Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ay, Ay, Captain!

At last we were able to take a break from the photos, the posing and the feats of strength and kick back with the other guests. It's unclear if Nate officially passed his challenges, but judging by the warm welcome Team Americanas got from Lina's friends and family, I'd say he made the cut...at least informally.

At this point, the beer started to flow and the reserved, buttoned up Lithuanians began to unwind. Many of them spoke beautiful English and were able to help Lina and Mendogas with all the translations. After an hour or so on the patio, we moved inside to the lodge where we were seated at a large, wooden table. It looked like something out of a cartoon, where intoxicated Germans might congregate, holding frothy beer steins that spilled their contents with every belly laugh. There were even animal heads on the wall behind us. Awesome.

The table setting was elaborate, with all sorts of special decorations in celebration of the newlyweds. Not only were there custom-made embroidered wall hangings, but there were personalized candies, complete with photos of bride and groom. The best part was that each section of the table was assigned a Lithuanian captain who was to be in charge of vodka consumption. In this important role, any time he or she felt as though a member of the table section was slacking on consumption, the captain would join them in doing a shot. Genious.

Throughout the evening, we were served all kind of traditional dishes while an accordion player and singer rocked song after song. The Lithuanians belted the words to each number in a drunken delight as they swayed in unison, encouraging the rest of us to sway along.

Here we are, just getting started:

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