So Thursday night after arrival we gathered at John’s parents place. Patricia’s dad was making fried pizza’s – apparently a DiGiacomo family specialty. I’d never tried them before but I have to say…they were DELICIOUS. It was also gratifying to see how nicely the two families melded together. They seemed like they’d known each other for years.
After I took Patricia’s parents back to the hotel I settled in for a good night’s sleep. Friday was going to be about last minute preparations and then the rehearsal dinner. Most of the rest of the wedding party was arriving on Friday as well.
Friday morning arrived and I was reminded that this was Massachusetts in December. This was the scene that greeted me (notice my rented blue Vibe in the first photo):
John and I dropped Patricia and her mom off at a day spa for some relaxation then went to do some last minute shopping (Guest Book? Check. Pen for guest book? Check.). Couldn’t resist a stop at Barnes and Noble! After picking up the ladies at the spa we went to a little bar and grille that John knew for lunch. The chicken caesar salad was delicious and Patricia’s mom took a nice picture of Patricia and I:
Little did we know that Maureen was sitting at the bar at the time.
Afterwards we headed back to the Eddys’ house to do a little pre-wedding food preparation. Laura, Melanie and Maureen were there already – Melanie and I set about making the stuffed dates while the others took on meatballs and other dishes. We did manage to not eat all of the food on the spot – thank goodness.
Food prepped – we returned to the hotel and got ready for rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner was at a place in town called the "Gardner Ale House". As you might imagine, they have a lot of beers there. They also have some delicious steak tips! Our gang had a private area in the restaurant and the group had grown with other arrivals to town including Kristin and Duane, Laura and Melanie, John’s sisters and others. A couple of photos from the rehearsal dinner…
(Patricia’s parents in front, John and Patricia in the back)
(A delicious salad)
(Maureen and I)
(Laura and Melanie)
After the rehearsal dinner a bunch of us headed back to the hotel for a bit of an after-party. Patricia and the gang went to her room and Maureen and I were on our way to join them after she dropped her coat off in my room when we came across the Jerry Springer Wedding from Hell. On the way through the lobby we overheard the desk clerk say "911" and something about the parking lot. Peeking out the windows we saw a big guy sort of dragging a smaller guy across the parking lot towards the front door of the hotel. At first we thought they were scuffling, but then we could tell that the big guy was actually dragging the little guy away from something; like he was breaking up a fight.
Then we heard a commotion down the hall and looked to see a different guy being pushed down into a chair by several women who were trying to calm him down. Apparently he was bleeding from being kicked. "Tyler" was pretty angry and kept trying to get up to go after whomever his opponent was but the ladies wouldn’t let him and kept trying to apply a towel to his wounded head. Maureen and I went upstairs to the balcony area, which seemed a bit safer perhaps, and watched for a while as Tyler screamed how he was going to rape the guy’s whole family and struggled to get out of the chair and resist their efforts to tend to him. Eventually he calmed down though and just in time…four Gardner police cars and at least one ambulance arrived.
Note: One young lady, who appeared to be Tyler’s girlfriend was among those tending to him. You really learn a lot about somebody’s character in times of great stress and while I realize we were seeing Tyler at his worst it would really concern me, if I were her, if my boyfriend’s thought process in such times goes to "I’m going to rape his whole family!" That seems like a guy who may have some anger management issues. I think I’d be reluctant to get into an intimate relationship with somebody like that. He may be a wonderful human being when he’s sober and not bleeding from the head, but apparently he has at least a glimmer of a monster in him that the right combination of alcohol and adrenaline can bring out.
Eventually the situation was handled and dispersed so we joined the party in Patricia’s room.
The revelry went late and along the way I managed to win $7 and one British pound in a pool that I’m sort of embarrassed to explain. Let me just hasten to insist it was beginner’s luck.