The Chronicles of our (second) Wedding Cake
In April, Sheila and I traveled to the United States for Easter. We were on a mission! Our first goal was to visit the most magical place on earth…and after some close flights, we arrived in Orlando where we had a personal visit with the top mouse himself, Mickey. (Our connections were tight because the U.S. Customs & Border protection agents had some additional questions for my wife. I thought I was smart by patiently waiting for my wife in the long queue. I have Global entry which allows me express entry into the U.S. My thinking was that if they connected us, they would allow her through quickly. However, that was not the case and we were briefly detained. The agent said as we were being directed into the cold, sterile room, “it’s the cost of being married…) However, we eventually made it to our one-on-one visit with Mickey and after being overwhelmed with his ability to bring a smile to even the most sad faces, we were off to experience the Magic Kingdom. It was Sheila’s first time to Walt Disney World, so it was an extra special visit.
We had a second mission for our trip to Alabama…we were attempting to bring our frozen wedding cake back to Nigeria. In the United States, it’s customary to freeze the top tier of your wedding cake to consume on your first wedding anniversary. After our US reception, we had a professional cake “preserver” (my mom) freeze our cake. My brother and sister-in-law had given my mom amazing reviews. They raved how their cake tasted as if it was their wedding day.
To bring a frozen cake back from the US was quite the orchestrated process. Especially that we were traveling over 8,000 miles with a cake. The 8,000-mile voyage included a 400-mile road trip between Mount Vernon, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia, a short domestic flight between Atlanta and Washington, D.C. at 5:00am in the morning and a 15-hour flight to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The journey ended with the four and a half flight across the continent to Abuja.
To make sure the cake survived the transatlantic flight to Abuja, we needed a trusted cooler to help transport the cake. My parents gave Sheila and I a Yeti to ensure the cake made it back to Abuja in one piece. If you have never heard of a Yeti, let this be your public service announcement. It’s an amazing cooler that keeps items cold for long periods of time. Our Yeti was not only able to keep our cake frozen but the dry ice that we purchased last almost 36 hours. We still had a piece of dry ice when we arrived in Abuja. We purchased the dry ice at a Publix Grocery Store in Montgomery, Alabama, the midway point between Mount Vernon and Atlanta. I read on the airline’s websites that 5 pounds of dry ice was allowed as part of your checked bag. I was hoping the dry ice would keep the cake frozen until we arrived in Abuja.
When we arrived at the Atlanta airport, I quickly told the ticket representative that we were traveling with dry ice to ensure everything was ok. The friendly flight attendant asked what we were transporting…when I told her we were carrying our wedding cake back to Abuja, Nigeria, she laughed and told us that we should be tracking the cakes travel on social media. When we arrived in Washington, D.C. we checked to ensure that the cake was still frozen before checking it in for the final time for the trip to Abuja. During the entire 22 hours of travel, the cake was on my mind. I just wanted to make sure that the cake survived the long journey to Nigeria. However, we were pleasantly surprised that the cake was still frozen when we arrived at our apartment in Abuja. We filmed the removal of the cake from the Yeti and quickly put it in our freezer. Our plan was to eat it after our Anniversary vacation.
Because we were not in Abuja to celebrate our anniversary, we decided to invite over a few friends to celebrate our cake escapade. In addition, Sheila’s brother Bob also happened to be in town to help consume our year old cake. While a few of our guest were hesitant about eating the year old cake, the cake was moist and delicious. It was worth the wait and a great way for us to celebrate our one year anniversary. Maybe we should start a tradition of freezing a cake for a year and celebrating as if it’s our one year anniversary.