Morning golf was scheduled for an 8:30AM tee-time.

We woke up in the hotel at 7:00AM before arriving at the Palisades Country Club golf course for some warm-ups swings on the driving range and putts on the putting green. I rented some golf clubs from the pro-shop and got in the golf cart with Tim. Tim, Andy P, Chad and I were one of eight or nine foursomes for the wedding cup. Right before the first tee-time at 8:30AM, the father of the bride, Jack, gave us an overview of all the rules, regulations, prizes, and drinking habits of the wedding cup. There would be a congratulatory shot of alcohol on the green of the 8th hole - along with a wedding message for the bride and groom. There would also be an unlimited supply of Bud Light and Yuengling on the course for those who wanted to keep the party going from start to finish. The beer was distributed throughout the course by two of Sam's cousins, Emily and Katie.

Chad, Andy, Tim, and I were having a ton of fun together as the groomsmen foursome on the golf course. It started off nice, with low humidity in the early morning, but as the sun rose - the temperature rose to around 90F with a good deal of humidity. I was surprised I didn't get that big of a sunburn in respect to the amount of sunshine I got without sunscreen.

When we got to the twelve hole, we found out it was where the longest drive was being recorded for the tournament. Out of our whole group, I didn't think I would be the one to to out-drive the rest of the field of men. I have always been a poor long-ball hitting and a better in the short-game. Unfortunately, I was beaten by Shela, Sam's aunt. At the end of the day, she won the longest drive contest. We all found out about the winners of the wedding cup while having lunch and drinks at Jack and Susan's afterwards. The entire golf party and additional family and friends gathered together around 1:00PM for the culminating portion of the tournament.

The guys and I rode back to the hotel together because we had an hour or so to get ready for the dress rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner that upcoming evening. I rode with Sam's parents from the hotel to the dress rehearsal where we walked through the entire ceremony three or four times. The groomsmen and brides maids were lined up away from Sam and Lindsay in order from shortest to tallest (besides Kelly and Andy K - the maid of honor and best man and sister and brother of the bridge and groom).

The wedding party consisted of the men I've mentioned before and these women: Kelly, Theresa, Rachelle, Rachel, and Jessica. We finished just in time before dinner, and carpooled together over to Blackfinn Restaurant. The Johnson family reserved a great room where the 40-50 guests arrived at 7:00PM. As per tradition, the rehearsal dinner consisted of a ton of family and some close friends of Sam and Lindsay.

The three options for the dinner were salmon, steak, and vegetarian. I had the salmon.

Before dinner was served, everyone at the rehearsal dinner was enjoying two complementary cocktails and conversation. During that time, Andy J (Sam's brother) came up to me and asked me if I could say something unique about Sam and/or Lindsay that would help the rehearsal dinner attendees understand a little more than they already knew about the happy couple. I agreed to do it because I wanted to show my appreciation of being invited and being one of their good friends.

When I stood on my seat to speak, I told the dinner party of a my recent experience in flying from Los Angeles to Charlotte for the wedding and the couple I sat next to on the plane. This couple is still married and still in love - committed to each other and taking their vows literally and seriously for over 40 years. After a bit of chatting between the three of us, the wife turns to me and says that the greatest investment in life is an indescribable soulmate. I shared this with the dinner party because that's what I believe Sam and Lindsay found in each other. It doesn't matter where, why, or when they love each other - it's HOW they love each other.

I was followed by a half-dozen or so more speakers that wanted to say something about Sam and Lindsay - but the most entertaining of those speakers was Tim. By that point, Tim was on his 4th or 5th cocktail of the evening and had an impaired balance while standing on his seat and speaking. His story was detailed and revealing to the lives we lived during college.

The rehearsal dinner wrapped up around 9:30PM and we decided to go to Connoley's Irish Bar to meet up with the rest of our friends. There we found the entire lacrosse team (friends of Lindsay) and all the guys from Oregon. There must have been 25-30 Duck alumni friends there, along with a handful of other wedding party-going guests. When we arrived to the bar, we found there to be a Irish female duet playing live music on the patio where everyone was talking and drinking. There we other patrons there as well, but the majority of us took up the patio's capacity.

The entire wedding group had drinks, shared stories, and listened to this Irish duet band for a while. I had the idea of requesting a song for Lindsay and Sam - so I approached the singers with the choice of Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours". This is the song that plays on their wedding website. The Irish singers knew the melody and some of the lyrics - but not the whole thing. I tipped them $5 to have them play just what they could - and make an attempt at it.

They exceeded my expectations with their own improvisational rendition of the song! It was great! Sam and Lindsay danced together on the patio as they sang their version and it was absolutely worth it! The group had a blast watching this and toasted together to the occasion.

The toasting continued to a point where people want to bar-hop back to Blackfinn for dancing and drinks. I corralled the group of intoxicated Ducks as we leisurely walked back to Blackfinn. I managed to get the entire party into the upstairs bar without paying cover as I made sure to speak with the head of security before we left the rehearsal dinner earlier. We wound up staying there for the rest of the night - leaving at approximately 2:00AM. I remember feeling completely burnt out by 1:30AM and was ready to go whenever Sam, Andy J, and Jordan wanted to leave - considering I was driving them back to the Hilton Garden Inn in Ayersly. We got back to the hotel and I was in bed, passing out around 2:45AM.

We had to make sure there was at least 6 or 7 hours of sleep before the wedding Saturday.

And all of those details come next entry....

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