Three Birthdays and a Wedding, June 2012

It’s been a busy month.  June started with my birthday, which was closely followed by David’s birthday, and then finished up with a trip to Chicago to celebrate my cousin’s wedding, see the family, and have a quick visit with Lexy.

David and I celebrated my birthday pretty quietly.  I had an easy morning on my own, because David was in Austin for a meeting, and I drove in to Baltimore to pick him up around noon.  We dropped off his bags, and then headed into Old Town to shop for a bike, which was his birthday present to me.  The guys at Wheel Nuts were super-helpful, and we placed an order for this:

I don’t have a name for her yet, but I’m taking suggestions!  David got his bike tuned up, too, and we’ve been taking lots of rides together.  He even got me a rack and a basket that clips into it for the back so we can ride to the farmer’s market Saturday mornings.

We had sushi for dinner, and then went and saw The Avengers, because, let’s face it, it’s just plain awesome. My favorite moments: when the Black Widow takes a call during her interrogation, when Ironman tells Thor not to take his stuff, and when Captain American tells the NYPD what to do.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you should, and when you do, make sure to stay for the second “surprise” ending.

Renata came down to visit for David’s birthday, and we went to the International Spy Museum.  They didn’t allow us to take photos in the museum, but they had a giant box that would take a photo in front of a “spy car” and email it.  There were lots of people around, so you can’t really see the car…

Later that night we went out with friends to a bar in DC called Reef.  We played games and caught up and generally indulged in merriment.  David wore the fedora I bought for him.  (Also, yes – that’s a wooden robot that I’m holding.  It was another birthday present I got for David.)

The wedding we attended was for my cousin Mike and his (now) wife, Anne.  It was held just outside Chicago where Anne grew up.

The rehearsal dinner was at her mother and step-father’s farm, surrounded on all sides by corn and wheat.  As the sun set, I caught my Poppa taking his great-granddaughter Caylee for a walk.

The wedding ceremony was in a small Catholic church, with one of Anne’s family members officiating, and the reception was held at a local country club.  Both events were stunningly beautiful, with the bride looking particularly breathtaking and the groom looking pleased, but a little shell-shocked.  I didn’t get any photos, because at the ceremony I forgot and at the reception I was too busy making a fool of myself on the dance floor, but I found a couple photos posted by others:

The morning after the reception we attended the brunch hosted by Anne’s parents for their guests who stayed at the hotel.  When it was finished and everyone had checked out, my extended family caravanned out to Starved Rock Park and checked into the lodge there for a three day “Camp Duffus:” a brief revival of what used to be an annual family event.  David and I really enjoyed seeing my family, some of whom he was meeting for the first time. We played many games of cards, drank far too many drinks, and generally had a great time.  We also celebrated Poppa’s birthday with a fire, camp songs, and – oh, yes – shirts.

We’re heading home from Chicago now (I’m writing in the airport), and we just said goodbye to my friend Lexy.  We stayed a few extra days to swing up to Chicago after the family left so we could visit her.  We had sushi for dinner, spent the night catching up with Lexy, and saw the Garfield Park Conservatory this afternoon.  I found the Garfield Park Conservatory in a Google search for things to do in Chicago, and it was a winner.  We had a great time and spent several hours looking at all they had to offer.  (I would suggest bringing a bottle of water, if you go, however, as there’s a lot to see, and the rooms are very warm and humid.)