Sunday, August 10, 2014

California Dreaming...

Last weekend, Nick and I jetted off to California for a family wedding for his cousin, Asha.  Since we were flying across the country and would only be gone for about 48 hours, we didn't bring Georgia with us.   Luckily, Mimi and Papa flew down to MD to watch her so that Nick and I could escape (and we put Papa on another painting project - stay tuned for the end result!!).

Our trip started off a tad bumpy.  Both Nick and I had sore backs before the trip even started.  Nick's been nursing a weak back for the past 20 years or so.  Karma apparently didn't think it was entertaining that I continually poke fun of Nick for being an "old man," so I was treated to a lesson of my own.  I stepped out of the shower on Thursday morning and felt horrible pain in my lower back.  So, I spent the entire day lying on the floor with an ice pack strapped to my back and raiding the medicine cabinet for painkillers (thank goodness for previous gallbladder removals!).  

We got to the airport nice and early on Friday AM and we were glad we did because it was apparently newbie-day at National Airport!  From checking luggage to the security line and then onto the boarding process, it was all exhausting.  I mean, it's not a secret that you need a ticket to board a plane, right?!?  Or identification?!?  Just a few things we witnessed people having a problem with that morning.  Of course, as always with the airport, it was hurry-up-and-wait because our plane was missing from the gate when we arrived.  It had landed the night before, but needed to be towed to the gate.  Then, it needed fuel. 

Nick used his miles to upgrade us to first class seats for our flight to San Francisco, so at least we were semi-comfy on our flight west.  The ice packs I brought in my carry-on definitely helped too!  Mostly, we snacked, read, ate, and watched some television.  After landing in San Fran and enduring the never-ending car rental line, we were on our way to Pescadero down the coast... after a quick stop at an In-N-Out Burger!  We had never been and since we needed some protein for the drive, we thought we'd at least try it before heading out on Highway 1.   Not bad.  The place was an absolute zoo.  I'd like to open a franchise here on the east coast!

We arrived at the Costanoa Lodge, our destination for the weekend, in the mid-afternoon.  Although "glamping" was an option for the weekend inside a tent or cabin, we managed to score a room inside the lodge, which thankfully had its own bathroom!  After greeting lots of members of Nick's family, we got to relax for an hour or two before heading off to the rehearsal dinner/welcome dinner festivities at a local brewery.  

Knowing that we'd probably wake up early on Saturday since we were on east coast time, we made plans to take a quick road trip to Big Basin Redwoods State Park.  The wedding wasn't scheduled until later in the afternoon, so we figured we could sneak in a quick trip to the park, which was about 60-90 minutes east of our location on the coast.  Nick's parents joined us for the trip over the mountains and down into the valley to check out these giant old trees!



Nick checking out a redwood



"Father of the Forest"










On our way back to the resort, we managed to sneak in a quick trip to a vineyard to taste some authentic California wines!  When in Cali...







Although we only got to see a small slice of California on our quick trip to the park, it was a beautiful place to explore.


From the coast to the Santa Cruz mountains in one short drive!

We arrived back to the lodge in time to relax for a bit before the wedding.  We opened a bottle of wine and nibbled on some cheese/crackers/salami while we sat on our balcony and enjoyed being surrounded by the beautiful trees and mountains around us.

The wedding on Saturday afternoon was very unique, very "California cool" and very much reflected on the bride and groom, and their family/friends.  After a ceremony on the beautiful lodge lawn, we enjoyed the cocktail party mingling with family and friends in the gorgeous California sunshine.



Congrats to the bride & groom!


Gorgeous bride and handsome groom




Nick with his grandmother during cocktail hour

The hubs and I


The reception was held seaside on the lodge grounds and was a fantastic evening filled with wonderful speeches, amazing food and drink (that never seemed to stop arriving at the table!), beautiful flowers and fun dancing.



Centerpieces



Liz and Adrienne's toast, the gorgeous bride and the father-of-the bride welcoming everyone to the reception.


Asha and Clay's 1st dance

Father-Daughter dance

Although the reception ended in th evening, the party continued well into the wee hours of the morning at the after party.  Costumes were encouraged and were quite entertaining...






Before we departed on Sunday, everyone was treated to brunch on the lodge lawn.  The bacon was AHHHH-mazing!


Can you find me????

The ride back to DC was quite an adventure since we got to take a private plane home.  Not every day do we get to ride in a G4, so more than a few pictures were taken of the trip!  It's definitely going to make flying coach next month a little more challenging.


Yeah, we're sooooo not pulling off "cool" at all here!


Our sweet ride, toasting to a great weekend, turbulence for Bennett and "the Nicks" enjoying the flight!


Could definitely get used to this lifestyle!


I'm impressed, a birthday party for Nick's aunt at 45,000 feet, a group shot, and dry California on take-off


And a few hours later, wheels down in DC again!  Until the next adventure...



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