Friday and Saturday
I woke up by 6:30 on Friday morning. I was able to get up, get dressed, and pack the van before Bob awoke. Once the van was packed, I cleaned the kitty’s litter boxes and vacuumed the apartment. The vacuum woke Bob so he showered and got dressed while I watered our flowers and made sure all the things were in place for our cat sitters. Once he was out of the shower, I went to Target, Starbucks, and McDonald’s. When I got back, Bob was ready to go so we went. It was 9am.
While on the road I plugged in my iPod and we sang along to songs from the 70’s and 80’s. It was a lot of fun. We stopped twice. Once in Tomah and once in Madison. In Tomah we met a couple from the Twin Cities on their way to Milwaukee as well. They had a cute little pug named Wilson and Bob talked to the husband for quite a while.
We arrived in Milwaukee by 3 and found our hotel with minimal effort. We checked in and though our room was supposed to be accessible, it was tiny. We were on the 9th floor of a 10 story building and most of our view consisted of the Hilton across the street.
I showered and changed and we got back in the van and headed for the Milwaukee County Zoo. The Groom’s Dinner/Rehearsal Dinner was at the aquatic center at the zoo. We were a tad bit early so we got to see some of the animals. I took photos of the flamingos, the monkeys, some peacocks, and the nocturnal mammals.
The dinner s nice but the venue was DARK! A lot of my photographs turned out blurry because it was so dark the auto focus didn’t know what to focus on. Still, it was fun and the food was amazing. I met a lot of new people and reacquainted myself with others. By the time we got out, there was a fireworks show going on and it was visible from the zoo parking lot. We sat there for a long time watching the show and I tried to take pictures. I needed a tripod but managed to get 4 shots that weren’t horrible.
It was good to see old friends again and SO good to meet my friend Jennie’s husband to be. He is a wonderful man and I am so happy for her (and them).
When we got back to the hotel, I started editing the photos and Bob went to bed. I was up until about 2am and fell into bed and tried to fall asleep. Usually Bob and I get 2 beds because he has a hard time rolling over and sleeping soundly in anything but a hospital bed. This time we could only get one queen and while he slept fine, I had a really had time. I awoke at 8am and did more photo editing.
We left the hotel after 11 in search of breakfast and sights. We walked down Wisconsin Ave to the Riverwalk. It was then that Bob noticed his wheelchair was not charged. We had to go back to the hotel in order to plug his chair in. This meant he had to walk to the hotel restaurant. He was so upset. His mood was not improved when he found we had missed breakfast. We ordered and ate our lunch and then went back upstairs to get ready for the wedding.
Once dressed, we drove down to the waterfront. Not knowing our way around, we found free handicapped parking and parked. Then a local told us that the place we wanted to be was 6 to 8 blocks away. So we drove to the actual area and paid $10 for a ramp. We found out that we were just feet away from where we had originally parked! D’oh! Still, it was OK because we were in a ramp right under the restaurant where the reception was held.
The wedding was beautiful. It was held in a tent overlooking Lake Michigan. The weather was sunny and beautiful. The only possible issue that might have been was the sounds of Summerfest bands just yards away. Still, it was a wonderful event.
After the wedding ceremony there was a reception. It began with hors de hourves and drinks on the patio. Bob went to check on our van since he read a sign in the elevator that said break-ins were a common occurrence and it freaked him out. Apparently he asked me to wait at the wedding tent. I don’t remember him saying that and went off to the reception site to have me some tidbits and get a drink.
After waiting for Bob to show for over an hour, I went to find him and when I did, I was sorry. He was livid. Even after I apologized, he was still mad. He said some nasty things and I countered with equally nasty things and then burst into tears. He said he was going home and I said fine since then I could have fun. Then I ran off crying.
I cried on a park bench overlooking Lake Michigan for about 45 minutes. I contemplated throwing myself off a local bridge but decided I didn’t want to mar my friend’s wedding day that way. Finally, I decided to just go back to the hotel. On my way to the van I ran into Bob. He apologized and wouldn’t let me leave my friend’s wedding reception. We went back to the reception and found a full house already eating dinner. We could not find a place that accommodated Bob’s chair and I found myself crying again. Sheesh. They provided a nice place for us to eat and we ate. The food was amazing and the company superb.
We stayed for the dancing portion of the reception and Bob found the strength to stand and dance with me holding his arms for 2 songs. It was awesome. We left before the party was over but we’d had a great time.
The rumor was the newly weds were staying at the same hotel as me and Bob. When we got back, I checked at the front desk and found that rumor to be true. So we had champagne and chocolate covered strawberries sent to their room but billed to ours. At the same time, we ordered room service pizza and wine and had an in-room picnic. It was awesome.
I worked on the wedding pics but got sleepy before finishing all the reception shots. I went to bed late again and only slept until 8am. Bob woke up around the same time. We got up, got dressed, packed, and loaded up our van. As we walked out to our van, we saw the newlywed’s car parked right by ours and determined we would leave them a note before we left.
We ate a nice breakfast at the hotel restaurant and then took a nice walk. Before we left the hotel for good, we put a “Just Married” note on the back window and a nice note on the driver’s window of the newlywed’s car. Then we were on our way to the high speed ferry.
Looking back, I remember only crying twice and both were in relation to the admonishment of the newlyweds to start a family. I looked at the girls I knew as single, barely out of college gals and saw them as married women with children and suddenly felt the loss of not having our own kids deeply. I see the kids of my friends as little extensions of them. Little people born to carry on the names and generations of their parents. We don’t have that and I miss it. I want it. I hope the best for my friend and he new husband and pray they don’t struggle as we have. I hope and pray they have a fruitful and blessed life together.