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Family & Friends: Andrea's and Sander's Wedding

As you know, we had left our boat in Laboe, took a cab to the Kiel train station, took a train to Luebeck - a decent ride in first class - then continued in a Danish train from there to Copenhagen. The latter was close to a disaster. Though we had booked first class tickets, there was barely any room in the car and people were sitting in the entrance way of the cabins. The train only had three cars - way too little for all the people wanting to go to Denmark. The one nice thing about this train ride was the ferry ride from Puttgaden, Fehmarn, to Rodby, Denmark. We even had a chance to sit on the ferry and look at all the ships going by.

In Copenhagen, we quickly took a cab though we knew that our hotel was not that far away - it ended up being farther away than we thought and we were glad we had not attempted to walk. Our room was quite nice and fairly newly decorated, had a beautiful view. The hallways clearly need work, but it seems that the hotel was recently acquired / affiliated with Hilton, and there was lots of construction going on in the public spaces, leading us to believe that there is hope for all the other work necessary.

We checked in and immediately went out to walk around though, by that time, it was already 2100. We also spoke with Christa - boy were we glad to see her soon... We walked over to the Tivoli - it did not intrigue us to go inside, instead we continued walking until we found a nice looking restaurant where lots of people sat outside. We had a nice little dinner, some wine and truly enjoyed the Southern feel of this gorgeous city - the same feeling we had last year when we were in Copenhagen. Of course, the weather was equally nice. I guess, this helps as one of our friends hates this town because it was pouring the entire time he was there... 

The next morning, we left early enough as we did not quite know how long the train to the airport would take, only to find out that the trains to the airport were all canceled - system failure. There were supposed to be buses taking us. However, the crowds were enormous, and so we hopped into a taxi that happened to stand there - how lucky we were. The cab ride only took 15 minutes. We checked in and had lots of time to walk around, do some shopping, etc. We arrived in London, were lucky to catch the bus for the transfer to terminal 3 right away and, after all the security checks, managed to go into the American Airlinnes lounge. There was not a lot of time before we had to go to the gate. There was chaos as the check in line was endless and there was no separate line for business and first class travelers. In the end, American apologized for this, explaining that they had a flight return for security reasons and that all staff was required at that gate.  I am mentioning this only because, two days later, we learned that there were serious security breaches and that multiple attacks on US flights out of London into the US had been foiled...  how lucky we were to get to New York safely...

We spent two days in New York, catching up with doctor's appointments, seeing Christa - she looked tired but seemed in reasonable spirits - and left at 0445 by car service with Chucky, our special driver. He is very dependable, having picked us up from JFK two days before with a reservation we had made in April when he took us to JFK for our flight to Frankfurt. He never received our e-mail which I had sent from Copenhagen, confirming our arrival. Well, here he was, bright and early, to drive us to Newark.

This was the day, August 10, 2006 on which we learned of the attempted or planned attacks. Of course, the airport was a mess and all passengers were told to discard toothpaste, creams, lotions, lipsticks, etc., as all of those substances were banned in carry-on. There was not enough time for us to check our bags, and so I lost a lot of very expensive cosmetics. I was not happy...

Still, we arrived in Denver on time and saw the endless lines of people waiting to get through security checks. We were glad to have made it and to be able to enjoy the family and, the reason for our flight to Denver, Andrea's and Sander's wedding. We quickly checked into our hotel, the JW Marriott in Cherry Creek, a terrific area filled with galleries, boutiques and fine restaurants, closely located to Silvi's and Brad's house. Then we went to see the family.  Even Juergen's 99 year-old mother had made it there the day before, and all seemed in good spirits, though Silvi felt sick with a very bad cold, and overwhelmed with all the chores that still needed to be accomplished for the wedding.

August 11, 2006 Claudia and we had been assigned some "jobs" to help Silvi in the frenzie. Sid prescribed some strong antibiotics which kicked in immediately and which helped Silvi feel much better. The day was spent with them, except there was a ladies' lunch at the Denver Country Club, hosted by two friends of the family. In the evening, there was a rehearsal dinner, really a very nice get together with about 100 people in a country-like setting and casual food. We had lots of fun and enjoyed the very friendly atmosphere - see the pictures... (most were taken by Gitti, but some were taken by others, including the official wedding photographer).

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Sander's dad w Andrea
Andrea w her dad (Brad)
Silvi (Andrea's and Stefie's mom)
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Andrea, Sander, and Silvi - Sander's thank you speech
Luise, "Omi" (her, Silvi's and Juergen's mother, and Claudia) at the rehearsal dinner
Eddie, husband of Stefie, dad of...
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...Sofia and Kelsie
Luise and Peter

August 12, 2006 the BIG DAY  We had gone shopping to find, what is traditional at weddings in the US, namely noise makers to be tied to the "get-away car". We found some nice bells which Juergen tied together with string and, much later, tied to the car. We also had some white balloons inflated with gas which Juergen tied to the outside mirrors of the car, and there were some white rose decorations from Claudia's wedding which she had brought along.

The wedding ceremony took place outside in a beautiful garden setting. Cocktails were served outside as well. As the weather forecast predicted rain showers, dinner was in the tennis pavilion itself. Thank God it did not rain too much so the rest of the festivities were celebrated outside again with dancing inside, not to disturb the neighbors too much...

Here just a taste of what went on at the time...

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The wedding car
Brad and Andrea on their way to the "altar"
Andrea and Sander
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The "new" family
Andrea and Sander...

At 2200, the official part of the wedding was over. Some people still celebrated at the hotel, others at Silvi and Brad's house.

The next morning, there was a very nice breakfast at the Hawthorns', neighbors and friends of Silvi and Brad's. It was a very nice way to see some of the guests and friends again and the newly-weds who, shortly thereafter, left on their honeymoon to Honduras.

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Andrea before leaving for her honeymoon

We departed for New York on Monday and left two days later for Hamburg... see the page Laboe to Guernsey