Good morning! Today I’ll be sharing Part 1 of 3 posts related to my trip to California a couple of weeks ago for my cousin Kristen‘s wedding. My mom and I were the only South Carolina family members able to make it out there, but we aren’t complaining because we had the best girl time ever.
We left Columbia at 4:30 the Thursday morning before the wedding and headed up to Charlotte for our flight. We rushed to get there and then had plenty of time to wait. As a result of our rushing, our nails looked janky as hell so we had to do some critical airport nail painting. I’d like to say how proud I am of my mother – she wears the coolest nail colors without my input. She’s the best.
We finally arrived in San Francisco and hopped in our rental car for the trek over the Golden Gate. We all take obligatory Ravanel Bridge pictures in Charleston, so I felt right at home. We drove through the winding hills of Marin County and even though I was carsick and we almost had to pull over a few times for me to throw up, the views were worth it.
We rolled the windows down when we drove through this little forest and I wish we could have bottled the smell – so good!
We FINALLY arrived at our destination – Hog’s Island Oyster Farm in Marshall – after what seemed like a 7 hour drive. It was more like 1 1/2 hours, but my mom and I were maxed out on travel for the day. This picture doesn’t do the Tomales Bay justice, so you need to go ASAP. Aside from delicious oysters, the Tomales also provides a breeding ground for great white sharks, so there’s that.My mom, me, and my Aunt Susan (the mother of the bride). My mom and my Aunt Susan are sisters and watching them with each other is among the funniest things you can witness. They laugh so much they’ve been known to pee themselves (*allegedly*).
My cousins Kristen and Stacey (the bride and the matron of honor). This was taken right before Stacey tried her first oyster (!!). I’m saving her the embarrassment of posting her “after” face. You’re welcome, Stacey.
We’re first cousins but we’re really more like sisters sometimes, so we always have the best time when we’re together. I JUST LOVE THEM. The groom is that charming fellow in the background with the beard, just FYI.
After overindulging in white wine, we hopped in the car (driven by my completely sober mother) and headed to Healdsburg, where we would be staying. We all piled in to a refurbished farmhouse on the property where Kristen was getting married. Isn’t our room adorable?
Friday morning we woke up to this view. I mean, come on. I have no words.
My mom threw Kristen’s bridal luncheon that morning, so we were in a hustle to get the house ready for the 30 guests. My name is on the invitation because that was my job and my mom forced me to put my name on it, but she was really the brains of the operation. I ordered from Minted, and the vineyard on the invitation pretty closely matches the one where we were staying, right?? I was super impressed with myself.
The view from the porch where we were holding the luncheon.
Everyone staying at the house pitched in for cleaning and set-up, and there is absolutely no way my mom and I could have pulled it off without them. Can you believe that view?!
My mom bought the paper for the place cards for circa $1.50 and had them printed and cut for $3.00. She’s a bargain finding genius.
The meal was catered except for the apps. My mom packed Palmetto Cheese on ice in her suitcase and it made it safely from the East Coast to the West Coast. The woman is serious about her pimento cheese. She candied some bacon and threw it all on a toasty piece of bread (from the Fresh Market) to recreate one of the yummy appetizers we had on my wedding day.
Stacey and her precious girls.
1 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon (the cheap stuff will suffice)
1 large can of pineapple juice
2 cups of orange juice
1/2 bottle of grenadine
1/2 large bottle of peach schnapps
1 cup of club soda
*mix it all together and pour over crushed ice, adding slices of frozen peaches at the end*Chloe’s Cafe in Santa Rosa catered the food, and it was amazing. We had some sort of butternut squash-esque soup with toasted pepitas. Mmm.
Followed by a yummy fall salad that I don’t have a good picture of. More importantly, dessert was some sort of pear/rasberry/almond tart. So good.
This is me weeping during Kristen’s speech to each of us about the significance of our bridesmaid’s gift. I pretty much looked like this, but with more sobbing, during the ceremony. Kristen got each of us a gold bar necklace with the coordinates of the place we met on them – my coordinates were the house we lived in when I was born in Andrews. Such a great gift! I broke the chain on mine in the middle of a fit when a moth flew aggressively at me in the car, but that’s a story for another day..
That’s all for now. Come back tomorrow for more wedding festivities!