So, I explained our whirlwind trip to California for my Dad's wedding. Now, here are some details and our trip home.
My Dad and Betts got married on a beautiful, sunny California day at Oak Leigh in Fair Oaks, CA (outside of Sacramento). The best part was we didn't have to drive very far. After all the miles we put on the car in the previous 2 days, it was nice to have a more leisure emotion filled day.
There were about 30 of us total at the wedding. Each side meeting for the first time. We had some quick introductions and then were asked to enter the room. The minister (Bett's best friend) had given 6 of us cards to read during the ceremony that were little pieces of advice. My Dad stood in front of the room, looking a little nervous and VERY happy. Betts came down the aisle, escorted by her son. I'm pretty sure my Dad had a little tear and he gave a nervous laugh. It was very beautiful and you could see the love in their eyes. The minister gave them a few moments to reflect in the merging of two families and then asked for each of us to stand and read our advice. This was a surprise to Betts and my Dad and was an emotional touch to the day. For the vows, the minister tailored the words to reflect who they were. She had them repeat after her about how they met, how they were engaged and how their lives are more complete with each other. Betts and my Dad laughed and smiled and repeated. It was a perfect ceremony.
We all met outside afterwards and then the 5 people with cameras had the happy couple pose in various locations and we took all the photos. I tried to rack my brain of all the photos taken at my wedding and tried to make sure a lot of those shots were duplicated. It wasn't as easy as you would think. We did the grooms side, the brides side, the brothers and sisters of the bride and groom. The grand kids, the couple, the family members and friends who were able to share in this joyous day. Before we headed to the reception, I snuck out front and took some shots of the building (that's the first photo above) and then we headed to a nice restaurant overlooking the river.
The decorations were so lovely (see above) and we all fit at two tables. We were able to eat a delicious dinner and drink some beers. We all laughed and talked and got to know one another. The kids were wonderful and happy. Someone was thoughtful enough to bring bubbles and my 4, plus Betts 2 grand kids were able to blow bubbles and keep each other entertained. We were done around 6 (which was perfect for us because we had friends we wanted to see in town before we left the next day). We headed back to my brothers house, changed into our comfy clothes and hung out for the rest of the evening, talking and drinking 7-11 icees. Our friends came over and we had a great visit.
It was the best day!
So, our final days of our whirlwind trip..Sunday we went back to my brothers and had breakfast together with my brothers and our friends. We headed out of town around noon. We were taking our time to get home and letting the kids have time to play along the way (instead of 15 hours straight in the car). We stopped in Redding, CA and played at their favorite park. A great big wood structure with a water spray pad next door. We went into town and ate dinner. And then headed North into the dreaded Oregon.
Now let me say, Oregon is beautiful and a great place to visit. But it is hell when you are trying to get from California to Washington and you just want to be home. The state is 300 miles long and the speed limit is 60mph. Logically, this should take 5 hours. But we never get out under 7. I swear, there is a time warp somewhere. Anyway, we were taking our time and planning on staying the night, but we weren't sure how far we would get. I love my iPhone! Not a shameless plug, but it's ability to look up hotels and find a good hotel at a good price. We found our hotel around 9pm around 120 miles into Oregon. It was OK, but a great location and we were tired.
Monday, we woke up, ate the decent breakfast (they had freshly made Belgium waffles) and hit the road (after my requisite cup of mocha). We made it to Woodburn where the HUGE outlet mall is located. Those outlet prices and no sales tax call my name every time we drive through the state. We were able to get the kids soccer gear and save 10% just on the sales tax alone! The rest of the drive was most typical and boring. We discovered that our angelic passengers are only so good because they watch movies in the car. We turned the movies off through Portland and within 30 minutes, they were bickering and hitting. I was a little relieved to find out they are just typical kids. I was a little worried that if they were such great travelers and always got along that they were going to make my life hell when they are all teenagers (and all four will be teenagers at the same time). UGH!
We finally got home at 6pm and I have never been so happy and relieved to see my home and my comfy bed.