My friend Alysia, an Italian-American from Old Forge, PA had moved to Texas. She had met her fiancee, Clay, who was in the Navy, on a June weekend in Scranton when he was in for a mutual friend’s baby shower. Clay was living in San Antonio at the time, and this whirlwind, romantic weekend soon led to trips out to Texas, a move leading to a May 2014 wedding date. They decided to get married in the Texas “hill country” in Fredericksburg, a quaint town of 10,000 that Alysia had come to love.
This would be my first trip to Texas, although I hesitate to say I have been to Texas, having only spent a night in San Antonio (embarrassingly not even having time to see The Alamo) and three days in Fredericksburg. Still, I got a glimpse of why this state lives so mythically in the imagination. The landscape alone, full of wide skies and endless stretches of road, speaks of expansion and opportunity. Texas is the second largest state in the United States in both size and population, and with a complicated history of land acquisitions and merging culture, s lends the state many unique and complex legacies.
It was mixed with cream cheese and I could not get enough of it. Luckily, I did leave room for the Cajun Shrimp Boil that followed and homemade Whiskey Bread Pudding.There was more dancing and stories were shared about the Bride and Groom late into the night.
The next day was warm with a blue sky for the wedding which took place at Admiral Nimitz Museum. (Admiral Nimitz the fleet admiral who led U.S. forces to victory in the Pacific during World War II was born in Fredericksburg. )
I said in my toast that one of the things I love about weddings the blending of communities and the forging of new friendships. And this proved true with the great mix of northeastern, Pennsylvanians, Texans and relatives from other states around the nation. I remarked on how much the Texas landscape was a great metaphor for marriage, with its openness, sense of possibility and many wide open roads to explore together. We enjoyed the Texas barbecue of Brisket, macaroni and cheese. And danced and drank more Shiner Bock and danced and talked late into the evening.The next day we all enjoyed a classic Tex Mex Breakfast at the Java Ranch on Main St. where I ordered the Huevos Rancheros and poured myself some of the coffee Texas Italian Roast coffee to help me wake up from the wedding festivities, which I felt a very fitting beverage to top off the the Italian Texas wedding.