My five days in San Diego were good for the soul. Not only was I there to celebrate the birthday and marriage of one of my best friends, but I also spent time with my family, saw a lot of relatives (albeit only for 30 minutes at an anniversary party), had sushi (faux-sushi for me) with a girlfriend, ate an In-N-Out grilled cheese, met a lot of wonderful new people, and sat next to my dream seat neighbor on my flight home -- the happiest, most well-behaved 18-month-old ever. (It was such a fun three hours for Baby Elizabeth and me, and Grandma Lynae enjoyed the company and "babysitting" provided by Miss Lindsay! Win-win!)
I'm a lucky gal to have the family that I do! Going home to the house I grew up in and having dinner with my family is always fun. We laugh about childhood stories which never seem to get old, and a get-together always involves a lot of picture-taking.
THE ESSENCE OF PEOPLE.
I've written about the essence of people before, and being a part of Annie's wedding solidified in my heart that a girl's friends are a reflection of who she is and wants to be. In the case of Annie and Kristian, they are beautiful people who will always be in the company of the talented, the giving, and the fun! I felt so honored to be at their wedding.
The night of the wedding rehearsal bonded four of us for life, because we lived a scene straight out of a comedy. Annie (the bride), Sara, Linda, and I were driving to our hotel suite after the party. A short drive from downtown to Coronado island where the wedding would be the next day. Annie and I were the last to walk out of the venue. She profusely thanked the catering staff, and we merrily strolled out to the parking lot, arms full of decorations and purses. Lisa and Sara were already at the rental car loading boxes of wedding decor and our
High off of the buzz of the rehearsal dinner party and the anticipation of Annie's wedding in less than 20 hours, we piled into the blue Chevy Cruze and began out ten-minute drive. Little did we know it would take an hour! None of us knew exactly how to get back to the hotel, and before we knew it, we were all talking simultaneously in the car. Linda was asking questions, Sara was giving directions based off of memory, my GPS was speaking directions that sent us around the block, and Annie was on the phone with her mom and holding boxes of food on her lap. (This is where I must tell you that all four of us are outspoken women. It was not quiet in the car!) Poor Linda was trying to make sense of everything she was hearing, and suddenly Sara said,
"There's the on-ramp! It's back there. Make a U-turn!" Linda made a U-turn, and then, in mere seconds slowly running through molasses, we heard objects jostle around. We heard plastic crack. And then we heard Annie.
"Oh, shit! It's everywhere. It's everywhere. It's everywhere! Oh, my God, it's everywhere!" I didn't know the extent of the damage, but I knew it was bad.
"Linda, pull over! Pull over now!" I yelled. I hopped out of that car like I was on fire. Annie had already pulled her door handle, and as I opened the door, chopped chicken poured out like Old Faithful! It was like lava searching for another valley to fill. I jumped back as Annie's shovel-like hands started sweeping tiny pieces of chicken off the car floor, off the dashboard, and off of the car door. I immediately grabbed the now-open boxes of chicken and placed them on the curb behind me and rushed to think of how to fix everything. Meanwhile, Linda fell quiet once she saw the mess. I later found out, she was silently praying, Please God. Please don't let the car be ruined. I don't have the money to cover a rental company's detailing fee! Sara and I looked for something to wipe up with, but as any rental would be, it was empty. In my haste to give grease-drenched Annie space to step out of the car, I stepped back... into an open box of chopped chicken. Of everyone in that car, the vegetarian stepped into a box of meat! Ahhh! We were equal parts flabbergasted and ill with laughter.
Sara noticed that we were across the street from a fire station, and then we all noticed that the garage door was open, and there were firemen on break sitting on lawn chairs facing the street. They had seen everything unfold since the doomed U-turn! They had been watching us in our dresses and heels running around a car with its emergency lights on as we filled an empty street with laughter sprinkled with an assortment of profane words. We were sure we looked like four drunk girls on our way to a club on a Saturday night, but all we were focused on was cleaning Annie, the car, and rescuing a few key wedding items (ahem... the guestbook!). Without warning, Sara marched her hot little body right over to those firemen and asked for paper towels. I was so proud of her. She worked it, and she got what she wanted. In this time, Annie also stepped backward and into the same box of chopped chicken and almost slipped to the ground. We were dying of laughter by this point! Our giggling took a brief intermission when a cop pulled up to check on us.
After the car birthed enough meat to be baby animal and after we made a late-night trip to the Vons cleaning supplies aisle, we settled in at our hotel room and began spot-cleaning Annie's brand-new dress and jacket that we were hoping weren't ruined. All I could say was,
"Ace, this is a special night! How many brides can say she went swimming in chopped chicken and grease the night before her wedding?" Although frazzled and a bit frustrated, we were able to laugh about it. I only wish someone had caught the entire episode on film! I'm pleased to say that we did a damn fine job of cleaning that car, and Linda was not charged a detailing fee. 'Tis the tale of four women from three states who bonded over chopped chicken and grease!
What an amazing trip. I miss it already, but another trip to San Diego will come soon enough. I urge you to check out my new friend Jayme's post about Annie & Kristian's wedding over at Wedding Voices!