Get ready. This is a long one. :)
My wife's cousin was married last Saturday in Riverhead, NY. Riverhead is located in the middle of Long Island... about 65 miles east of New York City and 30 miles west of "the Hamptons." This is where the bride grew up.
We left Charleston at 7 Friday morning and arrived at New York's Laguardia Airport a little after 8. I really hate flying, but how nice is it to get from WV to NYC in an hour and twenty minutes? Anyway... the weather was so dreary in NYC that we couldn't even tell we landed there. We could have landed in the middle of a rainforest and we wouldn't have been able to tell the difference. We then picked up the rental car and drove through the rain to Riverhead. After a short stop at the hotel to pick up another of my wife's cousins, we headed to the shore to catch a quick glimpse of the beach. There really wasn't a lot to see. The air was rainy and dense. So it prevented us from getting a good view of our surroundings. We took a few pictures and headed off for lunch. We found a quaint little place called The Lobster Roll. I had a crab cake sandwich, some clam chowder and a local brew. It was solid, but nothing spectacular. We then headed to downtown Riverhead. After much deliberation, we decided to head into a little bar named Tweeds. We made friends with the piano player, the waiter and the owner. It turned out that Tweeds was a bison bar. They raise their own bison (we passed them graising in a field on the way to town). They butcher it and serve it in their bar.
Friday evening was the rehearsal dinner. It was on a golf course just on the other side of town. The bride and groom did all the normal bride and groom stuff while everyone else pigged out on some quality BBQ and fixin's. The drink of the night was the Mint Julip in honor of Saturday's Kentucky Derby.
Saturday was fun. Myself, my wife and two of her cousins headed east in search of Buzztime Trivia. The closest bar with Buzztime was 25 miles away. After a 30 minute drive we arrive only to find out the place was closed. No worries, though. There was a brewpub across the street that entertained for the next two hours with beer, food and sports. We're pretty easy to please.
Here's a link to the brewery: Brickhouse Brewery
After one of the fastest changes of clothes ever, we headed to the wedding. It was a pretty church and the sun managed to peak through the clouds during the ceremony (I think that was the only time the sun shined the entire weekend). It was traditional... stand up, sit down, pray, happy marriage time.
After a short break we headed to the reception at a vineyard. Wow. Just wow. I had seafood salad, sushi, cheese and crackers and more seafood salad. There was a pasta bar, a carving station and a fully stocked bar. I was having a blast. I overheard someone say, "Don't eat too much before the reception. You don't want to be too full for dinner." I was thinking to myself, "What the hell?" That's right, though. The reception had a reception. They do it up right on Long Island.
The REAL reception was even better. They had a great band with 4 different singers. The bridal party intros were studly... perhaps the best I've ever seen. The food was great. The bar was awesome. The music was perfect. We danced the entire time. There were even some dance solos that absolutely stole the show (I'm grinning from ear to ear as I think back to those performances). It was probably the most perfect reception I've ever seen.
Sunday morning was a little rough. What's a fellow supposed to do? We were on LONG FRICKIN' ISLAND. So I had a few too many long island iced teas at the reception. Lucky for me there was a greasy, hearty breakfast at the hotel courtesy of the bride's parents. That seemed to take care of the post wedding hangover. We then headed back toward NYC, stopping midway at Houlihan's to play some Buzztime Trivia. And yes, this time the establishment was open. We played a few games, had lunch and headed for the airports. My wife's cousins were leaving from JFK and we were leaving from Laguardia. Driving around, to and from those airports was quite the experience. But thanks to our good friend TomTom, we only took one wrong turn.
We arrived back home Sunday night at ten. It was a whirlwind of a weekend, but it was a blast. It's now Tuesday evening and I think I'm finally recovered from the trip. I'm looking forward to doing it again!