Canton, Michigan--Here we go!

Canton Travel Blog

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\So exactly one week after my visit to Beaufort, SC, I find myself sitting in an airplane on my way to Detroit.  Jim strategically planned his boot camp graduation for exactly one week before his sister's wedding.  THANK GOD HE FINISHES ON TIME.  I don't think a Parris Island DI could even come close to rivaling bride or a bride's mother!  

 I worked a half day at Candlewood Suites, Va Beach and Jim and I departed for the airport around 3:30ish on Wed. Oct. 10.  Our 5:15 flight was delayed until 5:50 so; we had plenty of time to kill--not to mention we had been re-routed.  Our original itinerary led us to Newark--then to Detroit--the new schedule had us routed through Cleveland (WOAH Indians fans!) then to Detroit.  We didn't really have a problem with this change since it had us arriving into Detroit about 45 minutes sooner than our original plans.  HOWEVER...things change and delays happen and we wound up arriving late anyhow.  We had a royal Michigan welcome from the entire Shelton crew--and of course many beers were enjoyed by all.  We met Jim's sister, twin brother, soon-to-be-brother-in-law, and cousin at the bar before we headed back to Melissa's place to crash, thus beginning our whirlwind of a trip to MI.

Day 2:  We woke early--went to Mom and Dad Shelton's house and enjoyed good company and great food.  I took Mom shopping for make-up, picked up a new outfit for Jim (after boot camp his clothes were too big) and just did make it back to her house to a frenzy of people dressing and showering for the rehearsal dinner that night.  We made it to the church, had the rehearsal and then headed to Dave's parent's house for a taco dinner.  Note to all men:  If the rehearsal dinner is being hosted at someone's house--please inform your girlfriend not to wear a formal dress with 3.5" heels.  :o)  Note: to my fellow Virginians:  IT IS FREEZING IN MICHIGAN IN OCTOBER--take warm clothes--lots of warm clothes. 

Day 3: Oct. 12--one day until the wedding.  This is where I get to pick on Jim.  This man, whom I love dearly, takes longer to get ready than any other human on the face of the planet Earth.  Now complicate this getting ready ordeal with the fact that, not only is he being required to wear a tux to the actually ceremony--but he also is being required to where his *new* dress blues to the reception.  (Don't ask me---this was not my idea--I thought the reception was for letting loose--not buttoning up--I was sorely mistaken)  So, $125 for the tux and about $200 for the Blues--you do the math--my dress cost a mere fraction of his nightly attire.  So, back to Friday--I was sick--the kinda sick that crawls all over your body and makes you ache--yet you feel ok enough to get through your daily duties and Jim had to get a haircut and "prepare" his uniform for the next day.  Jim's 2 cousins, Jacob and Brian were also wearing dress blues to the reception.  SO...while the boys were playing Marine Dress Up--Kristen and Mom watched the DVR'ed Grey's Anatomy and reclined in the living room.  Later in the day I took a look at my throat and when I saw nasty little white spots on my tonsils--I decided that it might be a good idea to "get thee to a hospital."  We were at St. Mary's for a good 3-4 hours and yes, it is true--I had the nasty Strep throat.  The doc hooked me up with the Z-pak and sent me on my way.

Day 4: THE WEDDING.  Getting ready in a house full of women isn't always the easiest task.  There were a good dozen ladies in one house.  Curling irons were burning, make-up brushes were flying; dresses were hanging all over the house.  The scene could easily be confused with the backstage of any Broadway show.  I was in charge of make-up--I knocked out about 5 faces in an hour--including my own--not bad for a day's work.  We took the party bus to the church and met up with our fellas.  The wedding was beautiful--the bride was stunning and my Jim was as handsome as ever.  Pictures took 5 million years, as usual and we were back on the party bus having some adult beverages and on our way to the reception.  This is of course after Jim's much anticipating costume change.  (Seriously, it only took him a good 45 min to change from the tux to the dress blues.) 

Now--I will be the first one to admit that being the date of someone in the bridal party is NOT always the most fun.  Your date is at the head table and you are sitting with their relatives and trying to be cute and funny.  It is a job in itself.  A few Capn' and diets later and it definitely helps take the edge off.  So--my dear boyfriend who has not consumed alcohol in quite some time (remember, he was at boot camp) decides that Sprite and Jim Beam are a perfect combination and is drinking like a champ!  When he started introducing me as his "really hot girlfriend, Kristen" I knew the buzz had kicked in!  We had a blast that night and it ended with a bang. 

image5.jpg Once we returned to the hotel, Jim, who is not really good at keeping secrets, surprised me with the most beautiful diamond engagement ring.  He said some really amazing things--which I will keep to myself :o) and asked me to marry him.  It was really sweet--and under the advice of my best friend, Niccole, he waited until Melissa's special day was over before he popped the question.  We waited until the next morning to tell our families and immediately our hotel room was flooded with Michigan relatives with showers of congratulations. 

We spent the next day enjoying family and spending quality time with the Michigan folks.  Monday, Oct 15--we flew back into Norfolk, picked up our car at the Crowne Plaza Hotel,  and returned home.  Jim had to pack his gear because the next day we were driving to Jacksonville, NC to drop him off at CampGeiger for his MCT training. 

CampGeiger was about 4 hours away and it was a sad trip.  Newly engaged and not being able to spend any more time together was not so much fun.  He reported for duty at 1:00pm and I headed back to Va Beach to find a bed and get a good night's rest!  

Jim will spend 22 days completing MCT and then flies to 29 Palms, CA for his MOS training.  I officially get him back in January 2008.  Hopefully--fingers crossed--he will get time off for Thanksgiving and Christmas! 

Thanks for reading!  Please visit Landmark Hotel Group for great hotels for your travel needs!

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