October 24, 2006

Weekend Recap

As I said, I spent last weekend in upstate New York, in a little tourist town called Lake George, attending the wedding of a good friend of mine, Marc.

What I was not informed about, regarding upstate New York this time of year, particularly as you drive from Albany to the foothill community of Lake George, is that it rains. A LOT. A cold, hard, driving rain that limits visibility to about a quarter mile. And that's IF you can get your wipers working.

Did I mention I was in a rental car? A Jeep Liberty. Decent ride. Hidden wiper ignition. I always feel moronically conspicuous in a rental car. I don't know where anything is, and the ride feels completely foreign and unweildy. If your own familiar car is like your lover, I imagine a rental car is the equivalent of a boozed up bar hookup. You try to perform the acts that normally work, and she ends up barfing on your chest. Er, not that I know any of this from firsthand experience or anything. I'm just using analogies. Yeah, that's the ticket!

It's always the same; I have to pull over before I even get out of the rental office parking lot, and familiarize myself with the newfangled rental. What's this do? What's this do? What's this. . . ooh, I shouldn't have done that. After about 15 minutes of crash course familiarization, I'm usually ready to hit the open road.

Something I noticed about upstate New York: speed limit signs are treated as gentle suggestions. I thought I was pushing things going nine miles over the limit, and I was getting passed as if I was still parked in the rental lot trying to figure out the vehicle. I mean, these people were travelling at insane rates of speed, in a torrential downpour. For awhile, I was wondering if they knew something I didn't, and that I should maybe hit the gas to escape whatever was behind me.

There was a surprising amount of foliage still left on the trees, particularly compared to the zero amount of foliage back in Minnesota. So, I'm sure the drive would have been quite pretty, had visibility not been limited to about my windshield. Thankfully, the next day, the wedding day, there were clear skies, which I was told was the first clear day in about two weeks. So, lucky wedding couple!

Oh, by the way. Lake George? Freaking gorgeous. Not as gorgeous as I looked in my groomsman tuxedo, but Mother Nature can only compete with me soooooo far.

The wedding was in a Catholic church, but thankfully it wasn't one of those marathon Catholic-style weddings we've all come to know and dread. On the contrary, it was actually quite short, and the groomsmen even got to sit, which was new in my experience.

The priest was a freakin' hoot. He's officially retired, but he wanted to perform the ceremony because the bride (my co-worker) used to go to that church, and her parents still do. Before the wedding, the priest joked with us groomsman, telling us how great retirement is, because cruise ships offer him free cruises all the time so they can have a priest on board. "It's great," he told us. "I get a free cruise, free food, free booze, and I can stand around the pool and watch all the women."

We groomsmen liked the priest immensely.

The wedding went off without a hitch, and the reception was a blast. The next morning, unfortunately, I had to get up at 6 a.m. for the drive back to Albany which, if you know me at all, you know that that time of morning doesn't exist, or at least it shouldn't.

The flight home went smoothly until I hit Chicago. It looked like things were going to go fine. We taxied onto the tarmac just fine, and we were next in line for take-off, when the pilot came on and informed us there was a problem with the luggage count. I don't know what that meant, but there was something ominous-sounding about it; kind of like, "excuse me, sir, but why is your bag ticking?" So, we had to taxi back to the terminal, where we sat for 50 minutes while they unloaded and reloaded luggage. Nothing untoward was found, apparently, so we taxied back on the tarmac, and we were next in line for take-off, when the pilot came on and informed us that an air conditioning unit was malfuntioning. And, while we could fly without said AC unit, we still had to taxi back to the terminal for another 50 minutes while the appropriate paperwork was filled out. I could have sworn I saw one of the ground crew waving a placard that read "Welcome Back!" but that could have just been my imagination.

Back onto the tarmac we went, and incredulous passengers let out a few exasperated "Yeah, rights" when the pilot told us we'd be taking off shortly. But, true to his word, we actually did take to the air on the third try, and the lift-off was greeted with thunderous passenger applause. Of course, delayed as we were, when we arrived in Minneapolis, our gate was taken by another plane, so we had to wait about 30 minutes for that fucker to taxi out of the way. Bitter? Me? Nah.

So, that was my weekend. I'm sure you've all been dying to learn what I was up to.

Posted by Ryan at October 24, 2006 10:43 PM | TrackBack

It's not always that rainy or cold, but yea, last weekend sucked weather wise. At least ya can appreciate the beauty of the area - especially this time of year... and despite the rain. (At least it didn't snow...)

Posted by: ethne at October 25, 2006 09:26 AM
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