Jun. 22nd, 2014

The trip from Atlanta to Philly on Friday was uneventful, and the hubby and I got to the downtown hotel with little to no fuss. We took the train in from the airport, which turned out to be the right thing to do--I had thought maybe we should take a cab, but then thought the traffic at 4 pm on a Friday might be horrendous, so let's take the train. And I was right--someone else took the cab route and was stuck in horrible jams, whereas the train was easy peasy. :)

We bumped into old friends in the hotel but everyone was going to be gaming all night and we wanted to not do that, so we went out to South Street for old time's sake. The hubby hadn't been there since he was a teenager and I hadn't been there since college, so it was an interesting trip. I remember it as a) centered around a big Tower Records store, and b) full of wacky little stores selling vaguely scary stuff that I knew my parents wouldn't approve of, leather and lingerie and drug paraphernalia and strange costumes, etc. Let's just say it isn't like what either of us remembered; it's now full of Starbucks and Whole Foods, hair and nail salons, and lots of lunch places that close at 6 or 7 pm. There are still some interesting places, old throw-backs with walls full of cheap jewelry and t-shirts or the sex toy stores or incense-filled bookstores. But all in all it's been mall-ified, a good bit. And a lot of it is "for rent". :(

But we had a decent dinner, and got a whopping lot of exercise, walking to the subway station, then walking 13 blocks east to Penn's Landing and 13 blocks back again, plus back to the hotel. We got back after 10 pm and I was too pooped to go hang out with people--I just wanted to put my feet up!

It was funny following the email trail--everyone was so busy coordinating Friday night events that no one planned lunch for Saturday before the wedding, and it ended up being a group going here and another going there at various random times. Which worked well, as it turned out--everyone got to the wedding on time! But the hubby and I just went around the corner to a little hole in the wall buffet around 11, got cupcakes in the mall on the way back to the hotel, and then had an hour to iron his shirt and get everything together before heading out at 1 pm to the subway station to catch the train to the wedding. :) We have learned the Philly center city subway system, as a result of this weekend! :)

The wedding itself was lovely, very non-liturgical and basically a celebration of the bride and groom and rousing support for them deciding to make this substantial commitment to each other. The bride was gorgeous, the groom was elegant, both of them were beaming, and they flipped a coin to see who said their vows first (perfect!). It was the third Quaker-style wedding I've been to, I think, but it wasn't as quiet as the others--in this one everyone had something to say, which made for a lively time. :) But the warmth and love from the group there for the bride and groom were quite obvious, which is just so nice and not something you get from the more traditional rituals where the audience doesn't get to say anything spontaneous! The hike back to the subway and the hotel for the reception was also quite a sight to see, with the better part of 50-60 people all trudging along following the bride and groom through the streets of Philly. ::chuckle::

At the reception we finally got a chance to catch up with some of our friends, which was excellent. The food was tasty, the bar was generous. :) Not as raucous a party as when 3,000 neuroimaging researchers get together in a techno dance club, but a very sweet affair. Good to get a chance to chat!! After the official party split into the little parties back in people's rooms, I did some roundsinging and one pass through the name-game, and then was off to bed.



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