|Corinne, myself, and the sunset over Lake Pontchartrain, just as we had planned.
On the evening of Saturday July 18, Corinne and I had our formal wedding ceremony at Lakefront Airport in New Orleans. We had about 35 people in attendance: mostly close friends and family, and less than half the number we were expecting for our originally-planned March ceremony, but still within the State of Louisiana's limit of 50 attendees for events such as these.
This was good, as it gave people a chance to spread out; we encouraged social distancing and mask-wearing as much as we could (although it gets hard for people to comply as food is served and champagne flows), and our awesome venue caterer was very good with their sanitation protocols. Over three weeks after the ceremony, we've gotten no reports of any of our attendees falling ill from COVID. We're thankful and relieved.
|Our wedding occurred almost two years to the day from
when I proposed to Corinne in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.
I celebrated by posting on that village's Facebook page
and received a wonderful response from them.
In retrospect, it was the right decision. The ceremony and reception were everything Corinne and I had planned (see here for some early pictures from our wonderful photographer). The food and cake were delicious. Our vendors were happy to be working a wedding again. Everybody in attendance had a good time. Nobody got sick. And it's all behind us now: no more stress of planning and preparing, no more agony of waiting.
We had our wedding, and it was good.
We stayed in New Orleans for a couple of days after the wedding, visiting with family and friends who remained. Then, on Tuesday July 21, Corinne and I got into a rented Chevy Impala and embarked upon a honeymoon roadtrip that we were probably looking more forward to than the wedding itself. After spending the night with friends in Knoxville, Tennessee, we made our way to Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We spent a few nights at a secluded cabin on the Tennessee side of the park before heading south and spending a couple more nights at another secluded cabin on the North Carolina side, and spent the time hiking, relaxing and enjoying the scenery. While there were lots of people in the park itself and mask-wearing was not universal, we were generally able to keep our distance as we hiked. Car-based excursions such as the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and the Cades Cove Loop also allowed for social distancing. The only big crowds we encountered were at Clingmans Dome, and even those weren't horrible. I was also finally got to see what the view from the observation deck looks like when not completely obstructed by fog, although the walk up there brutally reminded me how fat and out of shape I am.
|Th observation deck at Clingmans Dome without the fog
|A view of the North Carolina countryside from the Blue Ridge Parkway
|A Concorde, among other aircraft at the Udvar-Hazy Center
All in all, it was a wonderful and much-needed vacation. But now, unfortunately, the fun is over and it's time for me to get back to work. Due to the high infection rate here in Houston, my employer has abandoned the practice of allowing some of us to go into the office a couple of times a week on a rotating basis. This means I'll be working from home full-time for the foreseeable future, and I'm not excited about that. I did get my computer repaired (a failing hard drive was causing it to operate slowly), so I'll be able to be at least somewhat productive here at home. But it's just a matter of time before I start to go stir-crazy again, and it will only be worse if I don't have any college football to look forward to this fall.
Which begs the question: is it too early for Corinne and me to start planning our next roadtrip?