Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Love is in the Air

Again, we readied ourselves this weekend for Forrest to be a groomsmen in another Lambda Chi wedding--this time, it was Frankie who was getting married. However, instead of just being down the road, Frankie and Becka got married in Pennsylvania! I was excited to get to travel to another state, even if it was just for a quick weekend. We were determined to make the most of our time there! On Friday we got up relatively early to get to ATL for the short 2 hr flight to PA (which was pretty bumpy---not cool). We arrived about 2:30 and as soon as we got to the hotel Frankie picked up Forrest and the other guys so they could go get their suits for the wedding. I took that opportunity to take a nap and snack on some of the yummy homemade cookies Becka's family put in our wedding weekend guest bags! The guys were running really late but since we were with the groom, we figured they couldn't start without us, which of course was true.
Becka managing her rehearsal

After the quick and laid back rehearsal we jumped in the car with Bradley and headed to the rehearsal dinner at La Locanda, an Italian restaurant. We were greeted with wine and passed bruchetta--3 different kinds, including smoked salmon, wild mushroom, and traditional bruschetta. YUM! We also had quiche and some other appetizers before the huge main course of pasta, veal, salmon, pork, veggies, and potatoes. I was stuffed by this point, but managed to find roof for a cannoli and some lemon sorbet! What a great meal!
Alabama friends with the bride and groom

The next day the boys got up to help set up the reception cite in the yard of the church where Becka's father is the minister. While they were busy hanging lanterns and setting tables, Claire and I were eating a late breakfast and laying in bed watching movies all day. Well, that is after Claire finally found my hotel. Poor thing was given the wrong directions (by 2 boys that will remain nameless) and was driving up and down the wrong road looking for me for 2 hours! The guys had a quick turn around before we all headed together to the wedding. It was really nice that they didn't have to be gone early for pics--they just took them all after the wedding! The wedding itself was lovely and can probably be described better through pictures:
The boys ready to leave the hotel

I had to include this here. Becka's neighborhood was beautiful and the homes were so charming! We LOVED this one!

Marking the entrance to the back yard

Ceremony site--lovely!

Me and the hubs

Gadsden guys and gals

The flowers were absolutely stunning! I loved the ones hanging on hooks down the aisle!

Here comes the bride! Becka was escorted down the aisle by her mom and dad!

Beautiful!

Being married by her father, the minister! He did a great homily--very personal--with lots of references to Bama football and Disney princesses!

First married kiss

Mr. and Mrs. Frankie Wallace!!!!

After the wedding the boys headed out for pics with the bride and groom and Claire and I braved the streets of Philadelphia  (ok, Swarthmore PA, but who is being picky) to get ourselves to the reception. I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how well the guys did at setting up! The tables were set perfectly and the lanterns were hung just right!!! Great job guys!! We enjoyed appetizers and drinks, including a yummy "sangrito" before the couple arrived for their first dance. Again, pics will be more helpful here!!
Becka's mom made the cakes!

The cake topper, that looked just like them and even incorporated their cats that they brought home from Africa. (they were working in Africa with the Peace Corps when they met!)

A nod to Frankie's heritage

Claire and I playing around with the fun photo booth props they had for the guests! I can't wait to see some of those pics!

Me and the blushing bride

I scheduled our return flight for late afternoon so we had a little bit of time to hit the high points of Philadelphia. We started out at Mass at St. Augustine's, the oldest Catholic Church in Philly. It was built in the 1700's and then burned by the know-nothing party. It was restored and rededicated in like 1848. It is truly beautiful--it looks like something in Europe! We were even asked to take up the gifts, which was pretty cool!

After Mass we headed down to Independence Hall, where the signing of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed. On the way we saw Franklin Park
complete with kite and lightning bolt

The US MINT

and the Liberty Bell.

Clearly not the Liberty Bell, but I ran into this guy on the way!



Seeing Independence Hall was pretty surreal. It isn't very big or grand but just thinking about walking on the same floor as Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and George Washington kind of blows your mind! Now, it isn't near as old as anything you might see in Europe, but it was just as exciting because it is OUR history!
Independence Hall

Courtroom in Independence Hall. The little bars are where the defendant would "stand trial"

This is where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed! The chair in the back on the platform is original!

We also ran into Congress hall and even got to see originals of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of the Confederation, and the Constitution. The Constitution was especially cool because it was George Washington's personal copy and he scratched something out and made a correction!
When we left Independence Hall we went to meet Jay and Claire to go to lunch. They were sweet enough to come pick us up but when they pulled over, there were 3 of Jay's friends from Philly in the back seat so we did some quick rearranging (we were in a Jeep Cherokee so someone had to go in the back and I sat on Forrest's lap) before speeding off to lunch. While I was sitting on Forrest's lap he kept pinching me and laughing. I had no idea what was going on and I was getting so frustrated. He said "oh, you are so perceptive" and I started to look around the car. I noticed Claire's arm casually resting on the console and that she had on a pretty diamond ring. "Hmm, that is pretty" I thought. "I wonder why she didn't wear that last night to the wedding". Then it hit me--it was on her left hand. "CLAIRE!!!!!! WHAT IS THAT!!???" Jay had proposed at Love park before picking us up! How exciting!!! I am totally thrilled for them because they are 2 of our best friends and we love hanging out with them! Actually, I take credit for setting them up last year! Hooray for Jay and Claire! Another Lambda Chi wedding!!! (and AOII too!). Apparently while they were walking in the park a man (later identified as one of Jay's Philly friends, which was why they were in the car when we got there) came up to Jay and told him he dropped something--the ring box. He handed it over and Jay popped the question! Claire of course said yes, after asking if her daddy knew!! We all went to celebrate with a cheese steak at Pat's, which was kind of scary because you had to order the proper way. I had mine "provolone wit-out" meaning provolone cheese, no onions. If you mess up they send you to the back of the line. SCARY!! It was also fun to be with Claire when she called her mom and dad to tell them she was engaged. What a special day!!

Enjoying our cheese steaks

Me and the newest bride to be!
After lunch, we went to Love park to see the scene of the proposal.

The scene of the proposal
It was neat to drive through downtown Philadelphia too. What cool buildings! We also went to see the steps that Rocky climbed at the art museum. It was blocked off because of a bike race (which thrilled Forrest) but we made it on foot. We did in fact climb the steps but there was no running involved. Just lots of pictures!!!

With Rocky

At the top of the stairs. We made it!!! :)
After that, it was time for the Bailey's to return home. What a great weekend, full of love!!

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