I finally got ’round to posting these journal pages I’d kept from the week of the wedding last December.

20 Dec 2003
What better way to kick off a virgin notebook than a wedding? Seven days from now we’ll be getting married. Well, strictly speaking, seven 7 days from right now I’ll be having breakfast with Dad, Tim & Andrew while Nellie gets a seaweed-and-peanut butter wrap or some such thing, but you catch my drift.

After my Christmas party (which yielded Trivial Pursuit Pop Culture DVD Edition and a bottle of Oban!) and a Raptors game (Raps 105, Knicks 99 in OT), we hit the hay, cursing the alarm clocks. The cussing resumed at 4:00 AM and, much to the bewilderment of the cats, we were up. We said goodbye to the boys, told them to be kind to Auntie Jenny and loaded up (down?) the cab with our Christmas and wedding gear.

Our Pearson experience this time was much better than in the summer, but talk to me in 30 minutes to see if our luggage agrees. Being an early flight there were several people snoring, and a flight there were oodles of screeching babies. Fortunately the headsets gave me access to a Johnny Cash tribute playlist along with lots of blues tracks. After reading my precious Globe (at short distance; the troglodyte in front of me insists on going horizontal) and polishing off the enRoute, I thought I’d get a start on this while Nellie sleeps.

My hand is cramping. This pen and I will have to learn to get along if we’re to make this a success…

21 Dec 2003
My, what 12 hours of sleep does for one. After falling asleep on the couch I stayed asleep until 10 AM, by which time Mom & Dad had left for church. I got up and began cleaning, but mostly relaxing.

This place is great for that, relaxing (and cleaning too). I just put on some music, read the paper, watched some hockey & Fellowship Of The Ring, did a crossword, and generally lazed about. Not much happened until late in the day when Andrew & Denise surprised us by showing up with the kids. They weren’t supposed to show up until tomorrow, but came early.

So here I sit, just after midnight, watching Fellowship again, writing this down and thinking how I should go to bed. Like, right now, say.

22 Dec 2003
I hate shopping. I hate shopping malls. I hate small towns. Thus, shopping in a small-town mall wasn’t what I wanted to do today, but what choice did I have? Had I stayed at home I risked slipping into a coma. So Andrew, Mom and I spent the afternoon in the Amherst Centre Mall. And that is the last time we shall speak of that.

Two good things happened: I got s spiffy new coat for 25% off & free of taxes, and we were in a low-level high-speed chase with Denise and Peggy. Well, a chase between minivans. Through a Walmart parking lot.

After that there was only the game of trivial pursuit, where Mom & dad narrowly beat me, and a bout with a rope and hanging tree branch during which I suffered some small cuts to my schnoz. Hopefully they won’t show up in the wedding photos.

Tim landed today. Tomorrow is take-my-dad-shopping-for-Xmas day. Then Xmas eve. Then Xmas day. Then boxing day. Then the wedding. Then the honeymoon. Then the honeymoon again. Then home. Then sleep. Sweet, sweet sleep. In my own bed, with (ha ha!) my wife and the cats. I can’t wait.

23 Dec 2003
Hmmm. Today’s report: not so good. Nellie’s sick…very, very sick. She’s been vomiting all day, etc. The weather forecast calls for flurries on both the 26th and 27th (which could pose problems), but +11 degrees on Christmas Day, which is decidedly un-Christmas-like. The scratch on my nose isn’t going away. And for the second straight night I got squeaked out at Trivial Pursuit.

However, it could be worse. A kid…well, not a kid anymore, I suppose. A man whose brother and sister I went to school with killed a guy in a bar fight on Saturday in Amherst. It’s the big thing in the news here; manslaughter is rare in these parts. This guy’s record is hardly spotless too, so he’s almost certainly looking at long, hard jail time. As he should.

But all I’m saying is that it could be worse. Nellie will get better. The weather will be fine. The scratch will heal. And I was playing by myself, so that’s ok. Nope, actually, I’m still pissed about losing.

24 Dec 2003
Better news: Nellie’s over the flu, but still has a bad cold. At least she won’t be puking on the JoP. So, one crisis averted. The weather’s still looking out of the ordinary for late December, but better warm than the other end of the scale.

It’s been a quiet Xmas eve so far. Lots of reading, lots of eating, more crib (I lead Dad 7 games to 6 now) and now we’re watching The Two Towers to prep for Saturday. Once the kids get back to the house the quiet will disappear, giving way to shouting and dashing wildly about.

Then church; the silver lining is that we don’t have to go to Mapleton this (nor any other) year. The annual ritual of the church service, then an hour or two at Bill & Willow’s, then back home. After that it gets interesting.

25 Dec 2003
Just mom, dad and I at the house until Andrew, Denise & the kids arrive mid-morning. David likes his Hulk fists, but Morgan likes them even more…she puts them on and yells “Rowr!”. We relax in the afternoon until Tim & Al arrive, right after I beat dad at crib to take the series 8-7 (to which David comments, “Grampy, you’re a loser!”). Then the madness starts. We stay up until the wee hours, just chatting.

26 Dec 2003
We’re up early to go to Emmy’s, piling everything into the vans & cars. After a quick stop at Tim Horton’s we jet to Brookfield. On the way we see a bald eagle on the side of the highway, feeding on a deer carcass. Nellie arrives a little later. Emmy’s arranged a shower-like gathering for us – oh, joy – but it’s ok. We get some swag, play some trivial pursuit, watch some hockey, then finally get in the car and head for Halifax. Nellie and Andrew are now both on death’s door, it seems. 9 of us go for dinner at The Keg after checking into our rooms. Our suite is nice, lots of room. Most of the other rooms are on our floor too! We try to get Nellie some sleep, but the NyQuil just messes her up and she has heart palpitations all night.

27 Dec 2003
I get up at 7:00 to meet Tim & Dad for breakfast. Andrew’s too sick to go with us. We eat piles of cheap, greasy food at The Med, then make some purchases at HMV before setting out to do some other wedding-related errands. Andrew’s too sick to go see Return Of The King, so Greg joins us to kill some time while the girls get pampered at the Spirit Spa. I get back to the room just in time to get ready and see the Patriots miss a field goal before picking Nellie up across the hall.

She’s gorgeous – that goes with saying. But it’s a beautiful dress, it suits her perfectly, and she looks amazing. I’m excited now. That’s my wife!

The Halifax Club is excellent, they really did a fantastic job. Ditto the photographers – as much as I hate posing for pictures they help us through it. After the quick “reception” we get down to business. The ceremony is perfect: short and sweet. Brock says it’s like the highlights of his wedding with all the “extra” stuff taken out, and people tell us all night how much they enjoyed it. Nellie gets through it despite some coughing. The moms are happy. The guests are well-lubricated.

We move to Da Maurizio via a London black cab named “Albert” and get our snack on. Each course is better than the last (who knew eggplant could taste so good?) and the service is impeccable. We bounce around from table to table, talking to everyone. Nellie is close to losing her lunch, except that she hasn’t eaten in two days, so there’s no lunch to lose. She’s a trooper though, getting through the night and getting stronger as it goes on. I sign the bill and we move on to the Old Triangle (after getting our picture taken with Mr. Keith). We only last one drink and then leave our friends & family to it. I try to carry Nellie across the threshold of the hotel room, but she can’t work the key. Not a textbook magical moment, but we have a good laugh.

The hardcore guests head to Pogue Fado after leaving the Triangle. The really hardcore ones (Tim, Becky & Amanda) go to the Alehouse after that and dance until 4 AM.

28 Dec 2003
Up early today to pack, organize things, check out and have breakfast at Mother Tucker’s. A dozen people showed up to watch is scarf down food; we finished up, said our goodbyes and took off for the airport. Our flight is on a Dash-8…not fun. But as we flew over Quebec we could see snow on the ground, and as we drove through Vieux Quebec we started to get excited about the idea of relaxing for two days. Our room at the Chateau Frontenac had a little box of chocolates in it, a congratulations from the staff at the hotel.

We lazed about the hotel all afternoon and ordered pizza (on Andrew’s advice), then placed our asses squarely in a couple of chairs.

There, all caught up. Sleep is imminent. Hey…we’re married now! How ’bout that?!?

29 Dec 2003
I love room service. The dude brought us our breakfast this morning, and I stuffed myself. I kicked back and read the Globe while Nellie watched TV, until we decided to go explore the city a bit.

First up was a walk down the Terrace Dufferin, overlooking the river and the Basse-Ville. After a few minutes we walked down to the Basse-Ville itself, to stroll around the touristy shops and historic buildings. It didn’t take long, so we climbed aboard the funicular to get back to the Terrasse. We’d planned on visiting the Brosseau Inuit Art Museum, but stopped at the retail shop first. We decided this was a good place to buy something that could be our “we got this on our honeymoon” thing. We bought a little dancing bear. It’s awesome.

Next we needed somewhere to eat. We walked around Vieux Quebec a little longer, then stoppe at a bistro. It was busy, but fun for people-watching. One more excursion after that, to walk around the citadel a bit and get more shots of the river & chateau and we were done for the day, and we were done for the day. The plan for tonight: relax!

We went out for dinner at an Italian place down the street; I had an excellent pesto chicken penne, Nellie had a very spicy and very cheesy tortellini. We felt like we needed a drink and slipped down the hill (every sidewalk in Quebec City is covered with ice) to le Pub Sainte-Alexandre. It’s a really nice pub; a little smoky (every pub in Quebec is probably smoky), but the selection of beer and scotch was impressive indeed. Nellie had a Boréal Rousse and I had Macallan 12 year, neat. The band was good too, but we were tired so we went back to the hotel.

There was a near-streaking incident in the hallway before we ordered some room service – cheesecake, crunchy apple pie and hot chocolate. Yumm. We crash soon after.

30 Dec 2003
We’re in the home stretch now. We got up early-ish to find some breakfast, and find it we did: the Creperie next door to the hotel. So good. Nellie had the strawberry crepe, I had apple-cinnamon. We had an hour or two back in the room (no exploring today; no time and it was raining) to relax, pack & shower, then catch a cab to the airport. Nellie got some nasty poutine in the cafeteria; I had an equally nasty hamburger. We sat our asses down to wait for boarding to begin, then transplanted said asses to the RJ that took us back to Toronto, back to our empty apartment, our attention-starved cats and my precious Globe.

Whoa…we’re married.

He writes cheesy books, but this is quite a speech.

from Metafilter: Chrichton on environmentalism:

“Because in the end, science offers us the only way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don’t know any better. That’s not a good future for the human race. That’s our past.”