Back from California

We flew in Friday with enough time to grab lunch and get ready for the Rehearsal and Rehearsal dinner. I messed up the google map directions and instead of being on North California Ave we ended up on California Ave, on the wrong side of the Caltrain rails. We were half an hour late to the rehearsal, despite staying just ten minutes away, but since we weren’t in it we were ok. We needed to get there so that we could follow someone to the dinner. The dinner itself was huge, about 150 people were at the rehearsal dinner, which was in the courtyard of the Stanford hotel (iirc). Towards the end, it was open mike for anyone who wanted to say something about the bride or grom. Everyone who spoke had extermely nice things to say about them, but I was most impressed by how Frank turned it all around by saying that Margaret and he wouldn’t be the people they are without the love, support, and influence of everyone there. Talk about humble!

The day of the wedding we woke up at 9 am and played pick up from ten until about noon. It was a blast, I was actually dribbling and controlling the ball well, and got a couple of goals (we were playing with narrow goals). I’m a little more confident going into the new coed season which starts this coming Friday. But playing wasn’t too smart, later at the reception, the fatigue caught up with us.

Frank and Margaret’s ceremony was nice, and it seemed really short. Most of the college friends and spouses were recruited to oversee the gift table, hand out some programs, and help out as needed. I think getting there early and having to pitch in, even if a little, made it go by a lot quicker than it was. The reception was a lot of fun, up in the hills above Palo Alto. We took advantage of the valet parking there and just as we were walking in I felt like I was missing something and Staci was looking at me puzzled. “My jacket!” I realized, I had left it in the back seat of the car. I had to run after the car to get it, then walk back up to the entrance. There was a cocktail hour, and for some reason the bartender was surprised when I ordered a Tom Collins. I won’t recount the details of the reception, it was a fairly normal reception. Staci and I headed out just after 11, worn out from a long day.

Sunday, we met up with Staci’s old california roomate and Maid-of-honor Christina, at Christina’s brother’s house for a barbecue. I got to meet a couple of people I’d only heard about, and we had a relaxing dinner. Afterwards, we met up with Pete and Semere in Palo Alto for beers and to hang out. Someone ordered a make-your-own smores appetizer, and Pete impressed everyone with his mastery of fire. His time with the Boy Scouts definitely paid off. I spoke to Semere and Pete about going to Germany next year with us for the World Cup. With the US having qualified this weekend, hopefully we’ll be able to pull it off.

Finally, we spent Monday, after sleeping in a little, checking out the wineries near San Jose in Saratoga. The first one, i forget the name, was set up in the mountains and after tasting the wine, which didn’t stand out for me, we took a short hike. Along the way we saw a couple of tree lizards, which gave me a change to play with the macro mode of my camera. The second winery was founded by a retired test plane pilot, which was quite interesting for the aerospace engineers with us. We bought a claret and viogner that were quite good to bring back with us. They also had a lot of horses there, which we were able to get Christina to stand near. She has a small fear of animals, all sorts, so this was no small feat. By the time we got to the third winery, we were hungry for lunch. We raided their food selection and came away with some cold cuts and cheeses to satiate our hunger. Pete, Melissa, and Semere tasted more wine while Christina and I figured out how to transfer some contact info between our phones using bluetooth. It was a little tedious to get it setup but when it worked I was impressed. For dinner, we went to a barbecue at Deirdre and Brian’s, two coworkers of Pete and Semere that we’ve met over the last couple of visits out there. Actually, I think that Staci met Deirdre shortly before moving back east. They’re fairly new homeowners too so we got to vent a little about owning a house. Kevin, another friend from back at Va Tech, complained that he had to install a new garbage disposal the previous week and that no one would ever know. Pete suggested he get some clear glass plate doors and neon lights to draw attention to it next time he entertains.

Tuesday we spent flying back to DC, where my dad picked us up from Dulles. We flew on America West, and I’m happy to say that the trip was uneventful. No run ins with TSA dictators, the self check in counters were very straight forward to use, and we didn’t have to wait long in security lines. Now, I just need a day or two to recover from the trip.