First of all, I have two newly married couples to congratulate. On June 30th, my Uncle Mike married the charming Anne-Marie, in a ceremony that was, by all accounts, as fun as it was unique. Clayton and I did not attend those nuptials, however, because he was a groomsman at his younger brother David's wedding. David and Rachel's wedding was, after all, the main reason we returned to New York. Before I get to that, though, we have a week to get through.
Since David had secured a home for himself and Rachel before the wedding, they planned to move in almost immediately after. To do this most efficiently, Dave hitched a ride up to New York with us, and then planned to come back down, with his new wife and all their stuff, in a rented moving truck. Both Clayton and David were permitted to check out on leave at their respective bases at noon on Sunday, the 24th. David would be coming to our house from Camp Lejeune, which is about 45 minutes to an hour away. The plan on our end was, Clayton would check out at noon, then we'd pack the truck with our luggage and finish cleaning the house. Once Davy arrived at about 1PM, we'd feed the three of us some hot dogs and leftovers. About 1:30PM we expected to be on the road. This, of course, would have been too easy.
At 11:00AM, an hour before Clayton could check out, I had our bags ready to go, and was making the beds upstairs. Clayton came in to the spare room, and took in the glorious sight of an air mattress made up with its fitted sheet. When I asked him to go make the bed in our room, he decided to be difficult, and instead dived onto the air mattress with outstretched arms. The pop I heard was so loud, I instantly started scolding him and looking for the hole in the mattress. The mattress didn't have a hole. Clayton had dislocated his left (dominant) shoulder, again. So while we were supposed to be chilling and waiting for David, I had to drive my mischievous husband to the emergency room. A few hours (and lots of drugs) later, we were back at home. Clayton checked out, I finished putting the beds together, and David and his friend (who'd given him a ride to our place) were good enough to eat all the left overs in our fridge for us. So it was, that only three hours later than planned, we set out for New York. Dave had to drive first, because Clayton was still pretty drugged up.
The drive itself wasn't bad, though we hit lots of rain the whole way up. We rolled into the farm at about 8AM on Monday, and spent most of the day alternating between visiting with whomever came in and sleeping. That night, Clayton and I enjoyed real chicken wings for the first time in ages with our old friend, Josh. The next day, I zipped around with Clayton's mother and sister, Ani, shopping and tying ribbons on favors, before meeting my friend Jeanine for coffee. Jeanine gave me a tour of the new home of the library where I used to work. During the tour, I got to visit briefly with my former coworkers and catch up a little. Then we went to Tim Horton's for some of that delicious Canadian coffee and donuts! After sipping and talking for a few hours, I had to leave Jeanine and meet up with Clayton for dinner with my mother and sisters. Unfortunately, this was the only chance I got to see my first sister, Erin, as she is a very busy girl.
Wednesday, I spent the morning shopping with Clayton's mother and grandmother. The guys took Dave out to dinner and drinks at the nicest place in Hamlin (in lieu of a raunchy bachelor party). I met up with my friend Ann at another Tim Horton's (their dinning room is open 24/7!) that night, and the two of us stayed and caught up until late. When I got back to the farm, I talked to Ani for a few minutes and then went to bed.
Now, you may have been wondering what Clayton was up to in this time, besides going out to dinner a couple of times. His task was primarily to clean out his room, which he hadn't done any of the times he was home before we got married. When I moved down to Cherry Point, he wondered why I had brought so many of my things, and so little of his. No one had any pity for him, however, since those last few months between the wedding and moving had been so crazy for me, and since he hadn't even tried sorting through his room in years. Needless to say, doing so in a couple days, while trying to do all the usual visiting that comes with going home on leave, was a bit hectic for him, but he did it! Or, at least, he put a REALLY big dent in it. With the back seats removed, and the middle seats folded down, he managed to fit his dresser, desk and a cabinet (not to mention all of our luggage and the last three much smaller things I'd left at my moms's house) into the back of his Tahoe. Clayton was very proud of his Tetris skills when he had accomplished this, and without blocking the view of his rear view mirror.
Thursday, we stayed at the farm, where I continued to tie ribbons on fans for the wedding. More family members and wedding party members came in. We had a fire, in which Clayton and David (who was also cleaning his room) burned a lot of useless papers from the last five years, along with Ani's old notes and quizzes from the last school year. Friday we packed up everything, drove down to Canandaigua, and checked into our room for the rehearsal and wedding. We attended the rehearsal, and then joined the other immediate family members and out-of-towners at the rehearsal dinner. That night, we shared our room with Clayton's uncle and aunt (Derek and Desireé), which was nice and convenient for all of us. Saturday morning, the four of us found a charming little cafe for what may have been the best breakfast ever. After an inquiry to the man running the cafe about maple syrup, we were directed to a tiny little farmers' market going on that morning. It was one of the smallest such markets I've ever seen, but all of the booths were good and relevant, which is becoming more scarce. Derek bought us some syrup (because Clayton had sneaked off with the bill at breakfast), and we bought ourselves some unique jams, including strawberry rhubarb (which has me very excited, since I can't grow rhubarb down here).
While Clayton and Derek got their hair cut, Desireé and I stopped into a drug store for some last minute beauty products. We also checked out a place called Tuesday Morning, which is, in fact, a store and not a restaurant like I thought. There I ended up finding the perfect dress for the wedding (I was worried the one I'd brought would be too hot). When we found the guys again, we went back to our room, ordered some pizza and got ready for the wedding. Canandaigua was hot that day, but God was merciful enough to send us a breeze off the lake. The wedding itself was beautiful. Rachel was as gorgeous as I'd imagined she'd be, and I loved the girls' bouquets. Oh, and Clayton's youngest brother, Richard, surprised us all by somehow getting out of his training in 29 Palms for a week, and made it to New York the day of the wedding (and he remembered to bring his uniform)! I can hardly think of a better gift for Richard to have given Rachel and Dave, than showing up to their wedding. He was squeezed into the wedding party, which made it slightly lopsided, but all the more stunning.
After partying late into the night, we returned to our room and went to bed. Richard, who had no room, joined the four of us and spent the night on our floor. The next morning, we woke up bright and early and packed our things. Once we'd said good-bye to Clayton's family (we had to track his father down in the diner where he was holding court, at an impossibly long table with the rest of their family's wedding guests), we headed for Cortland, where we'd rendezvous with my family.
This concludes Brianna and Clayton's Summer 2012 Vacation Part I. Check back soon for Part II. In the meanwhile, check out some new pictures and recipes.