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Thus began our vacation and the joys and miseries therein.. starting with MAui's wedding in Toronto. The Arcadians have since MAui's announcement of her wedding and subsequent invitation of us all to plan our yearly ArcadiaCon around it. Which we did.

Kess, who lives relatively close to Toronto, was kind enough to pick up Arno and I when our flight came in. It was just the three of us Thursday night. The hotel was the Delta Chelsea, in downtown Toronto, and I have to say, it was one of the nicer and more accommodating hotels I've stayed in, though their parking garage and elevator system were confusing as all hell. Parking was also not cheap, but nowhere else, including other nearby parking lots, was any cheaper unfortunately... so we were stuck with $28 per night, 4 nights per car. Bad as that was, we got a wonderful break on the hotel room... When we checked in, expecting a 2-double room, we were offered a 3-double bed room at no additional cost. Since Rob and Dubble and her partner Jennifer were coming in the next day, and Dubble and Jenn had booked a second room, we were able to cancel her reservation and combine us all into one room. (Rob, being gallant as always, brought his own air mattress to sleep on.)

Mel and Arno and I went shopping at The Bay for MAui's requested wedding gifts Friday before the other three arrived. Arno made a joke about getting a discount, and the clerk told us that actually, yes we could.. I'll let him tell more about that... he's very proud of himself for it. Six of us (including Delphine, who had to cancel at the last minute) went in on a couple of nice stabby knives for the happy couple, rather dreading what MAui had in mind for her new husband, as well as a nice toaster.

Maui and Chris married on Saturday. I'm sorry to say that we were quite late, having parked at the wrong church and then walked a block to the one we were supposed to be at. By the ime we got there, even though we weren't more than 10 minutes late, they were halfway through the service, practically to the sermon. We weren't the latest either... people kept sneaking in. THe last couple I saw arrived just before communion. The sermon itself was also quite brief and, I thought, fairly impersonal. I have never seen such a fast wedding ceremony in my life... even the one that took place during a rainstorm. I think it was rushed on purpose, because there was another wedding party coming in just after MAui and Chris's... they're just churning them out like butter at that church.

The reception, however, was freaking enormous. Chris's father owned/managed the reception hall, and therefore put on a HUGE, very elaborate reception that more than made up for the short ceremony. There was an hors d'ouerves course, followed by a gigantic plate of prime rib, followed by a dessert buffet with chocolate fountains, cake, fruit, and cheese... as well as dancing, toasts, dancing girls, and MAui and Chris riding in on a motorcycle. VERY fancy. Unfortunately, both Mel and myself were coming down with a cold, and I think all the excitment didn't do us much good.

I met MAui back in 1999, in the Station 8 Gargoyles Chat Room. This was back before all those instant messengers, when you had to go to a public place just to have a conversation. At our first conversation she dubbed me "Onar", since she makes up names for everyone she seems to like (right, Deeboo?). I still use the name whenever I need to name characters in games and such, though usually the field is too short to use the full name, which includes "Destroyer of Worlds".

MAui, despite her pretence of being psychotic and sadistic, is actually a wonderful person, one of the kindest and most pleasant people I have met. She maintains a fine balance between enthusiasm and sensibility, one that is not given to everyone. She is a graphic designer, and I still recall with some pride that I managed to help her with a technical issue on a website she was doing freelance.

We really don't see enough of MAui these days, so the wedding invitation fot the Arcadia Clan was well appreciated. She seems to think that we did her a favour by showing up, but honestly, I am honoured that we were invited at all.

Anyway, rollcall, from left to right and not counting the familiar dragons:

Kessalia, who brought her bazooka of a camera with her.
Jenn, Dubble's girlfriend whom we met for the first time. I hope we didn't leave a bad impression.
Dubble, from England, who I hadn't seen for over 5 years (for shame!). How she's grown...
Robert, lying on the floor where he always seems to end up anyway. Robert also was the only one to bring a suit (not actually pinstriped). I can appreciate a gesture like that, though it did make the rest of us look underdressed.
MAui, the leading lady.
Chris, the led man.

Chris, the man that MAui married, well, I don't know him very well. After all that I said about MAui it would be easy for me to claim that he doesn't deserve her, but far more likely it is that he does. And that makes him both a good and a lucky man, I'm sure. :)

I have taken many pictures during the reception, which was enormous and mindblowing. I had planned to upload some of them and show them here, but, well... It's bedtime, and I don't want to put off this entry any longer. You had to wait a long time for a new entry, guys... Did we mention we were going on vacation!? ;)

P.S.: So how do you like our new comment form, guys? It's not what I'd like it to be; it requires Java-script, it stores the comments off-site in an inflexible way, I don't have much influence on how it looks... But, I have learned by now that he who seeks perfection often ends up with nothing instead. This, at least, is something. So get to posting, guys! Let's hear from our legions upon legions of loyal, rabid fans!

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