Sunday, October 14, 2007

Virginia is for lovers

Yesterday I attended my cousin Brian's wedding on a military base in Alexandria, VA. I had never been on a military base before and was interested to see what it was like. After driving a quarter of a mile down a tree lined road towards the main gate we were stopped and each adult in the car had to show a picture ID. After they were scanned like so many cans of creamed corn, we were allowed thru to drive around an all inclusive self contained picturesque town, not unlike Pleasantville. There was a chapel, a school, a multipurpose activity field with several metal bleachers, and loads of perfect brick houses with American flags adorning their porches while mom's watered the tanbark. We arrived at the chapel in time to congratulate the father of the groom (a.k.a. Uncle Dickie), and then shuffled into the church and crammed into a pew. While waiting for the ceremony to start, I observed the setting and made mental notes of the giant stained glass window of George Washington that occupied the spot on the altar where Jesus usually has dibs, and the neck art of a gentleman in front of me which read "Horn Dog". The ceremony was very lovely and both the bride and groom got through their vows without blubbering like a 12 year old at a matinée of "Titanic". At one point a cup of water from both Wendy and Brian's hometowns were mixed in a vessel as a symbolic gesture of their lives becoming one. I thought it was a beautiful idea, and I wondered later what was done with the united water. I came to the conclusion that their love probably watered a patch of grass in the back of the church. Ahh...the circle of life. Upon leaving the church as man and wife, Brian and Wendy walked under a line of men pointing swords towards the sky and I was relieved when they both made it thru with only a slap on the butt for Wendy with the broad side of the last sword. Very dignified. Next it was on to the reception in a beautiful hall with a panoramic view of the Potomac. Matt, Holly, Ben, Anne and I were seated at a table with a hilarious girl named Jen who indulged Matt in Zombie banter. As the night wore on, the open bar broke loose and my vision turned red from all the vodka and cranberries I consumed. What I do remember was dancing to MJ's "Thriller" with my mom in true zombie fashion, and using all the willpower I had to not place my face in the chocolate fountain. Overall, it was a really great wedding, and I am truly happy for both of them.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Haunted Gettysburg

Saturday Laura, Michelle, David and myself took a trip to explore Haunted Gettysburg. We were a good mix of believers and skeptics, but started out the night with open minds. We got to Gettysburg a little before 6 pm and wasted time antiquing before our table was ready at The Pub. We had a great dinner accompanied by spirits (a.k.a. booze) and then carefully walked down Baltimore Street to begin our Ghosts of Gettysburg tour. We waited for the 8:00 tour along with a horde of other thrill seekers. I breathed a sigh of relief when I realized that we were going to be broken up into four smaller, more intimate groups. My relief then subsided when I realized that our tour guide was about as enthusiastic as Squidward Tentacles. Irregardless of our tour guide's story telling abilities and chutzpa (or lack thereof), the tour was very enjoyable. We visited a courthouse that acted as a makeshift hospital during the battle, and saw so many amputations that holes had to be drilled in the floor to release the blood. Next we visited a school house across the street from a prison, both of which held spirits (of the ghost variety, not the aforementioned booze variety). From there we went on to a haunted house dubbed the Twin Sycamores because of the two hulking trees that flanked the front of the house. Only one of the trees still remains to this day. The Twin Sycamores was said to hold a benign child ghost who partook of many hijinks, including organizing toy soldiers into battle formations. At the end of the tour we gathered ourselves together and walked back towards the car. David wanted to see the battlefield because a helpful lady in the antique store said it was "spectacular at night!". We drove around for about 20 minutes wondering how it was possible that we were unable to find a huge battlefield where thousands of people fought and died. David drove down time warped roads that led us nowhere while the rest of us incessantly joked about haunted gas stations, haunted butternut squashes, and haunted flag poles. After a while we decided to give up the ghost (har har) and go home. It wasn't until the next day that I looked at my pictures and saw what appear to be ghosts in almost every one! Some skeptics might call them "water spots", but I'm not the only one to have pictures with them in it. Take a look, and then you decide.