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Ireland Trip Day 4: Sunday

Posted by julival on August 20, 2004

No photos for this day. I’m not really sure why. I left the camera with Jeff, since they were going site-seeing and I was just going to be doing wedding prep stuff all day. But I guess he didn’t feel like taking pictures. Oh well. Plenty tomorrow.

Let’s see – I forgot to mention that the night before, when we got to the Swedish B&B, before we started drinking, I took the girls up to see the dresses. Uli’s mom was STILL working away. I think she fitted my sleeves then, too. And she asked all of us if we knew how to sew. I do - and seeing as how the woman had made five bridesmaids dresses, a wedding gown, and a matching coat for the gown, I felt it was the least I could do to pitch in. I volunteered to show up after breakfast the next morning to help with the hand sewing.

So that’s what happened Sunday morning. I got up, had breakfast, and got Jeff to drive me over to the B&B and drop me off. He needed the car for the freak touring that day. The plan was for all the rest of them to go to a place called Castle Leslie and possibly for some of them to go horseback riding. Alle had really been hoping to ride while she was over there. Again, I will leave that portion of the story to someone who was there. *g*

This was really the first day of our trip that it had looked very overcast. The wind got pretty heavy duty, too. I showed up at the B&B before the rain started, but I’d probably only been sewing for an hour or so before it started really pouring. Uli’s parents’ room was on the second (top) floor and had a sort of skylight window in the ceiling that louvered open for letting in a nice breeze. I was sitting just under it on one of the beds, so I had a great view of the rain AND got the occasional stray droplet that managed to get in sideways *chuckle* We had quite the sewing team going in that room. Uli’s mom was doing the machine stitching and some more pinning on Uli’s dress, while Ava was steam ironing the pleats into the fishtails and pressing all the rest of the parts. I was stitching the lining to the zippers and closing up little gaps here and there. Uli’s dad came in periodically to cheer us on and tell us what a great job we were doing *l*

Uli, meanwhile, was being the quintessential bride. *bg* she was propped up on the other bed in her fuzzy pjs, worrying over the last minute details and nodding or shaking her head at mom as needed. She spent quite a bit of time fussing over the seating chart – it had to pass her soon-to-be-mother-in-law’s inspection, meet etiquette requirements, AND satisfy the bride. With about 17 people to seat at one long table, it was quite the challenge. I think the biggest worry was where to put the parents and how to make sure our groom’s dad didn’t get stuck sitting with the priest (*snicker* the priest is quite the chatty fellow). She finally got it sorted out to her satisfaction and we all agreed that it looked just fine. Then there was worrying over who would read the prayers (the plan was to have a number of children do it – Rob and Alec almost got volunteered, but I was a good mom and saved them), whether or not the programs would get printed (Uli was leaning toward no on that, as there was so much else to do), how the custard for the Swedish wedding cake would get done with everything else going on, and whether or not we’d make it to the rehearsal on time at three, since uli had to have her hair put up in rollers at two. I just kept sewing.

The hairdresser solved one of the problems (and created one or two more) by phoning at midday to ask if uli could come an hour earlier for the rollers, as she had another thing to do later. They compromised on half one and Uli enlisted Louis to come fetch us to take us there. I went for moral support. I had finished _almost_ all the hand-stitching when the irish Himself showed up and he was just a tiny bit agitated that even though he’d let us know he was there, he had to wait still quite a bit for me to be ready to leave (one has to get one’s shoes back on, use the toilet, check the hair, etc. and I’d stitched right up to the very last minute!)

We got to the hairdresser’s on time. The hairdresser didn’t. It was still raining, so we sat in Louis’ car and gabbed til she showed up. While we were waiting, Louis’ mom called uli’s cell phone to request that Louis pick up…[garlic bread] cream…on his way home. Two creams. Er…no…wait…a few minutes after hanging up, Uli decided she might have misheard or misremembered, so she called back. Nono. It was corn flour she wanted (known to me as corn starch, a thickening agent). Now Louis, being ever conscientious, reckoned that the ingredients were needed for the custard for the Swedish wedding cake. Which meant that mom was going to try again making it herself (she’s tried on other occasions and had big problems with it). Brilliant hon that he is, he thought, well if mom’s going to try it, I’d best get double, just in case it has to be done again later. *snicker* Any of you who bake are going to know that four boxes of corn starch are going to last years. Perhaps even decades, depending on how much one cooks. All she really needed was two tablespoons. Heh.

Anyway, the hairdresser showed up about 10 minutes late and got right to work. Louis went off to the bus/train station to see if his friends from Kansas had shown up (they had, and brother demon had already fetched them and taken them back to the house to enjoy the post-mass Sunday dinner of baked ham and accompaniments. Did I mention that I only had the buffet breakfast that morning? Yeah. By now I was getting a little hungry and wondering when I might be going to get some food. I think Uli was, too. But she was too busy undergoing head torture to worry too much about her tummy.

The hairdresser was named Petra. She takes her work very seriously, that Petra. I think she put about 497 sponge rollers in Uli’s hair. Ok, it was really probably more like 40 or 50. but it was a lot! And she kept having to redo sections of it that she wasn’t happy with. And she kept brushing the hair out really _hard_. I felt bad for poor Uli! Meanwhile, ms. Petra was busy gabbing away to me because she found my American-ness fascinating. She reckoned from my accent that I was from the Ohio/NC area. *nods* And she wondered how I felt about Nicholas Cage’s third marriage. I told her I was devastated. *nods* Unfortunately, I couldn’t give her any details of his first or second marriages.

Louis kept driving back by to see if we were done yet, and I’d scurry out to tell him it would just be a few more minutes (because that’s what Petra kept saying!). It was still raining, so I’d sit in the car a minute or two and talk and then go back in to check on progress.

Uli finally was allowed out from under the dryer at 2:45 pm! We RACED back to the house, grabbed a pink scarf to cover the curlers (which had to stay in over night), hastily fashioned a couple of ham sandwiches, and wolfed them down in the car on the way to the cathedral. It was still raining, by the way. and blowing. Both hard. The rest of the folks were all there already, anxiously awaiting our arrival. Oh, and we now had the Kansas pair in the car as well. For those who don’t know, Louis was over in the states a number of years ago for a scouting thing in new york. While there, he met this young lady – we’ll call her K – and has maintained a good friendship with her. She and her younger sister came over for the wedding and spent some time in Belfast before coming into town. They sort of got whirlwinded into the rehearsal festivities *l* but that was good, because it gave me a nice chance to talk with them some. Very sweet girls!

So Louis drove all his girls to the church and we got there close enough to on time. *g*

The inside of the cathedral is just as gorgeous as the outside. The entire floor is covered in mosaic tiles with imported Italian white marble at the sanctuary. It has majestic stained glass windows, beautifully carved pews, huge fluted columns, and artwork everywhere. I had a hard time paying attention to the instructions because I was so busy admiring the scenery! The few photos jeff got on Monday don’t nearly do it justice. I hope someone else will have more to show.

Rehearsal was pretty standard – the priest is very nice and gives clear directions. He went through each stage of the service for us and had Uli and Lou practice their vows, etc. Afterward, I had to admonish the groom to do his best to keep his eyebrow down for the real deal. He has a tendency to work it up to great heights and it looks too sardonic for the vows! *l* I even suggested to brother demon that he tape it down. Fortunately, that wasn’t necessary.

There was one part to the ceremony that I haven’t ever seen before. In addition to saying the vows and presenting the rings, the groom was to present a little token gift of silver coins to the bride to represent all his worldly goods (which were now about to become hers). That caused a fabulous eyebrow lift and the remark “as usual”. *snicker*

Once everyone was clear on what each of us had to do the next day, we headed back out to go our separate ways again. I was dropped back at the guesthouse so I could see what my ducklings had been up to. Don’t really know exactly what the rest of them did. I got lucky and found the place still vacant when I returned. I had a whole hour to myself to do whatever!

I ironed the boys’ shirts and slacks, wrote postcards to my family, cleaned up our room a bit, and was just starting to work on my nails when the crew showed back up.

Now here I must digress…see…those of you who know jeff, know that he likes to pull little jokes on people. He likes to tell them little…not so true…stories, just so he can see what reaction he’ll get. The rest of the ducklings and I had discussed coming up with some little prank to pull on him and get a tiny revenge.

Anyhoo…

When the group came back, I got to hear bits and pieces of their adventure of the day (involving a lot of driving). They got lucky and didn’t get all the rain that we got in town, though. I guess they had decided that we were all going to see a movie that night after a nice pizza dinner. I was pretty darned hungry again, so eager to head out for the pizza as soon as they were ready. But first I had to tell jeff the news.

I told him Uli wanted him to read a prayer at the wedding the next day. I told him with a totally straight and slightly worried face. He bought it. *bg* He was not too thrilled at the idea, but I assured him that he would get an English version. One of the groomsmen was to read the gaelic one and uli’s mom the Swedish. So his would be easy! I told him to think about it and let uli know later. *weg* I also reminded him about it later in the evening just to make sure he didn’t get complacent. Too bad I didn’t remember it the next day til after the wedding. *lol*

So we went out for pizza. Did you know you can get chips with your pizza in Ireland? *nods* The pizza place was really warm, so we just all got our food to go and carried it back to our room at the guesthouse to eat. We had a little pizza party around the coffee table and talked about our days some more and made our movie plan. The ducklings had scoped things out earlier in the day and found the theater and the available movies and times (not a particularly huge selection). They’d “narrowed it down” to King Arthur or I Robot, with most voting for I Robot. So that’s where we went.

It wasn’t a bad movie, but it wasn’t a great movie, either. The highlights (no spoilers, I promise) were choosing between sweet and salty popcorn (have to go with salt, baby), The Pose (ask wishy *weg*), and laughing at things that I really don’t think the director intended to be funny. We had fun. at least I did. I think that’s the last thing we did. I had to go back and wash my hair (Petra said I did) for the next morning’s 9:00 hair appointment. And I had to go to bed so I could get some quality sleep before then. Night night.