The good news is that Mom and Dad put Michael in the same hotel room with me for our five-star sleepover!
I’m sure that sounds perfect to any teen couple, and way too permissive for responsible parents; but the flip side of that good news is that we’re in our room with Ethan and Ehlana so there is definitely nothing going on tonight that is not kid-rated entertainment or fun. We have been having fun today, though; and it’s been a really great day here in the city.
While we didn’t have a lot of time this morning before needing to hit the road for Crystal Springs, we still had our Tai Chi workout by the river at sunrise and went with a snack breakfast before loading up the minivan and Violet’s car; meeting up with the rest of our mini-caravan; and heading east toward the highway by eight o’clock. Stuart and Samantha Wingborough led the way; and they had Stephanie and Jake with them. Michael and I were with Violet and Dillon, and Rebecca was with her parents in their minivan; along with bonus junior shoppers Jessica, Sophia, and Geraldine – the three younger girls thrilled to be invited along on the shopping adventure. Josiah, Christina, Mitch, and Lynn were in two more vehicles; and between them, they had Anna-Marie, Erica, and Carolyn, and Lindsay with them. Mom brought up the rear of our group; and she and Angela were kept entertained for the drive time by Ethan, Ehlana, Valerie, and Marcus.
The trip to the city was especially fun for me because I actually got to spend an hour and a half with Violet and Dillon without interruption. That certainly doesn’t happen very often anymore; and I know that Violet was as happy as I was for that chance to hang out together and talk about everything from work and summer fun to weddings and upcoming college and high school plans. We needed to split up for a while and do some vehicle shuffling once we were in Crystal Springs; and Miranda and Samantha led the girls in the wedding party into the boutique for the final fittings of our dresses while everyone else moved on to the mall.
Our dresses were perfect; and though Stephanie’s fitting too quite a while as they took a lot of care with getting her in and out of it; Miranda was especially happy to find out that Rebecca and I didn’t have any problems with our dresses. That was really more of an issue for me than Rebecca; but the guesses made at my first fitting worked out pretty much exactly as expected; and I’ve grown into the sizing – and not beyond. Taking my dress in would have been an option; but we’d have had a problem if I’d exceeded the capacity! ;^)
Miranda and Samantha had fun teasing us while overseeing the action; and the jokes directed my way ranged from suggestions that Stephanie should make a last-minute change in the bridal party to protect Miranda’s baby boy from me to placing mock bets about whether we’d be having an accidental sofa sleepover the night of the wedding. Rebecca was teased at least as much as I was; but we were both okay with that bonus fun – especially since we’re also sure that our respective boyfriends really are going to be blown away when they see us at the wedding!
While we were busy, the guys went ahead and began their search for the perfect tuxes; led by Jacob and Stuart while most of the girls, Ethan, and Marcus fanned out around the mall for some quality shopping time. The fathers of the bride and groom kept the Moms and bridal party in the loop with texts and pictures as they had Jake and the other guys try on different tuxes; and then Mom and Angela were recruited for in-person approval of the final choice when they were at that stage of the process before we were finished at the wedding boutique. Michael was one of the guys wearing the ‘winning’ choice tux, so I got to see a picture of that; we both got teased some more; and the odds of that sofa sleepover went up to the point where none of the girls would take the ‘not happening’ side of the bet anymore.
I didn’t get to see Michael in his tux in person because by the time we got to the Mall; he was finished with his fitting – as were about half of the guys. As we were told several times, it may be totally unfair that the bride can see the groom in his tux while he can’t see her dress before the wedding processional; but I’ll guess that Jake was pretty much over the disappointment by the time that Stephanie finished telling him how much she loved how great he looked in his tux in a mostly non-verbal way. While half of the girls in our group stayed for the rest of the tux fittings; Michael, Rebecca, and I were set free until lunchtime. We met up with Mom, Angela, and their gang; and then we also took over keeping an eye on Jessica, Geraldine, and Lindsay so that Anna-Marie, Erica, and Carolyn could go and do their own thing for a few hours.
It hasn’t been that long since our summer shopping trip, so I didn’t really need to pick up anything; but that didn’t keep me from finding two tops, a pair of shorts, a swimsuit, and a sundress that wouldn’t let me leave the stores without them. I’m including the full shopping time in that list; but only picked up the sundress before we met up with most of our group for lunch in the food court at one o’clock. Our afternoon shopping adventure included some wedding-related work that ranged from a bride and groom visit to the jewelry store with the parents to picking up the supplies for everything from decorating the church and Inn to some of the treats that would be going into the gift baskets for the guests. That was actually going to be gift cauldrons; but that was as much for the chef reference as for a magical theme for the night.
Michael, Rebecca, and I had one of the shopping lists, and while we needed to split off from Mom, Angela, and the kids to take care of some of that; we usually also at least took some of the kids with us – with Jessica, Sophia, and Ehlana most happy to come along and help us out. We had all of our ‘work’ done and the bonus fun shopping by the time that Terry met up with us after finishing his work back at home, and while we still had a bit of time left before needing to move on; Mom decided to head over to the hotel a bit early so that we could check in and freshen up before meeting up with everyone again for dinner. That had the advantage that Dad didn’t need to drive out to meet us too; but let’s not review how happy he was about meeting up with Mom in his room while Michael, Ethan, Ehlana, and I were in our room. The smiles were more information than we needed to have; and I’ll guess that Mom’s wards were up around their room for more than the privacy. If you absolutely must, think time phasing; use your imagination; and never tell me about it if you do should I still be around when you’re reading this someday in my future.
Yes, I do have a double standard for that when it comes to my parents compared to me using time phases for making out with Michael; but I’m a teen – deal with the inequity of it all and move along!
Dinner was a crazy-busy couple of hours of non-stop fun. Angela had picked out a surf and turf restaurant for us; we needed to be split up around a half-dozen tables; and Michael and I were on kid control duty with the twins, Sophia, Valerie, Jessica, Geraldine, and Lindsay while there were tables for the senior members of the wedding party and the parents; the rest of the Proctor-Malloy group; and the temporarily single teen girls’ club that Rebecca joined for the meal. I would have liked to spend some time with the teens and adults too, but Michael and I were good with getting to spend the extra time with Jessica and Sophia. Once again, that’s another example of cousins that we don’t get to spend enough time with despite the fact that they live on the same street with us; and Sophia spends time with Ethan and Ehlana at least a couple of times a week.
We at least made up for that a bit today – and tonight after dinner. The parents either headed home, to the hotel, or elsewhere for a few hours after we left the restaurant; but dropped all of the kids or teens off at the movie theater so that we could wrap up our day with a bit of bonus entertainment. Michael and I were drafted to be the kid control managers; and we had the same gang with us for our cinematic adventure into the world of the Minions. The rest of the teens split up and either went to see Jurassic World or Insurgent. I would have liked to see both of those movies too; but I’ll guess that we had more fun watching the Minions thanks especially to Ethan, Ehlana, and Sophia. By the end of the show, they were pretending to be our Minions; and then expanded their act when we met up with the rest of our movie-going gang outside of the theater. Jake, Stephanie, Violet, Dillon, Josiah, and Christina were all particularly amused when it was their turn to be followed around by our three little Minions for a while before they moved on to their next target.
Mom came to get Michael, Ethan, Ehlana, and me while Miranda, Jacob, Samantha, and Stuart were there to collect their passengers too after hanging out together for that two hours or so doing some other wedding-related shopping; and then it was time to say goodbye when our little sub-group headed back to the hotel while everyone else was going home. It was going to be late by the time they got back to Witch Falls; but most of the teens and parents are working in the morning; and our favorite collegians decided not to spend the money on a city sleepover that they’d rather have for going back-to-school – or for their honeymoon in Jake and Stephanie’s case.
When we got back to the hotel, we had a little bedtime visit with Dad in his room, but he still had lots of work to get done by morning; so we kept that short. Again, let’s not go into why Dad still had so much work left to do after having several hours of kid-free time to get that done. Michael and I took Ethan and Ehlana with us to our room; we took turns getting ready for bed in the washroom; and then we put a movie on and got into bed – Michael and Ethan in one; and Ehlana and I in the other. At the risk of future ruin to Michael’s reputation, he did cuddle with Ethan while I cuddled with Ehlana, but try not to give him a hard time about that – the twins are only four; and still officially in the cuddling-is-cool years. Sure, he’d have rather been cuddling with me; but Michael really loves my brother and sister a lot too; and we had fun tonight while watching our show until all three of my roommates for the night fell asleep.
I waited until the movie was over to get started on my nightly computer checks; dealt with a bit of family business work; and answered a half-dozen emails from family and friends – including a couple from Violet and Rebecca that were mostly just to let me know that they were home safely – and wondering if I was enjoying my sleepover with Michael. Dawn and Jillian sent me an email too; mostly interested in getting details about their upcoming holiday in Witch Falls. Other than the extra work that goes along with getting ready for a cousins’ vacation, I haven’t really even thought about that much; and Mom and Aunt Leanne haven’t exactly put a lot of time into planning for it either with everything they both have on the go right now.
Maybe Aunt Leanne and I should just do a little matchmaking for Dawn and Jillian and leave them to entertain themselves for the next two weeks! ;^)
I’m so glad that their fathers will never ready this – and don’t you dare pass this along to them, Violet!
Moving along, that’s all of the news for today, and while I haven’t even come close to listing every detail; I’m sure that bits and pieces of the action today will show up in future journal updates – particularly when it comes to the wedding fun. Mom has some more shopping to get done tomorrow; we’re going to visit SportsFusion for a couple of hours too; and then we need to be home in time for dinner with a fast food fix for Aunt Leanne; so I’m going to wrap this up now and join Michael, Ethan, and Ehlana in slumber land. Our adventures in the city may be more than half-done now, but I definitely want to be ready for that shopping and play time by morning; so, until next time...
...May the Magi Force be with you!