Mike and I wake up groggy on Thursday morning after only a few hours of sleep. We need to run a few errands and get all our ducks in a row before more guests start arriving that afternoon. Therefore, Mike and I head out to take care of a few things – we ran by the offices for the Duke Music Department to drop off payment and thank Mr. Percy, the head of performance venues at Duke. We chatted with him for a while (great guy by the way), paid our rental fee, then we headed to Parker and Otis for a couple cups of coffee. While getting our coffee, we realized that we should come up with a plan for an informal meet and greet that evening. Mike came up with the brilliant idea to go to Satty’s – we could have them reserve a space for us, people could come and go as they pleased, food is plentiful and cost effective, and it was big beer night! The two of us walk over to Satty’s, speak with a very friendly manager, and we successfully book the back room for that evening. One more stop after that – we got a nice thank you for Ambassador Joseph for doing the wedding ceremony – a gift certificate to Piedmont so he and Mary could go have a nice dinner, care of the soon to be “Bradys”.

Once those errands were completed, it was time for Mike and me to run our individual errands of the day. This day was particularly exciting for me, as my friends from cyberspace, Darrah and Laura were arriving today! I met Darrah, Laura and Becky (who was arriving on Friday) on an Internet chat board back in 2001. I had just moved to North Carolina, and my former college roommate Marissa invited me to join my first ever chat board. It was there I met these awesome ladies. Since ’01, I have met Darrah and Becky only once before – in the summer of 2006, and Laura three times. It was a real treat to have them all here for the wedding.

ANYWAY – I head off to the airport around 11:30 to pick up Darrah. She was scheduled to get in shortly after noon. Unfortunately, the airline had other plans. Darrah was about 45 minutes delayed, but I patiently waited in the terminal reading a book. Honestly, the down time was welcome during what was sure to be a crazy weekend. Finally, I saw her bright red hair coming down the walkway. It was a wonderful reunion!!!! Darrah and I rushed off to meet Lauren for lunch at Tyler’s in American Tobacco. The three of us had a positively lovely lunch – and some Framboise to go along with it. Yumm!

After lunch, I had to leave my guest with her host for the evening, as I needed to pick up programs and find out where my parents were! Ran by the printers for the third time over the past two days and was finally able to collect the completed wedding programs. Right after picking them up, I got a call that my parents had just arrived at Duke Towers. Woo hoo! Rushing straight over, I was a ball of excitement. Everyone is starting to get here! I greeted my parents and chatted with them about their trip. It had been a while since I had seen my parents – since March to see Mom, and sadly over a year or so since I had seen my stepdad. Anyway, the hellos were wonderful. I found out in the meantime that Mike’s Aunt, Uncle, and cousins had also arrived. At the same time, Lauren and Darrah were on their way to pick up Laura at the airport! HOW EXCITING IS THIS????

I decided to give Mom and Dad a quick driving tour of the area so they could find all the goodies that they needed to survive the next few days. The grocery store, restaurants, etc. We jump in my car and start on the tour. One problem – that belt I got fixed? Yeah, it was squeaking more than it ever had before. It was downright embarrassing.

“Mom, Dad, you mind if we stop at Neal’s? This is crazy,” I asked. No problem for them, so we stopped and were immediately tended to at the shop. They said it would be about 30 minutes. Mom, Dad and I walked around the corner to Charlie’s, grabbed a drink, and halfway through my beer, we found out my car was ready. Headed over, grabbed the car, good to go. We do the tour – Food Lion, Ninth Street, Main Street, East Campus. I think they got their bearings.

I drop them off after the tour and head to the front office to leave a note for my Dad about that evening’s plans. Evidently he and my Aunt Julie got stuck in some serious traffic on I-85 due to a sudden rainstorm and not so smart drivers. I figured I would leave him a note about where to meet us. As timing would have it, halfway through writing my note I saw his car pull into the parking lot. I ran out to greet he and my Aunt. Today was truly a great day!! I unfortunately wasn’t able to hang with them too long, as I needed to get back to the house to take a quick shower and prepare for the family Meet-N-Greet that evening.

By this time, the clock is pushing 5:30pm. I quickly, yet safely, drive home, jump in the shower and get ready to meet the family and wedding party at Satty’s. Mike and I both manage to get ready in time and head out shortly before 7pm. We told everyone it was casual and that we would be there around 7 – I expected people to arrive at different times, stay for a bit, then go. Oh no – that is definitely not what happened. Mike dropped me off at Satty’s on his way to get his Mom and Peg. I wanted to make sure Satty’s was ready to go – by now, it was right at 7pm. Satty’s did a great job, and the room was all set up for us. I barely had time to sit my bag down before I saw my parents walk in! Then, Mike’s Aunt, Uncle and cousins! Then Mike and Mom and Peg! Then Dad and Aunt Julie! Then Lauren with Laura and Darrah! Then Meredith! Everyone was there at the same time! Mike and I started all the introductions – and it was a lot of introductions.

Hanging at Satty's (photo courtesy of Darrah)

For the first time, my Stepdad met Mike. Very exciting! All the family members met, the wedding party met the family and vice versa. It was wonderful seeing everyone interact. Lots of big beers were ordered and drank. Lots of pizzas were ordered and eaten. Lots of fried foods were ordered and nibbled upon. The waiter taking care of us was beyond amazing. He never wrote anything down and got every order right every time. Even when it came time for everyone to pay their bills, the guy rattled off exactly what they had! Amazing. Two thumbs up to Satisfactions for providing a wonderful atmosphere for our families and friends to meet. By about 10:30 or so, we had lost a few folks who were tired from traveling, but we still had a contingent that wanted to stay out. Therefore, we paid our bills and wandered across the street to the Joyce.

Meredith, Laura, Neil and Lauren at the Joyce
(photo courtesy of Darrah)

We took over the bar!
(again thanks to Darrah!)

Ahh, the Joyce. It is the heart of our social circle. It was really fun to have my out of town family and friends come over to a bar they had always heard me talk about. They finally got to experience it in all its musty glory. I think everyone who made the walk over had a pretty good time! There were a few more drinks had at the Joyce, but we had to wrap it all up at a reasonable hour. Friday was the day before the wedding – the final preparations, the actual rehearsal and yet another party. We needed to save ourselves for the next day……….

COMING NEXT…..The Rehearsal and Dinner!!!!!

PS - I also have a lot more photos from people starting on Friday. So, hopefully these posts will be just as photo filled as word filled moving forward!!!


Ellobie said...

Yaaaaaaaaay! :)

Ellobie said...

Cmon.... I wanna hear about Friday! ;)

Anonymous said...

Yes! Where's the Friday installment??


rebecca said...

Man, I wish I could've been there for Thursday! Stupid work. As it turns out we weren't even THAT busy. :P Can't wait for Friday! ;)