This week, Ethan was freed from the bonds of the academic calendar (boy, finals are fun) and we near instantly picked up and flew out to Phoenix for a long weekend to taste, meet vendors and walk through venues for the upcoming wedding and associated events.
Our first stop (a mere hour and a half after our plane landed) was at Temple Chai in Scottsdale, where we had the pleasure of seeing where our Shabbat and rehearsal dinners will be. It took a little imagination to picture our events taking place in Room Gimel (I believe named for being vaguely shaped like the Hebrew letter), given that it was set up for a blue and white, sports-themed bar mitzvah party. But nonetheless the facilities were looking quite good and we’re confident that they will be treating us very well. (Ethan has family who are members.)
Mia had an interesting revelation as she walked with Ethan and her parents into the hall: her folks were very concerned about whether they were dressed appropriately for this visit, and what the dress code would be for the actual dinners. This reminded Mia of when she first started attending services with Ethan and was really worried about fitting in and not being “offensive” somehow (not that she wears cutoffs and bustiers, of course!). She noted how relaxed she was as she encouraged her parents to trust Ethan’s assurances that they were just fine. (What a difference 2.5 years make: now she’s reassuring her parents rather than being reassured by Ethan.)
Meanwhile, back to the caterer… conveniently enough, the event we were watching get set up was being catered by the same company we were hoping to use for the dinners, and they were kind enough to let us sample some of their hors d’oeuvres to get a sense of their cooking. It is pretty important for Ethan that we get a kosher caterer for the Shabbat dinner because he simply likes his meat and with a significant number of guests who keep kosher the rest of the weekend will have to be milchig (dairy). So who could be more happy when the first waiter to come by brings out the traditional pigs in a blanket? Mia found the concept of the non-dairy pastry wrapper to be quite novel too. (Perhaps yet another indication of how she’s becoming accustomed to thinking about the kosher/non-kosher dynamic whenever she’s eating.)
So thus our weekend begins, tune in next week for more thrilling adventures from the desert.
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