I'm back. What have I missed here, WW? How's things?
We had a great trip. My brother is married. He's in the Seychelles now with his new bride, posting enviable beach pics. The kids did great--I wasn't sure how well they'd handle it, and if not for the wedding, we probably would have put off a trip like this for a few more years. So now I'm glad the wedding forced the issue. It went well enough that DH and I spent a good chunk of the flight home planning a trip to Peru next year.
The wedding itself was really nice. We had a great time. The groom's "village" (which included us) had to walk some distance from the venue (country house converted to hotel/restaurant/pub/event venue) while the bride's "village" gathered in front of the venue, and then the groom's village approached the bride's village as a group while a drummer walked alongside. (The drummer was awesome.) There was some deal where the bride's sisters pretended to turn my brother away and he had to pay them off, but I guess it's just symbolic now? Refreshments, then immediate family got to witness signing the marriage contract, in which my brother a) had to turn over a dowry (which I think is also symbolic now?), and b) the bride never appeared--her father signed on her behalf. I try to be open minded and culturally sensitive, but that kind of got a o_O from me. Especially the second part. I mean, obviously she consented and everything and it's just tradition, but still. It's like "Who gives this woman...?" to the extreme.
More refreshments. The imam gave a speech, and it was really good. We enjoyed it a lot. Also, don't tell the imam, but it put DS right to sleep. Like literally, I watched him close his eyes, and he didn't open them again for an hour and a half. Then they brought around sweets. Civil ceremony, when Wooz did her flower girl stint and I did my reading. Wooz was the oldest of the three, so she was unofficially the head flower girl, which is right up her alley. Went straight to her head, but she did a great job of keeping the littler girls in line and keeping them quiet during the civil ceremony. Then we ate. (Do you see a theme here?) Then the usual cake cutting, first dance, etc. By then the kids were running out of gas, so we started winding it down for the day.
Sunday we returned to London, then Monday was Harrods (including tea at the Georgian, which everyone loved), Tuesday was a Thames cruise and the Tower of London, and Wednesday was Westminster Abbey and the London Eye. (I was not terribly interested in the latter, and we only went because Wooz really wanted to. But when we got there it was super cool and I was so glad we did it.) Yesterday we were up early and on our way to the airport, flew all day, and got home in time for dinner. And here I am. Everyone slept past 5:00 this morning, which is good enough for me. I think we're readjusting okay. DH is keeping the kids home today, but I'm here because I'm trying to conserve my remaining PTO.
And that's everything. Y'all's turn!