Monday, July 1, 2013

Chris and Kathleen's wedding: a great party at the end of a great vacation

It's time I finished my series of posts on our California vacation in May. We've been extremely busy this summer with traveling and working on the house.  That's my excuse for not getting this post up earlier.

Remember, this vacation consisted of a race, the redwoods, and motoring down the coast in a rented van, and lots of camping. But the major attraction for the week was near.  Drew's long-time friend, Kathleen, was getting married to a fabulous guy, Chris, and we wanted to share the day with them.  We pointed the van south one more time; destination: the mountains surrounding San Jose.

When we arrived at the ranch, wedding preparations were in full swing.
Can't have a wedding without kegs of beer.

But Olive the dog didn't seem to be thirsty.

 Chris and Kathleen's team of friends and relatives had many things under control, but they found a perfect job for Drew: mow a path to the ceremony site on the hill.  Olive had to come along to help.

My job was simpler - help Kathleen attach pinwheels to fence posts to mark the way up the hill to the ceremony site.

But Drew wanted a piece of that action too. 

 With a lot of extra hands, we pulled together to put meatballs to cooking and transformed the ranch into a festive party site.

After assuring that the kegs were working, we retired to a super friendly neighbor's house, where we got to sleep in a bed for the first time in over a week.   Oh, it felt so good!

The wedding

Wedding day was here, and so were the guests.  Everyone filed up the hill to the designated spot... 

 to await the bride.

Chris zoomed up the back way through the pasture on his motorcycle to join friends and family.

 And finally, here came the bride, walked up the "aisle" by her sons and dog Odie, of course.

 There was music, there was talk of marriage, and then there were the vows.  Kathleen cracked everyone up with a loooooong set of vows rolled out from a scroll. It was awesome.

After they zoomed away on the motorbike, the attendees headed for the shade and the cupcakes. 

Now that's a party!

Can't have a party without dancing.

 And good food.  Lots and lots and lots of food.  Chris had made something like 400 huge Italian meatballs ahead of time.  They were so amazing I ate about five of them.

All that partying had Odie tuckered out.

And us too, so we laid the night to rest with a beautiful sunset and made it back to the neighbor's bed.  Oh so nice again.

Kathleen and Chris' wedding was fabulous; it was filled with love and fun and good energy. We are sure their marriage will be too!

Head for home

The next day we headed east for the first time in 10 days.  I dropped Drew at the Reno airport where he did a superman change in the van.

Drew goes from vagabond van camper dude to Captain Underpants.
 And I continued east, stopping for some historical viewpoints.
A preserved section of the Oregon Trail. (I couldn't see any wagon ruts either.)
 I made it as far as Wells, Nevada before I stopped for the night.

I took advantage of the campground's wi-fi to bring you an updated blog post. Am I a dedicated blogger or what?

I motored back across the salt flats the next day, taking time to do something I have always wanted to do; I stopped along the freeway and walked out onto the salt flats.

There was still enough moisture in the sediment that my feet sunk in just a bit.  A surreal place for sure.

 So that is the end of our California vacation.  A bike race, the biggest trees in the world, miles and miles of rugged coastline, a van, and a wedding.  Fun times  to be sure.