That is probably what I heard the most when talking about my recent trip to Europe. I’ll admit that I asked the same question myself when my brother Carlos first told me he was dating a girl from Lithuania. Well, about 3 weeks ago I said goodbye to my little family and got on the first of a few planes taking me halfway around the world. I almost instantly wished I was still in the car with my crying little two year old heading back home. Luckily I was reassured by text a little while later that Lily’s tears were very soon cleared up by driving over some speed bumps… Made me feel important! Well, after 3 days, 7 flights, and getting lost in Copenhagen my mom and I finally made it to Vilnius to see my little bro for the first time in about a year and a half. No matter how much time passes I still expect to see this short 12 year old boy I used to live with and what I get is a very tall man with a deep voice who looks slightly like the kid I grew up with. I also FINALLY got to meet the woman my little brother is madly in love with and who is now a part of my family.
Carlos and Aiste drove us back to her parents home and we spent most of the week there helping to get ready for the wedding. Her family lives out in the middle of nowhere and they farm dairy cows along with growing most of the food that ends up on their table. It was very beautiful country and nice place to get away from the stress of my job back at home, even if it was a little too isolated for my taste. We had a fun time trying to communicate with Aiste’s parents since we did not speak each other’s language, but by the end of the week we learned enough to get by :). One part of their culture is to feed their guests…a lot…I mean A LOT. I think the word we heard the most was the one for “eat, eat!”. Luckily the food was great, it just took a little time for our stomachs to get used to the time change so we actually could eat normally. We did end up going into Kaunas a couple of times to run wedding errands so I got to see some beautiful old buildings. Unfortunately that fact that we saw them from a moving car made it a little hard for me to get many pictures in Lithuania but I still got a few nice ones.
Most of these pictures below are from around the community in which Aiste’s parents live.
At the end if the week it was finally time for the wedding. It started off with the wedding party and family at the house so the parents could say “goodbye” to the soon to be married couple. It was also where my brother got to see his bride for the first time in her dress. I think that was one of my favorite moments of the morning.
Waiting for the fun to start
(where my first tears of the day occurred)
First look Aww…how sweet
After that we headed over to the church and got going with the wedding. It was a pretty little Roman Catholic church and a nice intimate ceremony during which I had no clue what was going on, as it was mainly in Lithuanian (and possibly some Latin). Even my poor brother had to have a translator so he knew what was actually going on or what he needed to do/say.
Ha, I couldn’t tell if Carlos was just very happy after the kiss or if he was laughing because he tried to walk away with Aiste and she had to tell him the ceremony was only halfway over (since My bro couldn’t understand the priest)
After the wedding and lots of pictures we all headed over to the villa for the reception. It was a beautiful old place (even farther in the middle of nowhere) where we partied and stayed overnight so we could continue the celebration the next day, which is traditional in Lithuania. After a few crazy Lithuanian traditions we ate a fabulous meal prepared by a celebrity chef. Apparently Aiste’s sister was on a cooking challenge show a while back and was talking with one of the judges and before you knew it he had agreed to cater the wedding! The night was full of dancing, fireworks, and laughter. The next day was much more relaxing and everyone was able to visit with the bride and groom before heading back home.
A few images of the villa
The next day my mom and I started our journey home. We spent a day Copenhagen and saw a lot of the City center. We also ate some REALLY good food while out and about…
I finally made it home and I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to land in San Jose in my entire life!
As hard as it was to be away from my family I am so happy I could be there to support my brother as he got married. I am also happy that I really like his wife and I am happy to have her as a new sister.