Monday, June 2, 2014

Summer Vacation- The Wedding

There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy. Unknown

Part 1 of a 3 part reflection on two weeks of sweet summer vacation. Also known as, I have great friends all over the county, and they support my love of travel, and let me crash at their homes, as long as I ask nicely;)

Last summer, one of my best friends got engaged to a great man, who was just the exact right match for her. It was a happy time, as Melanie was also recently engaged. Weddings were on the brain!

Rebecca and Mason live in Pennsylvania, and soon I knew that I would be taking a trip to see Becca get married. I figured that while I was going "up North" it would be a great time to realize one of my travel dreams, and go to Niagara Falls, Canada! Also, my passport expires in 2015, so I had a urge to use it one more time. My brain loves to plan, and so I also thought while I was traveling, it would be the one and possibly only time to go visit my lifelong friend, Brandis in Rhode Island. So, yeah, these 2 weeks have been full of refreshing and good travels! To have amazing friends is a rich blessing:) I do not take it for granted.

So, back to Becca's wedding. For months we have been talking and writing back and forth about the big day. She answered and re-answered the many questions that I always seemed to have! For some reason, I have been involved closely with two very calm and laid-back brides. They both have made being a bridesmaid so fun! Life flew by and all of a sudden it was time to board that plane and help with wedding "stuff". Being supportive was the name of the game, and it really was a privilege to get to share in such a special time, with a friend who has known me since 7th grade. Good stuff!

I am glad Becca and I go wayyyyy back, because I went up a few days before the wedding. So it was her family, and I, all working together to get those last minute details all wrapped up. I could not help but think about what a testament it is, to have such a friendship. Becca and I made lists, and ran many errands together. She processed and I listened, and it was a bit surreal because I remember us as awkward teenagers, and now here we were, navigating the days leading up to a marriage. It felt like our friendship, so stable for so many years, reached a new level. It felt so mature. Like, the kind of friendship, you want to have for the rest of your life.

The town of West Chester, PA, where I stayed was just as quaint and peaceful as you can imagine. It is always good for me to travel, and see more of this world. It gives me much needed perspective, and helps me remember that I am a drop in a vast ocean. And I need that reminder, when I get a little too "concerned" about things.

The wedding was an intimate gathering of family and friends from all over the county. Becca and Mason are Floridians by way of New York, who ended up in Pennsylvania. So it was quite the mix. The weather was perfect, not too hot. So, it was beautiful, and Becca was radiant. SO happy and excited! It has been wonderful, to see a love story take shape over many years. And as Becca and Mason said their vows, I got a tiny bit teary, because the love was so evident. It zapped me back to Melanie & Lee's wedding in December. It had me quietly thinking about what could be in my possible future one day. It was a sweet ceremony, and then an evening filled with laughter, music and dancing.

Pennsylvania, was just so green! I loved being in a different climate and the one thing that kept standing out to me was the difference in architecture. I loved comparing the homes to what I am used to seeing down South. Also, there were no palm trees in sight. I ate at a restaurant that only served a plethora of grilled cheese. I took some time to walk and explore around West Chester University. I slept with the windows open all night!! And the cool breeze wafting in, as the morning sun woke me up, was so refreshing. Kinda perfect really. I know, I know, it is the small things that count:) One of the most pleasant memories, was the morning of the wedding. The wedding party all gathered downstairs at the Faunbrook Bed and Breakfast to start the day. That old fashioned long, rectangle table seated about 14 of us. Besides the AMAZING food, the conversation and laughter were perfect. It was one of those moments in time where you can be completely relaxed, and just enjoying life, and people, and good food. Its been a week and that morning still sticks out in my mind. I think there was something about the casual atmosphere and the right mix of people.

Anyway, stay tuned for Part 2, my reflections on visiting Niagara Falls. By the way, this vacation has propelled me happily along my 30 before 30 list, I will write more about that later as well.

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