Sunday, July 5, 2009

Independence Day

Independence Day is an American holiday celebrated on July 4th. This holiday celebrates several things, the most important of which are American independence and Will Smith punching aliens in the face. Now, however, we have a new reason to celebrate the Fourth of July – my friends, Alex Parker and Lynne Comeau were brought together in marriage yesterday.

Figure 1 An American flag

Figure 2 Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum ready to kick some alien ass!

I got off work on Friday afternoon, quickly tied up some loose ends, packed and rushed off to the train station. My train was leaving at around 6PM, but since I had to take the bus and then walk to the station, I wanted to leave myself a large margin of error. So, I ended up arriving about an hour early. It was OK, though, one of the soldiers we have role-playing at The Peace Support Training Centre (PSTC) walked in soon after I arrived. Of course, he tried to ignore me and pretend he didn’t see me, even though I see him everyday at work. So, I walked over and sat down next to him. We chatted, he seemed like an OK guy and soon the train was pulling in for us to board. While on the train, I tried to get all my work for the weekend out of the way. I made a dent in it, but still had plenty left over for Sunday. Upon arrival in Ottawa, my friend Ashley picked me up. I was to stay with her for the weekend and we were going to the wedding together. On the way home, Ashley, her friend Dana and I picked up some Vietnamese food and headed for her place. Once there, we sat down, ate and watched “He’s Just Not That Into You”. We were all VERY tired, so we took Dana home, and went to sleep.

The next morning, we woke up around 10AM. Ashley started to get ready for the wedding, which was at 3PM. I headed over to the mall to buy a belt. I came back and noticed no change in Ashley. I then went to get gas for the car. I came back and noticed no change in Ashley. Then, I went to pick some other wedding stuff up. I came back and noticed no change in Ashley. She told me to stop making fun of “the process”. Eventually, we were both ready to go and we both looked pretty good. As you can tell.

Figure 3 Ashley and I at the wedding.

We drove downtown, found a parking spot and headed over to the Notre Dame Cathedral. When we arrived at the front doors at around 2:15PM there was a wedding party exiting the church. “OH NO!” I thought “We somehow missed the wedding”. Luckily, I didn’t recognise anyone and we realised that the cathedral was just a really popular place to get married. So, we headed for the pub and had a drink. Around 2:40PM, we went back to the church and I recognised the wedding goers who were milling about the entrance, phew!

We went in and were both taken aback by the amazing Cathedral we were now standing in. It was huge, there were so many marble statues, they looked like wax melting down the walls, the ceiling was beautifully painted and there was gold everywhere. Amazing! We sat about eight rows from the front, on the right side, on the centre aisle. The cathedral started filling around us. All the student-types sat near me, no one sat closer to the front than we did. The left side of the church filled from the front back and was dressed in very bright colours. The right side filled sporadically from the middle out, and was dressed all in very dark colours. It was easy to tell which side was Quebecois and which was not. The ceremony itself was simple, elegant and wonderfully done. Lynne looked remarkably beautiful in her dress and Alex was dashing in his uniform. The whole thing went of without any problems. Once it was over, we realised that there was an hour to kill before the reception, so Ashley, Hanni and I went back to the pub.

Figure 4 The cathedral

Figure 5 A bad picture of the bride and groom, but the only one I have

Hanni was Alex’s room mate through law school and is currently finishing medical school at Queen’s. We sat, chatted and had a drink. Soon, it was time to leave for the reception. Ashley and I drove to Tudor Hall and made good time, even though the GPS made no sense for the majority of the drive. On arrival we were told that we were sitting at the “Dieppe” table. Alex and Lynne named the tables after places they had been together. I sat with Phil Osanic (a Kingston lawyer), Ryan Barber (ADJT GGFG), Rob Foster (CO GGFG) and their wives. Why Alex chose to sit all the military members in attendance at a table named for an Allied failure we will never know. However, it was good to meet the Governor’s General Foot Guard (GGFG) fellows.

The reception progressed smoothly. Dinner was excellent, the cake was FANTASTIC (way to put your foot down Alex) and the DJ was pretty good. Ashley and I spent the majority of the evening chatting with Steve (the best man), Hanni and Gordon (one of Alex’s friends). We talked about everything from the “Disappearing Male” problem to strategic missile defence. After a long day, Ashley and I headed back to her place and promptly went to sleep.

This morning went quickly. We woke up, I packed, Hanni picked me up and we took off for Kingston. We chatted the whole way home. We haven’t seen each other since Alex left for Ottawa, so it was good to catch up. We stopped at Tim Horton’s on the way home, only to run into Jay (another wedding go-er). So, we chatted for a minute in line and continued on our way. I arrived home around 1:30PM or 2PM, did some work and am now writing this report of the weekend.

All in all, the weekend could be assessed as good. I would assess it as excellent. I hope Alex and Lynne have fun on their honeymoon and have a long, prosperous, full life together. Best of luck!

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