Although we’ve never been to Cleveland before, we decided it would be too much to try to see the sights in Cleveland and also try to make it to Joyce & Sean’s wedding by 3 pm. Plus, we’ve been running so long on so little sleep, it seemed prudent to take advantage of the quiet comfort of a hotel room to catch up on some ZZZs. We’re sure to be back. One of my goals in life is to see a home game for every team in Major League Baseball, so unless the Indians leave Cleveland sometime in the next 10-20 years (unlikely!), we’ll be back to go to Jacobs Field, and we can check out the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at that point.
The downside of this plan is that we basically slept until we felt like getting up, then took our time showering, eating, and getting dressed for the wedding. We ended up rushing to get ourselves out of the hotel in time to leave for downtown Cleveland.
Luckily it didn’t take us that long to get there. Joyce had called me on Tuesday (when we were in the tower at Olympic Park in Montreal, actually) to warn us that there might be a great deal of traffic due to the recently scheduled pre-season football game between the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions. It turned out not to be much of a concern, and we sailed into downtown with plenty of time to find the church, park near the reception site, and walk back.
Even better was the weather. The nasty rain from the night before had turned into morning clouds and then gave way to gorgeous sunny weather. Just the kind of weather a bride hopes for on her wedding day!
The church was beautiful – a Victorian Romanesque stone building built in 1855, with lovely stained glass windows. As we walked across the Public Square, the church bells played hymns into the sunshine.
The wedding was very nice. Joyce was a beautiful bride, and she and Sean looked very happy. The homily was great – just a short meditation on Joyce & Sean’s relationship and the meaning of marriage. The entire ceremony was less than 30 minutes long – possibly the shortest I’ve ever been to.
After the wedding, the guests waited for a while outside the church as the bride and groom took some photos. Cars filled with Browns fans drove by and honked or yelled “Woo hoo!” for the benefit of the married couple. Finally they came out, and we all waved Joyce & Sean off in an antique convertible. The happy couple and their wedding party went to take photos around Cleveland.
So we had about an hour to kill before the reception was to start. Dave and I wandered around Cleveland, ending up near Cleveland Browns Stadium right on Lake Erie, amidst all the fans streaming toward the game. Throughout the city were a bunch of guitars that had been decorated by local artists, continuing the trend started by the Cow Parade in Chicago a few years back. We walked along the water a bit, looking down at the science museum and the “Rock Hall”, as they call it here. Then we headed back toward the reception site, and sat near a koi pond for a while, enjoying the nice weather and resting our feet.
The reception site was the City Club of Cleveland, known as the oldest continuous free speech forum in the country. The building was built in 1912, but the room where the reception took place was renovated in 2000, so it was contemporary and new. There is a hallway full of photos of various famous people who have participated in forums (fora?) at the City Club, and it was interesting to look at them and try to identify them all (with the help of a cheat sheet, of course).
We enjoyed the hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, and when dinner began we met our tablemates, some of Joyce’s friends from Cleveland. They were cool people to hang out with. One couple at our table had their 15-month-old daughter with them. She was absolutely adorable, and in complete party mode. She was like one of those toys that dances to the rhythm of whatever music you turn on – they couldn’t keep her off the dance floor and she was remarkably coordinated for a toddler.
The toasts by the best man, the maid of honor, and the groom were very touching, dinner was delicious, and the dancing was fun. Everything went very well. Congratulations to Joyce and Sean!!
Now it’s off to bed to rest up for more driving tomorrow – next stop, Michigan!