Shing and DeAnne's Wedding
Congratulations to Shing and DeAnne!
New things learned on this weekend trip to Houston:
The first thing we do when we get out of the airport is pile into Matt's car and head back to Matt and Kelly's place. I remembered rocketing around Dallas at 100mph+ a few years ago in Andi's Supra... we rocket around Houston at 85mph+ in Matt's Maxima. hee hee hee. Then Matt hits the brakes. SQQEEEEEEAAAALLL!! People all around us are looking around wondering what the hell is going on. The guys next to us in try to rocket away trying to escape the hideous noise. Back at the Blehm residence, breakfast is biscuits and gravy. Very tasty. We bum around Matt's place for a while, waiting to meet up with Justin and Cheriosioux (sp?). Matt and Randy run to the parts store and drive around the 240 while I get a few precious minutes (an hour or so?) of sleep.
We meet up with Justin and Cherio at a local race shop. Justin's not there yet, but Matt explains to the guy at the counter that we're friends of Justin and he's meeting us here. That's like flipping a switch-- "You're friends of Justin? Hey the TV's over there, you want me to get you some Cokes, how about some free t-shirts!". Amazing. We meet up with Ari's sister, who picks up some fuel injectors from Matt-- and she ends up paying Matt in rolls of change. That was interesting. Meet up with Justin and Cherio, head to Whataburger for lunch (tasty enough but nothing special), then realize we need to be at the Sugarland Marriot soon so we hop onto the toll freeway and run over through traffic. As we approach the first toll booth, Matt pulls up next to Justin and we toss a roll of quarters out the window for the toll. People around us are wondering what the hell we're doing. They don't realize we're just better prepared than they are. *grins*
Things I already knew, but reconfirmed:
People are still trickling in from the airports and highways as we arrive at the Mariott. We run into Russ in the lobby, then Justin and Cherio run off to the wedding rehearsal. The Fobarts arrived that morning and got some sleep, but they're off with family. Randy, Matt, Mario, Valerie, Sage, Jen, and I wait around til the 6:00pm mark rolls around, then we head off to the lobby, meet Russ again, and look for dinner. The nearest agreeable place turns out to be TGI Fridays' (bleh!), but hell, it's close, we've got a good-sized group here, and we just agreed on a place to have dinner in under an hour. Let's go! The large margaritas helped attitudes as well. *grins*
Tim and Debbie, Ryan and Jason, Jesse, Hector, Al and Delores, Jamie, Justin and Cherio all show up, either at TGI Friday's or back at the hotel (group shot). Tim and Debbie were supposed to meet us at TGI Friday's, but their "15 minutes away!" turned into an hour-- then we found out they had arrived at the hotel and Shing had kidnapped them to dinner with the wedding party at PF Chang's. Shing and DeAnne eventually make an appearance as well, then we head off to find a place for the bachelor party and let Al show off his (other) 240. We end up at a pool hall, where the pool sharks emerge (I hear Valerie, Russ, and Jen were pretty good) and the pool guppies (e.g. me.) try to avoid getting eaten by the sharks. Add in a little Shiner and some other drinks and it's fun all night long as we have our first real meeting of everyone together at the same time in person.
Finally, things I could have learned or reconfirmed just about anywhere-- not just in Houston:
Far too early the next day is the wedding, which takes 45 minutes to get to because of Houston's ridiculous freeway system and massive amounts of construction. Safari Texas Ranch turns out to be a nice little place and the day is extremely pleasant, perfect for an outdoor wedding. Al and Jamie are ushers while Jason and Ryan are shooting the wedding, while the rest of us stand around and mingle, looking at the all the photo displays Shing and DeAnne have up. (Shing? Makeup? What?)
The ceremony is surprisingly brief and elegant in its simplicity. Jason has some amazing photos up, although a little kid planting a video camera and a tripod up the center of the aisle didn't help (neither did the scratched CD for music). Very quickly, the ceremony is over and we're inside for drinks and snacks until the reception starts. Back to mingling-- we talk with OldSlowGuy from the Conecrazy forums and a few others before the reception, which is a bit of a free-for-all with regard to tables-- even for the bridal party (!). We give Shing and DeAnne a relatively easy time on the banging-forks-on-glasses-asking-them-to-kiss and instead swarm them as they cut the wedding cake. A bunch of us end up sitting on the floor going at it with cameras as they cut the cake, so more people can get closer to watch.
Speeches from the best man and maid of honor follow, instead of the elaborate MC and five separate ten minute speeches I'm used to seeing at Chinese weddings. The money dance, bouquet toss, and garter toss are all fairly short and simple as well; maybe it was because the DJ's song choices were less than ideal? We let Sage out onto the dance floor for the money dance, which continues the afternoon's amusement. *grins* The garter toss is far less amusing. Eight single guys on the floor, none of whom seem to want to catch the thing (including myself) let it fall to the floor with expressions of "what the hell is that??" on their faces. Oblivious to much of this, two little kids (Shing and DeAnne's nieces?) dance the night away.
After the wedding, we rest for a few hours, then the whole darned group of Shing and DeAnne's internet geek friends and significant others meet in the lobby of the hotel for dinner. Hooray for last-minute planning, we go to Goode Company for BBQ (yummy, but supposedly better places exist in Texas) with less than an hour of disagreement. It's extremely entertaining how much fun we have as a group, taking over a whole table outside the BBQ place, then running over to Dave and Buster's to finish the night. I've had fun at Dave and Buster's before, but this was probably the most fun I've ever had there, and it was one of the cheapest experiences I've had there as well since it didn't involve the purchase of any alcohol (!).
Coin-drop games, drop-the-hammer games, shooting games, skeeball, and the highlight of the night, taking over the racing game. Ever had a competitive race in one of those games, where EVERYONE is a decent driver? It's vicious! Along the way we collect a couple of thousand tickets from the coin drop games from Michelle, Stacy, Russ, Shing and DeAnne, and probably a few others. What do we do? Buy and little espresso mugs for everyone as souveniers. I've still got 1,000 tickets on my powercard waiting for someone to use 'em. (Stacy, they're mostly yours anyway!) Finished off the night with a group picture outside, then piling back to the airport the next morning...
Fun times... fun times.
Congratulations to Shing and DeAnne!