Portugal Chronicles – The First Year: Honeymoon

When the wedding reception was over (complete with musical numbers from students) we went to my friend’s house to change out of our wedding garb and into something comfortable. Then we got in the car and set off with the sun setting behind us. We stopped at a restaurant where Harry enjoyed a turkey dinner (his favorite meal). Harry alleges that I also had food, but apparently it was not terribly memorable.

After dinner, we continued to drive east toward the coast. We had a reservation in a hotel in Ocean City, NJ. Harry had asked me where I wanted to go on our honeymoon, and I opted for the beach. He asked me to choose another destination and mentioned the Bahamas and Florida/Disney World. I was surprised when I learned that this was not just our honeymoon, but also “deputation,” otherwise known as finding people to support our ministry in Portugal. We spent time with some of his extended family and with friends along the way.

Today the rest is a photo post with some snaps of our journeying.

First day: the beach in Ocean City, NJ
First day: the beach in Ocean City, NJ
Harry dealing with our rented bicycles.
Harry dealing with our rented bicycles.
River Boat, Disney
River Boat, Disney
Outside the Tiki Hut
Outside the Tiki Hut
Harry in the stocks. Please note that no chains or whips were involved.
Harry in the stocks. Please note that no chains or whips were involved.
Dolphins at Sea World
Dolphins at Sea World
Shamu - at least, one of them.
Shamu – at least, one of them.
cyprus garden
Cyprus Gardens
ducks
Ducks at Cypress Gardens
Cypress Gardens
Cypress Gardens
Cypress Gardens
Cypress Gardens
Orchids growing in Cypress Gardens
Orchids growing in Cypress Gardens
Our last stop on the honeymoon: Central Oaks Heights, an old Methodist Campground. Our cabin looked over the swimming pool
Our last stop on the honeymoon: Central Oaks Heights, an old Methodist Campground. Our cabin looked over the swimming pool

The Portugal Adventure – The Long Year – The Long Day

The rehearsal was Thursday night. On Friday, Harry and I had our suitcases packed (he almost made it out of the house without his sister throwing rice into his suitcase). We dropped the car and suitcases off at the apartment of one of my teaching colleagues for safety’s sake.With a LOT of help, we were ready for the big day. I had read that there is always something that goes awry, and I determined to stay calm no matter what.

The Mirror Photo
The Mirror Photo

Saturday morning, I got up early to get my nails and hair done. I picked at some food and in an eternally short moment it was time for my dad to take me to the church. The gown in the car? Check.  Engagement ring on my right hand? Check. Harry’s wedding band? Check. Then we took the longest five-minute ride to the church that I can remember.                                                                                                                                                                                  Harry

My bridesmaids helped me dress, and the photographer took the before pictures. Harry was down the hall and when he left the men’s dressing room, his sisters filled his clothes with rice.

The wedding was set for 1 p.m. and it was about half past noon when one of my attendants announced that the flowers had not yet come. Music played. The soloist sang. Still no flowers. My friend made phone calls. Repeatedly. I was breathing and in my happy place. Finally, at five minutes till one, men dressed in T-shirts and cutoffs carried potted plants lumbered down the aisle.

The groom and groomsmen entered the church, and the organist began playing Jesu, Joy of  Man’s Desiring. The bridesmaids began to sway down the aisle. My sister, my maid of honor went next. Our sweet flower girl and ring bearer followed her. My dad hugged me with tears shimmering in his eyes, and offered me his arm while he pulled some nitroglycerin out of his pocket. I don’t know exactly how he managed to give me away and perform the ceremony afterward. I do know it was a labor of great love.

From the photos, I can see that there were many people there that day. Students from three years had dragged their parents to the wedding. My nephew, who was then five months old, had something to say during the ceremony. One of my students asked his mom out loud if I was married yet.  But Harry. How shall I say this? Harry looked like he was about to bust out laughing.

I had opted to have the attendants wearing crowns of baby’s breath. Unfortunately, the baby’s breath was of the unruly and wild sort. When Harry

Wedding Party
Wedding Party

saw the bridesmaids walking down the aisle, he thought (as would any good Scot)  that Birnam Wood was approaching the castle.

My mom with my nephew, James
My mom with my nephew, James
Cutting the cake
Cutting the cake
The cake
The cake
Some of my students
Some of my students
Nearly over
Nearly over
My Family
My Family
Harry's Family
Harry’s Family