The long-anticipated day has finally arrived! I’m getting to marry my best friend!
The wedding was set for June 15, 1996. The ceremony was at Grace Church of DuPage and our good friend, Scott Ardavanis, was the officiant. Immediately after the reception, we entered the limo and from O’Hare Airport in Chicago took a plane to Logan Airport in Boston. The following morning we drove to Acadia National Park. From there we spent some time in Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and then the final night back in Boston.
Here we are (along with half of Tim Sleep) on our final night as singles during the rehearsal dinner.
We had a wonderful time with family and friends at the wedding and reception!
We left the church for “our home” in my Jeep and then left the house an hour later for the airport in the limo.
After spending the night in Boston, we drove up the coast and arrived in Maine.
Acadia National Park
About 6 hours from Boston is Mount Desert Island, a large portion of land just off the coast of north-central Maine. Comprising the majority of this island is Acadia National Park. Acadia offers your iconic Maine environment – you know, that stuff everyone thinks about when they thing of Maine! Rocky shorelines, pristine bays, fishing boats, lighthouses, men with big beards, cold water and everything lobster!
In the pictures below you can see these two newlyweds enjoying their “Bed and Breakfast.” The residence is known as the Kingsleigh. We were blessed to stay up in the “turret suite” that offered a spacious environment and phenomenal views of the inland bays littered with lobster boats. Our first evening at the Kingsleigh was enjoyed watching the Chicago Bulls win their fourth championship. In the mornings we did our “devotionals,” working together through 1 Corinthians.
Here’s a picture of this wonderful location and a very special host couple (Ken and Sid) that made our time there apleasure. Behind Ken and Sid is a map of Mount Desert. Every morning they would provide things for us to do with the necessary directions. At times Sid would give Ken a hard time for being too overbearing. “Leave those guys alone, Ken,” she’d say in her distinct Maine accent. We didn’t mind it!
Morning breakfast routine – a custom cooked meal made by Sid!
Julie sporting my #4 Bull’s hat!
Our first full day in Acadia began with a great hike up in to the mountains. Acadia is one of those unique places on the eastern seaboard that has high peaks right up to the ocean. The views from up here were fantastic.
Later in the day we made our way down to the water’s edge and walked along the rocky shoreline. From there we descended to the water itself and hung out at the only beach in Acadia – creatively named “Sand Beach.” As you can see in the pictures below, I ventured out into the bone-chilling water. Withing minutes my feet were numb and I was laying in the sun warming up!
Bass Harbor Lighthouse is the most popular one on the island. Actually it wasn’t too far from where we were staying. The lighthouse was built in 1858 and stands 58 feet above the water. The other side of the lighthouse from the water’s perspective can be seen in the picture montage below.
One day we went on a short boat tour to learn more about this interesting community and view the area from a different perspective. In the pictures below you can see another angle of the Bass Harbor Lighthouse as well as retrieved lobster trap by the captain of the boat.
One can take various hiking trails or drive on the paved road (as we did) to reach the top of Cadillac Mountain. Standing at 1,528 feet, the summit is the highest point in the area and is also the highest point within 25 miles of the Atlantic Ocean all the way from Nova Scotia all the way down to Mexico (180 miles south of the Texas border). The popular activity among many visitors to this mountain is to view “the nation’s fist sunrise.” You can see we experienced that novelty in the picture below.
Turnovers filled with ice cream at the Jordan Pond House. Wow!
We jumped on the “mail boat” (yes, the one that delivers the postage) and were dropped off on a secluded coastal island off Mount Desert called “Little Cranberry.” There were not any people around and organized things to do, so we simply went for a hike from one side of this undeveloped island to the other. When we finished, we jumped back on the closest returning boat.
Thurstons! Our favorite place for dinner!
Lobsters, steamed clams and iced teas on the wharf!
Cape Cod, MA
After spending several days in Acadia, we traveled to Cape Cod. Our first stop was a full day spent in Plymouth, Massachusetts. We did the tour of the Mayflower II, a scaled replica of the incredible original vessel that took 102 pilgrims and crew to the New World. Not far from the ship was Plymouth Rock, the supposed (yet disputed) first landing back in 1620. It was a great day that was capped off with a delicious bowl of New England clam chowder.
The next day we drove up to the Cape Cod coast and spend a lot of time handing out and laying out at the beach.
The pictures below show some of the fun we had when we first arrived.
In the first picture below, you can see Cape Cod Bay with the Pilgrim’s Monument off in the distance. Notice how the incoming tide has decreased our personal island by the time the second photo was taken.
My lovely new wife!
We didn’t spend any time in Provincetown, but we did walk the 1.5-mile rock jetty to the tip of the Cape. The sun was setting when we arrived at this desolate location. We took some pictures by the Long Point Lighthouse and then made our return voyage in the dark.
Sunday morning church on the Cape.
Another fun day at the beach.
Can you spot me in the picture on the right? Hint: no one is next to me!
Sunsets at Cape Cod are a treat!
We spend one full day touring the affluent (and thus expensive) Martha’s Vineyard. “The Vineyard” as it is called is the third largest island of the east coast and is only accessible by ferry. Our mode of transportation once on the island was a small, very old moped. Our primary destination was Gay Head Lighthouse, several miles from where were rented our scooter. I can still remember cars whistling close by as the tiny moped overwhelmed by two bodies struggled to get up the steep hills. There were a few points when I even considered pedaling because I though we could attain greater speeds! Thankfully we made it back alive!
In the pictures below you can see the lighthouse, our poor moped and a cold journey back to the mainland (someone tell that guy there were warmer confines below within the ship).
Checking out of our hotel in Cape Cod.
One thing we discovered we definitely had in common – a love for ice cream!
The USS Constitution is a wooden-hulled, three-masted frigate (still commissioned!) of the US Navy. The vessel was named by President George Washington himself after the Constitution of the United States of America. Launched in 1791, the duties of “Old Ironsides” were to provide protection for merchant shipping. She also saw successful action in many upcoming wars.
The “Freedom Trail” is a 2.5 mile red-lined route that leads you through Boston to see 16 historically significant sites. You can see in the pictures below that we made stops at Bunker Hill, The Old North Church and an Italian area of town for some authentic Italian Ice.
If you look closely in the picture below, you can see my pathetic attempt to copy the pose of the statue before me.
What is a trip to Boston without taking in a Red Sox game at legendary Fenway Park? This was a last minute decision and thankfully we were able to obtain some good tickets along the first base line. This would be the last night of our honeymoon before we’d be flying out in the morning.
At Logan Airport. Sad to leave!
When we arrived home one of our first activities was to unwrap all our wedding gifts. In the picture on the right I was honored by my college roommates to receive the “traveling trophy,” a duck made by Ted Christ out of paper-mache when he was in elementary school. They were kind enough to repaint and personalize the coveted award with my football number.