May 11 – 16
As anticipated, the drive to Kansas City was an easy one and we arrived at McKenzie and Dillon’s (M&D) place by mid-afternoon Tuesday. It would be a busy week as the days would be filled with preparation for the wedding taking place on Saturday, which I would have the honor of officiating. Those first couple of nights were spent at McKenzie and Dillons house and then we’d move on Thursday to our Airbnb, the Charming Historic 4BR Home/Downtown KC/Movie Room located just about halfway between M&D’s house and the wedding venue. Joining us there would be Sister Bev and her husband Bill along with oldest son Jed, and Cousin Lindy and her husband Greg. Others who were going to join us but couldn’t be due to Covid issues were Jessica, Kris and Little G as well as Kim and Marty.
That first night the four of us (McKenzie, Dillon, Joanna and myself) went to nearby KC Bier Station for drinks and food. Always a good way to start a visit, we consumed fresh beer, a decent pretzel and a somewhat disappointing Cuban Sandwich. Nothing really wrong with the Cuban, but when compared to the great ones we’ve consumed in the past it came up well short.
On Wednesday as guests and members of the wedding party began to arrive, we gathered in the afternoon in the den of the house for a session that would last all afternoon and into the evening. Large volumes of light beer were consumed, and multiple orders of fast food appeared at regular intervals helping to fuel much reminiscing and telling of tall tales.
I had composed the bulk of the ceremony I would perform on Saturday but still had a couple of holes to fill, sections where I wanted the service to be more personal and able to convey some elements of the natures of McKenzie and Dillon. And so, as has often worked for me in the past, Thursday morning I took off on my bike to duplicate the ride Joanna and I had accomplished last year in the fall, that is to head to the Harry Wiggins Trolley Track Trail for a ride along the river.
It’s not a 100% effective solution for solving a problem, but in this case, it worked out well as I let my thoughts free associate and when a phrase or idea popped up, I’d stop and record it into the Notes function of my iPhone. This occurred multiple times and by the time I returned to the house a couple of hours later, I’d nailed down the sections I’d been missing.
Later that day Joanna and I made our way to the Airbnb to check in, get set up and wait for the others to arrive. We opened the front door and as we climbed the stairs to the upper floors, it got progressively warmer to the point that it was almost unbearable at the top floor. Back on the first floor I noticed that the thermostat was turned off and not supplying any cooling to the house. I turned it on but for the first day or so the upstairs didn’t cool down much.
Pretty soon Bev, Lindy and Greg arrived (Jed would come in the next morning) and we soon set out for dinner at Grünauer, the Austrian restaurant we’ve enjoyed in the past. I had a Ayinger 6.7% Celebrator to get me through our meal while Joanna enjoyed a Maximilian’s Radlar (Stiegl grapefruit Radler, hibiscus-infused Mi Campo tequila, fresh lime juice & tamarind syrup over ice).
To eat I had an interesting dish, the Spinatschnitzel (Specialty pork schnitzel stuffed with ham, spinach and quark cheese) with spaetzle on the side while Joanna ordered a fish based special of the day, which while quite good cannot be identified as we didn’t get a copy of the receipt and it has been weeks since that meal occurred. We returned to the Airbnb, which would fortunately cool down that night after a ferocious thunderstorm and stayed up late, spending time with folks we dearly love.
The next day would be full of last-minute errands, as all weddings no matter how well organized and planned always have a detail or two that slip through the cracks. We had taken Dillon’s wedding dress shirt to the cleaners for cleaning and pressing and when we got it back to the house, noticed a stain, not necessarily the fault of the cleaners, that wasn’t going to be acceptable to wear. Joanna and I did a quick search of options and in the afternoon made a run to a mall ten miles away to pick up a replacement at a Macy’s, thankful that a few large full-service department stores were still in business.
And just like that, it was time to head over to Union, the wedding venue for the rehearsal, signaling the beginning of the dance that would take us to a happily married couple. McKenzie, Dillon and I had worked together during the preceding six months to create a ceremony that was current, relevant, and reflected how they wanted to approach this solemn occasion. Rehearsal went without a hitch and in the blink of an eye we had all arrived at Harpo’s in the Westport part of town for the rehearsal dinner.
We consumed enough beer and wine to float a small boat and demolished the deli trays provided by the venue. A room full of people that know each other produces a positive energy that if harnessed, could easily supply the power needs of a small city. That was the case that night, people moving from table to table, enjoying each other’s company in anticipation of the big event to come the next day. And we will cover that joyous event in the next post.
KC Airbnb: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/53810999?source_impression_id=p3_1659968579_X6JKZ98ZhsMWo7NM
KC Bier Station: https://bierstation.com/
Trolley Track Trail: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/missouri/harry-wiggins-trolley-track-trail