Claudia, Rose’s personal assistant, arrived at the chalet bright and early Monday morning. She was feeling much more lighthearted today than she had for a few weeks. With less than two weeks left, today they would begin to take the final steps toward the wedding.
With the Charmings and Mike all gone for the holiday, it had been a long stressful two weeks. She was more than ready to wrap up the details and get this show on the road. She hummed to herself as she brewed up a pot of tea and got some sweet sticky macaroon cookies from the oven.
The Dutchess Matilde, Mike’s Auntie, and Queen Snow would be here soon. The final decisions on THE dress were being made. Claudia mused, OH how wonderful it would be to have a dress from the famous Matilde line made by the designer herself! Despite her intimate connections with the royal family, Claudia found her self fangirling just a tiny bit over the designer.
About 20 minutes later, Rose finally came down. Sighing a bit. She was feeling the pressure of the coming nuptials. Hugging Claudia and stuffing a cookie in her mouth, she got down to the business of helping Claudia set up the office for morning tea with her mom and the Dutchess.
Snow arrived shortly afterward. Claudia tried to fill them in on what had been going on for the past two weeks. It was obvious she was a bit frazzled. The paparazzi have been hounding her wherever she goes, trying to get any tidbits on the wedding.
“I am so glad you all are back,” she breathed.
Snow gave her a warm smile and thanked her for all she had done. She appreciated how much effort it had taken to keep court/wedding business away from Rose and Mike during the holiday. That family time was very important to Snow and Prince.
Soon the sound of a car pulling up met their ears. The Dutchess and Mike were here. Everyone bustled to get everything in place.
“Now dear boy,” Auntie admonished, “no peeking at the dress plans. You keep busy elsewhere!”
Mike retorted, “it is me, Auntie. Would I do that?”
Auntie gave him a grin and a wink. Remembering a 10-year-old Mike, she realized he still was her little scamp!
Giving him the bum’s rush she said, “Come boy! Get my bag and get me settled in!”
Truth be told Mike had no desire to be in that “hen party.” The cacophony of giggles, ohhs, ahhs, and chats rang out well into the surrounding rooms. Not even Claudia’s delicious Macaroons were enough of a draw to have him intrude upon that estrogen filled room.
Lunchtime approached and Mike surprised the ladies by preparing a lovely Minestrone soup for their dining pleasure.
Ahhh you didn’t know Mike could cook? Oh yeah, he can!
With a fabulous lunch behind them and the business of the dress finished, the ladies could just relax and enjoy each other’s company. Rose, being a foodie, is feeling warm and delighted from the tasty soup she had just enjoyed.
Mike has been planning the honeymoon. He is anxious for it to be a wonderful time for him and his beautiful bride.
The task is daunting! It is NOT going well!
He needs the help of a professional!
He has heard about this agency. The proprietor is not only known to be efficient with the planning but has a knack for knowing the “whats .. wheres .. and whens” of a wonderful trip.
Elke Simoniona has run this shop successfully for a few years.
She always starts her new clients with a cup of calming chamomile tea. Getting them to relax and open up is an important first step.
OHHH what do we have here? Molly doing a bit of eavesdropping?
“I am just going to borrow this book?” She sings out innocently, “OK?”
You little rascal!
Elke has him all comfy. “Ready to begin, Mike?
Not sure if it is the tea or her self-assured manner, but Mike is feeling at ease as he lowers himself into the chair near her desk.
“Now,” she begins, “just tell me what you dream of for this honeymoon.”
After hearing Mike out, Elke begins her furious tapping on the keys of her computer. She has some good ideas but can she pull them together?
“Voila!” She exclaimed, ” It is finished! You can stop and pick the tickets up tomorrow. Be sure your passports are current.”
Mike breathes a sigh of relief! This one is a gem and he will remember her!
The commission from a very generous Mike was substantial! To celebrate, a delighted Elke closed up shop and went home to relax for the rest of the day!
With the final decisions made Auntie got back to her workshop and made the needed amendments.
It was a labor of love for precious Rose, who she had been charmed by from the very first meeting! How happy it made her that Rose would be joining her family!
Friday came and just as planned, Rose and her entourage arrived for the dress fitting and viewing. The dress fit to perfection and everyone seemed enthralled by it. Rose was an angelic vision in white lace!
Violet wondered if she and Jack ever married would Auntie make her a dress too? Dare she dream of it?
Molly decided to strike while the iron was hot. She had seen an off the rack prom dress upstairs that was just divine and while mama was here and in such a wonderful mood … maybe??
“Thank you, dear friend,” Rose whispered to Claudia, “you have done so much to make this wedding beautiful. Would you please be my maid of honor? ”
Claudia was a bit startled by the accolades but she was devoted to her dear friend and honored to be asked. “Of course I will. It will be my joy.”
The girls (and the moms) spent a better part of the rest of the morning looking over bridesmaid dresses and mother of the bride dresses (not to forget Auntie of the groom LOL). So many choices but finally the matter was settled! All agree that this is going to be a beautiful wedding!
Auntie declared “So is anyone as famished as I am?” A chorus of agreement came back from all.
“I know the perfect place down in the spice district,” Matilde assured as she led them out into the streets of SanMyShuno.
OHH the shops that caught their eye! Lily, Violet, and Snow were ready to shop but Claudia urged them on in a whisper, “Come we can check them out afterward.”
Claudia, Snow, and Auntie had conspired to organize a surprise bridal shower for Rose. Being the most talented at organizing and coordinating, most of the duties fell to Claudia. The little venue was perfect and the food that they served was sublime!
Once the “SURPRISE” was done and everyone settled a bit, Snow stood and in her gracious manner brought the festivities to order with a word of blessing and thanks.
It was Roses turn to say thank you, “I cannot express how thankful I am for all of you for this kindness. This is a sweet surprise and I am honored by your thoughtfulness.” She was indeed overcome by the outpouring of love from her family and friends.
Not sure what was in the drinks but they were not the best.
Rose was so happy. Bad drinks could not steal her joy!
“Lunch is served Mrs. Theis,” the server advised Claudia.
Claudia smiled graciously at the nervous looking young woman, “Thank you so much. We will serve ourselves when they are ready. No need for you to wait.”
“Madam Theis,” Rodney the manager addressed Claudia, “is everything to your parties satisfaction.”
“Yes, very much so Rodney. Thank you.”
Claudia ommited the part about the poorly made drinks. They had survived and the wine was divine. They had the good discernment to serve a reserve Merlot from the King’s own vineyard.
Rodney parted with a bow under the direct smiling gaze of Claudia, who was unaware of how impressed the ladies at the table were with her.
She is regal and gracious enough to be a queen herself thought Snow.
“Let’s walk that lunch off with a walking tour of the Salt district,” recommended Claudia. Shopping! They did love shopping. The little shops were so wonderful.
In the square, they came upon a flea market. “OH, how enchanting!” Rose Red was in love with everything she saw. Even Violet who did not often spurge had to pick up a few things and admire them. Only Lily held back.
“This chair would be perfect in Prince’s office,” Snow said as she scored a deal. Who knew the queen could haggle!
On towards evening, they were all feeling a bit peckish. The delectable aromas coming from the street food vendors were irresistible. Rose sat down with Rosie. Rosie always made Rose laugh. She did everything with gusto including eating her food. In a blink, she had finished. “I was starving,” she laughed.
“I am glad for this time Rosie. I don’t get to see much of you these days. How do you like being married? Were you scared at first? ” Rose had so many questions. She loved Mike but she was a bit scared of being married too.
“It was a bit scary at first,” assured Rosie. “I wanted to go home the first week but I love Bruno and I am so happy.”
“Lily does not look so happy,” Rose came back.
“Well, sister they are still living with his parents. That cannot be fun for Lily.”
Rose sat for a few, contemplating the situation. “No, I guess it cannot be.”
Yes, it was indeed true. The happy day was nearly over and the closer it go to the end the sadder Lily became.
This situation did not get past the watchful eye of momma Snow. She is keenly aware of her dear daughters and Lily’s ongoing sadness is a burden to her heart.
The Rose and Violet approached Lily. “Sister dear we do not mean to pry but what is the matter? Why are you so sad?”
“I don’t know,” came back the small soft answer. “I just can’t seem to adjust to married life.”
Rose offered, “Maybe sister you and Alex need to be off on your own. You know that the place living quarters are unocupied. Mom and dad do not want to live in them and Mike and I have the chalet. Why don’t you two move in there.”
Snow, overhearing the conversation, happily chimed in, “Yes heaven knows that Alina has nothing to do there but manage dust bunnies. I am sure she would love that idea.”
“It is settled then,” said Rose. “You and Alex can move in as soon as you wish.”
Lily was overcome with gratitude, “Thank you. Thank you so much.”
The goodbyes are said and hugs all around.
Rosie, Lily, Violet, and Paola will go back home.
Snow, Rose, and Claudia will spend the night with Auntie in her SanMyShuno penthouse. “It will be just like a slumber party,” Auntie said gleefully.
Palo leaned to Snow and whispered, “Phew, good luck with Matilde’s slumber party. I don’t think street food agrees with her if you know what I mean.”
The “slumber party” at Aunties penthouse was a blast.
Jeeves kept the wine coming and the movies playing.
The ladies kept the chatter going (I think Jeeves stuffed cotton in his ears).
After pouring another round, he prepared a late night supper of eggs benedict.
Over the meal, Auntie declared that she was so tired that she felt as though she was going to fall over any second. Jeeves wondered if she was tired or was it all that wine.
Snow thought as she ate, it is delish but it is not my pancakes. Maybe she would get up early in the am to make some for everyone.
Claudia, ever the energizer bunny, recounted in detail the next day’s itinerary to a very sleepy Rose who was having difficulty focusing.
Auntie and Snow were not paying attention either.
Rose was indeed having trouble keeping her eyes open but the eggs benedict was the best she had ever had and she was determined that she was not going to waste a bite.
Good night sweet ladies, rest well more adventure is to be had tomorrow.
Meanwhile, in Windenburg, there is a move going on.
Alex and Lily do not wait but head over to the palace quarters immediatly after Lily gave him the news. They will arrange to have their few belongings moved over tomorrow.
The housekeeper, Alina, comes to greet them. She is glad to have company in that big old house.
Alina goes over the house “policies” and her lists that include her work hours and time off. Lily seems to have slipped into “moose mode.” She sees Alina’s mouth moving but she is not really hearing any of it.
While Lily gets the rules lecture, Alex does some exploring.
The throne room! So this is where it all happens, he thought to himself.
Come on! You know we all would have tried the same thing!
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An Era of Charming Tales: (current) Table of Contents
**~~~~~~ credits ~~~~~~**
There are LOTS of credits today! ALL FAB!
Used this cc to convert one side of the coffee shop into a travel agency
Sue Barr Magnolia Travel Agency