Tagged: travel latvia wedding

Adventures in Latvia – day 4 part 5

So we arrived at the reception place which appeared to be an old converted schoolhouse. It had three stories, two larger rooms on the top floor (one was the honeymoon suite for Robert and Laura) then more guest rooms on the second floor along with a small reception hall where we were for the evening that had a nice balcony/porch looking over the countryside, then the bottom floor was a reception area and the kitchen.

When the limo arrived we were all given rice and rose petals to toss at them as they went in (the little flower girls got a bit carried away with the throwing) then we all followed them upstairs for dinner.

There was soooo much food! All kinds of salads, cold cuts, bread and vegetables were waiting on the tables along with a cluster of bottles every five feet or so, one vodka, one brandy, one red wine, and one champagne. The tables were together in a U shape with the bridal party at the base of the U, Jeremy and I were seated close by in the corner of two tables with some of Laura’s English speaking friends. On e everyone was seated the hot food was brought out, breaded pork cutlets, potatoes with dill, a tasty brown sauce and some kind of braised cabbage that was quite tasty as well. Before we ate the champagne was opened and Dita made a toast to the couple (with Gunta translating). After everyone had their first serving of food, Pastor Joe and then Jim made nice toasts, then we ate some more and had our first dessert, a raspberry mousse/custard with a berry sauce.

After the meal Robert and Laura had their first dance with all the guests circled around them. Laura even taught Robert a simple waltz that morning for their dance. Those two are so in love, they were making googly eyes at each other the whole time. There was some informal dancing for a bit then all the girls got up and each danced with Robert (I tried to get him to do some swing dance steps but he said he didn’t know how to do them) then there was more hanging out and dancing for a bit.

Jeremy and I decided Robert and Jim should do a shot of vodka with usbut when we went to find Robert he was missing. He had been kidnapped by members of the bridal party and Laura had to sing a song fir his release. Once Robert was freed we toasted each other and congratulated the couple and had our shots.

Jeremy and I took pictures the whole time and ended up “chatting”, well pointing and using single words really, with the wedding photographer (a friend of Laura’s) discussing a trick Jeremy showed me of using a business card (or in our case placecards) as a reflector to soften using a flash indoors.

We had wedding cake (a four layer cake with lemon and raspberry filling) around midnight and the last thing was lighting two hearts of tealights and offering well wishes to the couple. We then got a ride home with Maria, Laura’s cousin who had done all if the flowers for the wedding, and her British husband and their two young daughters who were the flower girls. We were packed in the car and the youngest girl was sitting in, then fell asleep, on my lap, it was very cute. Once we got to the hotel around 1 we went straight to sleep after enjoying a great day of celebrating with Robert and Laura.


Adventures in Latvia – Days 0 and 1

So the reason Jeremy and I are making the trip across the pond this week is to attend our friend Robert’s wedding. He met a wonderful Latvian woman named Laura and they decided to have the wedding in Laura’s hometown, Liepaja. Jim (Robert’s best man), Robert’s father, Jeremy, myself, and obviously Robert made the trip out for the wedding. Everyone but Jeremy and I left on the 8th (Jim’s birthday), we left the evening of the 11th (Jeremy’s birthday) and Jim, Robert’s father and I are returning on the 17th (my birthday). Jeremy is staying the rest of the week in Switzerland for a work conference and Robert and Laura are obviously going on a short honeymoon.

So jeremy and I left Williamsburg at 1030 met up with my mom in Manassas for lunch at 1300 then went to the airport and hung out in the Red Carpet Club (thanks for the upgrades Dad!) until our flight to Frankfurt at 1715. We landed early in FRA found our way to the gate listed on our tickets, an hour later they moved our gate to the other end of the terminal and we headed out at 930 and arrived in Riga at 1300.

The initial plan had been to try and see a little of the town center before taking the 1830 train to Liepaja but we were so beat after the flights we opted to go straight to the train station and just find somewhere to sit there for the 3.5 hours we had to wait.

All the signs in the airport had English translations, we had no such luck at the train station. I went up to buy the train tickets and was told to go to a different window, not sure if that was because of the type of ticket I was buying or if that window person knew English better than the first woman, guessing it’s the latter but we got our tickets and went to find our track and platform, unfortunately neither was on the ticket and none of the directional signs around the station were in English, so after 45 minutes of wandering with our bags trying to find our track and a place to sit inside we conclude there is no indoor seating and despite being told we left on track 10 we sat on the other side where there were some covered seats to wait out our remaining hours in Riga. Thankfully the hot weather stayed in Williamsburg, it’s about 60 or 65 degrees here with a brisk breeze, glad I brought a fleece (and slightly annoyed at myself that I was cold when it was 60something outside).

About 20 minutes before our train is supposed to leave (and there is still a different train on the track we were supposed to be leaving from) I send Jeremy to double check the board to make site of our track number while I sat with the bags; good thing we checked because the train was now at track 8 on the other side of the platform so we grabbed our stuff and headed over to track 8, went up to the first boarding door, were gruffly pointed to “1” farther up the train (turns out we bought first class/numbered seats), checked in, lugged our stuff up on to the train and found our seats.

Jeremy’s dozing beside me now, he didn’t sleep much on the flights, I got maybe 3 or 4 hours sleep total but once our 3 hour ride deposits us in Liepaja I think we are going to skip trying to navigate local public transportation systems any more today and just hail a cab to our hotel and immediately sleep for large amounts of time.

3 hours later…

So turns out there isn’t a taxi stand around the train station in Liepaja but luckily our hotel (hotel Amrita) was only a kilometer or so from the station and it was still a little bit light outside (at 2145 crazy) so we ended up walking to the hotel. Got texts from Jim telling us to come out and party but we are dead from over 28 hours of travelling door-to-door, we had originally planned to meet up with everyone in the morning and we’re gonna stick with that plan. Only thing specifically scheduled tomorrow is the rehearsal dinner at Laura’s parents house in the evening, should be really fun, will probably try to explore a bit too, there’s an old Russian military base-turned tourist attraction that looks quite interesting and would make for some nice photos 🙂 until then!

Oh, and for future reference:
Peroni – platform
Vieta – seat
Vagona – class
Cela – track