It's hard to know where to begin with all the events of the past week or so, particularly this weekend...
An international wedding, family visiting we haven't seen in forever, a lovely visit from my entire family, golf, an alumni soccer game with the biggest cheering section ever, and a big family dinner.
Neil and Jill, and their friends and family all made the trip over to get married at the House Mountain Inn. It was simply wonderful. Cora and her cousin, Clare, served as flower girls, and pushed my ability to hold back a tear. The wedding party looked great, and the girls were adorable. The entire event was fantastic; a wonderful celebration that Neil and Jill fully deserve.
My cousin Susan and her son, Liam, were also with us. Susan and I calculated that it had been roughly 15 years since we had last seen each other...allow me to state the obvious: a lot happens in 15 years! It was simply fantastic to see Susan and to meet Liam. I took them both for a quick tour of Lexington and the VMI campus. Speaking of which, please disregard anything Liam says about beating me on the basketball court! All joking aside, we had a wonderful time, and were sad to see them go. Here's looking forward to some wonderful pictures of their visit to New York!
Susan and Liam's visit was quickly followed by a visit from the Charlotte wing of the Conway family. The Huntersville contingent made it in on Friday night -- and were extremely kind in grabbing dinner and setting it up for Amanda -- and the Providence contingent arrived on Saturday afternoon. It was simply wonderful to see everyone. Martin and I grabbed a sly 9 holes at the local golf course on Saturday morning, we all enjoyed a fun time at the Apple Festival at the Stonewall Jackson house, ice cream followed before getting home just in time for Nana and Pop's arrival!
Needless to say, we were all delighted to see Nana and Pop, but none more so than the children who lost their minds when they arrived. A LOT of cavorting, playing, screaming and laughing followed...and the children seemed to have fun as well! Again, jokes aside, there were lots of laughs, lots of good food, and lots of good pumpkin carvers. We all crashed that night in front of a movie.
Sunday brought a nice early visit from Pop, who was kind enough to provide breakfast. Sitting watching the Manchester derby reminded me of many previous days in my youth spent hunkered down on a brisk day watching a good football game on the "telly."
Sunday afternoon brought more wonderful memories as my entire family - from Lexington and Charlotte - came out to watch me play in an alumni tournament with VMI's soccer team. Being able to play with my brother made it extra special. Passing the ball around brought back many good memories of kicking the ball around with my Dad and my Brother at one of the many local fields when I was younger. The fact Martin also scored a crop of goals didn't hurt either, although I understand he's experiencing some tight muscles today!
The end of the tournament was followed by a lovely buffet-style meal at Salernos. The food was good and filling, and it was nice to see everyone around a nice big table. Perhaps that will be the lasting memory from the past ten days: laughter and smiles.