Our trip officially started on the 10th of September when we put almost everything remaining from our apt into storage. I say almost everything because despite my best efforts we still had a kitchens worth of food to get rid of. I put everything into boxes with different names on them intending to drop them off with people along the way. This actually led to the new name for our van funnily enough.
Our first stop was Stone Harbour, NJ. A large group of us get together once a year there to enjoy the beach and some good food and some great company. We were there Wednesday to Saturday morning. There is a group dinner every evening and several of our friends are fabulous cooks. Even great cooks forget ingredients however and it seemed like every time something was needed, all I had to do was run out to the van to grab it. Our friend Mei started calling it the Magic Van and that name has stuck.
The second stop was in Baltimore, MD for the wedding of dear friends. They had a noon wedding outdoors and the weather as well as the setting was absolutely gorgeous. The house looked like a big old antebellum mansion with well manicured grounds and vintage furniture inside. The bride looked amazing and the groom so handsome. They are a couple with a great sense of humor as well and Kelley (the bride) set up a surprise for David (the groom) that knocked the rest of us out too. You see, David and Kelley have been together for 7 & 1/2 years and he had always said that if he got married again there would be flying Elvis at his wedding. So, when it came time to exchange the rings. His son/ best man made like he had lost the rings briefly before the minister made an announcement that “Elvis was in the building”. The wedding party all put on these gold rimmed sunglasses with fake sideburns hanging from them and then a Hawk! flies over the crowd to land on the best mans arm. The hawk of course is carrying the rings.The hawks name? Elvis! Marc is still amazed that it went off so well and the bird didn’t fly away on them. Afterwards the handler took out a bigger hawk for them to pose with for wedding pictures and then let anyone who wished hold Elvis for pictures. His feathers were so soft. David and Kelley, we are looking forward to seeing those pictures!
We were going to stay with the wedding party Saturday evening before moving on Sunday but once we realized that we would have had to leave way early to be in Philadelphia on time Sunday morning we just went up Saturday evening. Marc and I met his brother and then his brothers new girlfriend before we all went out to a nice restaurant. The next day however was our real reason for driving up early. It was the Eagles home opener against the Baltimore Ravens and Marc’s brother John is a tailgate KING! Pork roll breakfast sandwiches in the morning, steamer clams and chili for lunch (thanks for not making it so spicy John) and of course beer and Bloody Mary’s. There were six of us for the game. John, his son Johnny V, their cousin Chip and his wife Becky and then us. It was a great day for the game, clear, cool and sunny. The spectacle itself is rather thrilling with the huge American flag unfurled on the field held by over a hundred military vets, the Dr. who played a screamingly good rendition of the Star Spangled banner on his trumpet and the F-14 flyover after the fireworks. Total americana baby! The game itself was truly edge of your seat with many turnovers and the Eagles trying to play more of a running game and replacement refs who kept making bad calls and then overturning them. I heard the next day that the Eagles fans willed that win more than anything else and by the way we were screaming and carrying on you’d better believe it. Marc was hoarse for two days afterwards and I should have been. What an amazing game! Thank you John for including us.
So, the first week away and already Marc’s hoarse and we’re both a little sunburnt and weary but extremely happy. Not sure what we’ll do in Virginia Beach but that will be the start of next weeks adventure. Until then, …. Fly Eagles Fly!