Originally we thought we’d leave Chef Du Plunge at home with his grandma, but he was off the bottle about a month ago and there’s been no convincing him that it’s not a bad thing. I was even starting to show him the bottle first thing in the morning (when he hadn’t eaten for several hours), and he’d just look at the thing with this expression like “what you taking ’bout Willis?” And that would be the end of the conversation.
The first hurdle was getting CDP through two ferry trips, one of three+ hours to Picton, then another 1 1/2 to the Lodge. The next was discovering that the bunkrooms we organised were, essentially, camping. Outdoor toilet block and pay-showers included. The good news is that I like camping, so it wasn’t a problem, just… a bit of a shock, and we had no preparation for it.
We made it through the first night without incident, except for the lights outside the bunkroom not switching off and CDP thinking that it was dawn. And pretty much all night. He’d wake up and kind of go, “gaaaaaaaaaaaaa, goo! gaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAaaaaaAAAAaaaaa, goo!” for about 30 minutes at a time. Cute? Yes. Annoying? Not really. At least he wasn’t hollering. We figured it was his way of saying, “wake up!! play time!!” The next night we had a quick word to the owner of the place and he happily had the lights switched off. Sweet as.
Man, what scenery. I think growing up in New Zealand I’m pretty much spoiled for natural beauty. Consequently things like Sounds with all that greenery don’t really flick my switch, but there was a time when I was walking back to the reception tent, near dusk, after checking that CDP was still sleeping in the room, and rain clouds were perched in the tops of the surrounding ridges, with fog-like tendrils floating down the gullies and through the trees.
Those same rain clouds had threatened the ceremony earlier in the day, but fortunately the wedding celebrant was well onto it, and had the whole shebang finished within seconds of the rain starting. The bride and groom has just walked away, now officially married, from the altar and into the Lodge when the rain started to spatter the guests. The accompanying Southerly merely assured that all the guests huddled for the better part of the evening.
The reception itself was terrific, with a more than adequate MC, and only one embarrassing relative incident (which was hilarious in retrospect, agonising at the time). And the food? Man… the food. Some of the chef’s ways made me think he was likely an arsehat (i.e. only serving food at 9am the next morning, buffet only, not options, with a bunch of guests sailing at or around 930? wtf?), but his food was awesome. The scallops in vanilla butter? nomnomnomnom.
And CDP? Sailed through it like a trooper. Charmed the ladies. Puked on no-one important (besides mum and dad). Slept on command (almost). And even handled the extremely rough seas heading back into Wellington. Man. Took us 8 hours to get from the Sounds back to home, and he did a great job of keeping it together while children were falling to pieces around us.
So all in all a great holiday. I’m far from refreshed for work, but the wedding itself is something I’ll write about in detail on another day. Let’s just say that some people deserve to he happy, and @jaynew is one of them. I’ve not know her long, and still not well, but everything I hear says that she’s one out of the box. Jayne, if you read this, I can’t imagine anyone else who more deserves what I think you now have.