As we didn't have a rehearsal per se, we decided to use Friday night as a time to get families and friends together and have a good meal. Emily and Ryan chose the Six Feet Under restaurant. Friday was quite busy and hectic, as might be expected, with trying to get decorations together and decisions made, so it was nice to have something to look forward to. Kathy arrived from Andalusia in the late afternoon, bearing caramel cakes from Dean's Cake House. I had never been on this web site until this morning, but it is very informative. Go to the February 2009 link to see the cake-making in action. Looks like they make some very pretty wedding cakes. Kathy would have killed me if I'd even SUGGESTED carrying a wedding cake from Andalusia to Atlanta though. In case this gets lost in all the pictures to follow, here is one of the groom's cakes she brought, Ryan's favorite, caramel. She also brought a huge container of Eleanor's Sugar Cookies, the recipe made famous in our family and around Andalusia by my late mother-in-law Eleanor. Our friend Jackie McDanal volunteered to make these for the reception, and they were very popular, as would be expected. In fact, the caterer wants the recipe. I don't have a picture in my collection yet, but I'm sure someone does, and I'll put it here along with the recipe later.
So, to the feast! We had hurried verbal directions given to us, which have been proved to be pretty useless with this group, and we picked up Kathy at the Conference Center and headed once more down Briarcliff/Moreland, which we were becoming more and more famliar with. We passed the landmarks we were told about but didn't see Memorial. Once we got to I-20, Mike began to think we had missed the street. Kathy had directions and a map, but we still were confused. We called Emily, and she put our ATL tour guide Karen on the phone, and she talked us there. (When I took this same route Sunday morning to come home, I looked carefully, and there is no street sign saying Memorial Drive going south on Moreland, so I don't feel so bad.)
Once we turned, we were not too encouraged by the neighborhood, but the directions were great this time, and we found it with no trouble. Saw Emily and Ryan and the others out front and knew we were at the right place. A very popular place, I might add. Much noise and chaos on the bottom floor. We told the host we were with the wedding party, and they directed us upstairs. We were supposed to have had an area sectioned off for us, but this didn't happen, and Emily was pretty unhappy about it. We didn't like the idea of all of us splitting up to sit at separate tables in all that noise and confusion. So they added to the confusion by starting to slide tables (with umbrellas) together to make one loooong table. The children were all content to have their own table where they could have an unending supply of "pop" that they don't get on an everyday basis!
It was all worth it when the food came out. I'm not sure I saw it all, but the things I remember were huge platters - one with fish, shrimp, and calamari tacos; one with chicken fingers and a delicious sauce; giant cheeseburger halves; boiled shrimp; hush-puppies (which had to be explained to the South Dakotans); and a wonderful low-country boil platter. I know there was more that I missed, but it was outstanding.
Mike sent me some pictures this morning, and I took a few and will just post them without captions. As other people send me some, I'll add to these. Besides the 2 families, there were Natalie and Chris; Karen, Suzanne and their parents Ida Beth and Greg; Ross and Meghan and her brother David; and Micah the best man. Sorry if I missed anyone. It was such fun, especially as the sun went down and it got cooler there on the roof and everyone relaxed