[-Saskatoon-] Ain't no party like a Saskatchewan party...
Geneve and I landed on Wednesday afternoon to find a still-single Shakey waiting to chauffeur us to the thoroughly impressive Bessborough Hotel in downtown Saskatoon. The hotel sits on the Saskatchewan River, and was built in 1928. It stands out from the rest of the buildings we have seen in Saskatoon by virtue of its architectural style. It looks like it was built in the image of a medieval castle, while everything else in Saskatoon appears newer, with 1950s and 1960s bungalows, and even newer shopping complexes.
After an early night in, I met up with Shakey and his Aussie buddy Batesy, a groomsman who came all the way from Sydney, to try on our tuxedos. The fitting was fine (one groomsman originally from Toronto was overheard asking "uhh, do your shirts not have buttons on them either?") and afterwards we met up with Geneve and Batesy's girl Janet for some lunch on the patio at a restaurant / bar called Freedom, which is across the street from the Bessborough. Afterwards, we headed Brett and Maria's house (Shakey's future brother- and sister-in-law) to do some last-minute church program cutting, ribbon-tieing, and beer and wine drinking. Roughly in that order.
That evening, Shakey, Batesy, Janet, Geneve, Natasha (the bride-to-be), Rachel (another visiting Aussie), Desiree (bridesmaid), and Kris (Toronto groomsman litigating in NYC) headed to The Keg. Natasha's maid of honor, Bridget, surprised her by showing up in the middle of the meal. Tash and Bridget had not seen each other in three years (before Shakey and Tash moved to Sydney) so Infinite Tears of Happiness were shed. Much wine was consumed and steak eaten, before Tash, Geneve, Shakey, Kris, and I headed back to Freedom to sample its Bar menu.
Kris and I engaged in a lengthy conversation about Toronto sports, working in the USA, and the US media. He has been studying and working in the US for over 6 years, and it was interesting to hear his perspectives on living in the US. We got on quite well, and the things he said reminded me a lot of what my buddy Ali has said in the past. Very good times.
We all ended up back in Kris' room at 2:30am, quite intoxicated. Tash tried to scam a couple of bottles of wine from the front desk (which technically should have been ok, since the room was missing a mini-bar that should have been there). Sadly, she played both the "Wedding" and "Australia" cards, only to have the house trump her with the "I'm not losing my job for you lushes, it's past 2am" card. Tash did have the line of the night, however, when she exclaimed that she did not want to go to the spa the next day, but wanted to come to the golf course with the guys to practice her "cranking and slicing".
This morning, a well-rested Batesy met up with a very tired Shakey, Kris and I to go play 18 holes at The Willows Golf Course. A snafu with picking up Mark (the best man) and several other guests from the airport resulted in us cancelling two tee times--Shakey's dad, Donald, and three other guests still played 18--and hitting a bucket of balls instead. Batesy and Shakey cranked balls all over the range, but Kris seemed intent on decapitating all worms within 50 yards, and I practiced the difficult art of hitting 30-yard drives with a one-wood. Mark met up with us and promptly lost $20 to Shakey in a $5 long-drive contest that he double-or-nothinged, and lost, twice.
Met up with a bunch of McGill people for lunch at the Elephant and Castle, which helped beat the general tiredness back a bit, and am now waiting to pick up the two other PT Cruisers that we need for the wedding tomorrow.
Rehearsal dinner tonight, followed by a BBQ at Brett and Maria's. Should be good!