Me? I was basking in the sun of the Caribbean... with my brand new hubby! It's amazing that it happened 13 years ago. It feels like forever in many ways, but I can also remember pieces of that day like it was an hour ago.
We did not get married in a church. We planned a cruise with a stop in St. Thomas and got married on the beach: Magen's Bay, and went shopping for cheap rum and jewelry right after. The only thing I would change is to have my parents there. I wish I knew then that I know now how important that would be to me. Maybe for our 25th, we'll do it again and bring my folks.
Other than that, it was great. A first cruise toward an addiction to cruising for Tom & Trish...and Shawn for that matter. It was also quite an adventure. I'd spent the better part of a year planning, so it was not a fly by night deal. This was also before internet, email, or any of the resources we now consider the norm, so the planning was all done over the phone and via Fred Flintstone mail. I had to go to Kinko's to use the computer to do something with the state of Washington so we could legally get married there (although it's a US territory). It was really anyone's guess whether a car would really be waiting for us at the ship dock on that random Tuesday in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.
It came off pretty much without a hitch. There were no drunken brawls or smeared mascara moments. Our car took us to the courthouse to get our marriage license while another car brought Shawn's parents, aunt, and her friend straight to the beach. When we arrived, it was about 8am and there wasn't a soul there but us. I can't imagine a more perfect way to exchange vows. The wedding coordinator was waiting for us with the photographer and the minister. What a sweet gig! They were all "mainlanders" who had just decided one day to pack it up and head to the islands. I've always envied the courage it must take to do that... If it weren't for sheer fear, I'm pretty sure I'd be living in an little Italian village right now running some rinky dink boutique and sipping espresso all day. Every country we've travelled to, we've met people who did just that...and I've always been crazy with jealousy. Maybe some day when Ian's grown, Shawn can open a dive shop and I can do something of little consequence in some little corner of the world. We shall see.
As soon as the minister started his schpeal, I knew we had a problem. The glaring ball of fire that is the sun, was literally right next to his face...and they were snapping pictures, destined to live on as record of this priceless moment for all eternity. I couldn't very well interrupt him and ask him to move over just a few inches...so, most of our pictures show us squinting miserably at the pastor. FYI, the sun is WAY brighter there than here!
It was over in a matter of minutes and POOF! I was a married woman. Ball & Chain. Old Lady. The 'Other Half'. A few more pictures and we were on our way back to the car, off to do some shopping. The way our pictures worked in our wedding package was that the photographer would give us the roll (yes, 1 roll of film) and we would have them professionally developed at home. No problem.
Yes problem. The roll of film had to actually make it home for that to work, right? Well, the car dropped us back in town and we did a ton of shopping. Of course we bought about 10 bottles of rum in every flavor possible (and ultimately left about 8 in our old apartment when we moved) who can resist $2 rum? We also bought some jewelry... Totally tacky gold watches and earrings that gather dust now...who knows where... but we were completely broke and young at the time, so it was our first purchase like that.
As we headed back toward the ship on foot (lugging all that rum), Shawn started feeling his pockets and asked me if I had the roll of film. No! I was wearing a pocketless formal dress! Of course, this is before cell phones, so we couldn't very well just call his folks on the ship and ask if they had it, or call the wedding coordinator and check to see if she picked it up by mistake. This was bad.
Some of the details are fuzzy, but we ended up at a gift shop somewhere near the port and finally reached the photographer on a pay phone. She was all the way back on the other side of the island at that point and the car was back with the driver at his house...who knows where. If you've ever visited or lived on an island, you'll know that island locals take their sweet time to do things. We were pretty sure there was no way to get our film back before we had to board the ship.
Well, after several more calls, it was determined that our film ended up on the floor of the towncar. The photographer was able to track down the driver, get the film, and get it back to the ship before we sailed out for our next port. Whew. That was a close one! All this took place while we stood around in the heat wearing our formal attire. Thank goodness we dressed down for the occasion! No wedding on the beach should take place in a big flowing gown or heavy tux for this reason alone!
It didn't take long before we were laughing about it, although Shawn's dad was laid up in his room with a cold washcloth on his face... practically with shingles over the stress of it all... but the rest of us carried on like we...well, like we were honeymooning in paradise. It was still one of my favorite vacations ever.
The weekend after arriving home, we had a reception at Tom & Trish's house, catered by family friends. We were striking deals left and right, which is never a bad thing for broke kids in love when they just can't wait to spend their lives together (INSERT UNCONTROLLABLE LAUGHTER HERE!!!).
I had promptly quit my job at Starbucks within days of coming home and started my new job at SanMar in their Call Center the day after our Wedding Reception. It's amazing to look back now and think that two big changes in my life happened at pretty much the same time. I generally know how long I've been married by the tenure at my company when people ask.
We rarely have pictures of the two of us together anymore, so I don't really have anything recent to compare with those posted below, but I hope to get the waiter at dinner tonight to take a picture. Shawn hates it when I do that. 50,000 pictures of one underwater sea anemone, yes. One picture every few years of the two of us together...no. I no longer have the excuse that our social worker made me do it!
Below are a few pictures... only a few. Again, we only took one roll of the actual wedding and I think we have some pictures somewhere of us on the honeymoon. I have no idea where those pictures ended up. I also included one of us at our reception...where we wore our wedding attire. So very 90's... Even a little 80's if you're looking at my attractive little jacket. Don't we look like we're headed off to prom?
So, in order to make this an official post on The Boy & The Bulldog, I have to say something about Ian. He woke VERY cheerful this morning and wanted to dance. His new thing is asking me to pick him up and we "dance" in the dark to the sound of his Rainforest music player and say good morning to our shadows. We do "rockabye babies" at night and say goodnight to our shadows, so it's become a ritual. He is quickly getting too heavy to do this for more than a minute or two, but I can still hold him longer than Shawn (or my 6 foot tall dad) go figure. Guys are a little wimpy when it comes to that stuff!
He insisted on soup for breakfast and of course got it all over a brand new shirt... but he ate the whole can before he left with grandma for another overnighter. He had a few crafts to do with cousin Ashleigh, and was looking forward to playing the harmonica with Grandpa Tom and playing trains.
I've got it down to a science now and only have to send a change of clothes. I love not needing to send her with 3 big bags of stuff to get him by for one night. It's one nice thing about boys. They don't take nearly as much "stuff".
We plan to do dinner and a movie tonight and then go to the gym tomorrow before heading to pick him up. It's become a comfortable routine and I'm perfectly OK with it now. Thanks Grandma & Grandpa for being so great about taking him and giving us that "alone" time. Trish, although the card you sent was right on the money, he's still fun to be with after all these years... Grandma knows what I'm talking about...and she can relate! I love that.
While the rest of you are saying "huh?", please enjoy a few pictures of what I was doing this time 13 years ago!
My dress was a clearance Jessica McClintock prom dress...and my sandals were $6 at Fred Meyer. Shawn's outfit cost about $100 total at some random mall store. I do still have my dress, though...as dated as it is, I'll probably never get rid of it.
Oh man, look how skinny I am here. I think I was in a size zero or 2 at this time. Shawn still had his beautiful hair then...and he didn't have contacts yet, so I'm not sure what he could actually see!