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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Prav's Wedding

A few Saturdays ago, our very best college friend, Pravin, got hitched down near Los Angeles.

Originally, Dave and I had planned on taking Eddie with us so we could visit Disneyland during the first part of this week.  But after tallying up all the travel expenses we would have incurred by the end of 2012, the budget was getting redder and redder.  Not good.  So we decided to hold off on Disneyland until next year.

I know, I know.  Most of you are going to say that we should wait anyway for Disneyland--wait until Eddie is old enough to remember the experience.  Blah, blah, blah.  And part of me agrees with you.  But there are a few reasons I think that's bunk.  And I'm sure these reasons all center on the fact that my family never "did" family vacations when I was small.  Sure, we went to Alabama to my grandparents' farm every few summers to visit.  These visits were absolute heaven for Edward and I.  Ouf, my heart actually aches that I can't take Eddie there for the same experiences we had.  Lordy we were smothered in love (and gravy) while there.  But we never did the typical suburban middle class vacations that alllllll my friends got to have--the beach, the cabin in the snow to go sledding, Disneyland, camping at National Parks, you name it.  I didn't go to Disneyland until 8th grade.  And it was with another family!

I want Eddie to have those classic family vacations his whole life.  He deserves it.  It opens up his world while he's too young to care about gender/age stereotypes.  True, he may not remember every little thing he does on those vacations, but they do certainly impact his little life in big ways: new flavors, new sounds, new sights, new actions, new people.  I mean, just because a child doesn't remember you being "nice" to them when they're small doesn't mean you'll be a jerk until--what--age five when they will probably remember your actions and words and then you'll start being polite and treating them like a deserving human?  Uh, no.

He's also at that age when he throws himself into whatever interests him without even knowing about gender stereotypes.  We all know he looooooooves dressing up in glittery, lacy princess dresses.  And I wanted to take him to Ariel's Grotto for breakfast so he could wear his costumes and meet The Princesses.  Too soon he'll learn from mean boys at school that boys don't like pink and princesses are for girls only.  It'll break my mama heart to see his confusion and then his new-found preferences for only boy-approved toys, colors, and pastimes.

So, no Disneyland on this trip and that makes me sad.  But as you'll see, Eddie had a fantastic time with Miss Amanda and Friend Tim.

Dave and I took off Thursday morning, November 15, after packing the car and dropping Eddie off at daycare.  We drove down south, stopping that night for a 7:30 pm showing of Skyfall in Santa Clarita, perfectly timed to avoid much of the traffic on the 405.  The movie was awesome, as were our popcorn and Raisinettes treats.
Apparently, it was the Twilight premier, as evidenced from all the old ladies wearing ridiculous, bedazzled character clothing.  Barf.
Eddie spent the night at daycare with Cassie while we stayed our first night in a crappy Torrance Days Inn hotel room.  The saving graces of this particular hotel were that 1) the a/c stayed on all night long (rather than cycling on and off) so it was fantastically cold in the room, which is how we like to sleep; and 2) it was situated in the same building as an Indian restaurant, our favorite cuisine.

Friday morning we headed off to Wildflower Cafe for breakfast and a long chat over our coffee.  I dropped Dave off at the hotel and then I walked around some shops nearby before we pigged out at the Indian buffet downstairs.
Handsome man, delicious breakfast.
That evening we attended the wedding rehearsal at the venue since Dave was a groomsman.  Rain was a major threat so the wedding party practiced both outside (preferred) and in.  Then we headed over to Bucca di Beppo for dinner.  Afterward we went to a bar--and by "we" I mean the groom's entire party.  His parents even came to the bar.  Heehee, so cute.  The last bit of our group had just checked into the hotel so they joined us, too.
Us at the venue, La Venta Inn, waiting for the rehearsal to begin.
Prav, Anthony, Javi, Matt, Devin, and Dave, with the groom's parents in the foreground.
It was soooooooooooooooooooooooooo fun to have the "whole gang" together again.  Despite children, weddings, moves, careers, etc. the guys all picked right back up with their old shenanigans: quoting South Park and Super Troopers, picking on each other, and reminiscing about their dorm and apartment days (many of them lived all together in both places).  Ahhhh, I missed those guys.

Sunday morning we picked up Kaitlyn and Brady for breakfast and ate at CJ's Pantry.  The food was good, but of course, the company was even better.  K and B have a 5 and a 2 year old and was it was awesome to talk to them about everything under the moon, including our kids' antics and everyone's jobs and stuff.  Kaitlyn had to run off to buy a dress for the wedding, so Dave and I headed back to the hotel to get ready.  I had to repaint my toes, iron Dave's shirts (two, I brought an extra because you just never know what he'll spill down his front), and figure out how to wear the new makeup I'd brought.  We watched a lot of Food Network while we did all that stuff.
Scallop eggs Benedict?  Heck yes.
Prav asked us if we could come to his hotel at 1:30 pm to pick up all the guys and shuttle them around for pictures.  Miracle of miracles, we were on time.  I wasn't in my fancy dress yet because I didn't want to risk getting it messed up, but Dave was all dressed up and ready to pose.  Of course, the groom never knows what's going on so we ended up waiting for a loooooong time in the hotel lobby for Prav to even show up! The valet parking guy allowed me to park my van in one of the coveted spots right out front, which was awesome since it was raining buckets.  Eventually, I just went chatted with Brady in the hotel bar.
Dave, why aren't you smiling?
The wedding party in the hotel lobby.  Isn't Grace, the bride, lovely?
When Prav arrived, the groomsmen went up to his room to stage pictures of him getting ready--I guess so there'll be matching pictures of the bride getting ready?  It seemed weird and Dave confirmed that it was.  In fact, the man of honor kept joking about how many more times he'd have to unbutton and rebutton Prav's coat for all these damn pictures.  Haha.  At about 3:30 pm everyone was ready to drive up the hill to take some more pictures.  The bride was standing in the drizzle, holding up her gown, while her bridesmaids shuffled stuff around in the rear of their car to make room for her.  She finally just asked if she could ride with us.  Of course!  We're in a minivan!  We can hold 6 brides plus the driver!

So off we went to a pretty arched building and a ridiculous fountain to stage some photos.  I was dispatched to take pictures with Javi's camera since the photographers (all 4 of them) seemed to have taken a wrong turn somewhere.  Eventually they did show up.
Trying to arrange photos before the rain got worse and ruined the bride's make up and hair.
A close up shot of the fountain where the wedding party had some pictures taken.  Heehee, isn't this fountain hilarious?  
The wedding had to be done inside since it was pouring rain by 5 pm.  Although a little crowded, it was really nice with the fire place and candles. Prav told us later that he was roasting and sweating being so close to the fire.
I took this picture just before the wedding began.  Check out that dark cloud just looming over the wedding venue.  Good  thing rain is lucky on your wedding day, right?
We were seated at a table with all our Saint Mary's College friends, so dinner was obviously a hoot.  My salmon was scrumptious, mostly because it was topped with a green olive tapenade...mmmm.

After eating and many toasts translated between English and Chinese, we all headed to the dance floor and stayed there until 10 pm.  Because the venue is in a residential area, the music had to stop that early.  Phooey.  So we all headed back to the main hotel and met up at the bar.  Those of us who are parents and had to travel back home the following day were soooooooooo tired by midnight so we only stayed for a little while before crashing.
Exhausted from dancing, chatting, and celebrating.
Dave and I headed off toward home at about 8:30 am Sunday morning while the newlyweds took off for their honeymoon in French Polynesia.  I hope they had tons of fun!

We didn't want to stop for breakfast so we got fast food and hit the road.  In Manteca, we did all our Thanksgiving Costco shopping so I wouldn't have to do it with Eddie during the week.  You know what's crazy?  I was confused and though that Thanksgiving was the 28th, not the 22nd so I was sort of scrambling to get things organized food-wise on our drive back up north.  Oops!

We came home to a happy Eddie and a tired Amanda.  She also babysat a fellow daycare kiddo, Insee, oat our house on Saturday morning. I know they had fun and I am so grateful we have her to watch over Eddie on occasions like this.
Amanda reports that the boys and dogs played pirates on our bed for quite some time on Saturday.
For each night we were gone, we left Eddie a small paper bag containing a piece of candy and a little note.  Apparently he loved the notes so much he insisted that they be taped to the fridge (where they still are).
It was a fun weekend away to celebrate with our friends.  This was the first time (other than my heart surgery) when I actually wished Eddie was with us...normally we like to be away from him for a little parent time alone.  But not this time.  Congrats to Prav and Grace--we wish you all the best!


steph.kelley said...

That is so nice, being around great old friends. Nothing better. Except that ridonculous fountain. :P xoxo

Mariah said...

oh my gosh that fountain is awesome! lol lol meh I love disneyland I say if you can go, go whenever and how often you can. Disneyworld now I feel like I'm not going til my kids can sit still mostly in a plane by themselves (at least half of them)