Monday, September 29, 2008

Wedding in SC

Friday morning Jimmy and Rene picked me up and we went to the airport to fly to the Carolinas for the wedding of our friend Curt who moved back to South Carolina from Austin 3 years ago. He met her after moving back, so none of us had ever met his bride. Dave rode his bike and met us in Darlington, where Curt grew up, and site of the wedding. It was rainy on Friday from remnants of a a tropical storm, but Saturday and Sunday were sunny and beautiful, not too hot or muggy as it could have been. I was at least a little surprised, pleasantly so, that the plate in my ankle didn't set off the metal detectors.
We flew into Charlotte, NC, rented a car and then drove down into SC to our hotel in Florence. We took a US highway instead of the interstate, which was quite built up, with lots of traffic lights, so it was kind of slow going. It took quite a while to get out of greater Charlotte. Because of the gas shortage, the gas stations were either out of gas or had ridiculous lines, some even had police to keep things orderly. We got to the hotel about 6, checked in, then met up with Dave and went over to the church for the rehearsal dinner. The food was very good, we got a chance to meet some people and catch up with Curt a little bit. I didn't really get a chance to say much more than hello to the bride. After dinner we picked up some beer and went and hung out in the driveway of one of his childhood friends' dad's house. We stayed there until much too late, mostly telling stories about Curt. Almost all the other people there had grown up with Curt right in that neighborhood.
Saturday we had breakfast, then went to the Harley shop in Florence. While we were out we picked up ingredients to make Mexican Martinis, something of a signature Austin drink, which Curt has been missing since moving back. We also stopped at a farmers market and picked up some boiled peanuts, which I think are really good, but are quite messy. We picked up some burgers from the local favorite shop, and then it was pretty much time to get ready for the 4 o'clock wedding. The ceremony was nice, but it was hard to see from where we were sitting. The reception was good, but dry since it was at the church. The food was pretty good, served buffet style, but we mostly agreed we preferred the food the night before. We went from the reception to find where the after party was being held, even though it wasn't supposed to really start until a little later. We had a hard time finding it since we got directions from Curt's brother, who apparently hadn't been out there in a while and didn't know that a road to it had been blocked off. We finally found the place, and it was directly behind the racetrack. We dropped Dave off and went back to the hotel to change back into jeans. The party was fun, but the music was much too loud, for me at least, to have a conversation. When we got back to the hotel we sat by the pool, which was closed for work, and stayed up drinking beer for a little while longer.
Sunday I woke up at 7, took some Advil and went back to sleep until 9. We flew home, again having a fairly short layover at DFW with just enough time to take the tram from terminal to terminal and get to the connection as it was boarding. We got into Austin about 7, and had dinner before they dropped me off back home.

Monday, September 22, 2008

In Memoriam

This past week had the unusual coincidence of having two memorials for people I knew from riding Harleys. On Thursday it was for a guy I knew from the HOG chapter but had recently sold his Harley and bought a Honda Gold Wing instead. He died as a result of a motorcycle crash in the San Antonio area. It was a nice, touching memorial. Most people were teary eyed. The second memorial, on Saturday night was for a guy I knew from the Harley shop. I didn't know him well, but I saw him a little while back and found out that he had been on death's door with cancer, but lived for another two years. Apparently he had a life insurance policy that went into effect four days after he died, leaving his daughter with little, so it was a memorial/benefit for her.
Saturday I rode my bicycle downtown and had lunch at Chuy's. I stopped at the bike shop, starting to think more seriously about getting a new bicycle again. My rear derailleur is out of adjustment again and it's really annoying. The last time I had it adjusted the tech pretty much declared it dead, along with most of the rest of the bike. I didn't stay downtown long, I headed home, took a shower and went to the benefit, then went and hung out on Jimmy's porch until far too late. I had a hard time getting up Sunday morning, but made it in time to go on a ride dubbed "I can't drive 55," for a road captain's 55th birthday. We ended up at his house for some lunch and a little party. I stuffed myself, mostly on the snacks before lunch. I napped on the couch for most of the rest of the afternoon, watching drag racing when I was awake.