I wasn’t able to blog as much as I’d wanted during the Dallas-San Jose-Santa Cruz-San Francisco maelstrom, but as promised, I kept a diary and now that I’m in front of my laptop (watching Supernatural Season 7, which just showed up on Netflix) I finally have time to take all of the fragmented notes from my phone and get them all typed up.
The day started rough. Atom called me at 7am (flight was scheduled for 11:45) to tell me that my flight had been delayed. Everything was scheduled so we (Kathleen, Atom and I) would end up in San Jose at the same time for the drive to Santa Cruz.
Turns out that dealing with American Airlines during their ‘troubles’ can be difficult. Kathleen got me on another flight, but by the time I got to the airport (hours before scheduled) my flight had been oversold and American punted me to USAir. Luckily their rep was more empathetic than American’s- and I found myself flying to Texas in first class. I’m not really used to upgrades, so it was nice to have that little extra bit of awesome on what already promised to be an amazing trip.
All told, I ended up in Dallas two hours earlier than I had expected, and that was added to my already three hour layover. Five hours in Texas. Luckily I had made arrangements with my friends Allen and Kristin to meet me at the airport, and Kristin was able to clear her schedule and come to the airport early to save me from boredom.
I had never met Kristin in person before, but I’ve known her the better part of a decade via the old IAM site and over the last few months we’ve become penpals, but this was our first real time interaction. She was lovely. Teeny tiny and as sweet as she was colorful. And she had a giant camouflage cast on her leg from a recent surgery that just added to her overall cartoony appearance.
We were able to really stretch out and leave the airport due to how long the layover had become, so she drove me to a cute little restaurant and we got to know each other while waiting for Allen to arrive.
It was great catching up with him. We didn’t really get a chance to spend time together in Vegas this year, and since I skipped ROP campout and Suscon this little airport visit may be what we have for the year. I hadn’t realized that it’s been five years already since he opened Fade Fast. Time flies anymore.
Eventually Kathleen and Atom landed, and we changed restaurants to be closer to the airport and despite the extra hours, everything went quicker than I wanted. I’m going to have to try to make it back to Texas soon to actually have time to get to know Kristin and have more than a chat with Falkner.
The flight to San Jose was delayed. Funny that. Luckily for us at least, since we were running a little late getting back to the airport and American Airline’s incompetence actually saved our asses. Once we got to San Jose- everything went smoothly.
We woke up early and headed to a cute little restaurant called the Windmill which was housed in…. an old windmill. It was nice seeing a little bit of SC during the drive and the breakfast (two eggs and bacon) was great.
Prep for the wedding started after a detour to the Pier to see the sea lions. That was one of the highlights of the trip- being feet away from obnoxious barking sea lions and watching them be cute and silly for the tourists.
Wedding Prep included attempting to find someone in the hotel that could tie a bow tie. Despite watching over a dozen youtube tutorials I just wasn’t getting it. Luckily the front desk clerk at the Hilton was enthusiastic and went and asked everyone in the back of the house if they knew how to tie one. I think the guy they dispatched to room 212 (which was home away from home) worked in some admin position- but he was a sport about it, queueing up a tutorial on my iPad and trying to tie it until he got it right.
Sure it had me dressed an hour earlier than I expected, but it was worth it for how sharp the tie (that Carmela had hand cut for me) looked with the suit Will Speed picked out for me.
The wedding itself was beautiful. I’m a huge supporter of weddings; it’s a ritual that takes it’s fair share of lumps these days from a generation afraid of commitment and tradition, but when it works- like with Stephen and Heather- it works. The ceremony itself was perfect- the view behind the wedding party was of the Pier (where my beloved sea lions were no doubt happily barking) and it added the perfect tranquility to the exchanging of the vows.
The reception was fun, too. I was able to briefly catch up with folks I see way too little- Tyler, Sabee, Barry, Oliver, Todd, Smashly,Tod…. so many people. And I was finally introduced to Stephen’s brother John, so may be the funniest person I’ve ever met. My big regret for the weekend was not getting to see him run into the ice cold Pacific Ocean to chase a dolphin during the Saturday BBQ… which leads us to…
Up bright and early and ready to go to the post wedding BBQ on the beach. None of us really prepared for the beach; we had to buy flip-flops and in my case roll my britches up so I could go and dip my feet in the Pacific. Which as I’ve mentioned before was ‘ball achingly cold’. We had a great time there but had to duck out early to drive down to San Francisco for a little shopping/dinner action. I mentioned it in the last post, but for dinner, Kathleen took us to Fleur de Lys which was mindblowing. From the starters to the amuse bouche to the entree (in my case Kobe Beef cheeks in smoked veal jous with sweetbread fricassee with truffle and spinach) and finally desert (amaretto soufflé) everything was perfect. Chef Hubert Keller won the Michelin star in 2011… you can taste it in every bite.
Delayed flights. American Airlines sucks. I’ve got nothing really, save for how terrible an airline AA is. . So mad I couldn’t even get mad. I’d email guest relations to complain, but I’d worry they’d comp me a ticket, and I can’t think of a worse punishment than having to fly that airline again.
When I finally made it back to Philly, my friend/Dog Cartaker Diana met me at the airport with Bailey in tow. I loved seeing his wagging tail and even his stinky breath. When I got home I asked her to text me and tell me to get to sleep if she saw me goofing around on Facebook- I was so damned tired but I knew I’d end up laying in bed pensive. Which pretty much happened. I eventually got a few hours of sleep, but I think it’ll take a few days for everything to balance out.
I hate to keep reiterating, but I’m really glad that this is my life, good with the bad.
Photo: Kristin and I- Dallas Texas 09.20.12.