I snugged down into my seat, sandwiched between Dave and the window, visions of an ice cold Heineken dancing in my head. As the plane took off, I sighed a giant sigh of relief. For the past several months every spare minute of my time had been immediately consumed by thoughts of Christi and all things wedding. Finally after what seems like endless hours of making lists and checking them twice, dotting the “I’s” and crossing the “T’s” the big weekend has come and we were packed and on the plane headed west.
I would like to lead you down the path of sunshine and lollypops, telling you that everything was completely under control and that by the sheer virtue of Christi and my undying determination, everything wedding would be going off without a hitch. But that would be a giant lie. As we careened through the air on our westward flight, I was more than aware that we were technically without a venue for the actual wedding. Christi and Kenny decided to get married in Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. Because of the government shutdown, the park had been closed indefinitely. I guess I should be upset or worried or some other unidentifiable emotion but frankly, I am just basically resigned. I have a ton of super-skills: I can make a boo-boo stop hurting with a magic kiss; I can banish monsters with my magic foo-foo dust; I can make a tuna out of a dinosaur costume; I can create flower arrangements out of flower monkey vomit; I can talk young women off of emotional ledges with the best of them but one thing I cannot now nor will I ever be able to do is control the federal government.
Friday morning we were all up bright and early. First on the list was to review the reception venue with Laurie, the owner of the Sunset Grill. Thank goodness it seemed like my wedding karma meter was running high. Laurie knew that the park closing was putting us in a pickle. She had already worked out an alternative in her mind for us before we even got there. She offered us the use of their terrace for the ceremony part of the festivities if we didn’t locate another alternate venue. We left the Sunset Grill Friday morning thrilled that the wedding venue problem was addressed if not completely resolved. Later that morning an amazing thing happened, the Governor of Utah wired $1.67 million dollars to the federal government to cover the operational costs of Utah’s national parks system for 10 days. We heard the news but refused to get our hopes up. We are after all Allen’s. Our luck would have the parks re-opening on Sunday morning the day after the wedding. We got the call Friday afternoon; Arches National Park would officially reopen at sunset!
As we drove away from the ceremony site I smiled to myself. I felt like I had fed the wedding karma meter and had been duly rewarded. Christi and Kenny said “I Do” as planned standing on a bluff in one of the most beautiful places in the world.