The second day of the Trip of Northern Aggression began even earlier than the first one did– we had a long Atlanta-to-Charleston drive ahead of us, as well as a wedding (our actual reason for this trip in the first place) to attend that evening. No time for Greek delis this morning, we wheeled our trusty suitcases over to the deck where GP’s friend, D, parks his car. He had generously offered to lend it to us for the weekend, as he had no out-of-town plans and easy access to pretty fabulous public transit.
So, here begins the list of things that I would import from the South, if I could (hey, I had to do something to keep occupied during the drive, and list-making appeals to me!). Thing number one? Crazy well-maintained roads! I don’t know if it’s that California has no money, no interest, or what, as far as it comes to road maintenance, but let me tell you something: our roads are pure crap. Sometimes, it’s just painful. Not so in Georgia! Every inch of our drive from downtown Atlanta to the SC state line was gorgeous and smooth. Oh, and thing number two, which I also discovered en route? Chick-Fil-A. Someone tell me why we don’t have these in the Bay Area? I suppose it’s for the best, though, because I would never be able to stop eating those nuggets, and then I would be that lady that has to be lifted out of her cat-filled apartment by a crane. Also, Chick-Fil-A was the site of my discovery of thing number three: crazy politeness! This man approached our table while we were eating, and, rather than spitting on my tray or asking for spare change (which is what would probably happen at most places in California), he asks, “Ma’am, can I refill your drink?” I was so taken aback by this teeny random (really, not random at all, but whatever) kindness that I said no, even though I was hankering for some more Diet Coke. Why can’t we import this politeness, even if it is perfunctory, to the West Coast? It would be so…nice.
Finally, we arrived at the beach house. Even though the wedding was taking place at an old plantation-type house in Charleston, the couple figured that it would be more fun to have everyone stay at the beach, so a few houses were rented in beautiful Folly Beach. One was for the bride, R, and her bridesmaids, another was for T, the groom, and his groomsmen, and another was for various family members that had come into town for the festivities. We ended up at the boys’ house, which was full of guys finishing getting ready, as well as a couple of their girlfriends who had arrived and started getting ready. As T and the groomsmen headed out, he informed the girl who had slept in a room with a king-sized bed the previous night, that the room was to be mine and GP’s that night. She was fine with this, and it seems small now, but it will become important later, I promise.
We finished the preparation, which included a search for usable bath towels (seriously, how are there not enough towels in a house that sleeps about 15?), but was otherwise uneventful. It was marginally awkward because GP and I knew no one else but each other, but everyone was nice enough, if a little more college-student-y than we are (read: not able to really deal with people outside their immediate friend circle, and a bit clique-y). With the address to the wedding venue plugged into our trusty GPS (what? We take it everywhere!), we headed out with time to spare. When we got there, I was really amazed at how gorgeous it was– the parking was a little removed from the grounds where the ceremony and reception were, and there were little trams that took us where we needed to be. The ceremony took place in a grove of Spanish Moss trees (which are fascinating and will always seem so romantic to me, I don’t know why), and made me tear up because I am a sucker for cheesy wedding stuff. The only troubling part was when the pastor took great pains to mention (multiple times!) how “God invented marriage for men and women so that they can contribute to the betterment of society, and bear children…” Not something I would choose to have anyone say at my wedding (what with my San Francisco values and all), but I did love the 1 Corinthians reading, so I suppose I am just conflicted all over.
Bubbles were blown at the recessional, which was an adorable touch, and we headed to the reception, which took place under two tents that were arranged in a “T” shape. Everyone, including us, headed to the (open, of course) bar first, then into the house to grab some food. All the food was Southern-style, from teeny crab cakes with remoulade to mini-meatballs on lollipop sticks and shrimp and grits served in martini glasses. Had I known that was it for the food, I might have stocked up a bit more, but everything was so delicious that I’m glad I didn’t– wouldn’t want to test the Assets even more than I already was! Dancing was minimal, as there was a band and GP is not much of a dancer, but we did manage to squeeze in the last dance, to a song that I would like to think holds some significance for us.
Though many of the other bridesmaids/groomsmen and their dates (as well as T&R, which I find amazing after what must have been a super-long, crazy day) were going to downtown Charleston to go to some bars and clubs, we passed on that because we were ready to pass out. Heading back to the beach house, GP and I speculated about the other people whose stuff was in “our” bedroom coming back to “claim” the room, but we decided we were safe because we would be the first ones there, and surely no one would kick the slumbering Californians out of bed, right? Soon after we arrived, another couple (one of the groomsmen and his girlfriend, who live in Charleston) came back, bearing wedding-food leftovers, and we all hung out in the kitchen, munching, until they left to “go get ready for bed.” In our room. Where all their stuff was. Minutes passed, then we realized that too much time for regular bed-prep activities had elapsed. What were they doing in there?
They were straight going to steal our room, y’all! Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion to this tale, as well as the Day 3 report, coming tomorrow…!