Saturday, May 22, 2010

Kevin and Alexa's Wedding

This past weekend Emily and I along with our friends Mischa, Colin, Amanda, Danielle, Scott, Lindsay, Stephanie, and Megan traveled to Fort Lauderdale,
Florida to watch our housemates get hitched! After weeks of research and my defense looming in the near future I knew this would be the last “break” I would have until I finish school. Emily and I drove down with Colin and Amanda because we all had the same red-eye flight out of PDX with Mischa who met us at the airport. We grabbed a quick dinner at Quizno’s where I accidentally stole a cookie (which oddly wouldn’t get eaten until our flight home... when I shared it with Colin). On this flight I decided to take some Tylenol PM which really did the trick as I was able to get about 4-5 hours of sleep during the two flights. We went through Detroit on the way there and Houston on the way back.
Friday after we took a cab from the airport and dumped our bags in
Mischa’s room because his was the only room ready at the Best Western, we strolled down to the beach with some towels provided by the front desk for some relaxin’ in the sun. The weather we had all weekend was fantastic. It was in the high 80’s with tons of sun but thankfully there was a great breeze that kept it perfect for a cold weather person like me. In the early afternoon we decided to take a walk down the road towards the bars and restaurants for some food. We spotted a really cool place called the Oasis Cafe which had swinging tables so we decided to give it a try. As is typical for any touristy area the food and drinks in Fort Lauderdale were crazy expensive so I tried to eat light (except for the last night which you’ll soon read about). And being a tropical place pina colada’s and frozen drinks seemed to be the choice
for most of us (except for Mischa who loves his bloody mary’s). Amanda was fascinated by a cute black baby bird that kept bathing itself in the water fountain at the restaurant.
After lunch we headed down the road to buy some booze for the weekend and mixers. My liter bottle of Captain cost $30!!!. We also picked up some bud light lime and the others grabbed booze as well. It was a pretty long walk (~ a mile) back to the beach where we began to pre-game for the rest of the afternoon before the cocktail party we were invited to.
The cocktail party was on the top floor of a nearby hotel with amazing views of ocean and lagoon pool below. It was odd not to see the sun set into the ocean like we are used to in Oregon but the colors were still pretty sweet. We all were pretty buzzed by the time we got to the party and hadn’t eaten yet so we helped ourselves to the food and poured a few mixed drinks that were available.
We chatted it up with Kev & Alexa’s family and Scott stuck his foot in his mouth when Chris Duhon, (NY Nicks NBA Player) said that he played ball and Scott asked if it was “D Leauge”... hahaha! Check out the great picture of him with Chris. Wandering through the party I found my old Bowdoin roommate
Evan who happened to be my housemates and bride-to-be’s cousin! What a small world! We chatted for a long time about where everyone was from Bowdoin these days and what everyone ended up doing. I was shocked to hear that Sarah Ramey went through hard times and Evan was shocked to hear about all of Ned’s travels and adventures that I’d heard of. Evan seems to be doing well for himself with design and art and I got to meet his beautiful sister Mattye again. I got to meet Evan’s girlfriend Ayca who is Turkish and looks very much like Alexa, who is Cuban. She seemed really nice and hope that both of them can come to visit Emily and I in Oregon soon.
I’m not sure when or who decided it but the decision was made to go out to some bars downtown. Piling myself along with too many others into a cab
was the last thing I clearly recall from the night but there are a lot
photos that show we were all dancing and had a great time. Upon leaving the bar the photos reveal that I climbed into a motorcycle thingy (have no clue what to call it) with the permission of it’s owner thankfully while Emily snapped a few pics of me. It looks like it was a busy night from the photos and I couldn’t believe that the night before the wedding the bride and groom appeared in photos with time stamps of 1 to 2am! When we got back to the hotel the decision was made to go skinny dipping
which I frankly don’t remember at all.
Saturday was a rough day for me as I had a wicked hangover to start. Thankfully the hotel breakfast where we met the others was pretty good with eggs and ham, breads and fruit.
I was grateful to put something in my stomach. We all went down to the beach and lazed around for the early afternoon swimming in the beautiful ocean and looking for nudibranchs in the seaweed that would occasionally wash up on shore (Nudi’s!). Amanda even found a reef fish in bunch of seaweed! When it got close to the wedding time we all headed back to the hotel to lounge by the pool for some lunch before changing.
After multiple decisions getting ready Emily finally allowed us to head down
to the beach for the wedding with just minutes to spare. Thankfully, the wedding got a late start. We met up with Scott and
Danielle and Colin and Amanda but there was no sign of Mischa. Uh-oh! Colin had banged on his door with no response and Scott called him several times. Finally, after about 10 minutes we got a call from him that he was on his way.... yup, Mischa flew all the way to Florida only to almost miss the wedding due to a nap (more like a coma apparently). The wedding itself was brief with Kevin’s buddy leading the ceremony after a 30 minute online course gave him a marriage license. The
vows were interesting with the funniest part when Alexa said she would perform the “services” that Kevin required of her...ha! I will say that Alexa in her elegant white dress with
her hair up and long eyelashes looked stunning! Kevin, well, Kevin looked like Kevin ;). The reception was great with lots of traditional Cuban food. I found out that Mojo isn’t pronounced the Austin Powers way and that I really like plantains. Alexa had an awkward dance with her dad, but even so, it looked like they were professional dancers compared to the dance Kevin had with his mom just after! hehe. The general consensus was to head out to the beach for volleyball, ladder ball and washers on beautiful new boards Alexa’s
dad had crafted. The bride and groom where quick to change out of their clothes (and get other deeds out of the way I assume) into their bathing suits for their first dip in the ocean as a married couple. Evan proved to be quite the competitor at washers while I found myself to be quite a waste due to my
hangover. To cure this I decided to take the “hair of the dog” approach and start pounding Corona’s and Sangria’s which did the trick finally later on.
After we had scoured the food a few times and gone after the last of the booze we all changed clothes and headed to an after party in room 419 which was a blast. Kevin’s friends had lots of booze (thankfully cause we had run out) and we all were able to walk up the decks (the hotel was shaped like a cruise liner) to the roof for great views towards
downtown Fort Lauderdale and the distant Miami lights. Evan and Ayca had left the party (and unfortunately I wouldn’t see them again) but I got to hang out with Mattye and chat it up with her about her crazy brother. I showed her some great videos of Evan that she got a kick out of. Emily, Danielle and Amanda stayed out of the chaos down by the pool in some lounge chairs and when everyone made the decision to
transition down to the hotel bar they seemed reluctant. All it took was a quick lie that Alexa was upset they weren’t hanging out and all three practically ran down to the bar... ha - That was so easy! Before we left for the bar security came up and told us to keep it down thinking that we had somehow been able to make the same amount of noise as the 30 drunk people that had just left for the bar... right.....
The bar was pretty nice but unfortunately for me ran out
of Guinness just as I went for a pint. I had brought the last of the beers down in my shorts so I had backup anyway. The bottom of the hotel pool was visible through class windows behind the bar and Kevin’s
friend “Moose” (appropriate as he was taller than Mischa and bulkier) was hilarious swimming by the windows making faces cracking everyone up in the bar. I didn’t realize it until Colin jumped up on a hotel wooden table outside the bar for no reason, but he was wasted! When he jumped off the table cracked but thankfully didn’t break. That was when Amanda escorted him back to the room to put the poor guy to bed. It was a REALLY rough night for him from what I heard.
After drunkenly comparing feet (not really sure how that got started but Lindsey’s tiny pinky toe was hilarious along with Alexa’s webbed toes) we all headed to the beach for some
skinny dipping again. This time Emily and I weren’t quite as drunk so we didn’t join in but Scott definitely was. After Alexa’s friend showered him with champagne by accident in the hotel lobby he may have decided he needed to wash off because he definitely stayed naked for a very long time walking up and down the beach drunkenly looking for his clothes. The highlight of the night was when he realized he had to switch hands from the one holding his junk to shake another dude’s hand he encountered on the beach (all while naked) and the guy actually shook his hand! hahaha. I called the other guy a zombie because that’s how he was drunkenly
walking. To my amazement Moose said he had to fly out for another wedding at 5:30am. I told him it was 3am
and said no way was he going to make it (to my shock the next day I found out he made his flight!!!)
Sunday morning felt much better for me and Emily and we both ate a lot at the breakfast. When it was about 5 minutes before the breakfast closed and we hadn’t heard from Colin I called him to get his ass down there because I know he would need food. When he showed up 2 minutes later apparently just jumping out of bed and walking down he looked like he had gone a
couple rounds with Mike Tyson. I’ve never seen someone look so puffy and devastated from drinking! We all went down to the beach or
a leisurely afternoon of swimming after breakfast. Colin showed up later in the afternoon with a gatorade and thankfully looked much better! One of the many times we were swimming in the water Amanda found a swimming crab that quickly attached itself to her bikini top and then got real frisky by swimming down to her bikini bottoms and pinching her in the ass! It was like the crab had a mission to accomplish! For dinner I looked up seafood places
with my iPhone and found a cool one called the Quarterdeck Seafod Bar and Grill not too far away. Emily and I wanted to celebrate our 4th year anniversary and welcomed others to
come with us. The food was fantastic and relatively inexpensive for the area. I was able to get a Guinness finally and Colin and I split 2lbs of ribs on top of meals of our own (only $10 bucks for the ribs). I also had conch chowder and we all split steamers and calamari. There was about 10 of us at the table and we all had appetizers, meals, drinks, and modifications but our server didn’t take a note down. I couldn’t believe it and
wondered how messed up our meals would be. When everything came absolutely perfectly my mind was officially blown! I had never seen nor heard of anyone being able to memorize things
like that! She is obviously in the wrong business and needs to give Ben Stein a call or something. After dinner we walked down the road past the tourist t-shirt shops with mannequins with double-D chests, pointy nipples and huge asses. I guess that’s the kind of body retails need to cater to down there = fake bodies. We went to Lu Lu’s for a quick late night drink before heading back to the hotel room to get a good night’s sleep finally.

In the morning as usual it was hard to get Emily out of bed and we went back and forth on the
decision but ultimately chose to go for the $38 snorkeling trip we had booked the day before. We quickly got some food at the hotel breakfast and made it to the docks just in time. The trip out of the harbor was amazing. They call Fort Lauderdale the “Venice of America” because all the streets back from the beach near the ocean are waterways for rich people and their Mega-Yachts! We passed by huge CEO mansions with our deck hand describing who owned them, although I forget all of the owners - obvious how much I cared. What did blow my mind was when she said they pay $10,000 a month in property
taxes and their 100-150 foot long boats cost atleast $300 a day to simply be tied to a dock! What kind of person has that kind of money and who did they screw over in the bank system to get it?? One of the yachts that was just bought was valued at $20,000,000 and all the yachts had garage doors in the back of them that housed several jet skis! One yacht had a $75,000 to $100,000 speed boat parked in the side of it like a friggin’ lego kit! As we passed out of the harbor we motored by several large oil
tankers, one from Texas and one whose writing looked like Russia. We didn’t see any cruise ships but were told that the harbor was the biggest cruise ship port in the world and that the largest cruise ship had been parked there two days ago. Emily and I probably saw it leave as we saw many pulling out of the port over the
When we got to “Twin Ledges” reef in our glass bottom boat swarms of what Kevin called “chub” I think circled the boat, probably waiting for food. I guess fish are smarter than I give them credit for. When we got into the water fish
were bumping into us and swimming all around us. It was pretty cool. The reef itself, as Alexa had warned, was pretty broken down and not that impressive, especially compared to when I scuba dove the Great Barrier in 2004 but there were still plenty of colorful fish to be seen and
someone on the boat even saw a reef shark. I got some great pictures underwater until suddenly our favorite camera stopped working.... whoops! We spent about 30 minutes swimming
around and looking at all the fish, ultimately really glad we had gone.
When we got back to the hotel we layed around by the pool with Colin and Amanda drinking Pina Colada’s in the sun waiting until 4 to call a cab for our 6pm flight. Megan, Lindsey and
Stephanie had left earlier in the morning along with Mischa who was continuing on to the East Coast and Scott and Danielle had left just before we got back. The flight back was pretty uneventful until we got back to PDX only to meet up with Danielle and Scott who
had apparently taken a crappy flight because we caught up to them and ended up having more time at the pool in Florida. It was a really relaxing trip. Usually, I plan all sorts of adventures when I travel and end up rushing all over the place to see as much as I can before I have to go home, so it was nice this trip to be able to just relax on the beach and follow the crowd to good times. Congrats Kevin and Alexa on a wonderful wedding weekend, Emily and I were both very excited to be a part of it!

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