It’s right after midnight when the landscape becomes hillier and the road starts to slope up and down. Half an hour earlier, we drove across the George Washington Bridge. On both sides of the road I see woods that seem dense in the dark, although I can’t determine the type of trees.
Next to me, Sarah fights off a wave of sleepiness. My mind wanders off to earlier that day. I had been interviewing DJs for our upcoming wedding in September. We had quickly found a DJ that seemed alright a week ago, but when I called his agent to ask why he would cost $1,650 instead of the earlier advertised $900, the agent bluntly asked, “I thought you had made a decision already?” He even added, “I think I need a decision – he might be booked tomorrow.” We had decided to keep on looking, and the day before yesterday we had found a wonderful, much more experienced DJ. After the last phone call this morning, we had signed the contract. I was proud that, for once, I had not given in to an aggressive salesman.
Yes, more and more pieces are starting to fall into place for our wedding. A few hours earlier, when we left Washington, D.C. to start our drive north, I got a phone call from my mum. She told me that my uncle and aunt, a couple of people that mean the world to me, would indeed be staying with us for a few days around our wedding. Leaving my family behind in Europe wasn’t easy, and neither was the decision to have the wedding in the U.S. I was therefore very much relieved and thankful when I heard that a small group of family and friends would be there for our wedding, every single one on what will be their first-ever trip to the U.S.
Next to me, I hear Sarah’s breathing slowing down. I look at her in the passing light of the lampposts along the street. She looks completely peaceful, apparently fully trusting me to drive us to our destination in this part of the U.S. I’ve never visited before.
When we cross into Connecticut, and I am able to cross yet another U.S. state off my bucket list, it dawns on me.
I am a happy man.