Our oldest son Jeff married the love of his life, Sarah, on November 9. Although our families live less than two miles apart it took a whilefor them to get together. Carla and Sarah’s mother, Nancy, attended a wedding shower for Cynthia, a high school friend of Andrew. Cynthia’s mom, Clara, knew that neither Jeff nor Sarah were in a relationship but wanted to find someone. Nancy and Carla put on their mission pants and set about to get the two together. After a few weeks of suggestions they convinced the two to just go have coffee. What could 15 minutes hurt? Well, Jeff didn’t come home for three hours; when he did come home he said “Sarah won the date” meaning she won his heart. They got engaged last Christmas; Jeff proposed at the spot of their first date. We love Sarah to pieces.
They picked California wine country for the venue. Carla grew up in Northern California so we decided to make a little road trip out of it and visit some of her friends. Here is a map of our travels. We spent our first night in Redding California, in the transition area from the Siskiyou mountains to the San Joaquin Valley. Our second night was with Kate and Don, Carla’s friends from high school, in Half Moon Bay just south of The City (aka San Francisco). Then we’d head up to Santa Rosa for the wedding
As an extra bonus, Andrew, Henriët and Jurgen flew out from Chicago. In fact, Andrew was the officiant. We figured they’d have a lot of baby stuff with them so we rented a roof box for the car. Our stuff would go in the box freeing the back of the Subaru Outback for the kids.
I’d been eyeing rooftop cargo boxes since I bought the car a couple of years ago. Carla, being the sensible one in the relationship, pointed out we have no where to store one and have little need for one. I found one for rent on Craig’s List not far from home. It looked great and fit perfectly. All was good until we hit 60 MPH. It sounded like a humongous hive of killer bees was on top of the car; it was so loud we could hardly talk. On the way down we stopped at every rest stop to adjust things. We took things out; we put things in; we loosened clamp; we tightened clamps. Ugh!
We spent the first night in Redding, California – about five or six hours south of Portland. In the morning we headed over to the Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay for a little walk and site seeing.
This bridge over the Sacramento River is a giant sundial and has a glass deck. I asked a few people if they had adjusted it for Standard Time since we just switched from Daylight Savings Time a few days before; I just got a bunch of dumb looks. Regardless, I set my watch based on the shadows.
We stopped for lunch at an In ‘n Out in Vacaville, CA an hour our two outside of the Bay Area. While there I searched the interweb for a roof rack store we could stop at. We found one on the Peninsula in San Carlos – where I lived after I was born all those years ago. It meant a detour and a delay in getting to Kate and Don’s in Half Moon Bay but we thought it necessary. When we got there, the owner said “yeah Outbacks do that”. Apparently the crossbars flex, causing the noise. The solution was a set of $200 crossbars; not worth it. We’d live with the noise.
Finally drove across the coast range from San Mateo into Half Moon Bay and found Kate and Don’s house. Brian and Marie – a couple more of “T Group” members in high school were there as well. We had a beautiful chicken dinner; drank plenty of wine and had a fantastic time.
Friday morning we woke up and headed down to Half Moon Bay proper to walk along the beach.
We walked out along the beach a ways and came across Mavericks. This is a surfing spot that can get some huge waves. This is the the geographical site that the Mac OS X version 10.9 was named after. The waves weren’t big that day so no surfers were out.
The picture above doesn’t show it, but Mavericks can be a very dangerous spot for surfing. We saw a few memorials to surfers who have died there.
Unfortunately for Andrew, Henriët, and Jurgen the flight from Chicago was delayed for over three hours while they installed a replacement for a balky part. But there delay was our benefit. We had worked up an appetite and had extra time so we headed over to Sam Chowder House for lunch.
It was a beautiful day (in November!) so we sat outside and enjoyed the view.
After lunch we walked by a spot where fisherman clean their catch of the day. They throw the excess “parts” to the waiting fish. I lucked out wit a great shot of a pelican downing a tidbit.
Crab season was just around the corner. We saw blocks and blocks of crab pots.
We headed back up to Kate and Don’s place for a bit then headed down to SFO to pick up the kids. After reading some internet message boards, I tackled the cargo box problem one more time. I sprayed WD-40 in the joints where the crossbars swing across and tightened the box to the crossbars as tightly as I could manage.
We wanted to go across the Golden Gate Bridge but our GPS took us over the Bay Bridge, east, then north. By the time we figured out we were headed the wrong way it was too late. But we did get to see the new section of the Bay Bridge which replaces the old section damaged in the 1989 earthquake. We did get across the Golden Gate on the trip back to the airport.
Because of the flight delay we got to Vintner’s Inn in Santa Rosa pretty late. We said “hi” to Jeff and Sarah then crashed for the night. Saturday morning we saw what a beautiful venue we were staying in.
We had a wedding rehearsal and then went into town for a wonderful brunch hosted by Nancy and Steve. Carla’s sisters and lifelong friend Nancy filled out the Thompson contingent. Saturday night we went to a lovely little sushi bar in Santa Rosa. Dang it! I forgot my camera and we forgot to take pictures with our iPhones. Drat!
After breakfast Sunday we lounged around until the big event. Carla and I went out for a walk around the grounds. The Inn is surrounded by a working winery; there are a few paths along some of the vineyards.
On our way back to the Inn we saw a couple of hot air balloons rising.
We loved us up some Jurgen and not just a little bit!
The boys hung around our room watching football while the girls got their hair and make up done.
The wedding was a smashing success! Andrew did a wonderful job leading the ceremony; Sarah and Jeff each gave beautiful vows. I teared up a good bit. We could not be happier for Jeff.
The reception was a smashing success also. Steve gave a wonderful toast/speech as did the bride and groom. Jeff hates having his picture taken so I refrained for the most part letting him use his picture subject energy go to the official photographer. But I snapped a couple surreptitiously.
Monday morning we had breakfast with Jeff, Sarah, Andrew, Henriët, and Jurgen then loaded up to take the kids back to SFO for their flight home. We made sure to go across the Golden Gate but it was so foggy we could barely see the bridge. We hugged and kissed them goodbye then headed north towards home. Lo and behold the cargo box was pretty quiet.
We got to Ashland, Oregon about 7:30 PM and discovered where winter went. We had 70˚ – 80˚ in California but it was frosty up in the Siskiyou mountains. We didn’t do any site seeing on the way home – we needed to get some shopping done and I had work the next day.
What a wonderful time. We love our extended families. We could not ask for two better daughters-in-law. They are both perfect.