Jon's brother Dave is getting married in what is sure to be a beautiful, gorgeous, over-the-top affair in Orlando. I can't wait. I've been to exactly two weddings (that I can remember - I don't count when I was a flower girl at two years old) and they have both been for relatively young, very religious couples, so they were rather subdued and quiet gatherings. No dancing, no meals, no drinks other than coffee and lemonade. I have a feeling this will be quite different! I'm sure I will take a million photos, so I will have to share a few of my favorites when I get back.
I'm also extremely excited to just get out of Chicago. I moved here last July and haven't left since, except to visit family in Iowa over Christmas last year. I'm spending Thanksgiving with Jon's family in Orlando, and my mom is coming up from Boca to visit for a day. Jon's friend (he is mine as well, I suppose but I met him through Jon so I still feel the need to say Jon's friend...is that weird? Do you do that too? Please share!) Dan is coming over from Tampa to see us too, which is so nice of him. I feel honored that my mother and her new hubby are willing to travel to see me and that Jon's family is willing to host me for yet another holiday week.
Anyway, I have this habit of getting sick right before I travel, so I am trying to get rid of whatever I have before I leave. I was sick for 2 weeks last time I was in London, sick for the majority of the cruise I took last year, sick last Christmas in Iowa, and a number of times when I went on vacation as a child. I vaguely remember being really sick when we moved from Iowa to Florida as well. Three days spent in a car loaded up with my favorite possessions, travel games, my mom and my brother, coughing and sleeping it off. It probably made the somewhat traumatic transition easier to handle, if I'm honest. If I wasn't so out of it, I'm sure I would have worried the whole time about leaving friends and family. I mean, I'd never even been to Florida before, and this was where I was now going to grow up? Weird.
So, it's been 11 days now since the election and it still doesn't seem real. I was lucky enough to get to go to the rally at Grant Park and be among the thousands of people that Obama spoke to immediately after winning the most important election of my lifetime. It was a wonderful experience. I meant to write about it sooner, but how do you write about something you can't describe in words? I can only describe it in smiles and tears. I cried many many happy ones that night and for days after. Whenever I would watch a news program and hear the phrase "President-elect Obama" my eyes would well up. I've never known what it feels like to vote for someone and have that someone win. I was 0-2 until this year, so it was a pleasant surprise. Don't get me wrong, my happiness is not simply an "I won" kind of feeling, but a general optimism that I know a lot of people around the world share with me now. Here are a few of my favorite photos from that night:
I can't say what he will change, but I look forward to seeing it play out. There is, I'm afraid, too much for one man to fix in four years, but with a little hope and a lot of good will, you never know what you're capable of. The difference between going it alone and having the world with you is like night and day. Let's all hope the night is over and the day is long.
As usual, I have so much more I could say, but I will leave it at that for now. I have some medicine to take and some blankets to curl up in.