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Day 17 Out of London & A Wedding

This was the day we were to leave London and neither of us were ready, but the whole reason we did this trip was to attend my cousin, Meghan’s wedding in Bury St. Edmunds. We had another big breakfast.

Our travel agent had pre-booked a taxi for us to pick up our rental car, but there was some confusion about the name of the car rental, the company name and where we were going to pick it up. Our travel agent booked it; I talked to her during the week on the tour bus but didn’t understand the name, so I thought she said we were picking it up at the 6th terminal at the airport. The taxi driver didn’t know either, so we had to call the travel agent.

She got a good laugh out of the mis-communication. I thought she had said to pick up the car at the sixth terminal. She had said the Sixt car rental office near the airport–sometimes speaking English and understanding it are hard! So away we went. The clerk at the car rental office, Susanna, was so helpful and saved us money.

Lin had driven for a couple weeks in Ireland and did fine. He didn’t want to drive in London so we used the Tube as our connection to London and did great. Here he was faced with driving out of London; he did fine. There was a lot more traffic than Ireland for sure. We headed north to Bury St. Edmunds.

In fact he did better with driving than I did with the GPS. I’m used to Garmin here at home. I learned the Tom-Tom quickly in Ireland, but this car had a GPS built in. The display listed the destination from the bottom up showing several turns coming up, but we made it.

We stayed at the Bushel pub and hotel and they had our room ready, even though we arrived early afternoon. We had to park around back of the pub, and Lin parked the car the best yet!

Quickly we changed into our wedding clothes–I had to do some touch-up pressing because these clothes had been underneath everything else for two weeks of traveling.

We had trouble driving to Raven Hall where the wedding was–again I had trouble understanding the GPS. We ended up on a closed road. As we came up to the road worker, he shot his hands into the air and screamed, “What are you doing? And how did you get here?” When he realized we were lost Americans, he directed us out of the construction zone, across the highway and to Raven Hall.

Thank God we left the hotel early, but we still arrived with time to spare. We walked into a room full of my cousin’s dad’s family, so we knew we were in the right spot. We met Mike Edwards, the groom before the wedding and some of his Welsh family who were fascinating and so welcoming!

The wedding was outside, simple and beautiful. The minister gave a beautiful wedding message. We set in the third row and I took lots of pictures. Afterwards we took the traditional pictures and some not-so traditional.

The rest of the afternoon and evening were delightful. There were American traditions observed and English traditions added. For dinner, we sat with my cousins (sisters of the bride) Kirstin and Lisa, Chris and Holly Carr from the USA and Nicole and her partner.

During the meal, someone spoke for Meghan’s parents, then Mike entertained us with stories about Meghan and him. Then Mike’s best man presented a PowerPoint slideshow, helping us get acquainted with Mike.

The evening continued with a dance, individual photos of the guests in a photo booth with a variety of props, cutting the cake and the bouquet toss. The cake was unique–one side for the groom (all Action figure characters celebrated) and the other side for the bride (her lavender colors and gorgeous).

The stereotype I had of the British people was so not true. I loved how they partied! As a whole, the group would dance like crazy, then they’d go to the bar and drink. The dance floor would be vacant except for a few of us, then the crowd would come back and the routine continued all evening.

We danced; we laughed. We enjoyed the mix of people there; they were so friendly.

Later in the evening, a sandwich buffet opened, and they served the cake.

As we were leaving, a hilarious story unfolded. My cousin, Lisa, had been charging her bar tab to Mike’s uncle’s room instead of her parents’ room. Mike’s dad was lamenting with much fanfare that “theseAmericans were going to break him” because he was paying his brother’s bill for the wedding. The camaraderie between the two families joined as this wedding was delightful. We left about 11:00 pm before the crowd left and got lost on the way home, meandering our way on back roads and wandering around. Again I read the GPS the wrong way, but we did make it back to our hotel.

Everyone was so friendly and hospitable and I told my cousin Meghan that next to our wedding, their’s was my favorite.

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