Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Wedding

CJ: Hey Chad, what have you been up to?
Chad: Oh, you know.  Sucking dick for tacos.  You?
CJ: Sometimes I get extra cheese if I play with the balls.

This past weekend my old fraternity brother Shawn got married up in Quantico, VA.  Of course the bride was the shining star.  I've met her several times and consider her a good friend.  Shawn I've known for almost 20 years.  Their wedding is a blessed event and I was grateful to be there as they start their lives together.

But the most fun part of the weekend has to be Chad.  Most weekends with Chad, he ends up being the most fun part of it.  But this time it was all the pure, uncut Chad you could handle.  I haven't laughed that hard in a long, long time.  My face hurt.  Now I'm left with a middle ground somewhere between what I can actually remember, what I'm willing to admit in public, and what I wish I could forget.  If you ever meet up with me for a long run, I tend to tell Chad stories.  I mean, they are the best. And Chad is also the best high school marching band director in NC.  yep, he's shaping the future.

Friday night we drove up to DC after work.  Got into the hotel about 11, and ran into a couple of the guys in the lobby. Of course that led straight into 2 am crashing after drinking beer and hanging with the 10 or so of us brothers that made it out, and our wifes.  I can't tell you the last time I stayed up until 2, or hung out with the guys, or drank that much beer.

Saturday morning breakfast was at IHOP. Quite fantastic.  I ate like crap all weekend.  Ate anything I could get down my throat and drank every beer I could find.   So of course after the IHOP I found the hotel treadmill (they only had 1) and got in a 5k run.  It was supposed to be 10 miles, but I had limited time and unlimited beer.  I felt like shit on the treadmill and even worse afterwards.

The ceremony started at 1 pm, and I felt ok then.  Still a bit achy after the run.  The ceremony was at the base chapel at the Quantico Marine military base.  It was beautiful, the ceremony was very catholic, and being around that many Irish Catholics the day before St Patrick's day, there was a lot of green.  It took about an hour.  By the end of it I could barely stand up.  We had an hour to kill between the ceremony and the reception, and we could not get the GPS to pick up an address for the reception location - a winery.  Turns out there is no satelite communication available while you are on the military base, a pretty scary control point.  I didn't realize this at first, so we went back to the hotel where I grabbed a 5 minute power nap while Kelley googled directions to the winery.  I thought that was all I needed. I did feel much better by the time we got there.

Some pictures:
My boy Leon lives in Romania now.  Totally incredible that he came back to the States for the wedding!  Got to meet his girlfriend too.

The smokin hot wives - all of their husbands are fraternity brothers

The happy couple enjoying their first dance

Shawn and I

Bridget and I
As the reception went on I took a downward spiral.  Dinner was wonderful. The cake was absolutely incredible. The DJ had more energy than was really necessary.  There was music, and dancing, and lots and lots of drinking.  Since we are a music fraternity (not a social greek organization), we have a tradition to serenade the bride at weddings.  It started by serenading our waitresses when we all went out to dinner after meetings.  So this happened too of course:

The serenade is always one of my favorite parts.  Of course Bridget had no idea we do that, so we really got her surprised.  It was fantastic!  She loved it.  And it's tough to surprise the bride with something they love. 

After we sang my stomach started to turn.  I started feeling feverish, achy, and slightly nauseated.  Switching to coffee almost helped.  It did give me a good excuse not to dance.  I usually like dancing at weddings and used to be pretty good at it.  But lately I've been to a bunch of weddings and haven't felt much like dancing at any of them.  Usually I'm not feeling sick though, so this was rough. More pictures.
Fun people dancing

Chad is dancing while holding a beer

On our way out the door we realized that we didn't get a picture of the two of us together
Oh the shenanigans.  Chad rode with us to the wedding and reception since he didn't have a GPS.  After following our GPS to get back to the hotel after the reception, I the he was convinced not to buy one.  It actually took us down a small dirt road.  How do you find a small dirt road going through the woods near a military base outside of DC?  There are no dirt roads that close to DC.  That was the strangest drive ever.  Of course Chad was telling stories the whole time.  I can't remember any of them now.  We stopped at a gas station, got some champagne and gatorade and snacks.  That gatorade made me really feel much better.

After getting back to the hotel I did have a little "upset stomach", and felt fine again after that.  The whole gang met up in the hotel bar where I got to show off the tattoos and hang out with some old friends that I hadn't seen in a couple of years.  It was really great to see everyone again.  One guy had lost 75 lbs since the last time I had seen him.  His wife dropped a bunch of weight too, they are doing weight watchers together.  There was a lot of runners in the group now.  So we talked a lot about running, triathlons, first half marathons, great races and approaches to long distance & speed. It was pretty fantastic, since I'm used to doing that with my triathlon friends and now get to share with this group too.  The guys get together pretty regularly, at least some of us do.  But it was a treat to get to hang out with the wives too.

Chad was telling stories that started with "the cab driver was scared to go into this part of New Orleans but I..." and the always normal start "I wanted to go to Colorado, so I started driving and ended up in Canda. Then..." yea, and he doesn't need a GPS.  My favorite still has to be "Well I was fucking this albino mule when..." oh my.  if you want to hear the rest of that one you'll have to get me on some trails for a long run.  It cannot be repeated around other people.  Chad stories are the best.

Sunday the drive home was uneventful.  We got up and out of there early, and made it back to Raleigh around 1:30.  By the time I left work monday I felt normal again.  Normal being not hungover, or sick, or tired.  Actually I never drank enough to get really hungover.  And I'm sure that by mentioning that, the next time we get together I will end up with quite the hangover.  oy.  What a weekend.


Amber said...

That looks so fun! I LOVE that you have a tradition of serenading the bride at the fraternity brothers weddings!

Caratunk Girl said...

That looks like a blast!!!! Glad you had so much fun!

Anonymous said...

Chad is the best part of any PMA gathering:) We had a blast! I ran 3 on Sunday morning after 2 days of wine and gas station champagne:)

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Looks like fun! I love that you serenaded the bride; that is a really fun thing and I have never seen anyone do that before!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Looks like you had a lot of fun! The serenading the bride thing is super cool. And you are right - there are very few wedding day surprises that a bride actually likes! Bummer that you felt so rough, but I am glad you still had a good time!

JoannaP said...

I know this will sound bizarre. I found your blog through happenstance a while back and keep reading because I live in Raleigh and run trails and ultras. I used to work with Shawn when he lived down here so imagine my surprise to see his wedding on your blog. What a crazy small world.

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