Wow, you guys! A lot has happened in the last week and a half!
We took our first road trip in the car. We went to Ashtabula, OH, which is right on Lake Erie. The drive took about 8 hours, and the drive home was the worst, too long and wayyyy boring. But we made it! We got to see a sunset over Lake Erie and I even put my toes in! We also got to see a crazy ass thunderstorm coming in over the Lake (before/during the wedding, nonetheless). It was really cool.
The wedding was a non-traditional as they come, with the bride wearing a red dress, and the groom in a three piece suit. They had a bluegrass band and about a million desserts. A good time was had by all.
We camped out in a family friend's backyard in our tent we bought for our honeymoon. I'm still not entirely used to sleeping outside, but hopefully I will get used to it as we head across the country. These people were super nice and really cool. It was great to get to know them; people can be so cool, you know?
We got to know the bride and groom's families, and the place where they got married was having an art show that featured the groom's relatives. It was just super neat.
While we were in OH, our families started arriving in Philly for Alex's defense. It was weird not to be here when they got here. When we got home, we were exhausted, having stayed up until 2am, then getting on the road at 6am. We begged off seeing our parents, taking a short nap and a much needed shower. We finally made it down to see the family and it turns out that we had even more family here than we knew about! Alex's Aunt Catherine, and his Uncle Rob and Aunt Eileen came to surprise him for his defense, which was super sweet (and a lot of fun!).
Tuesday was Defense Day, so I rounded up all the relatives and we took the bus to school to meet up with Alex. Of course, as we are heading into Alex's building, the fire alarm is going off. LOL. We detoured to the cafeteria for a quick lunch before the defense. Alex looked so handsome, and so composed. I was just so proud of him and his talk. His advisor gave him a pretty funny intro that made everyone laugh. His defense went well, as about 30 minutes after his talk, he was back in his party room, beer in hand, celebrating. His mom had bought these hysterical decorations that made the room look like a mad scientists' dungeon, which was perfect. We had a great party and a really nice dinner. It was time to say goodbye to most of the family.
On Wednesday, I had to work. I gave lab meeting (my last one! Yay!) and stuck around to talk to my boss and get people's opinions, etc. It turned out well, but I still have SO much work to do before I leave. I'm not sure I will get it all done.
After work, we met up and headed to dance lessons. Yes, I took both our parents to dance lessons. It was pretty fun - we learned how to hustle, and we could show our parents some moves. Plus, I think it was just fun to do something different. And it was a laugh to boot. We ate dinner at Triumph, which is really my favorite place in Old City to eat.
Thursday was a lazy day for my folks, but my Dad and I hit up Franklin Institute to check out the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. As everything at the FI, it was really well done and super interesting. We even watched a planetarium video on the telescope, which was cool. And do you know what today is? Today is the transit of Venus across the sun. It won't occur again until 2117, so be sure to check it out (NASA has some cams you can watch it on - don't look at the sun directly with your eyes!).
Friday, we just hung out and we said goodbye to Moo. She went on an adventure, flying with my in-laws to CO, where she will stay until we pick her up on our drive across the country. I was so sad to see Moo go. It was hard to pill her and put her in her carrying case, but she did splendidly well. I think she was paralyzed with fear, but at least she didn't meow across the country. She's now staying with Uncle Taylor, and apparently has a chinchilla to check out while she's there. Hopefully she'll get comfortable and come out of her shell soon.
Saturday was "meet the relatives" day. We went out to Concordville to see Joe and Leslie and have some lunch with them. We had a really nice lunch and had a good time catching up. Alex then got on his bike and headed home on the bicycle, while my folks and I checked out the Bradywine Battlefield, which was pretty interesting.
Sunday was the Philadelphia Bike race, and a lovely day to boot. We dragged my folks down to the street to see the bikers go by and to ring some cowbells to cheer them on. We were looking for a couple of Alex's friends that turned pro recently, and we were hopeful to see some Olympic competitors. It was a lovely day to be outside, and a great day to watch some biking. Dad and I then went to the Simeone Museum, which is a collection of old race cars that I think my Dad really enjoyed.
On Monday, my folks' flight left at 8pm, so I spent the day with my Dad at Eastern State Penitentiary. It was a super creepy day, with random showers, then bright sun. If you ever come to Philly, you should absolutely go see ESP. It is so cool, creepy, and well done. I loved it. We had a really interesting time, and then we sat around until it was time to go to the airport. We drove my folks to the airport, probably our last trip there. It was great to have everyone here to celebrate, but it's also nice to have our little house back to ourselves. Now, it's time to buckle down and get to work. If not actual work, it will be packing. Here goes nothing!