My life and my thoughts - on faith, culture, politics, whatever comes to my mind

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The big day!

Finally October 2, 2004 has arrived. My friends Tim and Jess' wedding day!

Jay, Karen, Nick and I arrived more or less in time for the rehearsal on friday late afternoon. As weddings here consist quite a big wedding party (bride+groom, matron of honor, best man, three bridesmaids and three groomsmen, two flower girls and a ring bearer), people practice how to walk up to the altar etc the day before the wedding. It's actually quite fun. even I had to rehearse a tiny little bit, because Tim and Jess' had asked me if I wanted to be a eucharist minister. It made me feel very honored and it was very special to be an active part in my friends' wedding!
And maybe the rehearsal is just a reason to celebrate a bit already before the big day... cause afterwards there is a rehearsal dinner. Ours was downstairs in the church, just a social and informal gathering. Unlike here we have the tradition to play games at weddings in Germany. I decided to introduce this tradition to the US (knowing how much Jess likes it) and made them go through the "Marriage Test": bride and groom sit back to back, each holding to shoes (one of the bride, one of the groom). They get asked questions they have to answer by holding up one of the shoes (like how is more lazy/stubborn/spends more money). We had lots of fun and laughter during that game! To fit them for the ups and downs of marriage Jess got an album on marriage wisdom: a lot of her friends had sent in pages with their special marriage wisdom... We spent the nights at Lake House, the beautiful home of friends of Jess' parents. Lying in front of the fireplace and talking, having breakfast the next morning watching the lake...

And then it was the BIG DAY. Uschi (from Munich) and I arrived just in time at Jess' parents to see the bride get dressed and accompany the female wedding party to the church for pictures and more pictures. Here everybody gets tons of professional pictures taken... The caremony started at 3 pm and the wedding party walked up the aisle. Jess was accompanied by her parents. She looked beautiful in her dress and the long veil! Annie and Aric sang which made the ceremony even more special. Jess and Tim then spoke their vows and gave each other the rings, lighted the unity candle and are now Mr. and Mrs. Rowen! I really enjoyed the ceremony which was moving and funny all at once!
afterwards of course there were more pictures to be taken and then we drove to the reception at the country club. Tim and Jess came in an old Morgan. We took more pictures ouside - in the cold. Inside everybody was eating Grandma Scuteri's famous mint brownies and drinking cocktails (lining them up on the table, cause they were free until 6.30 pm...). Jess and Tim were forced to kiss a lot as people kept on clinging their glasses. They always made another couple kiss as well, which was very cute when the names they took out of a bag were th names of Jess' grandparents. We had very good food and lots of fun. Then it was time to dance. It started with the anniversary dance to find out which couple had been married for the longest time. It was Jess' grandparents which have been married for 58 years! After the obligatory chicken dance I introduced another game which works like musical chairs. when the music stopps the participants have to bring something (credit card, bra, ...), the last one losses and has to do something for the bride and groom until their first anniversary. (Sounds familiar to some of you, doesn't it?) They just loved it! we went on dancing and partying and just had tons of fun!

Monday, October 04, 2004

Very sportive ... and more politics

Thursday was sports day :). At least a little bit... In the early afternoon Helene, Jay, Nick and I went for a long walk in Highcliff State Park. We saw the Niagara ridges ( s atone formation continuing all the way through Door County to the Niagara Falls), walked along the shore of Lake Winnebago and just enjoyed being outside. Nick was in a carrier (like a backpack) for the first time and really enjoyed it. Later in the afternoon I accompanied Karen to her yoga class. It was my first time at Yoga and I was a little bit sceptic. But it was actually fun. I didn't know I was still that flexible!! But my body was aching the next day... (and still is).
To make up for that much sports we got us a huge bbq chicken pizza and watched the first debate between Kerry and Bush on TV. It was about foreign politics, so really interesting to me. Karen and I share most views on that topic and Bush/Kerry in general, so we had fun discussing alongside the candidates. In my opinion Kerry definately won the debate!

Back to my favorite place!

Since sunday night I stayed with Helene and Jerry, Karen's parents. It was wonderful seeing them again after three years. And it was great fun.
Tuesday Jay, Nick and I went on a trip together - to Door County. I have been there in 2001 with Karen and her parents and I just love it up there. It is a small peninsula reaching into Lake Michigan. It is truly beautiful! It was the only place I really wanted to go back to while in Wisconsin.
We drove up the eastern shore of Door County. The weather was great, sun and some clouds. The leaves start changing already, it is a beautiful fall. Door County's landscape always reminds me of Scandinavia. Lots of trees and meadows, lots of lakes and tiny wooden houses. We stopped fpr lunch in Bailey's harbour and sat outside while munching hot dog (Jay) and a sandwich with smoked whitefish (me). Nick was in a really good mood too and enjoyed being outside.
Then we drove up all the way to Northernport at the northernmost tip pf Door County and took the ferry to Washington Island. On Washington Island most people have Scandinavian ancestors and that is very easy to spot. They even have a beautiful little stave church there! We drove to schoolhouse yard beach, a beach completely consisting of white stones, so the waves make a funny gurgling sound when they come ashore. It was VERY pretty.
Back on the mainland we stopped in Ellison Bay. One of my favorite pictures from there is a blue rusty old pickup truck filled with bright orange pumpkins in front of an abondoned white woodhouse. You also have one of the most impressing views of the coast from outside Ellison Bay. Our last stop was Sister Bay where we had dinner at the Sister Bay cafe - Norwegian Meatballs!
It was a wonderful day!!