Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Best Wedding Ever: Part I

Wow. I just got back from Seattle after attending what might go down as the greatest wedding of all time. I hope I am able to put into the right words what an incredible (incredibly debauched) time we had.

The whole affair took place on Whidbey Island which is one of the many islands floating out in Puget Sound just north-west of Seattle. The scenery at the ranch where the wedding took place (which is owned by the father of the bride and is a commercial lavender farm) was breathtaking. Sitting on a somewhat elevated point of the island the ranch offers a near-panoramic view of Puget Sound to the west, the Washington state mainland to the east, and the Olympiads peaking over every horizon. Absolutely incredible. But now to the good stuff…

Friday was a bit of a show, travel-wise. I left DC at 0830 Least Coast Time and ultimately made it to Seattle at 1400 Left Coast Time. I was staring down the barrel of a very long shuttle ride out to the northern point of Whidbey Island and then somehow finding my way 10 miles south to the town of Coupeville where Penn Cove Ranch is located. (The ranch is named after Penn Cove which is the little cove that Coupeville sits upon. This will become important later.) But luck was with me and as soon as I found my way to the baggage claim my buddy Jamie was standing there with his girlfriend Linda. Our flights somehow came in at the same time so I skipped the shuttle and bummed a ride in their rental.

Seattle summer traffic sucks. It was a Friday afternoon and we spent 3.5 hours crawling north on The 5 (that’s right Charley, The 5) desperately trying to make the rehearsal dinner which began at 6pm. Suffice to say we were a little late but I rolled in un-showered, unshaven, and ready to party. Most of our friends were already there along with 2 kegs of delicious high-octane microbrew. It wasn’t long before the evening took a dark turn from congenial family affair towards “My god, who invited these people?!?” It is probably worth noting that when my friends get together we behave, and more importantly drink, as if we were still in college even though we’re pushing 30. As you can imagine the level of conversation sank from “we’re so happy for the couple” to anal-sex references, loud inquiries as to the promiscuity of the female attendees, and at one point me yelling about “the bitch that just stole your chair!” – who it turns out was the ex-nun, practicing Zen Buddhist, aunt of the bride who was to preside over the ceremony the next day. I am such an asshole. Fortunately it was pretty loud in the room and the only people who heard me were those sitting at my table who were both too drunk and too familiar with me to be shocked by such an outburst. (Besides, I didn’t anything by it.)

By the time the kegs were kicked we all got tossed from the Coupeville Recreation Hall which was hosting the event. Being only 10pm we went on the crawl for more booze and the lot of us stumbled into a little tavern called the Mad Crab Inn right on the water. At this point I think I should clarify that Coupeville, and Whidbey Island in general, is a quaint little community catering to very small crowds of antiquing seniors and the Bed & Breakfast crowd. Thus, the proprietors of the Mad Crab Inn were not expecting a loud degenerate house party to come rolling in through their front doors. I don’t know who was more frightened, the little jazz-trio that bore witness to some highly inappropriate grinding on the dance floor, or the bartenders who had probably never served that many Jager-bombs in her entire life. Yadda, yadda, yadda the shit got pretty sideways at that point.

The rest of the night was pieced together from various reports the following morning. Sometime after leaving the Mad Crab Inn a few of us made our way down to the marina and found ourselves standing on the dock staring out over Penn Cove. On a bet/dare (and a whole lot of goading) I stripped down to my boxers and contemplated jumping into the cove. Thinking I should probably examine the water temperature first I stepped off of the dock onto a small dingy which almost immediately capsized. Holding on to the mast for dear life and perched at about a 10 degree angle above the water I decided to take the $60 and just let go. Frigid. And what’s worse, the dock was a lot higher off of the water than I first thought so I had to be dragged out of the cove almost losing my underwear in the process. Shivering (but not too badly thanks to the Jager-bombs) on the dock I decided to complete the event by offering my soaking Hanes as a sacrifice to the sea gods. Butt-naked and aware of the “shrinkage” I quickly got dressed and we all headed back to our hotel where another party was raging full-bore. I don’t remember much of this but according to reports (and photos) everyone was asking about my trip into Penn Cove and feeling the need to prove that I left my underwear behind, pulled my pants down several times (just bare ass) in front of a large number of complete strangers. Priceless.

Finally someone cut us all off and we retired to our respective rooms where I was passed out in my sleeping bag on the floor. The reason I slept on the floor was because Jamie and Linda were sleeping in one bed and I decided to let my buddy Sean have the other bed since he was going to be in the wedding part the next day. I’m a nice guy like that. Well, Sean was nowhere to be seen when we got to the room so I curled up on the floor and let sleep wash over me. Much to my dismay I woke up jet-lagged at 5am on the floor with a stiff back and a pounding headache. Not a big surprise except for the fact that I looked up and saw an empty bed that no one had slept in the entire. Apparently Sean made a little friend that night and I slept on the floor for no reason. Dammit!!

I’m exhausted just writing about it. Anyway, that brings us to Saturday which I will get around to in Part II. Stay tuned…


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