Friday the 13th, September 1985. My little niece “Bales” was born. So much luck on such an unlucky day.
And then I blinked.
And two weekends ago, she got married downstate to her high school sweetheart.
They do the “I do” thing.
And then they walk back down the aisle, husband and wife.
Making sure they don’t trip on the burlap runner spread over the uneven ground.
The bride poses with her baby bro and my parents.
And the bride shows off the ring…
And plenty of bling on that ring…
The bride and her father had one of the greatest “Father/Daughter” dances of all time. Later, they did a little “Billy Jean”.
The Daughter was sporting some fancy hose and spiral shoes on her toes.
And pretty shot of my two lovely ladies.
So now it's time for some real text if you've made it past the pictures. The 3 of us headed downstate on a beautiful late summer Saturday, twisting and turning along the Illinois River valley into Peoria. A quick lunch and a quick change later, and we were headed up the river to Chillicothe and Three Sisters Park. The wedding was outdoors with a bright sun filtering through the leaves of the trees. The bride arrived at the aisle in style. Her father drove her in his red Corvette.
The reception was held in a round barn at the park. They do live in rural Illinois, after all. The food was good. For the cake, they did "cake balls". Okay, one more photo. Because you wanted to see a plate of small, moist cake, enroved in white chocolate. And the different colors tipped you off to what flavor was inside. I'd not seen this before, but it was a really cool idea.
While the hotels were running shuttles to/from the park, we'd opted to drive. I'm long past drinking too much, and the wife doesn't at all, so we thought we'd bring the car, in case we decided not to stay until midnight.
And we're glad we did. The round barn had steel walls and a concrete floor. And the DJ had it cranked to 11. It was impossible to talk. At about 10:30, we'd had enough and bugged out. We picked up two hitchhikers along the way. (Okay, it was my parents who were ready to head out too.)
After a tasty breakfast at the motel the next morning, we all headed back to the park to help with the cleanup. As the cleanup was wrapping up, and we'd snagged a week's supply of leftover cake balls, we noticed people milling around a large barn on the property. Turns out that they run a huge haunted house in October. They offered us a tour. Even though the lights were on, and nothing was animated, The Daughter, remembering the Ghostly Manor in Ohio, wanted no part of it, and wasn't going in. It was really neat to see the behind the scenes. But when we got out…
Everyone was gone except the daughter. The rest of the family had taken off! So, we did, too. It was going to be a whole week until we drove downstate again for a wedding reception. Stay tuned for THAT story.