Our weekend was a bit...complex and not one conducive to working on my book, my screenplay, blog (one entry) or anything else. I used two of my more-precious-than-gold PTO days so that Amy, Tulip and I could drive almost five hours, while desperately trying to not fall asleep, up to Saratoga, drop the puppy off at Amy's Dad's house only to hop back in the car and were on our way to San Jose for a dinner party for my cousin's wedding.
The dinner was held at the Saint Claire Hotel and was very beautifully handled from the wine and cocktails--which I desperately needed--hor d'oeurvres, and dinner. It was good to see my mom, grandma, aunt, uncle, cousins and my brother and his wife, but we were walking and talking with lead boots, barely able to stay awake throughout the entire event, but we somehow got through it. I later found out that my brother and cousins were able to sneak out of the insanity of the ruthlessly scheduled planning and overly crushing family obligations for some downtime at what sounded like a rather cool bar, The Single Barrel. Unfortunately, Amy and I darted out at the end of the dinner to race home and try to get some sleep. I wish we had known about the hastily put together plan for after party drinks, because it would have been nice to catch up with my cousins outside of the repressive force of wedding madness, but we needed rest and they were barely able to escape from the hotel themselves. Next time.
Saturday, we were able to sleep in some and Amy's family made us breakfast, and truly went beyond anything that they needed to do to make us comfortable, and they were kind enough to agree to watch Tulip while we prepared for...the wedding. I am going to spoil the ending of this story right now. We left their house at 1:15 PM and returned at 10:15 PM. For those of a non-mathematically inclined nature, that is nine f_ing hours. Eight hours of actual wedding stuff and one hour of driving, parking and walking. Nine hours. We could have watched Siegfried...twice, or the majority of the entire extended Lord of the Rings trilogy, or driven from Santa Barbara to Saratoga and back...again. Yup, it was long.
This is not to say that the wedding was not beautiful or that the ceremony and the traditional clothing were not visually stunning, or that the food was not so very, very good (bacon wrapped scallops and mango sorbet served in edible white chocolate bowls...hells yes!), but eight hours is a long time. Included in that eight hours were about four and a half hours of hair gel melting sun, which sent bead after bead of sweat trailing down my back, followed by three and a half hours of bone-chilling freezing cold wind with no heat lamps. After about an hour and a half of the cold weather and giving up my suit coat to my wife, I swallowed my pride and went to the car to fetch the dog blanket so that I could wrap it around Amy, myself and my brother's wife; I was thankful that I did.
My mom, her husband and my grandma all left around 8:00 PM, because of my grandma's problems with her back and legs, but Amy and I stuck it out until about 9:45 PM and with a hasty goodbye to my other cousin snuck out of the party. Things were starting to get hopping on the dance floor, and were not winding down any time soon, so Amy and I stole down the stairs of the Villa Montalvo with chattering teeth and shivering bones for the glorious warm embrace of the car.
The next day, Sunday, was Father's Day and we spent the morning having breakfast with Amy's dad and his wife, who are always very hospitable, and we went for a difficult run in the hills of their ranch. We also took them to see The A-Team, which I absolutely loved in all of its ridiculous wackiness--tank flying rules--and went back to the house for bourbon, wine, steak and the first two episodes of True Blood's third season. We were thankful for the day of non-events, dressing comfortably and not gorging ourselves, and Tulip was happy to have us around for most of the day, too.
Moday, we were back in the car for the four and a half hour drive back to Santa Barbara with a nice stop in San Luis Obispo for lunch and a walk with the puppy. After an incredibly hectic few days, we finally returned to one of the best feelings in the world...walking into the comfort of our own home. We quickly exercised and made our way to Hollister Brewing Company for some more unhealthy food and beer and a sigh-of-relief-filled return to normalcy and the company of our friends. The trip was over.
*retrospective bullshit: Now that we are back and I have returned to my work cubicle, I am left wondering if a four and a half hour drive and nine hours of wedding craziness, complete with scorching/freezing weather, are not preferable to the reality of being back to normal. Oh well.