The Rehearsal Dinner

CarolStarred Page By Carol, 7th Jan 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Weddings

I recently went to USA to attend my grand daughter's wedding. The evening before was the rehearsal, followed by dinner. We wanted to get there in time, but our journey was difficult. Did we make it? Read on to find out more

The Rehearsal Dinner

My grand daughter had planned her wedding for 28th December 2013. That in itself was a bit of a problem for me, as I always have my son Phil, who has special needs, home for Christmas. However, after consulting with his carers, we arranged for us to take him back after lunch on Boxing Day, and then fly out on 27th. It wasn't an ideal situation, but I was determined we should make it work.

With the help of a very kind man called Eric, who works for Dialaflight, our flight was sorted. The only snag was the nearest we could get to Greensboro was Washington, and then it was about a 6 hour car journey after that. Our flight came in at 11am, by the time we picked the car up it would be midday, we would arrive at maybe 6pm if all went according to plan. Then I found out that there was a Rehearsal Dinner at 7pm, and full of confidence, I assumed it would all work out.

We left England during a storm, so after a rather shaky take-off, it was a relief to land in Washington and see the sun shining, although it was very cold. You can imagine my elation when we arrived 15 minutes early, every minute counted, and I knew we would want to freshen up and change when we arrived before going out for the meal

But what happened after that?

From then on our day went horribly wrong. Although the plan touched down 15 minutes early, it took another 30 minutes for the doors to open. The reason we were told was the man who brought out the gangway to walk on, was dyslexic, and he had gone to the wrong numbered gate.

I could feel the anxiety building up inside me already, but I knew I must stay calm. Passport control was virtually empty. first time ever, so we passed through there with relief, it was then 11.30am. We were taking my English grand daughter with us, and her Dad had lent us a sat nav, which he said would work in USA. We tried for 10 minutes, and then the man at the car hire place tried for another 15 minutes, and then we had to concede defeat and hire one of theirs.

When we set the destination, it showed our time of arrival as 6pm, it wasn't as far as we thought, so maybe we could still do it. But sat navs don't take into consideration traffic lights, and all the difficulties that can crop up on the way. The first road we took had traffic lights about every 100 yards, and they were always red when we got there. So then we changed to an interstate, this had a 5 mile tail back because of an accident further on.

We found another route, but this one had road works on, we had spent an hour so far, and barely travelled 10 miles. We decided that we couldn't work miracles, we would get there when we could, and we were not going to stress about it. My grand daughter Imogen proved how unstressed she was by settling down on the back seat for a nap.

We found another route.

The sat nav recalculated, and took us on another interstate, and this one was free. We drove along, and gradually we were making up the time we had lost I wouldn't say we were going too fast, cos all the other cars were going faster.
It now looked like we were going to arrive at 6.30pm, which would just give us time to freshen up, and make the hotel where the dinner was being held by 7pm. Then Keith noticed that the petrol was low. " Never mind, we can just nip in a petrol station and get some." I said confidently.

When we arrived there, it was a self service pump, and I wondered why although Keith had the pump in his hand, nothing was happening. I saw the desperation on his face when he said, " It won't accept our post code, I will have to go and get help."
Poor Keith, I had to keep calm, we were so near, and yet so far, from our destination.

When he went into the garage shop, I just knew [by the body language of the attendant, that it would take a long time. He was tall and lanky, bored and disinterested. The words, " Please can you help us, we are in such a hurry, and we need petrol." were totally lost on him. He came ambling out, complaining that he didn't know how to get the petrol out without a proper zip code. I wondered if my ears were deceiving me, even when Keith offered him the cash, and pointed out he had a car, and there was petrol in the pump, he still shook his head in confusion.

Eventually another man came out, maybe a bit older and wiser, and hurrah we got petrol, but as we drove away, all the time we had made up, had now been lost. It was dark by now, and we finally arrived at the house at 7pm to find it deserted. Then I remembered they had gone straight from the rehearsal to the hotel where dinner would be.
" Never mind, we can get changed and join them." I said brightly, it was only a few minutes late.
But guess what when I searched my handbag for the address and name of the hotel, I remembered I had changed handbags, and the invitation was securely zipped into an inside pocket of the other one, so I wouldn't lose it!

Thank goodness for the Teenagers.

My phone does not work in America, but guess what, 13 year old Imogen has an I phone, and before I knew it, we had found out where they all were, and were on our way.

When we got there, everyone got up to greet us. What a welcome, aunts, uncles cousins, such a big group of family, all delighted that we had got there safely. Then we had a delicious beef meal, washed down with white wine, and then a very fancy gateau afterwards.

They apologised for having their starters without us, but we didn't mind, usually I can only manage to eat 2 courses, whether it's starter and main course, or main and dessert. We sat chatting contentedly with our wonderful family, and were able to look back at the events of the past day and see the funny side of it. After all, it's better to be late than never!

Becky and Nate's Bridal Shower
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Tags

Car, Dialaflight, Eric, Family, Garage, Hotel, Iphone, Late Traffic, Meal, Plane, Rehearsal Dinner, Road Works, Tailback, Welcome

Meet the author

author avatar Carol
I am a proud mother and grandmother, and an author. I have had 7 books published. My hobbies are walking, swimming, and playing badminton. I try to raise more awareness of autism with my writing.

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Comments

author avatar Jerry Walch
8th Jan 2014 (#)

A very moving story.

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author avatar Carol
8th Jan 2014 (#)

Thanks for reading Jerry.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
8th Jan 2014 (#)

The important thing is that you made it, Carol. Quite a journey you had. So glad it all worked out well in the end.

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author avatar Carol
8th Jan 2014 (#)

Thanks Connie, and we made it safely too.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
9th Jan 2014 (#)

A charming tale. Better late than never, indeed!

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author avatar Carol
9th Jan 2014 (#)

Thanks Phyl

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author avatar Blanka
9th Jan 2014 (#)

Hi Carol, what a stress must it have been right at the beginning of the journey and after the tiring flight! Glad you managed to sort everything out and arrive at the dinner only a little later. Love xxx

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author avatar Carol
9th Jan 2014 (#)

Thank you Blanka, xx

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
9th Jan 2014 (#)

Well that was an adventure , wasn't it dear Carol .? With a happy ending as well I am happy to hear .
God bless you dear friend , and a very Blessed 2014 to you and your family near and far .
Stella ><

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author avatar Carol
9th Jan 2014 (#)

Thanks for reading Steall. Happy New year to you too! xx

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author avatar Carol
9th Jan 2014 (#)

Sorry I meant to type Stella xx

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author avatar Retired
9th Jan 2014 (#)

Wow! You had an interesting journey. I am glad it all worked out well and you arrived safely.

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author avatar Carol
9th Jan 2014 (#)

Thank you carol

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
10th Jan 2014 (#)

Nice and interesting post in every line!

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author avatar Carol
10th Jan 2014 (#)

Thank you Fern.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
10th Jan 2014 (#)

I have gone through similar trials and tribulations that are funny to recollect later but is a nightmare making us believe misfortunes do not come singly. You kept me on tenterhooks Carol but so happy this had a good and happy ending - siva

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author avatar Carol
10th Jan 2014 (#)

Thank you Siva

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author avatar Retired
13th Jan 2014 (#)

So glad you were able to arrive safely despite the setbacks... congrats to your granddaughter on her wedding... may she and her husband have many blissful years together.

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author avatar Carol
13th Jan 2014 (#)

Thanks very much Starrleena

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author avatar M G Singh
17th Jan 2014 (#)

Nice memorable post

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author avatar Carol
17th Jan 2014 (#)

Thank you Madan

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