03/07/2014 - 03/09/2014 40 °F
The adventure has unofficially begun, and, hopefully not indicative of the future, started with a stumble.
My European adventure I suppose has not officially begun yet, as I still remain on this side of the pond, but I’ve set off from home with just my backpack (and a few other things that won’t be coming to Europe). The first stop was Fairfield, NJ for the wedding of 2 friends from Cornell. Ironically Nick, the groom, had been my travel companion the LAST time I ventured east for adventure and excitement. That trip had been 5 weeks of backpacking thru European cities - a trip that was magical and eye-opening, and kicked off my ongoing passion for travel. That trip set the bar for this trip unfairly high and resulted in stories that I barely believe now. If material runs short during times in my journey, perhaps I will break out the journal that I kept from that trip and retell some of the best ones.
Anyways, I thought this first leg of the trip would be relatively easy, but I was jarringly reminded how far the public transpo system in the US is behind that in Europe. Anxious to meet up with the many Cornell people who would be in town for the wedding, I hopped on an Amtrack train at 8:45 am in Rochester, set to arrive in Penn Station at 3:50. A quick jog over to Port Authority would have had me on a bus to arrive near the hotel by 5:30 with plenty of time to get settled and what-not before our dinner reservations. I’m not sure when or why the delays hit, but following hours of sleeping / reading / surfing the internet / rinse & repeat, I realized that it was 4 pm and that we were most definitely not in NYC. A quick inquiry told me that we’d be about 2 hours late into Penn Station, which caused only rolled eyes and a few “I should expect this by now” from some of the regular passengers. Thank goodness the trains in Europe are actually competent and show up near their planned arrival times (I hope).
When our train finally pulled in, I prepared the always daunting task of navigating the streets of NY lugging luggage behind me - in this case my big pack, a second smaller CamelBak pack, and a garment bag with my suit.
Comical it may have been but crowded bus stations and buses were no fun. Thankfully after ditching some items and the suit, I’ll be tromping around Europe with just my big pack.
Anyway, I make it to Port Authority and my 193 bus out to NJ like a NYC pro, and when we’re barely a mile from the terminal, the bus breaks down - OF COURSE. Yada yada yada… the get us a new bus after 20 minutes and I’m finally on my way. Onwards on my journey and on my way to seeing lots of good friends from college.
The weekend proceeds with what I’ve come to expect from a typical and awesome wedding weekend of Cornellians and DKEs. Too much drinking, not enough sleep, almost the right amount of shenanigans (we are at a wedding, and obviously are classy people ). The wedding and the bride were beautiful (I’ll just post 1 picture). I guess the groom didn’t look bad either. The quick bullet point highlights:
- incredible looking wedding party (DKEs not withstanding)
- A friend perform the ceremony (Universal Life Church - WADDUP!)
- An incredible spread of hors d'oeuvres during the cocktail hour (Ceviche station, seriously?). I gave up and accepted the fact that my appetite would be doomed for the main course
- Great DJ with my personal favorite thing to add to my personal wedding PinIt page (in my head) - Extreme Percussion. Basically just a dreadlocked guy in front of the DJ booth rocking out on a small drumset with the music
- Open bar but I’m too busy dancing to drink all that much
- Party til 12, after party til 1:30, after after party til 3 or so
- Good times, good memories for all. Hopefully even more so for the happy married couple! They have an awesome sounding honeymoon planned with a great combo of adventure/extreme activities and lying around relaxing on a beach.
I’m sure I left some stuff out, but I try not to make these too wordy. I was surprised to learn that a number of Cornellians have been reading the blog thus far. I guess that other people pay far more attention to FB than I do. Got more than a few comments that I need to spice it up, apparently I’m losing people’s interest. So for those people - here’s the important thing: I land in Europe on March 20th. After that my posts will actually about foreign lands, beautiful maidens, fearsome dragons and everything else that lives outside this continent. I’m going to keep writing until then because I kinda enjoy it, but feel free to ignore posts until then (or after then - no sweat off my back ).
Life’s a game made for everyone
And love is the prize