Sunday, January 09, 2011

OBX Expo Adventures

Hey there folks. I'm writing a quick note to tell you all how awesome things are going down here in the Outer Banks as Ali and I get ready for the wedding. We're here for just a few days, putting in the cornerstones: catering, photography, the beach house, the local guest accommodations, the wedding expo...

It's been fantastic, frankly. We left Pittsburgh in the middle of a snowstorm, but the sun was out by the time we were in Maryland, and things just got warmer and sunnier as we went south. It's January, so even the Outer Banks aren't exactly balmy, but we can get to the car without getting frostbitten; and we've had some nice walks on the beach. The seagulls look rather silly with their feathers puffed up to keep themselves warm. The sky and water here are magnificent at sunset, especially on the sound side — the sound gets choppy and glows with reflected light, as if the setting sun were shining up through the water.

On Friday we met with our photographer, who really does astounding work for a very reasonable price. He makes everything available digitally and releases copyright, so we will have access to our pictures indefinitely. He was super nice and genuinely seems excited to have a chance to do a pagan wedding.

On Saturday we visited the beach house we're renting, taking pictures and getting a sense of the space and accommodations, and found pretty much everything to our liking. As we were leaving, we got a dusting of snow (!) but it soon cleared up again. Later we dropped by a few hotels in the area to work on lining up blocks of rooms for guests. We were feeling extremely productive!

We even met up with our caterer, who impressed us immediately by giving us our price estimate on a recycled piece of paper. They are even more obsessed than we are about eco-friendliness, and their representative was very understanding about our need to handle various dietary restrictions and stay in budget.

One thing we did not ask the caterer about was dolphin. Ali and I are primarily vegetarian, with some fish thrown in occasionally, but when we saw they had dolphin as one of the menu options, we were aghast. I guess it's some kind of delicacy, but for us eating dolphin is right up there with eating, I don't know, babies or something. We don't hold it against them, and it won't keep us from using them as a caterer, but it gave us pause.

It also led to me coming up with a horrible, horrible joke. Here's how it goes.

A man decided he wanted to throw a dinner party, and he wanted to serve his guests dolphin. He went to the local fishmongers and asked to buy some dolphin meat. The fishmonger, who was a man proud of his wares, took him into a huge freezer, where he showed him shelves and shelves of dolphin meat.

The man said, "Give me some from the top shelf."

"The top shelf? Why?"

The man replied gravely, "I want to serve a higher porpoise."

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