We achieved escape velocity from Denny's sometime around 03:29, give or take ten minutes. The rest of the drive was relatively uneventful, and we made it to PHL just as it started to rain. We dropped off the car at the Budget depot and packed up our things (remembering of course to leave the keys in the ignition, to note the mileage and gas readouts) and had a shuttle bus pretty quickly. While I was waiting for the shuttle to arrive I condensed my carryon luggage, moving the commemorative champagne flute from tonight's dinner into the same box as my gift from the rehearsal dinner (more on that later, when I am somewhat more coherent and not typing on a keyboard the size of my entire hand), thus saving some small amount of hassle there. When the shuttle got to the airport I had the first stop so I bid farewell to spoothbrush's friend Kirsten, shook Doug's hand and made my way into the terminal. I was greeted by a truly horrendous line but luckily the weren't going through the self-service line, something I could do. I got my large suitcase checked and then went up to security, stripping anything metal from my person before passing through the magnetometer. Anybody who has seen me in "casual" dress (well, any dress, really) knows how much metal I have on my person. It was quite an ordeal to get it all stripped off ahead of time, but I think the people in line behind me appreciated my foresight. Just one benefit of travelling so much, I guess. Now I am sitting at gate A2, waiting for boarding time to roll around. I see that our plane is already in the jetway, so that is mildly reassuring. I hope I can sleep on the flight.
My impressions from the big event itself? To sum it up: rushed, beautiful, slow, tender, inertia, wonderful, fun, terrifying, touching. Stunningly good food, better friends, limos and pictures to last a lifetime. New acquaintances and old friends, ends of eras and new beginnings. It was an honor to be invited to attend, and an even greater honor to serve as one of captain18's groomsmen. It really was an experience I won't forget.