Anyway - a beautiful weekend was had! (Warning: many, many pictures below...) The weather was hot and sunny and perfect. (And dry. I should have had more water and less coffee and alchohol...oops!) The drive out featured the adventures of the Hungry Caterpillar Sock Puppet, loving the sunroof:
We drove as far as Grand Forks on Wednesday, where we stayed the night. Thursday lunchtime we got into Cranbrook and went right to my sister's new (big!) house, where the kidlets showed us the new babies:
The wedding rehearsal on Friday went well, and the BBQ dinner following was tasty and busy and crowded, what with all the groom's family joining our mob. It was kind of fun getting bowled over from hugs on one hand by my 3 nieces, and then by 4 of my aunts. Not to mention the uncles that came to the party, too! It was kind of like being in a sandwich. With a lot of short people. (If any of them are reading and want to know why no pics of them: I feel odd posting pictures of people on the internet without their permission...since I didn't ask youse: I emailed some to you all!)
Since Grandma couldn't come, she sent presents for the kids:
And cookies, too!
Finally, the Big Day...at the St.Eugene Mission Resort (you have to go to their site to see photos of the mountains - even having grown up in the area, I was wandering around stunned by the setting. You can imagine the slack-jawed amazement of those who'd never been to Cranbrook!)
The weather was perfect - sunny with enough of a breeze to take the edge off the heat. Baby Sis and I sang together and did a decent job of it, considering I was fighting a cough and nearly choked a couple of times.
But the flower girls were adorable, the ring bearer dashing, and the Princess Bride, of course, was beautiful. The ceremony was performed by an old friend of hers who has since become a minister; our brother read a blessing; the couple was framed by huge trees against a backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.
When the bride was finally kissed, she and the groom were serenaded into married life by a song carefully chosen by Baby Sis and I, from a suggestion made by the groom some months earlier.
The Happy Couple had no idea we'd be singing it. The looks on their faces were priceless!
The photo session followed, of course. It was a lot of fun to watch. I can't wait to see the photos. Here's one of the Princess Bride and our parents:
Then, under the tent, a presentation of traditional dances by some of the Ktunaxa Dancers...very, very cool. Since we were on their traditional land, it was fitting, and quite powerful to witness. Of all the dances they did, my favourite was the "couples dance" - they had the newlyweds join them in a dance.
Then, dinner...then, dancing! It was pretty amazing to watch Dad dance with The Princess Bride, since just about this time last year he had a pretty serious stroke, and to have him here at all, let alone able to dance...well, 'nuff said. If you really want all the sappy details, go look at the lyrics to the song they danced to....then imagine just how composed we all weren't!
Then - the hamster dance!
Followed by much, much more dancing and celebrating and laughing and hugging and all the good stuff that should happen at these events. When it finally wound down at the civilized hour of midnight, Mom took a bunch of us to the casino to show us how to play the slot machines. I promptly lost $10, my limit, and I wandered around watching the rest of the gang. My brother won big, as evidenced by his expression here, as he polishes his jackpot:
A closer look at the big winnings:
Yessiree - he came out ahead by One Whole Loonie! (Which is a damned sight better than the rest of us did, so I shan't mock him too much, nor point out that I refrained from posting that picture I took of him putting sunscreen on his thinning hairline for the first time ever...!)
Sunday we had a bit of a chance to wind down and visit a little:
The weekend culminated in a long, late, animated discussion with my sister and brother-in-law, our Crazy Uncle From the States (self-named, I'll add!) and an entire wheel of brie being baked with jam and devoured. Not nearly as early a night as I'd hoped, before getting up at dawn for a long, long drive...but too much fun to cut short.
After all of it (and not nearly enough rest, frankly!) I was a leetle grumpy getting up for work today. But I did, and it's a short week anyway, so I can get through two more days before the next long weekend. I came home to find that Mr.Q had ordered pizza, and there was some friendly mail for me, and the dead mouse smell was almost gone, and things are gonna be just fine.
Now I have to go put up a picture-postcard of a golden retriever over my bed, just under my dream-catcher. (really, go read those lyrics!)