Thursday, July 25, 2013

What I Learned On My Summer Vacation - Part 1

We went to a niece's wedding in Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Wintergreen Resort. Tom and I then took advantage of being "back East" to go to Pittsburgh and meet some online friends in person.

A few discoveries, in no particular order.
  • When you go to a wedding on a mountaintop and the first thing you see next to the outdoor seating is a can of Deep Woods Off ... use it. Don't think the stiff breeze will keep the insects away. Just use it.

  • When you attend a wedding on a mountaintop, it may be punctuated by bird song or raptor cries. This adds a note of romance. The cat yowling at a nearby house (albeit one hidden by dense forest) does not. Especially when everyone is wondering whether that is a baby or a cat.

  • You can completely plan a destination wedding by email, as my brother and sister-in-law in Germany discovered. A lot of it will go just as you hoped. However, much of it may lead to a series of miscommunications, especially if the destination resort doesn't really take the wedding planning in hand the way it might (yes, Wintergreen Resort, I'm looking at you).

    However, the great thing about having a series of miscommunications during a wedding is that you soon discover everything works out ok anyway and that the important things are what matter ... such as the wedding itself. So in a way that is a great way to have your married life begin. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!) Plus, that wedding cake was one of the most delicious I've ever had. I'm just sayin' ... sometimes things go better than you could have expected.

  • When you stay at the Holiday Inn Express in a nearby town, rather than at the mountaintop resort, you soon discover that repeated forays up very steep, crooked inclines may put a strain on your car's 8-year-old transmission.

    This adds a note of anticipation and adventure to every subsequent foray up and down. It also adds a note of nostalgia for one's childhood when cars were not so reliable. It also increases one's prayer life, sense of trust in God, and adds a lot of variety to routes taken as one continually strives for the level, gradual paths. So ... that's all to the good! (Again, my story and I'm stickin' with it.)

  • As is often the case at these things, I didn't get to talk to my family members nearly as much as I wanted. However, I did get to have very enjoyable conversations with many other guests, including a young couple who are making a go of it as vegetable farmers supplying restaurants with fresh produce, a young Combat Medic off to her first posting in Germany, and part of my sister-in-law's family who I'd never have met otherwise. I love the random nature of these encounters and how interesting everyone was.


  1. Haha, ah weddings...reminds me of my daughter's wedding a year ago. She was so calm and cool, not at all the bridezilla some girls become...until the day of the wedding and the fresh flower corsages arrived...all the wrong color, the wrong flowers...disaster loomed as we even took them outside wondering if it was just light in church that made them look wrong...umm, no. So frantically called the florist,they quickly redid all the corsages and made something other flower work...mostly..the wrist corsages weren't...and we found that pins and duct tape fix a lot of things...disaster was a happy day!!!

  2. My wife and I spent a long weekend at Wintergreen about 17 years ago. The mountain you drive straight up to get there is the most memorable thing about the trip (followed by the views from the top). I think it's their way of keeping the undesirables (i.e., people with 9-year-old transmissions) out.