We had a bit of cold and windy weather but we arrived in NOLA in good shape for the weekend long Frayer - Jonsson Culture Clash Bash. It was a celebration of the marriage of our Class of 07 mates Richard and Valerie Frayer's Louisiana born daughter Marissa and Swedish born Karl. They met when Marissa went to school and worked in Sweden. Since there wedding day had to be within 90 days of Karl getting his immigration papers, they got married last summer. They chose to have the bash the weekend after Mardi Gras so those traveling the 5,000 miles from Sweden could experience that bit of culture also. More than 30 family and friends made the trip so we sure can't whine about the weather and driving 600 miles from Florida.
The party started Friday afternoon with a meet and greet open house at their very neat NOLA shotgun house. It's amazing how many people you can get in three rooms.
The bash then moved to nearby City Park for four year old Grayson's birthday party. Here is the birthday boy with mom Margot and dad Joel.
After cake the Americans were introduced to Kubb, an ancient Swedish game that dates back to the Vikings. Basic rules, the two teams toss wood rods to "kill" the opponents wood block knights before going after the king. I think it could be a neat RVers game.
Saturday evening the main event was at the Venusian Gardens and Art Gallery. It was an old church that now serves as an artist studio and banquet hall.
Of course the decor had to have an international theme with globe center pieces and passports containing important culture lessons. The Swedes learned the meaning of Who dat, Where y'at? and other phrases one needs to get by in NOLA. We Americans learned to say Jag heter, (My name is....), Skal!, (Cheers), Tack, (Thanks) and of course Nu ar det fest, (Let's party). I must say we needed the guide more than the Swedes did as most spoke very good English.
We all had time to mingle and practice our newly learned words over drinks. It was interesting talking to the Swedes about their trip, especially hearing what the thought of Mardi Gras, They said there is nothing like it in Sweden and we assured them there is nothing like it in most of the United States.
Karl and Marissa Jonsson. One of the neatest things was the slide show that the parents, Anders and Betty and Richard and Valerie, put together. There were many pictures of Marissa and Karl doing the same things like riding a pony, swimming, going to the prom and playing on the floor with their dads as they grew up in two different cultures.
Wow, different cultures can get along even if they don't speak the same language. Four year old Lucas, who speaks Swedish and German and four year old Grayson who speaks English played together the whole weekend.
Why is Nanc so happy? Check out the dinner menu: citrus segment salad, sweet potato hummus, pierogies, coconut curry, rice noodle salad, veggie lasagna and grilled farmers tofu, an all vegetarian meal. I must say I also loved it and, for anyone who did not, the invitation came with a warning about the meal.
After dinner is was out to the courtyard to do the wobble and learn more about the new couple from info sheets posted around the wall.
Back inside for another Swedish tradition to show how well the couple is matched. As friends asked questions, the newlyweds held up the shoe of whom they thought the question fit most. Questions included, Who is most likely to clean up?, Who is the best vegan?, Who is more likely to win an argument? and Who has the best sense of humor? It was fun!!!
Karl, Marissa, Richard, Valerie, Ryan, Megan, Margot and Joel, the Frayer ladies and their husbands, each had a few words for their sister and new brother-in-law.
Then Betty and Anders did their tributes. He did his in English while she did hers in Swedish with the translation on the screen. It sure was a great mixing of cultures and a wonderful welcoming of each into their family.
Karl's brothers and sisters (left) and friends of Marissa's then did vocals for the new couple. I either did not get or forgot all the names.
The Frayer ladies, Valerie, bride Marissa, Margot and Megan celebrating the evening.
And they danced away the night under the jellyfish. It is a great venue for any event.
The happy couple. We wish them the very best and thank them for inviting us to take part in the Culture Clash Bash. It was truly a wonderful event. On Sunday we gathered one last time at the Riverwalk on the Mississippi for our good-byes.
We are now heading to Livingston, Texas where we will leave Opus while we take a vacation to Cancun. Yes, Life is Good!