Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[personal|calendula] A grand day out

Worked the Day Jobbe yesterday, but pushed my lunch hour to the end of the day so calendula_witch and I could light out for jane_o_trades' wedding in Healdsburg, a wine country town up in Sonoma County. Had a lovely afternoon drive with the top down on the Witchmobile, checked into Madrona Manor, a truly glorious bed and breakfast in a Victorian mansion. Our room was in the old carriage house, with what may be the most comfortable bed either of us could ever recall. We took some quiet time to get over the drive, then lazed over to the swimming pool, the lazed back to our room to mellow out before the wedding.

This was an aloha-themed wedding, which meant I fit right in. I didn't know a soul there besides calendula_witch, and she only knew perhaps a dozen people, including the bride and groom. Almost everyone was in some variant of islandwear. They got to the wedding party pretty swiftly, to keep us from getting restless methinks, in a back garden of the mansion which was laid out very simply and tastefully for the show. Bubble makers were handed out all around, then the bride and groom processed to ukulele and slack key guitar. When the vows were read — led by an officiant who could have stepped out of Animal House — they were in Dr Seuss verse. Bride and groom then recessed to "Tiny Bubbles", while we all blew. It was without a doubt the funniest wedding I've ever attended.

Afterwards, mai tais and Hawaiian hors d'oeuvres were served around, and we milled and swilled a while. When dinner came, calendula_witch and I were seated at Table 5. We spent a great deal of time talking to a friend of the groom's and his wife. She'd spent a year of college in Dakar, Senegal, and then two years in the Peace Corps in a small town in Mali, so she had a lot of very interesting stories to tell. Dinner was a melange of Hawaiian dishes and semihaute cuisine, very tasty and big. Later more time spent talking to a high school friend of calendula_witch (she went to high school with both bride and groom, hence the connections) and his wife, with whom we had a lot in common. Meanwhile, Table 9 got pretty drunk and kept erupting through the dining rooms in conga lines, song and dance routines, and whatnot. Wedding cake was finally served in the form of the most complicated cupcakes I've ever encountered, and a series of lovely and moving toasts, along with more irruptions from the Table 9 Players.

Once things died down, calendula_witch and I retired to a dark portion of the gardens to lie on the ground and watch the Perseid meteor shower. This was about 11 pm. The stars were out in force, down to fifth magnitude at least from our vantage point. Even a day behind peak, we saw easily a dozen meteors within twenty minutes, including five or six drawing magnificent glowing contrails across the Milky Way. Nothing like a rural sky...

This morning was a wonderful breakfast, another swim in the pool, a chat with the bride and groom, and heading back to San Francisco. Me, I'm off to Portland shortly, while calendula_witch is back to her real life as well. We'll see each other again at the end of next week, but this was a fantastic coda to Worldcon in Montreal: Dr Seuss wedding, fine food, and the universe scrawling its signature across the midnight sky.

Originally published at jlake.com.

Tags: calendula, california, conventions, food, personal, travel

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