Back to reality

After a crazy wedding weekend and then the honeymoon, Suzanne and I are back in North Carolina and trying to adjust to reality once again. Thursday night our adventures began with the Rehearsal “party” at my parents house. It was a great time with some of my family, our wedding party, and some of Suzanne’s family. I commented more than once this weekend that it was a nice intersection of my life.

Friday was setup day along with the Bridesmaid’s Luncheon and a “bachelor party.” The girls went to Olive Garden for lunch, the guys went and spent a couple hours at Rush Hour Karting in Garner. Rush Hour Karting isn’t your Putt-Putt go-karts. They claim theirs can reach 45 miles per hour, but you never reach that. My cousin Andrew and my friend Matt took the honors as winning the races. You’d think considering this was my party that they’d at least give me the ringer kart. But no such luck. It was a blast and definitely worth doing again.

Then Wes and I arrived at the church to find that Student Ministries was going to let us switch out the tables in the cafe before their event. That was a big move that really put us ahead of everything before the rehearsal. Since Student Ministries was having their Sixth Grade Parent Orientation that night, we weren’t getting access to the Cafe where the reception was being held until 8:30 to 9 o’clock. That let us be really quick after we practiced getting married. Then Brooks, Carrie, a couple Flood brothers, and the Doble brothers all headed downtown to hit up the Krispy Kreme for some donuts on my last night as a single man. Warm, plain glazed donuts are everything I was told they were. They are like heaven in your mouth.

Then came Sunday. After getting a grand total of about 3 hours of sleep, I woke up completely physically ill. Felt nauseous and couldn’t stop shivering. Ultimately, my body was telling me I was nervous but I wasn’t feeling it yet. 10 minutes before the ceremony started, I’m standing back stage and it hits. Full on butterflies. Luckily kept it all together and got through the ceremony. Everyone told me I wouldn’t remember a thing about the ceremony, but I do. I remember it pretty well. It’s the reception that I remember nothing of. It’s just a whoosh of seeing people and talking to people and meeting people.

Of course, our friends decorated my Dad’s convertible that we were getting away in. My friends… bless their hearts. Driving back to the apartment we had everyone honking at us thanks to the cans and caution tape affixed to the car. Not sure what was more funny, driving the car myself or imagining my dad or Uncle Mark driving it back home.

Sunday morning we found our way off to Niagara Falls for the honeymoon. Got to the airport just in time to grab the final pair of seats that were side-by-side on our two flights. Things worked perfectly. Got to Buffalo right on time and walked into the line at the Enterprise counter right at 4 p.m. when I was due to pick up my car. They gave us a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu, pretty much brand spanking new. The car had less than 150 miles on it. Once we got to Niagara that night, we explored our way down to the falls and then made our way to TGIFriday’s for dinner. We learned very quickly that food was expensive. That bill was nearly $50. That wasn’t going to work for two more days.

Monday morning we woke up and decided that we wanted to hit up an IHOP and find a Zellers to find me a belt. Rather than eat at the one in Niagara which we’d read was overpriced, we traveled 15 minutes to St. Catharines for breakfast at the IHOP there. Got out for under $25. Back to Niagara, we walked down to the falls again to ride the Maid of the Mist. It was an awesome experience that I will have to get a waterproof disposable camera if I were to do it again. Wet, windy and a lot of fun. After grabbing a shower we headed back to St. Catharines for dinner. We hit up a Dollarama where we purchased a plethora of Canadian chocolate bars and then to Swiss Chalet for dinner. Got out there for under $25 too. So we ate two meals on Monday for the same cost as one meal on Sunday. That made it a no brainer, don’t eat in Niagara. We also got a dozen donuts at Tim Horton’s so that Suzanne could complete her Canada experience.

Tuesday we drove out to Toronto to visit the Toronto Zoo. We spent about four hours walking around the entire Zoo and snapping well over 300 pictures. Then we braved downtown Toronto at 4:30 on a weekday and eventually found our way to the parking lot underneath the Rogers Centre (where the Toronto Blue Jays play) and went and got dinner at Lone Star Texas Grill in downtown Toronto. Dinner there was done under $25 as well, which was a big save there. Was not expecting that in downtown. From there we walked a couple blocks back to the CN Tower. Went up and explored the Tower. Not as hair raising as I expected it to be. I am quite afraid of heights, but the quick elevator ride to the top definitely helped. I also stood on the glass floor just so that I could say that I did.

We stopped at Dairy Queen in St. Catharines on our way back to Niagara Falls. Can’t really go wrong with a Smarties (these not these) blizzard with chocolate ice cream. It was quite good.

This morning had us walk down to the Falls one last time before coming back to the hotel, packing up the car, and high tailing it for Buffalo. We were able to get seats near the front on the first flight, but were banished to the back row on our last flight, which was basically the worst one we had. No windows on our area, the engine was thrumming, and Suzanne was feeling motion sick, which I can totally understand while being unable to see anything.

As I get a chance to run through all the pictures from the falls, the zoo, and the CN Tower they will be uploaded. Plenty of good pictures from the zoo, I’m really excited to get those up online.

But tonight, the first night of “real marriage” kicks in as we get back to reality here in Raleigh. Suzanne went to bed about two hours ago, I’m up watching game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals and cringing as Vancouver lets Boston have their way with them with the dirty play and the scoring. Tomorrow I will finish unpacking and we’ll figure out where our wedding presents are and then Friday has Suzanne going back to work. I still need to find something to earn me some money.