The older ones, from the 1980s, are on heavy cream stock and invariably start with a woman’s parents requesting the honor of my presence someplace. That format is as dead as the dodo.
Now it’s bride and groom, or bride and bride, or groom and groom who want me to join in the fun when they get hitched. Hold the cream-colored card stock please! Invitations with personality are the name of the game.
Furthermore, Jacob seems like a nice kid. He’s got a good job, and is making a difference in the world. That’s practically reason enough to celebrate in a day when lots of young folks live on sofas in their parents’ basements.
In the end, sunshine, a beautiful destination, and the promise of Bryant style hilarity won me over. My siblings had to pass on the trip, but fortunately, my niece Charlie was all in. She’s a good egg and I knew we’d have a great time.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, the airport nearest our final destination.
I bought a backpack, de rigueur for low rent international travelers. My sister reminded me to wear compression socks and to get up and walk up and down the aisle of the plane to ward off deep vein thrombosis. I’ve spent time in the ER with a clot, she didn’t have to tell me twice.
My friend Phil picked me up at 4:45 am so I that I would be at the State College Airport in plenty of time for my 6:00 am departure. I had to check a bag since I was taking more than 3 oz of insect repellent with me. I recalled from my earlier trip to Mexico that mosquitoes thought of me as a tasty pre-dinner morsel, even when served with a generous helping of bug spray.
By the time I got to Detroit, I had two text messages from Delta Airlines that my flight to Puerto Vallarta had been delayed. On that day, at least, Delta was not ready when I was. My flight was delayed four different times for a total of nearly six hours. There were moments when walking to Mexico seemed like a reasonable option.
ruins porn—Detroit has a great Delta terminal. It’s modern; stylish even. I didn’t get back on the people mover to check out the Trans Pixley Airlines gates; I hope they’re just as nice.
Kenny G. Frankly, I’d rather have seen a porn star.
The gate agent offered the folks waiting for my flight free soft drinks and off-brand Oreos. Since the unlamented demise of Hydrox cookies in 1999, I didn’t know that there were off brand Oreos. Travel is indeed a broadening experience.
The long-delayed flight was uneventful, which is quite an event considering the fact that I was sitting across the aisle from a family with four boys under the age of 8, whose au pair had been upgraded to first class. The kids were really well behaved. I think the au pair must have spent time in the Stasi.
Immigration and customs in Puerto Vallarta were as easy as the flight. Perhaps compression socks brought good luck as they kept away a DVT? Even though I had to unzip my bag for the customs woman, she didn’t hold up any of my shirts and say “What were you thinking when you bought this?” or “Do you think you brought enough bug spray?” or “I’ve always thought electric toothbrushes were for total tools.”
Actually, I only unzipped my bag about a quarter of the way, just enough to make it clear that I wasn’t bringing one of those springs coiled up in a can of peanut butter into the country. I didn’t have to explain that I wasn’t really thinking when I bought that shirt, or prove that I’d brought enough bug spray to eliminate an entire species of mosquitoes, or that I was indeed the kind of tool to use an electric toothbrush.
After I left Mexican customs there was a brief moment when everyone wanted my attention. As people waved and shouted, I thought this must have been what it was like piloting the last chopper out of Saigon. Fortunately, I have a short attention span so ignoring people comes naturally to me. I knew that if I were to be patient, I would find the person holding up the sign that said Bryant Wedding. And in two shakes I did just that.
I waited with a couple of tables of fellow wedding guests at an outdoor café. We introduced ourselves to each other, noting our relationship with the bride or groom’s families. It wasn’t too long before we were loaded into a junior-sized bus for the two-hour trip to our destination, Punta Custodio, on the Riviera Nayarit.
After chowing down on a hearty and delicious Sunday morning breakfast made by our cook Raquel, there was nothing on the agenda until our 4:00 pm call for the shuttle to the wedding. It was a good thing that my plan for the day didn’t include talking to texting with folks back in the US of A. Did I mention that my phone read NO SIGNAL?
At informal weddings guests wear conservative church-going clothes suitable to the season. The women wear hats and gloves. Women guests, incidentally, do not wear flowers, and men guest do not wear boutonnieres. This is the prerogative of the bridal party.
Oh. So much for beach casual.
In New Jersey, where I go to the beach, beach casual is board shorts, a Villanova baseball cap, and an ironic or maybe just in bad taste t-shirt, topped off with an unsolicited opinion on what the "stinkin' Iggles" need to do about the quarterback situation. My friend Tracy suggested that beach casual meant Tommy Bahama, which of course, I do not own. Robyn told me that shorts of the non-cargo variety were fine, and when I that coupled with the Hawaiian shirt my sister purchased for me on an actual island in the Pacific…beach casual!
I had red Vans, too. They accentuate the hipster-wannabe look and were compliant with the part of the 17 page pre-trip instructions that dealt with sensible shoes.
David Hockney, only with better teeth and no talent.
Interestingly enough, no one mentioned David Hockney to me.
We were about halfway there when someone discovered that two guests had been left behind. The jungle drum network said that she was doing her hair. Yowza. Part of our caravan of turned around to pick up the stragglers. Of course they weren’t relatives; Bryants are very clock-conscious. It’s in our genes.
Except for the trash by the side of the road (Adopt-a-Highway hasn’t come to Mexico yet) the trip was super scenic. Of course, folks from Switzerland, which is somewhat cleaner than a NASA clean room, think American highways are trash strewn, so I suppose trash by the side of the road is partly a matter of what you are used to.
Hotel Paraiso Miramar was a lovely, older property, overlooking the ocean. The wedding was on the lawn; guests sat in white folding chairs facing the ocean and the setting sun. We were shaded by allée of tall palms. It was the sort of setting that would make a stylist from New York snap his fingers and say, “Girlfriend! Eureka and look no further! We’re shooting the wedding advertorial right here!”
Pachelbel Canon, a number I don’t need to hear again for a few years. The bridesmaids wore short dresses. The cute-as-a-button flower girl threw rose petals with all her might, a determined look on her face. I think she might have a career in fast-pitch softball.
I thought to myself, if this turns out to be advertorial for The New York Times, I wish I’d done a better job ironing my shirt and losing ten pounds. I wondered if anyone at the wedding had an iron and an extra pair of Spanx.
The ceremony seemed more like the closing of a real estate transaction than the sort of Dearly Beloved We Are Gathered Here Today sort of wedding than I’m accustomed to. The officiant was something along the lines of a justice of the peace and the ceremony was thoughtfully conducted in both English and Spanish. There were vows and rings but fortunately no modestly talented warbling relative tackling a bit of Mozart that was best left to run down the field for a touchdown.
Of course, at a gay wedding, the colors in the Celtic knot wouldn’t be red, blue, green or black. They would be chili pepper, mossy stream bank, cerulean, and that purple that men wear. And it wouldn’t be simple things like passion, grief, and companionship. Instead, the chili pepper ribbon would be for how hot they looked in their Speedos during the European honeymoon; mossy stream bank would mark envy at the neighbors' custom window treatments; cerulean, resignation at turning into ones mother; and that purple that men wear, panic over an erection lasting over four hours.
Normandy Invasion might have had fewer moving parts.
ceviche, and fruit kabobs that we could dip in a fountain of chili sauce. There was even a cigar rolling station. It provided a good excuse to bring up Monica Lewinsky at the dinner table.
|At least I'm in focus if not ironed.
New York Post.
I took an early shuttle back to our villa--my body was still on Pennsylvania time. I heard that dancers and stilt walkers performed after I left. In retrospect, if someone told me that the original Broadway cast of Hamilton had appeared and performed a few numbers written by Lin-Manuel Miranda just for the occasion, I wouldn’t have been surprised. It was a great party.
ripped from the pages of Town & Country magazine. This one was one for the ages. Thank you, Bryant cousins, for inviting me.
Robyn and Paul didn’t want us to get bored in the days after the wedding. There was a talk by the local coffee guy, and a cooking lesson, too. All but one of the evenings had featured some sort of festive dinner gathering at the pool or on the beach.
Whale watching was cancelled since the whales were on vacation--perhaps at a cousin's wedding. Helping with the turtle hatch was a no-go too, those buns were still in the oven.
Frida Kahlo with questionable mustache mesh tote bag.
After five days, it was time to meet a cab at 5:00 am for the two hour ride back to the Puerto Vallarta airport. I checked in at the ticket counter and the agent told me that his wife and I had the same birthday.
I looked at my phone: OMG free WiFi.
I read the news on my phone and realized that what I was missing wasn’t the news in the United States, but the great time I’d had on my vacation. I'm already looking forward to a return trip.