My friend Collin, whom I mentored for conversion to Judaism, married Hanna in Maine. Carolyn and I attended, enjoying a small vacation in the Pine Tree State. Ziplining at the wedding was only of the delights we shared.

Air travel concerns? Sure. But our Delta flight from SFO to New York’s JFK left on time. Our flight to Portland International Jetport—yes, Jetport—boarded late but arrived early. Delta allows an hour-and-a-half for a 50-minute flight. Strengthens their on-time record.

We first stayed at the Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth near Portland. The resort features beautiful grounds and its own beachfront. Maine summer weather can be iffy, but the entire week was sunny and warm. 

At our first dinner at the resort, we secured an outdoor table overlooking the gardens and the Atlantic. Islands dotted the near distance; the coast is strewn with them, many residential. Guess who showed up minutes later?

Hanna and Collin, who didn’t know we were there, along with their dog Willow, also had had dinner reservations. The inn is dog friendly. We invited them to join us and had a wonderful time. You don’t often have the about-to-be bride and groom to yourselves.

Over the next two days, Carolyn and I visited Fort Williams and the Portland Head Light, perhaps America’s most painted and photographed lighthouse. We took walks in the nearby Greenbelt and Robinson Woods, a 145-acre preserve. We lunched at the—drumroll—Lobster Shack. Carolyn hadn’t had lobster in 30 years and, well, we were in Maine. I ate fish.

For the wedding, we moved to a hotel on Portland’s waterfront. Waiting for our room, we took a short Portland Fire Engine Co. tour of the city center. Nifty town! At the pre-wedding dinner, I signed the couple’s ketubah (Jewish marriage certificate) as Collin’s witness. Signatures were affixed in English and Hebrew.

The wedding took place on wooded Cow Island, 25 minutes by boat from Portland. The ride was comfortable and beautiful. We walked to the site for the ceremony. The chuppah (wedding canopy) was topped by two tallises (prayer shawls), one from Hanna’s family and one of mine representing Collin. Hanna’s dad, Rabbi Jeff Glickman, performed a beautiful and meaningful ceremony. Collin and Hanna together broke the traditional glass and received shouts of mazel tov.

Off to another spot for cocktails. I went to the zipline set-up. Much fun sliding along above the guests. Carolyn ziplined, too! Dinner beneath a tent and dancing followed. We enjoyed the 10 pm boat ride back and the quiet walk to our hotel.

The next day—July 4th—Hanna’s grandmother hosted brunch. I filled up on bagels and lox, and terrific pastries. That afternoon, Carolyn and I walked central Portland and found open the Maine Jewish Museum. The restored Etz Chaim Synagogue features a beautiful two-story sanctuary and art exhibit spaces. Dinner followed at a wonderful restaurant, Fore Street. We skipped the East Promenade for fireworks but discovered another big fireworks show right outside our hotel window.

The flights home went smoothly.

In a time of violence and threats to American democracy, it’s soul-refreshing to share a special day with bride and groom. As long as we are capable of joy, we are capable of making our world a better place.

I’ll be interviewed re Lola Flores this Wednesday, July 20, 7:30 pm at Congregation Sherith Israel, 2266 California Street (Webster), San Francisco. Wine and cheese, too.

The post will take next week off and return July 29.

Order Lola Flores in softcover or e-book from Amazonbarnesandnoble.com or your favorite bookstore.

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  1. Penelope De Paoli on July 15, 2022 at 10:55 am

    There is “something” about your writing here that conveys a revisiting of simple values, simple life. Sounds like a lovely experience. These are the memories that make life nice.

    • David Perlstein on July 15, 2022 at 11:14 am

      Thanks, Penny. I am, indeed, a simple guy who enjoys simple pleasures. (Arrangements for a trip to Maine can, of course, be a bit complicated.)

  2. Joe Sutton on July 15, 2022 at 12:21 pm

    What is ziplining?

    • David Perlstein on July 15, 2022 at 12:46 pm

      Great question, Joe. You put on a harness that goes around your waist and thighs. Then you mount a platform. A rope or other line connects to the harness and suspends you from an overhead metal line. You jump or ease yourself off the platform and zip along the line above the ground, gravity taking you to a lower point. Check it out online.

  3. Ellen Newman on July 16, 2022 at 5:37 pm

    What a wonderful experience. Mazel tov to all.

    • David Perlstein on July 16, 2022 at 11:35 pm

      Thanks, Ellen. It was a special simcha.

  4. David Newman on July 16, 2022 at 5:45 pm

    Ziplining above the wedding almost sounds like one of the angelic characters in some of Chagall’s wedding paintings. Very cool!

    • David Perlstein on July 16, 2022 at 11:35 pm

      Now that you mention it, David, I think someone had set up an easel down below.

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