1. Wednesday, July 26, 2006

    could it have been NINE years ago 

    that matt and emmanuelle got married? tons of people were there. it was in the middle of france in a summer vacation town called joncy. white cows walked right down the middle of the street speaking french.

    first me and chris flew into amsterdam and decompressed there for a few days. everyone says that traveling to europe in the summer is so expensive and uncomfortable and crowded and terrible but in the middle of july all the dutch take their vacations and head to greece or the south of france or anaheim so my favorite european town was nearly empty and strange. it was raining a little too.

    didn’t matter. if anything it made it better. even though our marriott had a pizza hut underneath it, it wasn’t what id consider amsterdamian, so i dont recommend it.

    after a few days we took a train to my second favorite european town, paris. paris was cool. by the time we got there though the only restaurant open was one of those chic ones where you eat on the outside in front of the restaurant judging people who walk on the sidewalk. i think all they had left was lobster and shrimp and tasty wine and strawberries and chocolat mousee. after a romantic stroll free of parisians who were also in greece, we retreated to our filthy room with charming view and agreed that even the dirtiest of streets of paris are still much more magical than the best streets of the mission of frisco where we were living at the time, happily.

    only scary part about paris was the fact that no one knew where joncy was.

    it may have had to something to do with my special brand of french.

    eventually we got on the tgv – the french bullet train. once again we found ourselves free of any bothersome europeans. and you may ask yourself, “why is tony so upset about our cousins to the east?”

    i’ll tell you why, because as long as americans have been coming to europe we have been asking for cold cokes. if europeans wanted spit on their waffles, after a while we would just know to include spit on your waffles when you came over here.

    give us cold cokes!

    so we drank wine.

    me and chris were drinking wine everywhere we went even on the train to mont pilleir or whatever the town was that dougie gyro and barney picked us up at, but we were pretty drunk when we showed up and we met up with our friends and tick tock it dont stop.

    we were driven to grandma’s house, emmanuelle’s grandma. everyone has castles in this town. the white cows demanded it. grandma’s castle was pretty nice, but her barn was the best so we all slept there. it was hot in joncy and the windows were open and people were playing guitars and singing songs. all of my friends play and sing except me. i drink and smoke and fall asleep. aaaaahhhhh.

    in the morning we walked into town. first we crammed into the mayor’s office. emmanuelle’s dad is the mayor. everyone was smiling and talking french and then the mayor said some things in english and pat whalen was the best man and he was laughing so i kept laughing.

    then we all walked down the main street of joncy a beautiful parade. matt had on this crazy yellow jacket looking like buddy hollys cousin in law some guy was playing a violin, layne was playing the guitar. people were singing.

    made it to the church and that was entirely in french and way better than most services that ive been to.

    probably cuz it wasn’t full of lies.

    after church we went to the pre reception drink off at a nearby school. only a few of us knew it was a drink off so i placed pretty high.

    piled into cars and drove out of joncy to where the mayor lives. his castle was the best one. three stories, big, yet homey. in the backyard were several big tents where we would eat and drink and dance into the wee hours.

    the camps were equally divided between emmanuelles euro friends and matts dirty american pals. the girls were beautiful intellects on both sides but the menfolk from matts side were decidedly scruffy and crude, like moi, especially with the neverending barrels of wine that grew from the trees of the countryside of west joncy.

    layne kissed matts teenage sister. a fight broke out. it was settled with a highly entertaining breakdance battle. ken had to kiss matt. then everyone kissed everyone. then dougie gyro hijacked the wheels of steel and we danced til the dawns early light.

    rode cows to grandmas castle barn, hit the hay, and have yet to wake from that beautiful dream.

    emmanuelle + matt