A trip to the zoo

Thursday, June 21, 2001

by: Amanda Harris

The wedding

On June 9th I experienced something that many of you readers have experienced; I got married. The oddest thing about the whole ordeal was that it was nothing like what I had attempted to prepare myself for.

I thought I would break down and cry at some point before the wedding. I didn't. I thought I would cry during the wedding. I didn't

I had a near miss with the unity candle, narrowly escaping a flaming veil, while my train slid over the holder of the unity candle.

Looking back on that day now, it seems like I dream. You know what I mean, you remember certain parts vividly, and other parts you only have a vague recollection of.

The important thing to remember from all of this is that I married the man of my dreams and plan to have a long and happy life with him.

I have to share a funny story about the wedding. In the past several weeks, I received quite a bit of teasing about having to say "obey." Most of this teasing was coming from my future father-in-law. During the ceremony I listened and watched while Chuck recited his vows to me. Then it was my turn. I was a little nervous (due to a fear of public speaking combined with a few butterflies in my stomach). I carefully repeated everything that the minister said. As the minister came to the phrase containing "obey," I just so happen to glance over at the man that was becoming my father-in-law. As I turned my glance back to Chuck it was time for me to repeat the word "OBEY." I fixed my stare on to Chuck's sparkling blues eyes, and then paused. I was staring at the man I love and was unable to speak. My mouth was opened, but I was having a hard time making the word "obey" come out. Finally, by the grace of God, the words came out. The only problem was that I had a huge grim on my face and just as quick as I said "obey," a short giggle followed. From where I was standing I heard several chuckles and giggles from those in attendance.

I received quite a bit of razzing the rest of the day, and it has turned into a big joke with all my family and close friends. No one thought I would bring myself to say it, but they where sure surprised about how I choked it out. When Chuck and I finally made our get away, both my car and his truck had been "decorated" and those darling groom's men with the shoe polish had written "OBEY" all over my car!!!

Hey all you mom types out there, if you are reading this I would like to extend a very special thank you. With all of you alls' help the wedding went off better then I expected. I love you ladies so much!!!!

The honeymoon

Chuck and I had a blast on our honeymoon. On our wedding night we stayed at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. Chuck and I were a little disappointed though because we didn't get to see the ducks walk. We didn't really have time to relax either. We didn't get checked in until midnight and we had to catch an early flight to Orlando to get to the cruise ship on time.

Our flight to Orlando was excellent, because Chuck and I were wearing these cheesy hats that said "bride" and "groom" we were up-graded to first class. The man at the counter said, "Congratulations! Enjoy it, it is the last thing you'll ever get for free." So we did just that, we eat breakfast and enjoyed the comforts of first class.

When we finally got on the ship I was amazed. It really is like the movies. The ship we were on had 12 levels. Of course, our cabin was on the second floor and everything to do was on the upper levels. That was ok though.

The food was excellent!!! And coming from me that is a compliment. Everyone I know thinks that I am the pickiest eater they know. Chuck ate so much I thought he might bust. I ate quite a bit myself, but I felt like I was justified. I had been drinking Slim Fast for the past week or two so that I would fit into my wedding dress.

There was so much to do on the cruise. Chuck and I didn't do it all, but we still had a great time. One day we went snorkeling and drank Coco Locos on the beach. Another day we went shopping. I think I enjoyed the shopping more than Chuck did. I was really proud of him though. He carried the shopping bags around and helped me pick out gifts for family and friends and for each other too. I think his favorite part of the shopping trip was listening and watching me haggle with the women in the straw market. I think he was a little impress with my ability. To tell the truth, I was too.

We would take evening strolls around the boat with the breeze blowing and the stars shining bright and just get lost in each others eyes. It was a perfect setting for a honeymoon.

There were a few less than desirable things about the cruise. The main one that comes to mind was our table mates. On the boat we were assigned to table 126. Also assigned to table 126 was a man from Georgia along with his wife and two teenage daughters. They all seemed nice enough. The only problem was we never found out. This man liked to dominate the conversation, and very rarely allowed his wife and children to speak. He even ordered their meals for them a couple of times. This man was an engineer I believe. When he found out that Chuck works in the engineering department at Craighead Electric, he was ecstatic. He wanted to talk shop and show off his intelligence. That got old real quick

We did meet several nice people. There were four ladies that we while checking in at the Memphis airport on the way to Orlando, they were on the same flight as us. I noticed that they had the tags on their baggage for the cruise like we did. After landing at Orlando, we all piled into the bus that was to take us to the cruise ship. Somehow, we struck up a conversation. I think maybe the ladies commented on our cheesy hats. They were extremely nice people and we ended up running into them several times during the cruise. They were three sisters and a mother, and they were on the cruise to celebrate the mother's 65th birthday. It was like running into old friends periodically. As luck would have it they were on the same flight back to Memphis. Chuck and I spotted one of the ladies at the baggage claim area and she hugged us and asked to take our picture. So we agreed, but Chuck had to one up her. He pulled out our cheesy bride/groom hats and we put them on for the picture.

The kids

While Chuck and I were away on our honeymoon we had to split the kids up. Chey and Lily went to Chuck's parents' house. Freddie was not allowed there though, she and Boots (Chuck's parents' dog), can't seem to play nice together. So, Freddie went to a friend's house where she played with two great big dogs all week. When she came back her white spots were brown and she had picked up a few more bad habits. If digging in the middle of the yard weren't enough, she now knows how to dig her way out from under the fence in the backyard.

When we went to collect Chey and Lily and the in-laws home, we encountered a slight problem. After coming out and saying "Hi Mom," Lily returned to a hard-to-get-to-corner on the sun porch and refused to come out. She was mad at me. I left her all week in an enclosed sun porch with a dog and a puppy. She was not a happy camper whatsoever. Finally, we got her to come out and we put her in the truck to make the trip home. It didn't take long for her to get over her anger. She climbed into my lap and start purring like a Harley.

When Freddie got home Friday afternoon, she was so excited to see Cheyenne that it took her a day or two to get around to giving me those "Mommy, I'm back kisses" that I knew were coming. Chey was happy to have her little buddy back too. The only problem was that Freddie seemed to have grown a couple of inches while we were away. Chey and Freddie are just about the same height now. This makes me a little nervous because Freddie is only four months old.

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