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After finally getting my hands on the cupcakes for our rehearsal dinner, it was time to head back to the hotel and RELAX. I knew that there was a ton of family that I should have been talking to, but I seriously needed some time to breathe. So, that is what I did. I sat on the couch in my humongous sitting room area and let the time go by. At around 5:30 I started to get ready so that I could be in the lobby by 6:00. I didn't quite know where anyone else was at this point, but I figured I'd see them soon enough since our rehearsal dinner was scheduled for 6:30 at Gino's East Pizzeria.
Since it is only two blocks away from the hotel, the informal plan was for people to meet in the lobby and walk over together. Once I got down to the lobby it was family central! My dad was there, my aunts and uncles, cousins, and all of neill's family too! It was sort of just a big cluster of people and I just didn't know what to do with myself! Part of me felt like I should be introducing people, but I was already so overwhelmed that I just sort of sat back and let people do their thing. Because it was a relatively large group (~40 people), it was too difficult to organize everyone leaving at once. So people starting started to trickle out and I waited. Unfortunately, Neill left with his family and I stayed behind at the hotel. I didn't like being separated :(
After what seemed like forever, I finally started to leave and after making it a block I realized I left the freaking cupcakes sitting in my hotel room!!!!! Arg. This is why a bride should not be in charge of making sure the dessert arrives! If I had been smart, I would have asked someone else to go get them. People will do stuff for a bride that they won't normally do. Might as well take advantage of it! But instead, I ran back to pick them up. Minutes later, there I was - walking down the street with three boxes of cupcakes towering in my hands and late to my own rehearsal dinner. Ooops. At least I had yummy yummy yummy delicious deep dish pizza to look forward too!
nom nom nom
We picked Gino's East because we wanted something (a) casual, (b) near the hotel, and (c) delicious. This happens to be Neill's favorite pizza place so it worked out perfectly! I really couldn't recommend Gino's East more. They have their events down to a science so we didn't have to worry about anything. Somehow even the seating worked out! For some reason it never crossed my mind to think about how the tables were going to be arranged. Luckily for us, it worked out perfectly. There were three long tables and my family sat at one, neill's family sat at another, and all the youngings filled up the third. Whew. Glad my nonplanning worked out!
Neill with his co-bestmen at Gino's
Unfortunately, I was SO exhausted and overwhelmed that I couldn't really enjoy the party. It's not that I had a bad time, I just didn't have a fabulous time. I feel like a real bridal brat for saying that, but hey - it's the truth. I just wanted to be in bed. ha. I didn't even have much of an appetite (which NEVER happens to me) so I just had one or two small squares of thin crust. Pizza fail. I was happy though that people seemed to like the cupcakes!
The only picture I could find of Neill and I at the rehearsal dinner
The highlight of the rehearsal dinner for me was getting to make our mark on Gino's East. You make have noticed in some of the pictures above that there is writing all over the walls. That's because Gino's East lets you tag as much as you want! I should have remembered to bring a sharpe with me, but our super friendly waiter kindly loaned us his.
Neill and I signing our names
Close up of what we wrote
After all of that hubub it was time to head back to the hotel. For some reason I ended up walking home alone - I swear I have no memory of how that happened! I must have just been really ready to get going :) No worries though - people soon congregated in my room. Look how tired Neill and I both look!
Neill with two of his brothers
Me with my two 'maids
After the most unflattering pictures ever were taken, it was time to call it a night! I had trouble sleeping on Thursday night, so my aunt gave me an ativan to take so that I could be well rested. Let me tell you - that stuff is the BOMB. It didn't make me loopy or drowsy, it just made me feel like I didn't have a care in the world! And with that, I drifted off into ativan dreams of ponies and unicorns.
Coming up next - getting ready to get hitched!