Friday, October 22, 2021

Road Trip: Happily Ever After!

I have not been in public crowds for a very long time and I was very apprehensive about our visit to Cleveland. But my cousin Jeff was marrying the lovely Lauren and I wouldn't miss that for the world. Well, yeah, I probably would have if Covid was as bad as one year ago. But with the vaccine and booster, an N95 and another to put over it, and the promise of sitting at a vaccinated table after the outdoor wedding ceremony, I was good to go!


Our first stop in Cleveland, though, was not a wedding activity but to the Strong Bindery, a bookbinding studio in Shaker Heights, Ohio. The mission? A new cover for the absolutely falling-apart recipe book my grandfather penned in 1876 when he was a confectioner in Buffalo, NY at the height of the burgeoning confection business. Back in the day, confectioners made more than caramel creams. They also made medicinal lozenges and the recipe book includes the recipe for "opium lozenges." (Take 4 ounces of opium...)


I found this book in my mom's things. It had no cover and was in several pieces. I wanted to get it preserved. Ellen Strong seemed just the person to do it. We enjoyed quite a lot of conversation as she explained the mechanics of this and after leaving the book and a deposit (knowing full well that it would not be till next summer I would see this again), we were off.


After a small partial-family dinner on Saturday night, we headed to our hotel and the next morning hung out till wedding time. The wedding was held at the Cleveland Zoo. We parked in a special lot and took a shuttle to the venue, which was on a lake near the carousel, the giraffes and the reception building. (I'll have a few animal pix in another post!). Jeff and Lauren were engaged at the zoo, so it was a fitting locale. Loads of chairs were outside, facing the lake with a fountain in the middle and it was lovely. (This is cousin-daughter Heather and Mike. Heather will be the first in David's family to have a grandchild -- coming in January!) Behind that fence was the pond.


The theme of the event was baseball -- these Cleveland folks are rabid sports fans!


We didn't take pix during the ceremony, which was very brief and led by Jeff's almost-since-forever friend. But as you can see, they were a cute couple!


People were quite good about masking, even outdoors -- which made the hugs more possible!

 There was even a "Dog of Honor" -- Briley, Lauren's service dog. Several of Briley's friends were in attendance!


I, of course, had to have a photo with the groom!


Rick looked extra cute, too!


Jeff's brother, Mark, gave a wonderful toast. After all, who better for the job than one who has known you your entire life?

And of course, there was the bride-and-groom dance!


After dinner, we headed onto the patio, which was large and we could lose the masks if we chose. After all, it's hard for the parents of the groom to eat cake with a mask! (They also had an ice cream sundae bar, which I thought was a great idea!)

 

Even the favors were fun. They set up an area like a concession stand with ballpark treats like candy bars, peanuts and chips for guests to take away, along with soaps and even a bag of treats for those who had dogs! We all got buttons with the caricatures of the bride and groom and little ones got a color book with lots of drawings of Jeff and Lauren doing fun things, like riding a balloon, with the dog, playing baseball or at the zoo.

The next day we met up at my cousin's for an informal patio lunch and time to actually talk!


The darling Baby Ben was there -- not so much of a baby anymore!


All in all, a wonderful time together.


And it even felt kind of normal! 

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52 comments:

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I am glad you had a great time, Jeanie. I have to confess that weddings are not my thing, mass gatherings of any kind for that matter and it has nothing to do with COVID. Weddings get really expensive too. When you factor in out of town travel, hotel bills, a new dress (and shoes often enough), shower gifts, the wedding gift.........two or three weddings in a year can bankrupt you! For a while that's what seemed to be happening to us as so many nieces and nephews around the same age entered nuptial bliss - which in some cases turned out to be not so blissful after all!

Sandi said...

❤️❤️❤️

Happy happily everafter to the newlyweds!

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

So happy that you were able to attend the wedding!

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, it looks like a beautiful wedding and congrats to the couple. I am so glad you could be there! Happy weekend!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

They are a beautiful couple...I love the photo of them dancing! Sounds like fun and like you said...almost normal! I'm so happy for them. Wishing them the very best! Sweet hugs, Diane

My name is Erika. said...

Wow, what an extra special post. That recipe book looks like a wonderful heirloom. I think you are very smart getting it bound, even if you have to wait. And I love the idea of a wedding at the zoo with a baseball theme. How fun is that? It sounds like they took care of all the details too. What a fun event, and I am glad you shared it with us. Isn't it weird about vaccination too? I am going out to dinner with old friends tonight, and I keep thinking I should have asked them if they were vaccinated. I know the restaurant is set up good for covid, so I worry less about that than if they are vaccinated. What a strange world it is, but this post made me feel happy about things. Happy Friday and start to your weekend Jeanie. Hugs-Erika

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

Glad you felt save enough to go! It looks like you wonderful day with special people. Love that the dogs were included.

Your bookbinding is a project of love. I've had one done, too. What a treasure.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

What a wonderful idea to have a wedding at the zoo. All the photos show the happiness and love in the group. I'm so glad you could attend. Stay well my friend.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Congratulations to the Happy Couple!

Valerie-Jael said...

Looks like you had fun. I wouldn't have minded a photo with that yummy groom, either! Glad you were able to get there, meet people and enjoy it. Hugs, Valerie

DUTA said...

Off-white color suits your complexion as can be seen in your photo with the groom. Rick looks like a top male fashion model.
Congratulations to the newly wed couple!

gigi-hawaii said...

Congratulations to the bride and groom! Aloha from Hawaii. Great idea to have your grandfather's recipe book bound professionally.

Betty said...

Congratulations to your family on the wedding. Difficult to celebrate in these covid restrictive times but it looks like everyone managed to have a good time.

Divers and Sundry said...

Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Congratulations to the bride and groom. So nice that it felt almost normal for you. Where did you get N95 masks? My booster isn't yet available where I live, so I am glad to read you have had yours.

It was a lovely wedding and a beautiful party afterward. I just didn't get why Lauren needed a service dog, but they were sure adorable. SO glad you got to go and will get your grandfather's recipe book rebound in the process.

R's Rue said...

Congratulations to the newlyweds. Many blessings.

NanaDiana said...

Isn't it wonderful to feel almost normal again? I am so glad you made the trip to see the wedding. How wonderful that there was a book bindery there also. What a treasure that recipe book is to have!!!! xo Diana

Priscilla King said...

I like the B&B photo too...looks similar to the newer one in my town, in the old radio station headquarters.

William Kendall said...

Good that you were able to attend the wedding.

Priscilla King said...

Shouldn't all weddings have a dog of honor?!

Lauren said...

Briley is a change of career dog from Canine Companions. She is not a service dog, but the rest pictured are service dogs in training. I volunteer with the organization. It is a great organization to help those in need. The service dogs raised can help those with disabilities, wounded warriors, warriors suffering from PTSD, and facility dogs.

Pamela said...

How fabulous! Such wonderful memories.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I am sorry I forgot to answer your comment/question about vellum. You asked "I wonder if it would dry faster hanging outdoors, like on a clothesline . . .". To be honest, I considered that, BUT then I realized the clothes pin would put a mark in the vellum that would never come out. Like real vellum, this paper bends and distorts easily. Thanks for your thought, though.

marilyn said...

The wedding sounds like oh so much fun. It sounds like the right precautions were taken to keep guests safe. I wish them a happily ever after.

eileeninmd said...

Congrats to the happy couple. Wonderful photos of the newlyweds, you and Rick and the cute dogs. The wedding sounds like a lot of fun at the zoo, what a neat wedding venue. I am glad you could save your grandfather's recipe book.
Take care, enjoy your weekend!

Rita C at Panoply said...

Happy for you & Rick to be able to go to the wedding. Congrats to the newlyweds. But what's most exciting is getting that book of recipes re-bound! That's very cool, Jeanie!

La Table De Nana said...

Love weddings such feel good events.Pure joy.

ashok said...

Congrats to the newly weds! Joyful post

Joanne Huffman said...

Sounds and looks like a wonderful time.

N A S S A H said...

Congratulations and best wishes to the couple

Mary Rose's said...

Oh, Jeanie, THANKS for sharing such a sunny, happy day with us! Loved the photo with the service dogs lined up with the bridal party. Long catch-up letter coming soon! XOXO

Rita said...

That sounds like the best wedding!! Wow! :)

Barb said...

What a happy post with so many smiling faces! Even the dogs look happy! I haven't been to the zoo since the grands were quite little - I kind of miss it. I'm so glad you and Rick could attend.

Sandra Cox said...

What a lovely wedding.
You've already had your booster? Good on you. We're getting ours tomorrow.

bread&salt said...

Very nice blogsite! Thanks for providing this site. Congrats to newlywedding couple. Greetings,

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Jeanie, it looks like a wonderful time was had by all. So glad you were able to attend. I know it was special for you and for your family to have you there. I loved seeing the service dogs. We have had the great pleasure of having 2 black Labs in our life. They are just the best!

I know you must be so glad to be home. Have a great week!

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Jeanie, how wonderful your first time out was for such a happy occasion. The bride looks beautiful and they look so happy. I'm glad you had such a good time. Love Rick's tie!..I am contemplating a trip to Home Goods for my birthday. Think we will be able to get our boosters pretty soon..Happy Weekend..xxoJudy

Miss Val's Creations said...

Your grandfather's recipe book must be so fun to flip through. My husband's family has old recipes with ingredients like squirrel and other common yard animals. I don't believe that is common cuisine these days! It sounds like this book binding place is a gem for special heirlooms.

How wonderful you were able to make the wedding. I looks like it was perfect! An ice cream sundae bar is quite a bonus. I love the groom's t-shirt in the last photo.

Arti said...

Interesting post! And what a fantastic place that bindery is and a fine idea to rebind your grandfather’s handwritten recipe book! And Shaker Heights, I learned of that place as I read the book Little Fires Everywhere as that’s the setting and where the author Celeste Ng grew up. Wedding photos are lovely. What a memorable road trip!

Nancy said...

Looks like a fabulous fun wedding!
I love Cleveland and ALL it’s sports too!

I would love to go to that book binding place. I have an old family bible that could use a new binding.
Happy week to you my friend!

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

Celebrating a marriage, and celebrating some normalcy in life! And such a fun venue! Sounds like a wonderful and safe way to enjoy the festivities!

Stevenson Q said...

Congratulations to the newlyweds! Love your photos Jeanie! The one with youa nd the dashing groom was my favorite! And the family weekend photo too!

Anca said...

What an unusual setting for a wedding. I like the pictures, it seems like it was a lovely event. Love all the dogs too. xx

Sami said...

Congratulations the the bridal couple.
What an unusual but wonderful venue for a wedding. Love the photo with all the dogs.

shoreacres said...

I'm so glad that you were able to attend the wedding, and even more pleased that your bookbinding mission was successful. That's going to be even more of a treasure once that's done.

Lynne said...

I like the weddings of today . . .
Seems more Individual, creative . . .
I think covid has had something to do with it.
Outdoor alone, last few I attended were outdoors.
People just don’t want to be inside a tightly closed area.
Besides that, I like seeing people doing their own thing.
Your cousins wedding seemed to do just that.
Happy you were able to attend!

I look forward to seeing pictures of the finished Cook Book . . .
Good idea to have it rebound and covered.

Sarah said...

Jeanie, this is just the best, happiest post I've read in a long time. Thank you for sharing this beautiful and very special occasion. I'm thrilled you made the trip! Congratulations to this darling couple!

thepaintedapron.com said...

What a fun wedding! The zoo is a fabulous venue, I'm so glad you got to attend and enjoy!
Jenna

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

What a fabulous wedding! I am so glad you were able to safely attend and enjoy yourselves. There is nothing better than family time, especially after not seeing people for such a long time! I am glad they were able to have a mostly normal celebration!!

Joyful said...

Congratulations to the handsome couple. What a wonderful wedding they had. I love the venue and the format of their day. I can't believe it was warm enough for people not to wear jackets/coats etc. Thank goodness it was so people could have outdoor time and space for this event.

Tracy said...

WOW... I'm very teary-eyed, this is just sooo lovely to see! So lovely to see two people get to have the real wedding day they wanted. Unlike so many last year, or had to have one via ZOOM... LOL! Wishing the lovely couple many, many happy years together. Loved seeing all these festive moments. And how WONDERFUL the cookbook... what a treasure and family heirloom for sure! Will look forward to seeing it recovered! ((HUGS))

Victoria Zigler said...

WOW! Sounds like a super fun wedding. Congratulations to the happy couple, and glad you got to be there.

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