Grace and I spent a long weekend in Philadelphia for Lisa and Mark’s wedding. After a brutal red-eye (connecting through Detroit, no less), we arrived in Philadelphia. In a moment of unusual frugality, Grace arranged for us to stay at her brother Dave’s place in the city – he and his roommate are away for the summer. For grad students, they are living very well in a beautiful apartment overlooking City Hall. Dave was very gracious, and even promised new sheets and laundry facilities. Despite that, I was mortified to find our accommodations lacking television and internet. I’m not sure what pushed Grace over the edge, but she was on the phone to the Four Seasons within 15 minutes and we bid farewell to Dave’s doorman, who had just searched high and low for the keys that were left for us. Somehow, Grace decided that the hotel was walkable, so we dragged our crap halfway across Philly (I don’t care if it’s a “small city” – I was melting). It was still early, so our room was unavailable. We found the closest Starbucks, where we both worked the rest of the morning.
In the afternoon, we settled into our lovely accommodations and rationalized the change of plans – the best thing was that all wedding activities were at the hotel. We met up with some friends and finally got to meet Lily Carlson (who, by the way, chillaxed with us all weekend long). Grace and I both had some conference calls in the early evening. Afterwards, we had a very nice dinner at Roy’s with Matt and Theresa. Back at the hotel, we met up with the whole crew at the hotel bar. After closing the bar at 1am, the smart ones negotiated with the Four Seasons staff to allow us to hang out “quietly” on the lower level. Ryan had arranged for 2 cases of beer on ice (then went to bed). Later, Greg ordered a third. Even in his state, the $170 bill perplexed him. Around 3am, when more beer was being spilled than drunken, Grace and I retired – others pressed on.
Saturday morning, our room was dark as a cave when I was surprised by a call from Greg who was ready to rally. 10 of us headed to Cuba Libre for a great lunch. Lamar and I opted for “steak and eggs,” but got a little more than we bargained for. In addition to the steak, our plate came with hash browns, Chorizo, and bacon. I gave up Chorizo after I saw something on the food network about how they make it, so I requested double bacon instead. Afterwards, I was ready to nap and watch golf. The girls went out to get pampered. Shortly before the wedding, I realized that in addition to forgetting the Gold Bond, I also forgot my tie. I found an exact replacement at Boyd’s (an excellent shopping experience – thanks, Peg).
The wedding was splendid in every way. I have a new appreciation for all the fine details after planning and experiencing our own. Lisa and Mark looked great, the food was incredible, and everyone had a great time. I’m sure the Four Seasons staff was happy when everyone went to bed. Sunday morning, we made it down to brunch in time to see the newlyweds and our friends before heading home. We enjoyed our remaining time in Philadelphia resting and watching golf, which is something we rarely get to do at home.
I won’t get into all the details of our painful trip home, not only because we made it safely (though our luggage did not), but because it was all worth it – a great weekend with great friends.