Monday, September 22, 2008

Tour de Florence

B's parents came to visit Florence this weekend and browse possible rehearsal dinner sites. For years, he's been telling them how "cute" Florence is, and how much it reminds him of his lake house town (Blue Ridge, Georgia), so I know they were picturing a smaller, more Main Street-type location. That's putting it nicely. I really think they were expecting to find maybe one option that would work (all others being too small, etc), so it was great news that we found not one, not two, but three locations that will work and are available. Only fitting since we already have two churches, two bands, two... you get the picture. We have options!
It was so great having them in town. They picked me up in Birmingham on Thursday night and we grabbed dinner, then drove on to Florence. We checked them into the Marriott and showed them the view of the river from their balcony before B and I headed to mom and dad's for the night. It was wonderful being back home--I had no idea I hadn't been back since June. That feels like forever. The weather took a cold turn, so we had all the windows open and it was just, well, perfect.

Friday morning, I got a quick haircut (thank you, Andy!), then picked up his parents for a quick tour of town. They saw the hotels where guests will stay, the riverfront, the reception site, our house, and my old school, Mars Hill, then we hustled back to meet the Marriott lady for lunch and a tour.

Now, slight disclaimer, B's mom knows about my blog, so I'm sure that eventually she will read this, likely when she is full torn and has no idea which place to pick, and hope that I have stated a solid preference. Ha. Will not do it. Or will try very hard not to!

We saw the Marriott and it was fabulous. Centrally located, wonderful food, new facility. All great things. The lady treated us to lunch and stuffed us silly with crab soup, salads, lunches, and a to-die-for dessert sampler with four full-sized desserts. You could've rolled us out of there.

From the Marriott, we headed to Cyprus Lakes, a public used-to-be country club in town. They've got a great room that looks out over a golf course, plus a cute patio area to boot. The caterer was beyond sweet and walked us through everything before sending us on our way.

We headed back to the hotel and dropped his parents off so they could rest for a few minutes ('interviewing" people is exhausting!), then B and I headed home to grab a nap ourselves. Mom and dad were champs and went to pick up his parents at the hotel so we could rest a few minutes longer before dinner at the Country Club, where the reception will be.

We had such a nice dinner, just sitting around talking about details and football and nothing at all for a few hours before we started hammering out a gameplan for when we met the abbot the next day. The abbot of St. Michael's, where we'll marry is named Victor Clark, and he is a wonderfully nice man who lives in the parish house behind the church. We met him a few years ago when my sister got married in that church and, unfortunately, the title 'abbot' didn't mean much to any of us, having not been raised in the Catholic church, so we kept getting it confused and flipped around. Instead of calling him Abbot Victor, we called him Victor Abbot, and it stuck. So, over dinner, we worked on NOT calling him Victor Abbot, then called it a night.

Saturday morning B and I picked up his parents and headed for our final two locations-- The Shoals, a golf course club house with a dynamite view, and Dales, a local restaurant. As we drove, I kept thinking that we should be praying... praying for the meeting with Abbot Victor. Praying that we wouldn't encounter the bikers. Praying that B wouldn't figure out how many good football games were on.

The meetings went great and we actually caught most of the Alabama game over lunch at the golf clubhouse, then we went to meet the abbot and, surprise!, he let us move the wedding back from 1pm to 3pm. Much better! Catholic churches have Saturday Mass, so you have to work around them, or pray they work with you. I owe that man some serious cookies.

We toasted that night over dinner at my parents' house before flipping on the Auburn/LSU game and totally relaxing on Saturday night. What a weekend-- a wedding time set, 3 possible rehearsal sites, and some very fun memories with my soon-to-be in-laws. I can't wait!

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