What a whirlwind the last couple of weeks have been! We wrapped up the month of June with one of my good friends from college getting married right in our own backyard (sort of), in which I was honored to be one of his eight groomsmen. While it was a destination wedding for everyone else, Mommy B and I could have practically walked to the location from our house. Not to mention I got a round of golf in with the rest of the groomsmen at the same place I got married – a course I haven’t seen since my wedding day. The place looks almost as gorgeous as Mommy B did standing across from me five short years ago. It was a beautiful wedding and we partied into the early morning hours, which is something Mommy B and I only do when one of the kids isn’t feeling well and we’re up all night. We also booked a hotel for the fun of it and went on a helicopter tour of the city the next day as a late anniversary present. My parents were on A-Team duty for those couple of days while we were busy doing wedding party stuff.
After a quick week off, the grandparents were back on the clock so Mommy B and I could fly to Stamford, Connecticut so see the last of my groomsmen get married. Technically the last one is getting married this Friday, but he’s having a “private ceremony” with only immediate family. But I just received word that they’re streaming the ceremony live online so people can watch it.. kind of contradictory, yeah? Ah, the times we live in…
Anyway, Mommy B and I got to fly into JFK and hop a rental car to Stamford, about 45 minutes away. Being a Damn Yankee (as the name of the blog implies), I learned how to be an offensive driver from very early on. And it only took about two minutes on the Van Wyck Expressway for those skills to come racing back to me. I was checking mirrors, changing lanes and dodging through traffic like I was the newest up-and-coming NASCAR driver… all the while trying to take directions from our GPS and Mommy B the co-pilot. We made it into town with enough time for me to try on my tux and get checked into the hotel before I was whisked away to the rehearsal. I met up with Mommy B afterwards at the rehearsal dinner where we all celebrated the upcoming nuptials of another good friend from college, Steve.
We had the next day “off” from wedding festivities, so Mommy B decided to venture into “The City”, as it’s called in those parts. We hopped a train to Grand Central Station (“Terminal”, as it’s called) and decided to roam The Big Apple. We hit the majority of the major tourist spots – Times Square, Central Park, Ground Zero, Wall Street, Battery Park to name a few. Of course, we couldn’t pass up pictures with the Elmos in Times Square, nor the Disney and M&M’s store close by.
But the highlight of the trip was meeting up with another former football player that both Steve and I graduated with, Zach Jump. I hadn’t seen this guy since we graduated back in 2006 and it was like we had never been apart once we started catching up. When I switched positions from receiver to cornerback entering my sophomore year, Zach was the guy I turned to to teach me the position – everything from the play calls to the hand signals to proper stance and form. While I never got to formally thank him for everything back in the day, I’m doubtful that I would have ended up becoming the all-conference defensive back I did without his help. In any case, he gave us his personal tour of lower Manhattan which included seeing the Statue of Liberty from across the harbor. As a final act of kindness that only comes from friends who toiled on the same gridiron together, Zach swiped his Metro card twice to allow Mommy B and I to catch a subway back to Grand Central free of charge. We then hopped back on the train headed back to Stamford just in time for dinner. We didn’t find out until later that we had accidentally gotten on the “local” train home, which meant that we stopped at every. single. stop. Interesting scenery we saw along the way, but I still don’t ever want to get off at the Harlem – 125th St. stop. No thanks.
The wedding day arrived which meant I was out the door early to go get ready with the rest of the groomsmen. And by that I mean I had to go one floor up in the hotel because Steve had booked a suite for us to use to get dressed then for himself and his bride to use that night. We then climbed aboard the stretch Navigator limo to pick up the bridesmaids and head to the church, only to find out that not only had Steve left the rings at his house but the bridesmaids were nowhere close to being ready. A small act of fate put Mommy B in the same car with the friends who went to retrieve the rings, which made us all breathe a little easier. Needless to say, the wedding didn’t start on time but we made up time where we could. It was a gorgeous wedding and the reception was even better. We danced all night and stuffed ourselves silly with the plethora of food that was provided. Mommy B told me that I even made a cameo in a video montage that they played while dinner was being served. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to celebrate Steve’s wedding with.
We had an absolute blast while we were there and luckily made it home without any difficulties. Direct flights are the only way to go, I swear. To make things even better, Grandma C picked us up from the airport as she was coming into town for a few days. We dashed home and surprised the kiddos as we all walked in the door. Aiden wouldn’t let me put him down the whole rest of the day and Alli was so excited to tell us everything that they had done the last few days. I missed the crap out of those kids, but it was great getting to spend some quality time with my friends and celebrate their big days – but more importantly, spend some quality time with Mommy B.
The night we got back, Alli was up every couple of hours claiming her ear hurt… but I think she just missed us and wanted to see if we would come get her. The next night, Aiden was up every couple of hours thanks to what we believe are more teeth coming in. Yep, looks like we’re right back into the swing of things…