I had the most wonderful time on my trip to Ann Arbor. I am so glad that I went. It has been said by many that the lengthy drive would have deterred them, but not me. I love a good road trip, especially with a friend. My dear friend and former neighbor Darci accompanied me on the trip, to help with the drive and be my date to the wedding festivities. (I totally mis-typed "date" as "data" several times before getting it right. Nerd salute!)
I had checked out four books on tape from the local library and brought an entire case of CDs, but none of these were necessary on the way to Ann Arbor. Darci and I talked the WHOLE nine hours. I suppose it's a testament to our friendship, but I can't discount the fact that the conversation may have been a direct result of our mom freedom. There were no kids to keep in line or take care of, and we could talk about whatever we wanted. It took about three hours before we realized we could curse. "Geez" be darned.
It was so great to see Maggie (the bride). She and I met in graduate school, and we became particularly close after I had Azalea. I know, that's not the typical way it goes with friends and babies, but Maggie is special. She would adjust her schedule to do various morning activities with Azalea and me, such as meeting at Lazy Jane's for the best scones in the universe. It was the power of our bond that drew me on this road trip.
Upon arrival, I quickly learned that Maggie's hairdresser had canceled the wedding hair-do session, and no replacement could be found. I am actually only semi-proficient at doing hair; I can twist and braid, but I'm lost with any electric hair tools. However, I didn't want Maggie to be more nervous than she already was, so I confidently said that I could do her hair, no problem. Fortunately she has a friend and a cousin who are excellent with hot hair tools, so they blow-dried and straightened out the business for me. Then I set to work with the twisting and the pinning. When it was all said and done, it looked pretty darn nice (but it's a good thing she wasn't sitting in front of a mirror throughout the process because there were some hairy [pun intended] intermediate stages). As per her vision, it was twisted across the back, ending in a left-ear-proximal triple-twisted bun with some curls coming out of the middle. It was finished with three modest white flowers at the bun-ear junction. And the best part is that it didn't fall out while she danced! Ultimately, stability was my top design concept.
Before I did Maggie's hair, I offered a different service to Maggie's mom. She was standing in the hallway looking like a ball of nerves. I asked her how she was doing. She shrugged. I said, "Would you like me to rub your shoulders for a minute, to help you relax?" She looked off into the distance and after a pause said, "Let me find a place to lie down." Ha! I followed her to the guest bedroom, where she laid down on the bed and pointed to her lower back, saying that it was quite sore. I started to rub her lower back, but apparently not low enough. She shoved my hands to her tailbone. I rubbed and rubbed, and then she was ready for the shoulder rub. I didn't mind at all, and indeed I had offered. But it struck me as hilarious to be taken up to such an extent.
The best part of the wedding was the people. There were 40 people at the rehearsal dinner, who were the same 40 people at the wedding, who were the same 40 people dancing at the reception. I was so impressed by this, because often it seems you have to invite more than 100 people to get a full dance floor at the reception. I thought this really spoke to how well Maggie and Sam knew their friends and family, and to the high quality of people in their lives. There were many people whom I'd never met, but I felt like I'd known them forever. Instant connections, instant fun.
I'll end with a photo of my road trip accomplishment. You didn't think I just sat there whenever it was Darci's turn to drive, did you? I started making the girls' winter hats for the season, and I finished Azalea's. I've made an awful lot of hats in my day, but this one might be my finest achievement. Fancy!