I have plenty of photos from the wedding—though none of the wedding itself, since I was the officiant. Sean and Jeff have promised to send me a slew of wedding photos taken by Rodney, the on-site pro photog. In the meantime, though, I hope you'll be all right looking at this humble narrative.
Below, the first photo is one of many pictures I took during my drive from Virginia to West Virginia. I had visited West Virginia a few times when I was a kid, and my memories of the state weren't that positive because the thing I remember most was all the strip mining. If you've never seen the effects of strip mining before, please look up some images via Google. It's pretty horrific and rather depressing: a mountain is essentially ripped open to allow people to get at the resources hidden within it. It's ugly work.
This time, however, I saw no strip mining and was impressed with the scenery as I drove along. The Guest House at Lost River is located in Lost City, West Virginia, not too far past the Virginia/West Virginia border. The drive takes you through a lot of farmland. Forsaking safety, I tried to get shots of farms and farm animals as I blew past, but only a few of those shots were decent. I'm showing you, below, the shot that I texted to ACL. She said "Wow!" when she saw it. This is a stretch of Route 259.
Next up is the first sign for the Guest House at Lost River that you encounter when you're close to the resort. Regular asphalt roads are about to end, giving way to gravel.
Below: the second sign for the Guest House. Almost there.
Click on the pic below to enlarge it. This is what you see when you finally pull up to the Guest House. I lost my way twice en route, but the locals were very nice and helped me out. One guy even drove ahead of me part of the way to get me on the right track. Good folks in these parts.
Go on—click the pic.
The next shot below shows the row of hotel-style rooms that some of us guests stayed in. Sean and Jeff were directly above my room (my room is the last door on the left in this picture); they had an enormous suite to themselves, but houseguests were coming in and going out of their place all day long. They had also brought their two dogs: Maqz the chihuahua (Sean's dog, looking all gray now) and Woodrow(?) the... I don't know what breed he was, but he was a furry, nervous little booger who barked and barked at me at first. He finally calmed down and even got to licking my hand.
Below: I was very taken by this plant, which had decided to wrap itself around a supporting post of one of the decks. The Guest House isn't just a single house: it's actually a collection of several houses that have all been converted into hotel-style accommodations. The main house is large, with a complex, labyrinthine, Hogwarts-like interior that includes several floors and several dens—a great place for just hanging.
A vegetal embrace:
From the vantage of the deck directly above my deck, we could look out at the mountains. Click on the image below:
I arrived a day before my brother David did. This was the room I'd been assigned (click):
Sean and Jeff had prepped burlap gift bags with purple tissue (purple was the theme for the wedding—probably my only aesthetic disagreement). They did a good job thinking through the bag's contents: mostly junk food (as if they had read my mind), with some sparkling water in there to make you feel as if you're not sinning dietarily.
I was tired the day I arrived at the Guest House. That was October 15; I probably slept a bit early. The following morning, at 9 o'clock sharp, a bell rang to signal breakfast—just as the proprietors had threatened would happen. Breakfast was held in a downstairs room of the main house, and it was huge: pancakes, syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage links—all piled high, along with huge bowls of cubed honeydew melon and cantaloupe. Milk, juice, tea, and water were flowing freely; there was even cereal for those who wanted more to eat.
Click the image below to enlarge:
Finally, I'll end this segment with a picture of my little brother Sean. Not so little anymore, and now he's married. Still hard to believe.
God, that wacky hair.