Lame Adventure 371: Marriage Lame Adventures-style

When I launched Lame Adventures in January 2010, I saw my site as an outlet for sharing tales set in New York City from the perspective of a hapless minion of modest means. At first, it was fine with me if only my close circle of friends and my sister, Dovima, read my blog. I am by nature an anti-social networker. Eventually, bloggers began to discover me, and I realized that was okay, too. I now enjoy reading several fellow bloggers and I have gotten to know members of my cyberspace posse quite well. On more than one occasion I have even been fortunate enough to meet fellow bloggers when they’ve visited New York City.

The most rewarding experience I’ve had thus far with meeting a fellow blogger occurred last Thursday when I met one of my earliest followers, Kathy McCullogh over at Reinventing the Event Horizon. Instead of doing the usual, hanging out at a pub, Kathy emailed me and asked if I would serve as witness to the City Hall nuptials between she and Sara Coppler, her partner of seven years. On May 1, they would move to Cuenca, Ecuador. That was an offer I couldn’t refuse. My co-witness, Jackie over at Jackie Cangro, was on board to attend, too. I have since learned that Jackie is both an excellent sherpa and writer.

This year, Kathy and Sara’s lives have been in such a whirlwind I almost need a nap before I explain what’s been happening. They’ve sold their house in Kentucky and have been in the process of completely liquidating their life in the U.S. ever since. They chose to relocate to Ecuador for many reasons. Ecuador is on the East Coast’s time zone (except during daylight savings time), it’s a three and a half hour flight from Florida, the currency is the U.S. dollar, the price of oil is cheap ($1.48 a gallon), health care and housing are affordable, the overall cost of living is low, and the perpetual spring-like climate is a perfect compromise for both of them. Kathy hates heat and Sara hates cold. Gee, maybe Milton and I should stuff ourselves into their carry-on bags.

Before making this move, Kathy and Sara were advised that because marriage equality is on the rise in South America, it would behoove them to travel to a state in the U.S. where same sex marriage is legal. Getting married stateside before moving overseas would give their union more legitimacy in their adopted homeland. Hence, they chose New York to officially tie the knot.

As honored as I was to be included in this historic event in their lives, for a moment, a flash of terror shot through my entire being from the soles of my feet to the roots of my hair. No, this terror had nothing to do with my lifelong fear of commitment, but the thought of having to dress up twice in one week. They were marrying three days after Milton and I attended a black tie gala at Lincoln Center for Barbra Streisand! Kathy reassured me that it was going to be very casual.

For anyone considering getting married in New York’s City Hall, the ceremonies are actually held in the City Clerk’s office at 141 Worth Street in lower Manhattan. There is a 24-hour waiting period after a couple purchases a license, possibly to prevent couples from impulsively entering boneheaded unions, such as when Britney Spears got married in Las Vegas to, if I recall his name correctly, That Schmuck.

First thing first, fees.

First thing first, fees.

Kathy and Sara have been ready to make it legal for years, but like so many committed same sex couples, they were waiting for the laws to change.

Kathy and Sara in their final moments of waiting to wed.

Kathy (left) and Sara in their final moments of patiently waiting to wed.

On wedding day proper, April 25, the four of us agreed to meet at 9 a.m., but we all arrived at 8:45. Even though I am not an early riser nor am I a morning person at all, no way was I going to be The Jerk That Arrives Late for this special occasion.

New York City’s Marriage Bureau is a place where the vibe is warm and welcoming. All a couple has to do is show up and wait their turn. The bureau has flowers, a gift shop, even a backdrop with a photograph of the actual City Hall for brides and grooms to pose before. It’s run very efficiently. Check it out.

Flower selections.

Flower selections.

Cake toppers and ducks.

Cake toppers and ducks.

Reading material neither Kathy nor Sara needed during the 24-hour waiting period.

Reading material neither Kathy nor Sara needed during the 24-hour waiting period.

Camera-ready City Hall mural backdrop.

Camera-ready City Hall mural backdrop.

Kathy and Sara's ceremony number.

Kathy and Sara’s ceremony number.

Kathy and Sara filling out forms.

Kathy and Sara filling out forms.

Exchanging vows a.k.a. this is happening for real!

Exchanging vows a.k.a. this is happening for real!

Double ring ceremony.

Double ring ceremony.

Missed money shot due to delay in my camera's shutter speed.

Missed money shot due to delay in my camera’s shutter speed.

Just married! Finally!

Just married! Finally!

Backdrop looks complete now.

Backdrop looking complete now.

Kathy and Sara entered lawful wedded bliss by 9:59 a.m. When we stepped outside, we encountered a photographer named Braulio Cuenca. Apparently, he’s been a fixture outside the City Clerk’s office since 1994. If you’d like to read his story in the New York Times click this link. Coincidentally, Braulio is Ecuadorian and from — where else? Cuenca! He shot Kathy and Sara’s official wedding photo. We saw that as a good omen.

First step outside as spouse and spouse.

First step outside as a lawfully wedded couple.

Braulio showing Kathy official wedding photo.

Braulio showing Kathy official wedding photo.

Afterward, Jackie and I accompanied the brides on a few errands before heading over to Chinatown for a celebratory dim sum lunch at Ping’s on Mott Street. Our next stop was Ferrara’s in Little Italy for dessert Italian-style. Then, we parted ways. Jackie returned home to Brooklyn. I headed uptown. Kathy and Sara, caught a cab in the Big Apple detour in their journey.

Jubilant Kathy and Sara in taxi heading toward the next leg in their life together.

Jubilant Kathy and Sara in taxi heading toward the next leg in their life together.

Upon reflection, I realized that were it not for the blogosphere, I never would have met this very cool, very loving couple and made a new writer-friend in Brooklyn. This is an adventure that was far more lucky than it was lame. The Lame Adventures will return should this city slicker ever visit them in Ecuador.

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120 responses to “Lame Adventure 371: Marriage Lame Adventures-style

  1. Cool. Thanks for sharing. Mazel tov to the Ecuadorian-bound couple. Will they live on a finca in Cuenca?

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  2. Okay that’s just about the coolest story ever.

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  3. Fabulous story..very sweet. I recently had an adventure and met a fellow blogger too. Perhaps this wonderful post will inspire me to write about it. Hope you are feeling better

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  4. OK I’m like totally invested in these women’s life, future, plans, etc. etc. I looked it up and now know Ecuador is below Columbia and above Peru. OK, I’ve got the geography down. I’m sorry I missed the wedding. I want the new life to go well BUT—HOW WILL I KNOW????? Don’t leave me hanging, Lame-O! You’ve done this to me before! (no hard feelings, just fyi). Will you update us? Do they have a blog? If they have a blog, will they keep it current? Do they know anyone in Ecuador besides the photographer’s mom? Have they been to Ecuador? Yes, it was a totally cool story, Ms. L., but I’ll need updates~! I’m following you, and now I’ll be following them, and sometimes I even think about Milton (you know, like, would he like this film, etc kind of thing). God only knows where this could end. I don’t know if I can handle this much involvement. Did they get all their shots?? What about their animals? Do they get to go? What city in Ecuador? Make sure they know where our Embassy is…and…never mind, if I find out, I find out. No biggie otherwise. Really.

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    • TTT, Just click the link to follow Kathy’s wonderfully written blog, Reinventing the Event Horizon, for she will resume writing it regularly once she and Sara settle in. It might take a week or it might take a month, but she’s a writer with an itch to write. Sara’s a shutterbug and she’s going to resume posting photos on her Blipfoto site soon, too. They’re two adventurous souls and although they will set a toe on Ecuadorean soil for the first time on Wednesday, Sara is an experienced world traveler, and thus far in their life together, she and Kathy have already lived in Lexington, Vietnam and Haiti. I’m very confident that they’ll be able to navigate Ecuador successfully. Where they go, their two hounds, Lucy and Ralph, go, too. The whole family is officially relocating to Cuenca on Wednesday.

      Do keep following me, pal, for Milton and I are planning a few trips ourselves. We’re going to get out to Queens and the Bronx. That’s as world travel-y as he and I get.

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  5. Most, most excellent… and very, very sweet.

    R.

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  6. “DO YOU KNOW YOUR WIFE?”

    What? You mean like in the Biblical sense? I thought I was supposed to!

    Congrats to the lovely couple! I’m a big fan of marriage when, as it sounds here, it’s a well-considered decision between two (or more, actually–I really don’t care) people who love each other. Personally speaking, marriage has been very good for me. I lucked out.

    Weddings are fun, and what an honor it is to have been invited to something that’s such a big deal to someone else.

    First Kentucky and then Ecuador? Have they ever lived in the United States?

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    • Smak, good one.

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    • Kathy and Sara will surely howl when they read:

      “First Kentucky and then Ecuador? Have they ever lived in the United States?”

      That’s brilliant, Smak! Like you, I’m a big fan of marriage when it’s between people (I’m old school and tend to see it as a union of two people, but I do recall cracking a lame quip to the officiator about marrying the four of us; I could not control myself) that are dedicated and committed to each other. I think that’s why the institution should be available to all.

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      • With polygamy I have to separate my own personal prejudices (and I don’t mean ‘prejudice’ with the negative connotations so often associated with it) from my political beliefs and my understanding of the law, constitution and American political philosophy.

        Personally, I find polygamy objectionable (that’s really not quite the right word I want, but it’ll have to do for now), in that it’s not the lifestyle for me. However, outside of my own personal beliefs, I can see no reason it shouldn’t be legal. I think it’s funny that if a guy wants to shack up with nine women, that’s HIS business. But if he wants to make honest women of them, it somehow becomes OUR business. And of course that applies for the same situation across gender or orientation lines.

        And I know that Mormon child-brides are often pointed to as a reason why polygamy should be illegal. That’s a canard. The problem there is systemic pederasty, not polygamy.

        I’ll get off my soapbox now.

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        • Harems are not on my radar. If I could find one woman to stick with like Kathy found Sara and Sara found Kathy,that would be good enough for me.

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          • Good enough for me as well.
            And I think there are a lot more happy endings out there than people seem to think. I think also that people are a lot more lovable than they realize. It may sound like a Hallmark Card (I loathe most cards), but it’s so true that you’ve got to love yourself before you can expect anyone else to (and I’m not for a moment suggesting that you don’t love yourself, btw). When you fall in love–and I mean real love, not just lust which is cool too–you fall in love with the entire person, right? Beauty fades after all, and it’s easy to get tired of your favorite food if you’re served it every night. Lust only grows into love when you love the whole person, and not just the parts that juice your glands. And what’s more lovable than a happy, confident, well-defined person? Nothing. Except maybe a happy, confident, well-defined person with great big boobs.

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  7. This is a lovely post, Lame. Great day, lovely couple, and proof positive that our blogging friends come to mean a great deal to us. All that remains is for you to book a plane ticket to Ecuador…

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    • Dear LA woman, be careful if you do fly down to Ecuador and be extra careful flying back into JFK. You never know whether you’ve been added to the No Fly List.

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    • Kate, I’ve been reading Kathy so long, I felt like I knew she and Sara the second we met. Maybe it’s also because we’re all writerly-types, too? Meanwhile, if you and your tall family ever get around to crossing the pond again, we can visit Central Park and you can imagine you’re in the forest in your back yard. Of course it won’t be quite the same without the presence of a certain carcass-hunting hound.

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  8. Ah, sweet. They look so blissful. And a marriage of sorts for you, too, V., meeting a new friend, also the potential for vacationing in Ecuador (as long as you steer free of that No Fly List).

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  9. That was a pretty cool wedding story. Way better than those Bridezilla episodes I see on TLC.

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  10. Well that is just damn beautiful. Congratulations to them and their new life, and how cool that you were there to help ring it in! The blogosphere is a grand place.

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    • It was so cool that they invited me to share this wonderful event with them. Normally, I just work my day job and stare at pigeons perched on the sill outside my window. Every so often, the blogosphere presents me with unexpected surprises, such as when I got to meet you and Mr. Giraffe. That was special, too, even though the only vows taken were to identify the mystery beers.

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  11. THIS. This is why I love blogging. This is why I have faith in the world. Congratulations to the newlyweds and may their new life in Ecuador be a beautiful one!

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  12. So great to hear of a lovely wedding, great location, and great narrator to the whole affair. Thanks for capturing and sharing these amazing moments. Yay blogosphere.

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  13. Congrats ladies, you are going to love Ecuador. Here is my hilarious adventure of moving to Ecuador, maybe you can share it with them. Enjoy.
    http://www.atruetalltale.wordpress.com

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  14. OMG–what an awesome post, my friend! We have been running erands all day, so I am just now getting to read. You have covered our marriage beautifully. Thank you! I will post a link on my blog tomorrow.

    And the only lame thing about our trip to your fine city was Sara making me walk for hours at a time. By the time we left Saturday I had blisters and limped onto the plane.

    We are crazy busy gettting ready to leave in about 36 hours. But we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for witnessing our big day. We were honored to have you. Plus, you made us laugh. Sara and I are still chuckling at some of your one-liners.

    Oh, loved the question someone asked about whether we have lived in the US. Too funny. Yeah, Kentucky is still a developing country, I suppose!

    Hugs.
    Kathy and Sara

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    • Wow, I wasn’t expecting to hear from you two until after you landed, unpacked and fed the hounds! Glad you liked the post. I’ll email you the pictures separately.

      Your marriage, for me, was a beautiful thing to witness — and I am so honored to have been a part of such a great day for you two lovely ladies.

      Speak soon,
      V

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    • Congratulations Kathy and Sara … best of luck on your move!

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  15. Love this post and story V. I wish Kathy and Sara all the best! 🙂

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  16. Congrats to Kathy and Sara! Oh yes, you are so right – the blogosphere is the coolest place ever. Just think how many of us would never have connected if Susie didn’t throw those virtual wild parties of hers!

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  17. This is just so delightful. I’ve never had a blogging friend cross over into the real world, and I think I would panic and freeze for a while before I went through with it, but this definitely vindicates my feelings of connection with my virtual friends. If that made sense.

    Everyone else has already expressed my feelings of pleasure and well-wishes so fully that I will add only that I don’t recall the *Brooklyn* City Hall having such polished amenities as cake-toppers and ‘Do You Know Your Wife’ booklets (?) and painted photo-op back-drops!

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    • I was about a year and half into blogging before I began striking up meaningful friendships in the blogosphere. Kathy was someone who I initially got to know through her site. To connect with the “right” people, it’s worth the wait. Everyone I’ve met thus far has been great. There’s no rush. You just get to know people over time, and if the time seems right to meet someone in The Real World, you will meet.

      When you guys married in Brooklyn, was that before same sex marriage became legal? If so, maybe all the marriage bureaus in the five boroughs jazzed up their shops once the institution became available to a larger pool of participants?

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  18. So sweet. And for some weird reason, I did not get the email notification of this post! I found it as I was perusing my Reader. So sorry, V!

    The blogosphere is an amazing place where people connect in wonderful ways. May Kathy and Sara share many wonderful days together in Cuenca. And how weird and synchronistic that the resident photographer hailed from the same city as their destination!

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    • Wasn’t that wild about us encountering Cuence just as they stepped outside the City Clerk’s office, Cathy? He was also charmed by them when he learned where they were moving. That entire day was packed with terrific chemistry. Gee, I’m glad you found my post via your reader. I hope the email notification setting wasn’t somehow shut off.

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  19. I am so happy to see this, happy to see the wedding! Love they have sealed their love! What a happy day.

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  20. Love and best wishes to Kathy and Sara. America Del Sur is lucky to be receiving such a fine couple. I will look forward to reading of your adventures.
    ciao
    Jk

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    • JK, my regularly scheduled adventures tend to be snarkier and confined to NYC, but if you’d like to follow Kathy and Sara’s adventures in Ecuador after they settle down there, I urge you to click on the hyperlink to Kathy’s site. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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  21. Pingback: Whirlwind Wedding: Nuptial Knots in New York City | reinventing the event horizon

  22. Coming over from Kathy’s blog and so happy to see and read all about the wonderful ceremony for these two lovebirds!! Thanks for sharing!!!

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  23. Thank you for sharing your–not so lame–adventure with Kathy and Sara. I’ve had the privilege of meeting them and spending time with them, and they are a truly wonderful couple. I’m glad you could be there for them on their special day. I look forward to reading more about your “lame” adventures. I’ve had a few of my own in New York.

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    • Lisa, Kathy and Sara rock! The second we finally met in person, I felt like I’d known them in real life for years. I must add that I also felt the same way about meeting Jackie, too. I feel very lucky that they included me on this momentous occasion.

      Thanks for the follow. I’m at The Grind right now so I cannot spend too much time on my site while here. I’ll return the compliment when I’m back in my sanctum sanctorum. Oh yes, New York was made for Lame Adventures and even the occasionally Lovely Adventure, too.

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  24. Thank you for being there! Thank you for the very nice description of the blissful day and for all the pictures!

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  25. What a great post! Yes, a bit different from your typical posts about life in NYC, but it still has a lot of your touch of humor! Congrats to you for being requested by Kathy and Sara, for being on time, and for not having to get too dressed up so soon after the recent theater bash. 😉 …. now — get rid of that cold!

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  26. It was just the most wonderful experience from beginning to end! You did such a lovely write up of the day’s events.
    I was thrilled and honored to be part of it – and to have met you in the process. I can’t wait to read more about your “lame” adventures around the city.

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    • Jackie, we are two privileged bloggers to have been asked to witness such lovely nuptials. I feel very lucky that you were able to get the day off work, too, so we got to meet. You’re a classy dame. Soon, I will resume my regularly scheduled programming where I’ll unravel more typical yarns such as tripping on uneven pavement or finding my foot cemented to the sidewalk thanks to a wad of gum the size of a spatula.

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  27. How wonderful!! Both have been part of my world for quite awhile now! I am so happy you were there for them!!

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  28. This was a nice adventure. Congrats to the lovely couple and kudos to you for sharing the nuptials with us. My daughter and her partner hightailed it up to Iowa a couple of years ago to do the deed, but alas, they had no blogger friend in waiting to witness the event.

    Come to think of it, I don’t recall having anyone from Iowa ever visit my blog. Maybe they didn’t hear about Al Gore inventing a little thing called the internet.

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    • Iowa doesn’t actually believe in computers. Ask Chuck Grassley. He believes the worldwide interweb was created by godless lefties, weirdos and other fellow travelers/Friends of Dorothy.

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    • It was a lovely adventure, Russell, and since I managed to get there on time, there really wasn’t a lame moment to it. Jackie, my co-witness’s suggestion for where to go for dim sum, Ping’s, was also a cut above the dim sum-mery I ate at recently, No Fun Ever.

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  29. Kathy and Sara came to my own daughter’s Very Bloggy Wedding, so very happy to see them having one of their own! Congrats!

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  30. Great write-up of the happy event … followed the link from Kathy’s blog. Love the way you write, and even though I’ve just barely begun poking around your archives, I have a feeling I’ll be back for more. Gotta love your humor, and your unique way of viewing the world.

    “getting dressed up twice in one week” …. made me laugh … so TRUE

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    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post enough to take the time to comment. Last year, I thought I dressed nicely for my niece’s high school graduation, but I seem to recall my sister asking, “You’re wearing that?” That was easily a millimeter-high boost of confidence in my sense of style. Do visit again. I do my best to keep this site reliably silly.

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  31. Thanks for being there to cover the big event! I love how efficient City Hall seems to have things. Well-organized events make the geek in me VERY happy. 🙂

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  32. Huzzah, and congratulations to the happy couple! I had no idea that Ecuador used US currency. That seems odd to me, but hey, it sure makes things easier for Americans visiting down there. Also, I’m pretty sure you’re right about the name of the guy Britney Spears married.

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    • I had no idea that Ecuador uses U.S. currency, either, Weebs, and it strikes me as odd, too. It will be one less thing for Kathy and Sara to learn while they’re navigating their way round their adopted home turf. Unfortunately, English is not Ecuador’s language, so Kathy will have to brush up on her Spanish and Sara will have to learn to speak it.

      I’m glad that you appreciated the scholarly research I invested in the topic of Brit’s dispose-a-groom-guy.

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  33. I love this! It’s a beautiful story and so well written. The only thing missing? A picture of the four of you! At any rate this post truly reminds me that the world is much smaller than we think and dreams DO come true. Thank you for sharing!

    Have a lovely day,
    Currie

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    • Since this post was about Kathy and Sara, I chose to focus on them. There were a few foursome shots taken, including one by Braulio Cuenca, the photographer stationed outside the City Clerk’s office, so Kathy and Sara’s Ultimate Wedding Album will have images of Jackie and me — unless they choose to crop us out! Glad you enjoyed the post, Currie. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  34. Pingback: Friday Five | Jackie Cangro

  35. Congrats to the newlyweds. I hope they have a long and happy marriage.

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  36. Can I own up that I cried when I read your post? You’ve written a from-the-heart-simply beautiful post about Kathy and Sara’s wedding.
    Blogging friendships are so amazing – Kathy sends you an email you because you’re an old friend who is delighted to be a witness at her wedding. ((Sigh)).

    I’m so glad gay marriage is legal in a few States and I hope the US Supreme Court does the right thing. *&^^%&*#@….!! My daughter had to get married in Canada …

    I’ve seen your name all over the blog-o-sphere so it was good to finally pop over and meet you 😀

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    • Glad you were so touched by the post Rosie. The nuptials were lovely. It seems very likely that within the next decade same sex marriage will be legal throughout the entire country, or at least throughout most of it.

      Oh my, I’m all over the blogosphere! I hope that’s a good thing. Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to comment. It’s nice to meet you, too.

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  37. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT congratulations Kathy and Sara!!! LOVED this post about LOVE. 🙂

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  38. Duuuuuuuuuuuuude, what an awesome way to hang out and meet a fellow blogger. I think that’s the best story I’ve read. Very awesome. And that reading material for that 24-hour waiting period. HA! Way to go on that. That cracked me up. What a great Lame Adventure 🙂

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  39. xoxoxoxo for the newlyweds and to you, sugar, for sharing such a beautiful moment! i LOVE wedding stories!

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  40. I love it! What a wonderful story! I’m so happy you were there to share that moment with them! Much Love and many blessings to you! XO

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  41. Yet another unexpected benefit of being on WP. So happy for the newlyweds! I gotta go look up Ecuador.

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  42. Hmm, this is the third couple I’ve heard of that’s moving to Ecuador! Really? I gotta go there.

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  43. Such a lovely post– I love your voice! Ecuador is nice this time of year, I’m sure (and all times of the year).

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  44. Pingback: Nutty Narrative Unfolding: The Far Side of Sanity Meets South of Zero Latitude | reinventing the event horizon

  45. Pingback: NYC visits London, or the Lame Adventures book is published! | Exploring Pixie

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