Tuesday, September 23, 2008

After the Traffic: A Beautiful Block Island Wedding

Liza and I met when we were both freshmen at Coral Gables High School. We were awkward, nerdy, never-been-kissed, and (shamefully) in the band. We were flutists, not the skin kind, but the musical kind, except that neither of us were particularly talented, well, I wasn't particularly talented at all, I barely could play. Liza was introduced to the band one afternoon as having just moved here from New York. The overt nerdliness that I so readily display forced me run up to her and tell her that I was born in White Plains. I think Liza thought I was a gigantic dork, but whatever, so was she, and we became best friends.

After only one year of obsessively hanging out and listening to the Beatles non-stop for months on end, and doing jumping jacks as punishment for talking as we rode over the railroad tracks on the band-bus, Liza found out that she was moving back to NY and leaving me behind. This has always been a trend in my life, making friends and then moving away, either they or I, so needless to say, I was devastated. After she left, we were like two pervs in love, writing long funny letters and spending hundreds of dollars on monthly phone bills. After about three months of $300 phone bills (this was the mid-90s mind you), I started to fear my mother would smother me in my sleep, or cut my tongue out of my head to prevent me from talking to Liza so goddamn much. We managed to stay friends for --- here's where I age myself and I don't care --- fifteen years by visiting often and just being mentally well connected. Admittedly, we had a few off years in college, but hey, we both finally got much needed attention from men, much, much needed, much needed. Even through some off years, we still managed to pick up the phone and call each other without awkwardness. When I moved up to Manhattan three years ago, Liza and her now husband, Kevin, took care of me and allowed me to be their rowdy third-wheel.

So, as it happened, earlier this year, Liza called me to tell me to reserve a flight up to Block Island for her wedding. It was unsurprising, as Kevin is a wonderful person and I am sure they will live a long happy life together, cliche as it sounds. It's funny though, how I didn't realize how well matched they were until experiencing their wedding. I must say, it was the best wedding I've ever been to; there was no huge ceremony and there was an open bar, great music, people and food. The whole event went so smoothly that you could see their vision is shared.

I'm going to write a little run down of my trip to Block Island here, as it might one day help you decide whether you ever want to make the trek up there in September for any reason at all. Block Island is a tiny island (11 sq miles), 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island. First off, it is expensive. Secondly, it is hard to get to, especially off-season - i.e. non summer months. Because of these 2 factors, my other bff, Eddie (who flew in from London) and I (in from Miami) asked my cousin to drive up from DC, as my date, in order to transport us to New England. You can see pictures from our time in NYC, but you will not see pictures from the 5 hour car ride we took to go about 200 miles, because they are ugly. The intense traffic caused us to miss every ferry out to the Island, which was lucky for us, because apparently there was barf in abundance on the boats. Instead, the nice people at New England Airlines in Westerly held their 9-seater flight for us, and we made it out to the celebrations. The flight is the only way to go. I HATE flying, but 10 minutes in these tiny planes is far superior to anytime on a rocking ferry. If you go, take the plane.

One of my co-workers is from RI, and she said that during peak season Block Island is blanketed by spring breaker types, a booze fest, if you will - I cannot possibly imagine such a scene. I mean, I've been all over New England, and this was the most under-stimulating Main Street around. The shopping sucked, except for the Glass Onion (which was my account when I worked for Putumayo), and even that was ridiculously overpriced. We stayed at The Water Street Inn, which was cute, spacious, clean, ya know, ok. But it was the first frigid day of fall, and they hadn't put the heat on yet, so we woke up shivering and hoarse. We ate at the restaurant downstairs, Mohegan Cafe, which had great service, really creamy, tasty clam chowder and homemade beer. We only tried one of the wheat beers, and it was okay, sort of watery. Not great, but I give 'em a high five for trying. We had some drinks with the bride and then took those mental retard pictures in the last post.

The next day we did what there is to do on Block Island: ate breakfast, biked, drank, ate seafood. If you're not familiar with the New England vacation spots, you don't know what an integral role breakfast places play in your day. You basically wake up before 10am and then wait for an hour to be seated at a place that closes at noon for the most un-fun meal of the day: breakfast. We went to Ernie's. The food was acceptable and forgettable: blueberry pancakes and crappy bagels. The one funny event was the pouring of our coffee by an incredibly humourless, zombie waitress. That's it. Then we biked UPHILL through what is admittedly, a beautiful landscape. My gigantic Miami thighs cannot handle uphill biking with a 10 pound purse strapped to the handlebars. We stopped off at a beautiful beach with warm volcanic looking sand where Farrah pretended to do yoga, I got sand all in my hair and in my camera, and Eddie stood around looking bored. Then we washed and headed to get those 2 married. The festivities took place at the 1661 Inn, which was lovely, and right on the water. The food was really tasty: bacon wrapped scallops, huge shrimp, clam chowder (of course), lobster rolls, burgers, green beans, salad, etc. The judge married them, but one of Kevin's friends came forward before they were pronounced man and wife and sang "The Book of Love" by Magnetic Fields, which caused me to scrunch up my face in very ugly, hideous ways to keep from crying, but of course, once it was all over and Liza and I hugged, I looked like a big baby, crying away. I mean, I remember when she had her first kiss! I remember Liza when our boobs were still the same size-- that's a LONG time ago. I remember talking to her about thinking about dating Kevin and now they're married! So, I had to cry, at least a little. Congratulations Liza and Kevin. Although I don't love Block Island the way you two do, I do love you both very much. XO


Anonymous said...

loved it! beautiful post. Liza is one lucky gal.
ps trip details were incredibly spot on

Liza said...

awww, poupee. thanks for the nice post and thanks for trekking out to never never land for me. i AM lucky :)