So Matthew and I are cosied up in our little study, each hitting the 'net in our different ways (blogs and email and shopping for me, news and football forums for him), grateful to not be in transit anymore (14 hours plus was a bit of a stretch!), and happy after a lovely break over the other side of the pond. Photos to follow if and when I remember to post them!
The end of last half-term whizzed by....going to see Dizzee Rascal with Tara and Chez was amazing, a truly epic gig. The boys were all ready for the half-term break, but rallied on the last Friday by producing some awesome 'Open Homework'. Perhaps your school does this too? We basically set aside a week and set no formal homework, and instead the children come up with their own focus, based on a word set by our head of academics (this year, 'red'). My life, it was brilliant! Poems, soup, pillows, games, study projects...I was thrilled with all the things my guys came up with. I'm building them all into a big, bright display (the projects, not my students!). Great.
Then on Friday I zoomed off to Paddington to meet Matthew, and we both headed to Heathrow. We stayed at the little 'Yotel' in T4 as our flight was early, and it was immensely comfortable. And getting up there at 6 was a tonne easier than a 4 am start in Leyton plus buses which may not have worked... We checked in for the flight and managed to get seats together - the airline we chose has this strange system where it doesn't assume that people in the same party are together? Everything else about the airline I loved, but seat allocation was *stressful*. I'm actually going to write to them (tomorrow, post jet lag!) to say how wonderful the aircrew was, how smooth the flights, how great the entertainment (*awesome* package, kept Matthew and I thoroughly enthralled)...and also to ask what on earth is up with the seating. On the night flight back yesterday so many families and couples were having to do swapsies to be together, creating a lot of stress for them and the aircrew...I really am confused as to how the system works!
So last Saturday, we made the flight and took off happily. Fairly uneventful and pleasant flight, which we spent watching movies and being silly. I watched 4 movies, 3 of which featured weddings, and 3 of which made me cry! One, My Sister's Keeper, had me so weepy I had to put damp tissues on my eyes to prevent my being a bridesmaid with giant red eyes!
We touched down at 1 (two hours before the wedding...) and got through immigration as quickly as possible. By one-thirty we were in the car with Chris (groom), and his brother Nathan, and heading north to the Woodlands ready for the wedding. I swept in and up to confer with Jenna (the beautiful bride) and Heidi, the other bridesmaid. Dress on, chats had, photos taken (it was a real family affair - Jenna's brother and his girlfriend Emma were taking all the photos). Matthew, bless him, I all but abandoned, but the lovely mix of Texans and Scots downstairs made him feel at home right away!
And then, the wedding. Jenna and Chris married under a canopy of trees in Chris's parents' back garden, attended by a handful of friends and family, with a few dozen people who loved them there to celebrate. The service was lovely - intimate, sweet, charming, and clearly exactly what both bride and groom desired. The love between them and around them was tangible. Then with a swap of rings, a tender kiss and a ripple of applause Jenna became Mrs M, and we all tripped back down the aisle (a lantern and flower covered decking) to party the night away.
A keg of Shiner Bock and huge plates of Texan barbeque (I may now be addicted to red barbeque sauce!), laughter echoing and squirrels leaping through the trees, a doughnut tower for the wedding cake (with Han Solo and Princess Leia as the topper!). Catching up with people we'd met before, making new friends, and generally being very happy for the lovebirds. :-)
By eight, however, I was fading fast (I had been up since the equivalent of 11pm Texas time the night before, and my whole body was just crashing), so Matthew and I decided to head to the hotel and check in. We never made it back out however....as I crashed on the bed, bridesmaids dress and all, and was totally out for the count! Matthew headed down and explained to the newlyweds (who totally understood, bless 'em) - getting to the wedding had been an epic journey, and we were both fast asleep by 10....
...This sleepiness may turn out to be a theme of the holiday....
Well, I was going to do the whole holiday in one, but the jet lag is biting now, so I will close here, and detail the holiday post-wedding as soon as possible...
How are you all doing?