Final farewells in DC and New York City. Also, baby Julian!
Since we decided to get married in Detroit, one solution for dealing with the sheer number of people we wanted to include in our festivities but who simply weren’t going to make it out to Detroit was a small going away party and DC reception that Maki’s parents hosted for us. In particular, the afternoon gave Maki’s parents a nice opportunity to invite all their friends. Maki also got to invite some of his friends who similarly couldn’t make it. Also, many thanks to Maki’s Uncle Steve, who took and shared these pictures.
My parents also drove in from Ohio to hang out with my in-laws.
Another thing, too, that was sadly excised from the wedding once we moved it to Detroit, was the chance for Maki’s parents choir to perform at the wedding. So also included in our little DC reception/going away party was performances by Maki’s parents’ choir. I think this picture best captures the energy of their director, below in blue.
Mostly, it was a celebration for neighbors and for church friends. A few people came from further afield, including Maki’s aunt, from Pittsburgh, and his cousin, from New Jersey. Also, Maki’s mother’s aunt, who made our korovai. Really, the entire atmosphere and the whole event were really lovely. Maki’s parents were excellent hosts.
Look! Maki’s friends! And also, baby Chris.
After our lovely reception, we had a few more days in DC before we headed north for a wedding in New Jersey. Among our social calls in the New York area was a visit to Maki’s cousin, Daria, who missed the wedding because she was a couple weeks out from having a baby. Here’s little Julian, only three weeks old!
We spent most of the day hanging out with them in Brooklyn. The afternoon took us on a walk to Prospect Park. Daria and Roman were remarkably calm for being new parents (and clearly exhausted!).
Saturday marked the wedding of one of Maki’s scouting friends, Andrew. The lovely wedding and reception were memorably, but I sadly failed to take a single picture. Just take my word for it. The next morning, my last full day in the States for who knows how long, we returned up to New York City, where we had lunch with Amy, a high school friend of mine (who I had last seen three years earlier, in San Francisco), watched soccer, and whiled away the late afternoon and evening with Alana, my college roommate, and Alan, her brother. A delightful day in the city. The only picture I took:
It was one of those perfect sorts of days that leave you kind of wishing that you actually lived in New York. That evening, we headed to the East Village, where we spent the night at the apartment of another of Maki’s scouting friends, who was ever so kind to host us. The next morning, we had a quick breakfast, ran a couple errands, and found ourselves then in a rush to get to the airport to catch my flight. I cut it remarkably close, thanks to interminable traffic in New York City. But I turned up at JFK 55 minutes ahead of my flight, which was evidently just enough to get checked in in the last minutes before they closed the flight. All’s well that ends well. And with that, it was off to Moscow. Farewell, USA! Hello, Moscow!