. All he ate was a small bag of potato chips. And, of course, he had no nap.

By the time the wedding started, my son was so exhausted he was glassy-eyed. He was barely able to sit through the ceremony. But he stuck it out, and afterwards, we moved on to the reception at 5 p.m. There was more singing and dancing, followed by hors d'oeuvres, then dinner at 6 p.m. The poor kid was famished, but he turned up his nose at the food, most of which was not kid-friendly. He had a little fruit, and several sodas.

He wanted to lie down and sleep, but soon changed his mind and wanted to stay and dance and party. He was running on pure adrenaline. We finally dragged him out of there at 9 p.m., and got him bundled in the car for the drive home. My mother-in-law and brother-in-law were riding back with us, so, once again, I squeezed myself into the back seat. I had slept wrong the night before, and had a sore back and a stiff neck, so I was in some pain. My mother-in-law is a bit hard of hearing, so there was some hollering and yelling, so people could hear. People were grumpy and tired, and my son burst into tears before falling sound asleep in the back seat. I, for one, was glad to get back home and crash.

The next wedding, my niece's, is June 11. This one will be easier to take. It will be in a church in East Point, and no motel stay will be involved. Plus, I am told the menu will be kid-friendly, with chicken fingers and French fries. Bring it on.

Valerie Baldowski covers government and politics for the Henry Daily Herald. She can be reached via e-mail at vbaldowski@henryherald.com.