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Late Sunday night turned into an assembly line of program fans for the wedding. Glue stick, glue gun handle, glue stick, taped pencils, trimmed edges, repeat. Once everyone got involved things moved quickly, and I think we all ended up getting to bed by 1 am. It was a nice, cool evening in the mountains after a steamy day of humidity, making for good sleeping weather.

Monday was truly the calm before the storm. More DIY projects. Our “bachelorette party” relaxation- a day at the spa (sauna, hot tub, swimming pool), a picnic for the bride-to-be in the garden (fruits, bruschetta, cheeses, crackers, salsa, hummus, wine, and Woodchuck–perfect). The day moved seamlessly into the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner–lots of good food, lots of family, lots of good conversation. A few hiccups in timing and attendance. When we made it home for the night, we still had lots to do for the next day, but somehow, all the necessary things would be done by the ceremony. Another assembly line for mason jar preparation. Arrival of more guests to the house. Busy, busy.

Tuesday morning- WEDDING DAY! Bread and raspberry breakfast on the go with the bride-to-be. Hair appointment, getting ready, make-up, pictures, is it ceremony time already?! The day was warm, partly cloudy, and beautiful. If you read my description from before I left for the trip, it turned out to be a fairly accurate description of the actual day. The ceremony was beautiful, with a cellist playing as Kristen walked down the isle. Kristen and Derek wrote beautiful vows for each other. And before we knew it, we were walking back down the aisle to congratulate the newly weds. What a tearjerker. Fun photos followed. Cocktail hour and schmoozing. Move to the reception.

The reception was the piece de resistance. Meeting new people, eating great food, drinking lovely wine, and everything was beautiful. I sat at the “Tettegouche” table (each table was named after a park that the happy couple had visited). Crazy dancing followed. Mumbo Number Five, Shania Twain, Ricky Martin, Carly Jae. As the reception ended and the night wound down, Kristen, Derek, and the group of friends at the wedding regrouped at the inn’s bar for a few drinks and more chatting. It was all really wonderful, and I’m beginning to think it might be time for me to go to the east coast and meet new people. Kristen’s friends somehow ended up getting upgraded to a really gorgeous villa at the inn, so I had a place to sleep, and another gorgeous view to wake up to.

Wednesday morning was bittersweet. Who wants a great party to end? No one. Alas, Milano cookies do not make the best breakfast, so it was time to head back to Dorset, regroup, go our separate ways, and decide when I’d head back on my trek home through Canadia. Goodbyes all around. The hour drive back to Dorset, to relax with the Marion family and let it all sink in. Blueberry pancakes awaited us thanks to Derek’s wonderful mother. I struggled with the knowledge that I had to head home. I took a nap after everyone left, and awoke with the decision to wait to head home until the next morning. Procrastination. I am the queen of procrastination. And it is hard to leave paradise and say goodbye to people who feel like family. So I relaxed, I postponed, I packed, and mentally prepared to head out the next morning, nervous to take on Canada alone.

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