I spent yesterday scoring SAT essays for the College Board (actually for Pearson, which designs and administers the test and its scoring) and captioning the pictures of our Vermont trip, which are available on Facebook, if you are my friend. If you'd like to be my friend, send me pony (I'd like a brown one)...no, just ask and it's yours! What a deal!
We had dress rehearsal for Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory last night and I think it is going to go well. There's still time to get your tickets for tonight's performance at 7:30 PM and tomorrow night's at the same time. For more information, go to http://www.manassaschorale.org/home.aspx. We hope to see you there!
Anyhow, as I was saying, we left our hotel in Burlington about 8:45 Friday morning for the relatively short drive to Stowe. I had forgotten how close together destinations in New England seem as compared to Virginia or Texas or, say, Siberia.
We stopped by the Ben and Jerry's factory in Waterbury on the way. The half-hour tour was a lot of fun thanks to the guide and educational and included ice cream samples at the end. What more could anyone ask for?
We continued in the mist and rain to the von Trapp Family Lodge located on a washboarded road up a mountain. The Lodge is quite impressive. We skipped the tour which Becky had read was long (1 1/2 hours and old school) and instead wandered around admiring the woodwork and Austrian decorating sensibility. (Didn't see a single cuckoo clock, though, which was a disappointment and a good thing all at once). We took ourselves out of there about 11:30 AM and drove down the mountain to Stowe, joining a long line of traffic at the three-way stop at the center of town. We parked and took ourselves up and down the main street, shopping, looking and taking pictures.
Alyssa had arranged for us to meet for lunch at 1 PM at the Whip Restaurant, which is part of the Green Valley Inn. We had not seen her or Chris for a couple of weeks. They had been on the West coast for a wedding and conference for Chris. Alyssa telecommuted to work. It was good to see them, and the food was excellent.
We checked into our hotel, the Town and Country Resort, which was a case of back to the '50's, but it was adequate. By the time we got in and rested for a bit it was time to dress and go to the wedding. We were supposed to meet at the gondola lift at Stowe Mountain Resort but luckily turned into the resort itself where we saw Amy, Alyssa and some of Amy's William and Mary friends standing under the entrance cover at the resort. We gave the car to the valet and greeted them before we all climbed aboard a school bus which took us to the gondola loading house. We could not believe the wedding was going to go as scheduled, outdoors, at the top of the ski slope.
Here is what a gondola looks like when you can actually see the mountain:
We were offered hot cider and brown blankets against the cold, piled into a gondola car with six other people, and started the 20-minute climb up to the top. We reached the restaurant and huddled there under or blankets or plastic bags until it was time to go outside in the gale and freezing rain for the ceremony. We continued huddling there as the flag flapped furiously and the rain drove sideways. We could see members of the wedding party as they ran to the front, but not much else since we were all on one level (and huddled together). We could hear the mercifully truncated ceremony with a promise that the readings and meditation would happen at the reception. And so they were married; we all gave a frozen cheer and lined up for the trip back down. A warm school bus was never so cherished.
I think it was a measure of our love and high regard for the couple that everyone took the adverse conditions with good humor and an appreciation for the uniqueness of the event and circumstances. Becky said it would go in the book she plans to write about the thousand or so weddings she has played for. (She didn't play for this one since the worst enemy of a keyboard wouldn't have had it out in such weather. The priest had the service on his i-pad and didn't take it out in the storm.)
The reception was in a fabulous hall at the lodge. Here is a picture of the hall from Vermont Bride magazine.
We are not the fabulous people in the picture, but we were fabulous in our own way.
The food and company were great; the parts of the ceremony left out on the mountain happened; we ate and talked and some of us danced. The d.j. cranked up the music about 10 PM, which Alyssa said was to make the old people leave, which we did about !0:30. The wedding cake was cut about 9 PM, and was promptly spirited away. We never saw the pieces, leaving us with an as-yet-unsolved mystery: what happened to the carrot cake?
Monday: The Final Chapter in the Saga of the Destination wedding, or, The Wedding Singer, Part 4: Take Me Home, United Airlines…or Not