Saturday, September 3, 2011

Meghan's NJ wedding and Tropical Storm Irene

What a week!  Chris and I are thanking our lucky stars we never lost power here at Casa Gibson.  Over 80% of Newtown did (some of our surrounding towns were 100% without power) and even today almost 20% are still without power.  Our friends in other towns who live on smaller, more rural streets are still without power and have no idea when they'll be back on the grid.  We've been inviting them over for showers and hot meals!

We live in Newtown right on the Newtown/Bethel border.  On Tuesday night we took a drive to use our cell phones and saw exactly how lucky we were.  Homes were lit up about half a mile in each direction from our house, but then after that they were dark until you got to either Newtown or Bethel's town least four miles each way.  We got our internet, phone, and cable back on Wednesday.  Our church still doesn't have electricity, so I will be teaching Sunday school in the dark tomorrow.  Our school year in Waterbury was supposed to start on Monday, but ended up being cancelled until Thursday.  That's right, we already have THREE days to make up in June.  The irony of all of it is that districts tried to start even earlier this year due to all the days we missed last January.  Oh well!  Maybe the state will waive the days and we won't have to make them up.  They did that for us in Houston after Hurricane Rita.

But back to last weekend.  It started out with a quick but very fun overnight trip to Morristown, NJ.  Meghan, Chris' very good friend from Bucknell, and her fiance were married on Friday night.  Chris and Meghan lived in the same hall freshman year and stayed friends throughout school.  Chris had been looking forward to the wedding all summer and it didn't disappoint!

Neither of us had been to a Friday night wedding before, but serendipitously Meghan and her fiance Chris  decided to get married on Friday rather than Saturday.  If they'd had it on Saturday night instead, many of their wedding guests would not have been able to attend at all, thanks to Irene!  Friday was beautiful, sunny, and warm- perfect summer wedding weather.

Something else new for me?  The incredible amount of FOOD during the cocktail hour.  Seriously, I thought that was dinner.  There was a Chinese food bar, a seafood bar, a pasta bar, meat carving station, antipasti table, not to mention the waiters who were bring around additional appetizers.  Wow.  Any time I commented on the food, the general reply was "Must be your first Jersey wedding!"  I tried to not get carried away since I knew we were about to sit down to a steak dinner.

Although we had to leave early Saturday morning to beat the storm and get the house ready, we had a blast.  Congrats Meghan and Chris!  Have fun in Hawaii!

We love weddings!

John and Dan, two of Chris' fraternity brothers.  My favorite moment was when Dan shared a story from Chris' days at Bucknell.  Apparently they were trying to get into a house party they weren't invited to.  The guy at the door asked if they were on the list.  Chris answers: "no, but she is!" and opens up a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.  They got in.  :)

I finally got a picture of Chris with the beautiful bride!
So Chris had told me that Meghan's great-aunt Ellen is actually the acress Ellen Albertini Dow.  You might remember her from her rendition of "Rapper's Delight" in The Wedding Singer?

Not only was she at the wedding, and so tiny and cute you just wanted to pick her up and put her in your pocket, she actually performed.  It was awesome.  If you don't want to watch the entire video you can skip ahead to 3:30.  I love it!

The Westin is dog friendly so Bailey came to NJ with us.  He was so good.  He didn't bark once, and had no problem going all the way down six floors and out the door before doing his business.  Here he is enjoying the Westin's "heavenly bed".
When we arrived back in CT on Saturday we took down all the chairs from the deck, brough in the plants, took down the flag, etc.  I washed the dishes and did all the laundry, so convinced was I that we would lose power.  I filled every pitcher we had with drinking water and filled a huge ice chest with water for flushing toilets.  Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, right?

Luckily all my preparations ended up being unnecessary for us!  The storm could have been so much worse.  We didn't get as much wind as was anticipated, but we got an unbelievable amount of rain.  Since we still had power we were able to use the shopvac to get water out of our basement.  It definitely wasn't as much basement flooding as others in our area had, another wonderful stroke of luck.

We drove down to Sandy Hook Sunday afternoon to see the river that runs behind our favorite coffee shop.  It was unrecognizable.  It's usually very quiet and gentle, but after Irene you could have gone white water rafting down it!

Now we're thinking about our friends in Lousiana and hoping they don't get too much damage from Tropical Storm Lee today.