February is the month of romance, love, and St. Valentine (more on him next week). In honor of such romantic pursuits, I am sharing the most romantic travel story I know. Traveling with me is always fun, but this was an exceptional trip. If you missed parts one and two, the story began here and here's part two .
Step Three: Pamper the Bride
Now, Kevin’s bag had all kinds of sentimental surprises in it. But, let’s be honest. It was going to be a lot easier for Kevin to find clothes than to convince Kelly to get another new dress.
“We just aren’t going to go,” she said. “Kevin’s bag isn’t here. We will just stay home.”
I looked at Kevin.
“Let’s just plan that Kevin’s bag is going to arrive before we leave. The hair and makeup guy is coming at 2 pm. The guys can run out and find something inexpensive to wear while we get ready. And they can return it if the bag arrives.”
Oh, I was finally getting good at this!
At two, as we washed our hair, the boys left. And then it began to rain.
Actually, “rain” doesn’t begin to describe the torrents of water that dropped from the heavens. It was a Midwestern thunderstorm the likes of which Rome hadn’t seen in years.
Ensconced in our rooms, Kelly and I watched dismayed as the rain flooded our street. But then Orazio arrived. “Nothing about the wedding,” I warned him when I met him at the door. Cute, chic, and sweet, Orazio responded, “I don’t speak English.” Perfect!
Watching Orazio work on Kelly’s hair – blowing it dry and then curling it – I saw the worry and anxiety slip from her face. Pampering does that to a girl, you know! She began to relax and to just feel… pretty.
And then, as I was having my makeup done, she looked out the window.
“What kind of car did they say they were sending?” she asked.
“Um, they didn’t say.”
“Well, there’s a Rolls Royce outside. Do you think that’s for us?”
Actually, it was a silver, 1921 Bentley.
“Seriously,” I tried to sound shocked. “A Rolls? I don’t know.”
Not two minutes later the buzzer rang – as I knew it would. Oh, yeah. The Bentley was for us.
By now it was nearly 5 pm, and there was no sign of the boys. “Orazio, may I borrow your cell phone.”
Well, evidently he wasn’t kidding when he told me he didn’t speak English. With Kelly in the bathroom admiring her freshly gorgeous self I pulled out my best Marcel Marceau moves (minus the trapped-in-a-box routine) and wrested Orazio’s cell phone away from him.
“Brenda, have the boys called you?”
“Yes. They are meeting us here. Bring R’s clothes and come.”
Ok. So, how was I going to explain this: I had gotten a clear message from God that the boys were meeting us there? The best lies are uncomplicated and vague. This one just got more and more complicated, and I was caught right in the middle of it.
“Um, Kelly? My friend, Brenda, just called Orazio and said that the boys are stuck downtown because of the rain. We are supposed to meet them there and take all of R’s clothes with us. The driver knows where we are going.”
Shit. Please, God, don’t let her play connect-the-dots right now. There are way too many holes in this story.
And it got even stickier, because at this point I don’t know where we are going.
Why not? Well, the wedding was supposed to be OUTSIDE – at the top of the Janiculum Hill, overlooking the city. And it was STILL pouring. I had no idea what Plan B was, but clearly the driver knew.
“Well, I hope the boys found something to wear,” Kelly said, “because I look damn good, and I am not going to waste this. Let’s go!”
At least we were going to have a bride!
To be continued... here .