One of my biggest fears about moving to Africa was that I would be missing out on major life events of family and friends. I pretty much missed out on the whole relationship of my sister and her fiancé AND didn’t even get to meet him until two days before the wedding! I am so grateful #1 that my sister planned the wedding with enough notice for me to be able to come for a week and #2 that she choose to have it in Austin which is one of my favorite places to visit. I would have happily gone anywhere, but it was awesome to get to spend time in Texas.
Garrett and I have been anxiously awaiting meeting Max. Thank god for social media which has allowed us to connect and start getting to know each other a little via silly posts and videos. But we really had no idea what he would be like in real life! Thankfully, he was just as sweet, charming and fun as I had hoped. I wish we had been able to spend some time with Jen and Max outside of the stress of a wedding weekend, but we will have plenty of time for that in the future.
The wedding weekend started with an awesome Mexican dinner on Thursday night where I got to meet a lot of new friends of Jen and Max from New York. I know a lot of Jens’ friends from Texas but not many of the ones from NY. I absolutely loved everyone that was at the wedding and had so much fun hanging out with them all weekend.
Friday we moved from Austin down to the wedding venue in Dripping Springs– “ The Liney Moon.” This is a new venue and my sister is actually the first one to have a wedding here. It is a large plot that has a big house called the “Stellar House” which can fit about 20 people! Then there is another area that we called the “tiny house village” where there are several single unit studios. I thought these were the cutest! They were each fully furnished with a bathroom, bed, and front porch. Garrett and I stayed in the Stellar House but I wish we had gotten to have our own tiny house!
The rehearsal dinner was held at the Hill Country Casitas which is an incredibly beautiful spot. It is also a newer resort that has recently build “casitas” which are stone cabins decorated with modern hill country flair. The center common area of the resort has a large deck with stunning views out over the hill country. About half of the wedding guests stayed at the Casitas which is just a few minutes down the road from The Liney Moon. We served BBQ and had an awesome night getting to know everyone at the wedding – and finally getting to meet Max’s family!
Saturday was the big event and a very hectic day! It sounded like a great idea to have everyone stay in a house together but it became pretty chaotic trying to get the decorations set up in the same area as the bride and bridesmaids needed to get ready. I’m glad Jen and Max didn’t get superstitious about seeing each other before the ceremony because it was impossible to keep them separated with everything that needed to get done. It was an incredible effort of many people pitching in to get everything set up for the wedding and reception. With only some minor hiccups, it turned out beautiful. The weather cooperated and the simple chapel on the grounds was an absolutely perfect spot for them to say “i do.” I felt so lucky to have a front row seat to see Max’s expression as Jen walked down the aisle. The happiness, love and pure joy he exuded was incredible to witness. You just couldn’t ask for anything more for your sister than someone who loves her this deeply. Their vows which were the perfect expression of how deeply they loved and accepted each other – as perfectly imperfect.
After the ceremony, the reception took place on the back porch of the Stellar House where picnic tables were set up. Speeches were given during dinner followed by the first dances. The real fun started when the DJ and dancing got going. Honestly, queso, micheladas and the chance to just wildly dance the night away were what I really wanted from my trip to Austin — and this wedding provided all of those! I haven’t had the opportunity to dance with friends for longer than I remember. Although there are some “clubs” in Gabs – we just have not really made it out to them because we don’t have friend who are similarly interested in a night out of crazy “i don’t care who’s watching” dancing. But its on our to-do list and we are going to get it done before we leave Gabs!
The reception carried on well after midnight. I recall the bartender coming over at midnight and saying in a very aggressive tone ” We have been serving alcohol for over 7 hours, this is way too long and people have had way to much, we need to leave!”
….I was like okay, sounds good, just leave the alcohol and have a good night! We were more than happy to serve ourselves, although it seemed the drinks got much stronger after midnight. There was also more shots being done and of course, as we were in Texas, the boys had to teach Max how to shotgun a beer!
The night ended with trying to get Max and Jen into their honeymoon Casita – we couldn’t find her phone with the code and didn’t have it stored anywhere else. Somehow they got in! Due to their level of intoxication, I was worried about how awful they would feel the next day so I forced them to take a Zofran. I believe Max definitely thought I was trying to drug him with ecstasy! Sublingual Zofran tablets are my magic hangover cure – nothing can beat it and I swear by it! I was amazed at how good they looked the next morning so I’m sure the zofran worked its magic!
On Sunday morning there was a Tex-Mex Brunch send off. It was catered by Trudy’s — my favorite!! Man was I excited about fitting in one last meal of queso! It was such a bummer that we had to head straight to the airport and get on a plane back to Bots! Even more of a bummer to go straight back to work after such an amazingly fun but exhausting 2 weeks in the US! The trips always go by way to fast!!