Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A San Francisco Wedding

Well I'm back (in Massachusetts) from my California adventure and trying to dry out after a crazy San Francisco wedding extravaganza. Weddings these days seem to be very long events with many nights of overindulgence. But so much fun! And this wedding (while exceptional and awesome in many ways) was no exception. It was a fabulous time! But let me start at the beginning to give you all a proper update of my California adventuure.

First of all I travelled to California with my parents. This was a strange experience since we had never been on a plane together. Despite the fact that I am an International Woman of Mystery and my brother lives in Barcelona half the time, my parents are pretty much homebodies.Oh yeah - we rebel!

Although a bit strange to travel with Mom and Dad, the experience was actually kind of nice. I felt a small comfort that reduced the fear of flying when I realized if I died on the plane, at least I would be with the people I loved (although I did have a few moments of panic about what would happen to my brother if we all died together on the plane and also a bit of a panic about my brother's flight - he was en route to San Fran from Barcelona at the same time - but overall panic level was down a bit as happens when you are with your Mom). Also, when I couldn't get the top off of my vodka (the family that flies together, drinks together) Dad was there to help me out! Nice.

First stop in California was Sunnyvale where my Aunt and Uncle live. Sunnyvale did live up to it's name - it was sunny the entire time we were there. We took a ride and went out to the Redwood Forest - which I had never seen before - to check out the old and gigantic trees. But mostly we sat around and caught up on family stuff and ate tortilla chips. Not but for real. A BIG BAG of tortilla chips was consumed - see below for a very American image (remember what I said about Americans and their love for the SUPER SIZE)?

Then we headed into San Fransisco for the beginning of the wedding festivities.

Let me start by saying that I thought a lot about Mark Twain while in San Fran (at least the first day). Mark Twain infamously said: "The coldest winter I ever spent, was a summer in San Francisco." Boy did those words ring true. BRRRRRR! I knew that I was going to be clothing challenged when we drove through the streets of San Fran on the way to the hotel and everyone was wearing heavy coats, scarves and even gloves in some cases and the wind was whipping their hair everywhere. People looked COLD! I suddenly had a bad feeling that my suitcase full of shorts and sundresses were not going to cut it. I did not even bring a jacket! I knew it was supposed to be cold, but I wasn't expecting it to be THAT cold! Note to you all: if you are in San Francisco in the summer, bring your winter clothes.

The first wedding related activity was a wine soiree at Terroir - home of natural and organic wines and a very cool place. It was nice to see C and S - the bride and groom - and meet and mingle with the rest of the people in the wedding party - especially the lovely Maid of Honor J. At this point I must introduce the Best Man to the story as every story needs a cute guy as either the hero or the villain - or both (I think the best man could be either one depending on the perspective). First of all. I have known the Best Man since we were very young. Second of all I actually used to BABYSIT the Best Man when he was young. Third of all - boy grew up to be HOT! Imagine Mathew McConaughey (although possibly without the abs - and no, I did not check). Actually, forget that, imagine him with the abs because that makes it better. But seriously, he was totally Matthew McCoounghy in looks and in mannerisms and even voice. Actually, thank you Google image search, he totally looks like the two pictures of Mr. McConaughey below. I did a side-by-side comparison (I don't show people pics here but friends check out my Facebook page if you are curious) and it's eerie:


Unfortunately, as if trying to live up to his movie star look-alike, Best Man was not only was he married, but Best Man brought another woman to the wedding/wedding activities! Thus the hero or the villain comment. I will not comment any further (God knows that I can't judge anyone else) except to say that several things I witnessed on this trip (not just with him) lead me to conclude that relationships in California are a bit more fluid then those back here in the conservative East. Well glad that CA lives up to it's hippie free love reputation. But to me the Best Man was a hero for making some good eye candy and being someone to inappropriately flirt with.

Side note: So, the Best Man kept calling my brother and I the dynamic duo. He reminded us of the fact that we were all in this after school care program (for children whose parents worked - not in any way as common back in those days as it is now) and that my brother and I essentially took over the whole group and made them play crazy games that we invented. We also made them sing a lot of songs if I recall. The adult actual leaders could never actually get any of the kids to do anything because my brother and I were always stealing the show! Well, some thing never change... Ha ha...

The second day in San Fran reared it's ugly head with a wicked hangover - thank you organic wines (although I fared better than most of the rest of the people who were up until at least 4 am with us, my brother was praying to the porcelain God and the bride hadn't slept all night). I decided that I would suck it up and go out and about with my parents - also suffering from hangovers. We went down to the docks and walked around in the cold foggy San Francisco morning weather. Of course I had to take the requisite photo of the Golden Gate Bridge - see below. The amazing thing is just about right after this picture was taken, the fog cleared off and it became a sunny beautiful (almost warm) day.

The evening culminated with the rehearsal dinner - which really had nothing to do with a rehearsal and more to do with gathering family (in our case almost-family) for a pre-wedding dinner. The venue for this event was Millennium which served awesome vegan food (vegans and non-vegans alike should seriously check this out). I should note that the bride and groom are long term vegans and many of the younger people at the wedding were vegans or vegetarians as well. As for me after 15 years of being a vegetarian, a little vegan food is fine with me. As for my parents and the rest of the older generation, I think they were crying a little bit and missing their steak. Oh well. It's good for them to live a little!

But now to focus a bit on the main event: the non-traditonal and very unique wedding of C and S. But first, a bit about C...

C is a very old and dear friend. In fact, I have known C since before he was born - he is four years my junior. He is for all purposes "my other brother." Most of the events of my younger life include C. His parents and mine have been best friends since before I was born. Over the years we have spent a lot of time with him and his family. In fact when we were younger, our parents would hire one baby sitter for the three of us while they went out and partied. I have spent more New Year's Eves with my brother and my "other brother" then anyone else (we even met up as adults on New Year's Eve 3 years back in San Fran - although none of us really remember that night). As adults we have taken over the party train from our parents in a way that we think would make their younger selves proud even though it makes their adult selves not so happy with us at times. But like mother like daughter... like father like son... right? The party tradition between our families lives on!

But as younger brothers tend to do... C has grown up into a very handsome, interesting and just kind of really awesome guy (not that he wasn't when he was younger - but who ever thinks their younger brother is all that cool) who met an absolutely beautiful woman. The irony is that C, the youngest brother, got married first! Who would have guessed (well probably anyone who knows my brother and I).

C and I have not been in touch as much as adults (although he does read this blog) but I absolutely consider him to be family and I hope that I will have a chance to hang out with him much more in the future as well as get to know the beautiful and lovely S a bit better.

As you know I'm very fond of lists...

So, here are the best things about C and S's wedding in San Fransisco in list format:

The amazing wedding venue. It was held at the Foreign Cinema  in a very nice and bright room. If you are in San Fran, I highly recommend that you go to dinner there.

C's amazing Paul Frank very slim tuxedo

S's beautiful purple and black Betsey Johnson dress (that's right, she decided to completely forgo the traditional white wedding dress) that looked fabulous on her

The awesome ukulele music played by my brother as the bride and groom walked down the aisle and the looping later on

The great rendition of "Such Great Heights" by my brother and the Maid of Honor - who by the way also looked fabulous!

C's college roommate serving as the justice of the peace and doing an amazing job at telling the story of C and S while interweaving life lessons learned from C and S. My favorite part was when he described C's progressive taste in music as "robots meeting robots."

Both the bride's Father and Mother walked her down the aisle

The bride and groom said their own vows

The parents of the bride and groom were asked if they approved of the marriage (and of course both said 'we do').

The Best Man's speech which for some hilarious yet inappropriate reason managed to include a story about C crossing the Mexican boarder (and I quote) "with a pill of Ecstasy strapped where the sun don't shine." Luckily I think that most of the adults missed the reference (or at least my mother did).

The long poem read and written by the Best Man about Frankenstein-esq Monster (which he said was NOT a metaphor for the relationship of C and S) meeting another Monster and falling in love. A bit of a strange choice... however, I guess at the end of the day, we are all monsters and love is indiscriminate and can make even the most terrible monsters human.

The amazing tapas style food catering to both vegans and meat eaters alike, that was passed around all night -especially the amazing watermelon dish with pine nuts and goat cheese (sounds gross but was soo good - wish I could get the recipe). The funny thing about the food was in the beginning it seemed that everyone was panicked that they wouldn't have enough to eat so some scavengers were literally standing by the door the waiters were coming out of and grabbing as much food as they could. OK, I admit I was kinda one of those people. About an hour into the food serving I asked my parents who were not scavenging food by the door, if they had anything to eat yet and both hadn't! I felt bad and scavenged them some food. However... there was really no need to panic as the food went on being passed all night and I'm pretty sure that by the end of the night everyone had more than their fill. I swear my dad must have eaten 20 plates.

The nightclub Vessel where we went afterwards where things got even wilder and dancing on the tables ensued. And the best part was that the majority of the wedding (old people included in both the club going and the table dancing) actually joined and we shut down the club! Oh yeah!

The after party in the bride and groom's suite where we continued to dance and overindulge but at the end of the night most passed out in bed with the bride and groom and chatted about the highlights of the night (I told you this was not a traditional wedding).

The only thing that was not fun about the wedding is that I had an 11 am flight with my parents the next day. Mom's wake up call came just one hour after I fell asleep. Ugh. But I survived - and luckily I lived to tell about it.

Congratulations C and S!
Your wedding was fabulous. I had such a great time and it was so good to see you. I'm sad to be missing the East Coast event as I'm sure it will be a good time, but I hope to catch up with you again soon. You are always welcome wherever I am. 

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