Cari has been my friend since the sixth grade. We went to church together, we went to high school together, and she gave me a ride to class when we were in community college together. We took Human Anatomy and Physiology together (Remember the time we were partners for that project, and we made those cookies that were supposed to look like a cross-section of a colon? Good times.). She was one of my bridesmaids and flew to Las Vegas to be at my wedding. So of course I had to be in Salt Lake to see her get married.
She and Kristina (another friend I haven't seen in five years, which is way too long) picked me up from the airport, and we went for manicures and pedicures. After Cari went off to attend to wedding business, Kristina and I headed to the only (I'm guessing only) "kinky lingerie and stuff" shop in the area and bought a bunch of fun stuff for Cari's honeymoon basket (it's become a tradition), which we rounded out with some homemade chocolate covered strawberries and orange slices. We met up with Mackenzie and ate a delicious Thai food dinner (a wonderful first for me).
Friday, the day of the wedding we headed to Temple Square, and attended the sealing in the Salt Lake Temple. I was so surprised to see my old Young Women leader Michelle there (group photo, left to right: Mackenzie, Cari, Michelle, Kristina, Me). We hugged and cried, and tried not to be too loud in the temple. It was a beautiful ceremony, and Cari was radiant. The reception was in the Joseph Smith Building, and the cakes (yes, I tried all three flavors) and ice cream were delicious.
The next day Mackenzie and I drove to Park City (where they hold Sundance Film Festival) to do some sight-seeing and window shopping. I did buy a caramel apple at the chocolate shop to take home to Chad, and we found some of that delicious fresh saltwater taffy at a grocery store for Bree and Mason (okay, so I think I ate half of the taffy before it got home, but nobody needs to know). Mackenzie and I spent some much-needed time together chatting and catching up, and watching a delightful BBC show called Monarch of the Glen. Gosh I love that girl.
Then Adam picked me up and we went to get Heather at the airport (she had been in Houston interviewing for teaching positions). We ate at Olive Garden, and Adam's chicken scampi ended up being free because some of the chicken was raw (Lucky for Adam he's one of those people who cuts all of his food into bite-sized pieces before he starts eating, so he didn't actually ingest any raw meat. Is it weird that I noticed that about him? I think it's because I've often thought about the pros and cons of cutting all your food into pieces up front versus cutting off one bite at a time. Chad and Adam fall into the former category, and I fall into the latter. Hmmm.). Wow, tangent. Anyway, our waiter at Olive Garden was profusely apologetic, and told Adam to milk the situation for all it was worth (Adam was ready to just politely request one more piece of cooked chicken to replace the raw one). And we got a free dessert to share. Black Tie Mousse Cake. Oh my.
I went to Adam and Heather's church, wore my pretty green dress again (which my mom sewed and which elicited multiple compliments, thank you), and got to attend Relief Society where Heather is in the presidency and she taught a great lesson that day. Heather made a really delicious baked breaded chicken (using crushed croutons, genius!). I could cook nowhere near that well when I'd only been married a year. I was very impressed. Then I spent the rest of my visit with them relaxing and being highly entertained by episodes of Community and Arrested Development.
I am really glad I got to go. I know that Chad was a little stressed while I was gone, taking care of the kids after he got home from work, and I really appreciate it. And I'm so lucky to have awesome friends who took care of Bree and Mason while Chad was at work AND overnight because he's on call. I did surprise myself by getting a little homesick for my family, so it was good to get back home. I actually started crying with happiness when my family met me at the Sky Harbor Airport baggage claim. When Bree saw me, she started running to me with her arms out, saying, "Mommy, Mommy!" How could I not cry?
And word has it that Kristina will be getting married in San Diego in July. I'll be there.