Last weekend my nephew, Mason Taylor, married his sweetheart, Ashley Nell Buettner. Laura and I made the trek to Chicago for the weekend. It was the first time I’d spent any significant time in the city, apart from passing through airports. Even though it was in the midst of the turmoil of packing and getting ready to move back to South Carolina, we had a great time with family and friends.
NOTE: This is our last night on Samish Island. I wanted to make sure I caught up on blogging before we left Washington, but this post might be a bit briefer than usual.
Laura and I arrived at the wedding venue Thursday of that week. After fighting with rental car lines and horrendous Chicago traffic we made our way to the Hyatt Lodge on the McDonalds Campus. This really was the corporate headquarters of McDonalds. All of the artwork had Golden Arches or some other McD motif in it. On the other side of a small lake was Hamburger University.
Even the at the hotel restaurant you ordered at a counter and the drinks were served in paper cups. The cuisine was a bit different than the local McD’s, though.
My sister, Beth, mother of the groom, met us in the hotel bar. We had a good time catching up and watching the Cubs game. Beth’s sons, Mason and Philip, were at the game with their other friends. A relief pitcher for the Cubs, CJ Edwards, played baseball with Mason in Newberry. They met up with him after the game and he treated them to an excellent evening. Ours was a bit more relaxing.
The next day we met up with my brother Stephen and his wife, Cynthia for breakfast. Afterwards we headed to downtown Chicago to the Field Museum. Laura really wanted to see the Egyptian Mummy exhibits.
We spent a good bit of time in museum, then decided that we wanted some Chicago Pizza. We walked through Grant Park with views of the Chicago skyline to a place called Aurelio’s. The food did not disappoint.
That evening was the rehearsal, followed by rehearsal dinner. We were invited to both, and I took photos. By this time my other brother, Houston, had joined us with his wife, Lynda, and my sister Glynda.
Saturday was wedding day. I had breakfast with family members then went swimming. I swam 10 complete laps, which was great for me. Afterwards I walked across the bridge to the Hamburger Museum in the Hamburger University. This was really just a small display, but it told the history of McDonalds, from the first restaurant by the McDonald Brothers to Ray Kroc’s franchising of their concept.
Before we knew it, it was time for the wedding. It was supposed to be outside but the weather was not cooperating. Plan B was an inside pavilion. It was a beautiful wedding.
The room was reset for the reception, and the party was a blast. There was a wonderful meal followed by music and dancing. Everyone enjoyed themselves.
I danced like crazy, but Philip was the dancing star of the evening. He had some incredible moves. Even so, one older guy said, “I want some of whatever you’re on.” But then he followed up with, “You’ve got a lot of energy for a guy who carries as much weight as you do.” Uhm, Ok.
The next day we had another breakfast with family, then lunch out and about. We headed on back to Washington as Mason and Nell headed to Ireland for their honeymoon. It was a great weekend, and I appreciate the Buettners and Beth making everything so special. It was great.
As I said, I feel like I’m shortchanging a really wonderful weekend. I only posted a few of the photos above. Here are the rest of the rest of those photos, including a time-lapse of the ceremony.