On June 26, Brian's youngest brother, Andrew, married Kate, his high school sweetheart and an all around awesome girl, so Brian and I traveled to Michigan to celebrate with the family!
We did the flight home a little differently this time. On Wednesday night after work, Bri and I flew to Amsterdam and stayed in a hotel by the airport that night. And early the next morning, we caught a flight to Detroit and then onward to Traverse City. This schedule allowed us to arrive in Michigan on Thursday afternoon, so we had more time to hang out! Our flight to Detroit from Amsterdam was delayed 1.5 hours, so we BARELY made it to our connection (I left my bag with Bri and sprinted to the gate to beg the flight attendants to wait). So when we got to Traverse City, we were both shocked and relieved to see our bags had made it!
On our way to the condo, Stefan took us to Don's Drive In, where we indulged in delicious American treats - malt chocolate shakes and hamburgers!!
On Thursday we spent some good quality time with our niece and nephew, Alyssa and Evan. They had grown so much since we had last seen them in December!
Alyssa playing with the swans
I love family time on the deck
Isn't he adorable??
We also got to see Brian's grandma, Marilynn, and her husband, Roger, on Thursday afternoon. We hadn't seen them in almost a year, so it was nice to catch up with them.
For dinner that night, Janet, the kids, Brian, and I went to our favorite Elk Rapids restaurant, Siren Hall. The kiddos started to get tired while we were there, so they started to get a little fussy. Janet knew exactly what to do to calm them down, so she took care of them. It was so funny, though, because to the other restaurant-goers, I felt like the kids probably appeared to be ours and we weren't taking care of them. Like Brian and I looked like slacker parents or something - haha!
When we got home, we put the kids to bed, and Brian fell asleep shortly after. I wanted to stay up late to be sure I'd get on a regular sleeping schedule, so Janet and I stayed up and chatted until almost 11. It was so fun to have girl talk!
On Friday morning, I went for a jog and Bri biked next to me. I love jogging in Elk Rapids - it's so peaceful and pretty! On our way back to the house, Brian and I stopped by the local bakery and picked up donuts for the kids. When we got home, Alyssa and Evan were anxiously awaiting our return with breakfast : )
That afternoon, Brian and I went to pick up his tux, and it was all wrong! He didn't even have shoes that were the same size. So we were glad that we checked while the shop still had time to get the correct tux before the wedding!
Then we went to the Chateau Grand Traverse to meet up with the wedding party - let the festivities begin! Andrew and Kate had arranged for everyone to stay in one big chateau for the wedding weekend, and I was so glad they did! Brian and I didn't know all of their friends too well, so staying with all of them gave us great quality time with everyone to celebrate Kate and Andrew together. Plus, the chateau was incredible - it had a huge wine cellar, game room, beautiful rooms for everyone, a really cool living area, and a kitchen with a huge breakfast selection! And, my sister-in-law, Alicia, was my roommate for the weekend, so we had great time to catch up.
Anyway, so Friday night, the entire wedding party went to dinner at a place called Firefly. We had an entire area to ourselves, and the restaurant was so cool - very modern. Most importantly, the food and drinks were very tasty! I sat next to Kate's friends Esra and Megan, and I loved getting to know them. After a fun dinner with everyone, we walked to a local pub. Live music, good drinks, and family and friends - you can't get much better than that! We had an awesome time!
We were out pretty late on Friday, but Brian and I were still a little off-schedule, so we woke up earlier than everyone else and were able to have breakfast and coffee together in the beautiful sun room. As others started to wake up, we all lounged around and Brian and I got to have great catch-up conversation with Eric and Alicia. They had recently gotten a new boxer puppy, Matilda...isn't she cute??
Saturday afternoon, Alicia and I drove Matilda to Alicia's parents' house in Ellsworth, and I got a little tour of the area where Alicia grew up. Then we went back to the condo and hung out at the pool with Chris, MaryBeth, the kids, and the groomsmen. Stefan and Janet had ordered bbq for everyone, and it was so yummy! Unless I make it, we don't get bbq in Frankfurt. It was a gorgeous day, so Stefan took us out on the boat, too!
Before we knew it, it was time to get ready for the rehearsal!
Bride and Groom at the rehearsal
Bower's Harbor Inn, where the wedding would take place the next day
Rehearsal dinner at The BoatHouse
Alyssa opening her flower girl gift - so much excitement!
Stefan and his brother, Christian
After the rehearsal dinner, all of the wedding party went back to the Chateau to sip on wine and relax before the big day!
Sunday morning, we woke up to this out of our window! Perfect weather for an outdoor wedding! I went for a jog through the vineyards down to the lake that morning - such a gorgeous and peaceful area.
At Bower's Harbor Inn, waiting patiently and with so much excitement!
The wedding was so perfect! Here are some pictures of the gorgeous ceremony:
After the ceremony, the reception was just as wonderful! They had a jazz band that sounded a lot like Michael Buble, which I loved! The building was perfect for a wedding reception - it was elegant and warm with its dark wooden beams and great lighting. We danced, ate and were merry with family and friends. It was so great to see Omama, TK (Bri's aunt Katrine), Dave, Christian, Cindy, and their girls.
Signing the marriage certificate - it's official!
Brian's mom, Omama, and dad
Roger, Grandma Marilynn, Kate, Andrew, Omama, Janet, Stefan
Listening to the Best Man's speech.
Kyle, Andrew's lifelong best friend, did a great job - he was so funny, but it was so sweet, too.
Delicious, beautiful cake! Kate did such a great job with the color scheme
On Sunday night, we went on an evening boat ride with Janet, Stefan, Eric, and Alicia. Janet, Alicia, and I went into town to pick up pizza, and we all soaked up our last night together.
Eric and Alicia had to drive back to Chicago on Monday afternoon, but before they left we had a family breakfast and enjoyed chatting with them one last time. The rest of the day Brian went to return tuxes and went real estate shopping with his Dad, and Janet and I went shopping in Elk Rapids. I love those little stores and always find some fun treasures : )
That evening we all sat out on the deck and had happy hour, which included a whiskey tasting thanks to Andrew's groomsmen gift!
Brian and I had to fly out on Tuesday afternoon, but before we left, Bri's parents took us to Black Star Farms winery and to sample some Michigan wine, which was so tasty! We actually bought a couple of bottles to bring back with us to Germany. One was an oaky chardonnay, and we also bought maple and cherry dessert wines.
After lunch at Bri's favorite sub place, Jimmy Johns, we headed to the airport for our flight home. It was a quick trip, but it was a wonderful wedding weekend!