Tuesday, April 01, 2008

*Jason and Mel's wedding*

In August, we made our first roadtrip with Owen to Philadelphia for my brother's wedding to Melinda! The 12-hour trip went smoothly with the help of O's trusty DVD player and a short stay overnight at Dency's house in Maryland, where Owen enjoyed playing with Rahel and Rayhanna. The next day we arrived in Philly and attended the dress rehearsal at the beautiful Glen Foerd mansion overlooking the Delaware River where they got married, followed by a lovely Italian rehearsal dinner. The following day Roby and I were honored to be a groomsman and bridesmaid in Jason and Melinda's wedding. (Although Owen was a tad too young to participate in the actual ceremony, he put on some fancy duds for the important occasion. Dooney, our lifesaver, entertained O, walking him around the grounds during the wedding so he wouldn't interrupt the ceremony.)

Mel looked radiant in her stunning dress, and Jason quite handsome as they exchanged vows by the water's edge and mingled colored sand together representing their union. It was hard not to cry watching my little brother (I'm sure he hates when I call him that ;) marry the woman of his dreams. Melinda is awesome- I couldn't imagine anyone else more perfect for him. I'm excited to have a sister, and O is happy that she is officially his Aunt Mel! (which used to sound like "oatmeal" when he first started saying it :) A fabulous reception with funny speeches, delish food (plus a chocolate fountain...yum!) and crazy dancing rounded out the perfect day. As you can see, they had fun dancing the night away. (One of the pictures is of Jase and his law school friend Bernard, maybe doing the lawnmower? :) Energetic Owen joined in the fun, dancing around like a little crazy man. (Sorry for the lack of proper wedding pics, but it's hard to take them when you are in the wedding. Hopefully once I buy some from the photographer I will be able to post one.)

It was wonderful to see cousins we haven't seen in awhile and meet Jason and Mel's friends in the wedding party. Roby's parents, who have always really liked my brother, attended as well- quite the family affair! Since Jase and Mel didn't leave for their honeymoon right away, we were able to spend some quality time with them several days after the wedding festivities ended, including a picnic the day after the wedding for everyone who was still in town (we did this too since our wedding fell on Memorial Day weekend...apparently the Hanfords like to get married on picnic holidays ;), a Labor Day picnic with Roby's friends and family, a small picnic with just the newlyweds, us and my Mom, and a nice dinner in Manayunk.

During our Philly trip, we were also able to spend time with Roby's family while staying with his brother and sister-in-law (Rony & Rani). Owen enjoyed playing with his cousins Isabel, Anngelina and Alex since he is finally old enough to play with them. Roby worked in NY during part of our trip, giving me some time to meet with friends, including a playdate with Julie and Brenda (who was still pregnant with her little girl Corinne at the time). I was happy to have the chance to spend some extra time catching up with Brenda over dinner and a movie. One day I drove to NJ (benefit of having your car with you during a trip) to visit my college friend Jodi and her 6-month-old boy Hunter. We ate at a yummo Princeton vegetarian restaurant and then hung out at a nearby park. It had been years since we had seen each other, so it was much needed and *wonderful* to finally get together.

Roby took Owie to his first Phillies game with the guys (Shibu, Divyesh and Binoy), and Owen STILL remembers eating french fries at the game, pretty funny thing to attach importance too. He still has his bright green Philly Fanatic doll to remind him of this milestone (his first Phillies game, not the french fries ;) For a belated birthday present, Roby surprised me with tickets to see Wicked! We went with Binoy, Ryn, Dooney, Abbey and Soby. (Having read the book, I loved this broadway show!) Afterwards we stuffed our faces at Monk's Cafe, known for their pommes frites with bourbon mayo, and their extensive Belgian beer list. At the end of our trip we were able to attend John and Sherine's lovely wedding, which thankfully took place during the time we were in town. They too, looked fabulous and so in love, and we had a great time celebrating with friends. (Some of the pics below of Shibu and Brenda and us on the little bridge are from the wedding location.) We weren't able to stay for the fireworks display because we left from there for our trip home. All in all it was such a lovely visit, full of some great times and memories, especially Jason and Mel's wedding! This was one of our best trips back home ever, and we look forward to another one in the future so we can visit family and friends yet again. We miss you all here in lonely Tennessee!

Owen and Rahel

O with cousins Anngelina & Isabel

...and Alex

Brenda & me (and Corinne ;)

Mummy grilling at the cook-out

Ab, Shib & Div

Jodi & Hunter

Hunter & Owen

The night we saw Wicked

Shib, Div, Binoy with Roby & O at the Phillies game

I *love* this photo that Shibu took of Roby & Owie at the stadium!

Rob with the guys at Sherine's wedding

Ab & Doon at a George Michael concert...I mean Sherine's wedding!

Brenda & Shibu

Notice Owie in his little Indian outfit and sash :)

A tuckered out Owen on the drive home