We started the weekend at our friend Marie's place. She was kind enough to host us for one night before and one night after the wedding festivities. AND she picked us up from the airport, how cool is that? We dropped our stuff off at her cute little bungalow in Hillcrest and headed out for a stroll around Balboa Park. Especially after being crunched up in cattle class for the morning's flights, it was great to get out and enjoy the fresh air.
That evening we completely destroyed our detox diet by making a sumptuous French meal as a thank-you for our gracious hostess. By the time we got around to sampling the apple torte, I was nearly passed out with jetlag (not to mention the first glass of wine in almost a month!), but Marie did say that the cougeres were as good as those her French mother used to make, which is high praise, indeed.
Getting up the next morning was a bit of a Benny Hill routine. Marie decided to let us sleep in, figuring we'd still have plenty of time to make the harbor cruise at 12:30. So when we finally rolled out of bed at 11:45 and realized there was nobody around to give us a ride, I hurriedly called us a cab and we tossed our stuff into our bags and dashed out of the house, hoping not to miss the boat, literally. Fortunately everything in San Diego seems to be pretty close to everything else (unlike, say, LA). We made it to the dock in time to greet Eric & Dey and the dozens of family members milling about, and collect our tickets for admission. However, somewhere in the process I managed to lose Mark (I joke about not wanting to let him off his leash, but see what happens when I do?) and guess what? Say it with me: He Missed The Boat. Fortunately the cruise does two 1-hour loops through the north and south parts of the Bay, so we picked him up on the backswing.
Never a dull moment.
After the cruise we hitched a ride to the Marriott Coronado to check into our room for the next two days. Nice place! Situated right on along the water, with a beautiful pool and many scenic views. And it is pretty convenient to have the wedding and reception within stumbling distance. :)
We had just enough time to clean up for the rehearsal, presided over by His Excellency, the Right Reverend Tony Braccali, Church of the Almighty Internet. Tony is a friend of Eric's from high school, and has always had a flair for theatrics, so he was the perfect choice to keep everything moving along wittily. Laura suggested he reprise his "Godspell" role and begin the ceremony by belting out "Pree-ee-ee-pare ye, the way of Eric and Dey!" Wisely, he opted out. (Twenty bonus points for anyone who can dredge up an old pic from those days!!) The wedding was held on the lawn at the Marriott, right next to a very popular bike path. I'm not sure what the over-under was on a wheeled passerby yelling out something inappropriate or wiping out in the middle of the ceremony, but there was quite a bit of speculation during the rehearsal.
Sufficiently rehearsed, we headed to a nearby restaurant for the usual speeches and gifting and storytelling. And tequila shots. Alas, despite much heckling from Justice and the aid of a shot of Patrón, Chris would *not* give a speech about The Booger Wall. But we managed to have some fun anyway. Followed by a few beverages at the Marriott bar, and most of the group retired early. Probably for the best.
Saturday was the quintessentially perfect San Diego day: sunny, breezy, no humidity, not a cloud in the sky. It actually got a bit chilly down by the water. OK, it was downright cold, but that's what pashminas are for! The ceremony went smoothly, despite the crowd that formed on the bike path. (Which included, bizarrely, an entire flock of Segueway scooters.) Jonah performed his faux-ringbearer duties with great aplomb. The groomsmen actually put down their beer bottles for a few minutes. The bridesmaids managed to keep the bawling to a minimum, with only a mere shred of eyeliner displacement. And of course Laura and I, professional wedding readers at this point, pulled off a magnificent set of dramatic readings, despite the huge helicopter that decided to hover nearby.
And then the mariachi band led everyone down the path to the reception tent and we partied our asses off till the wee hours. More shots. Much dancing. Maybe even a little Bon Jovi. And an entire high-kicking chorus line. Shortly after, they kicked us out of Marriott and we headed a few blocks away to The Island Bar, Coronado's finest dive. Dey made it onstage with the band to shake her maracas (seriously! check out the pics) and Ronnie managed to take over the stage at one point as well. That's right, we rock.
After a redonkulous brunch the next morning, during which everyone was using their inside voices even though we were seated outside, Mark and I soaked up a few more rays by the pool before heading back to Marie's place. That evening, we managed to have some homemade mezze at her house, a final family meal at Casa de Reyes in Old Town, and the rest of the Middle Eastern dinner back at Marie's. By Third Dinner, I was feeling pretty hobbit-rific indeed. And almost ready to go back on that juice diet!
Overindulgence notwithstanding (hell, it's a family event, it's required), it was a truly fabulous weekend. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I have the coolest family ever. We are all thrilled to officially welcome Dey into the Zamborsky -- excuse me, ZamBROWsky -- clan. I'm pleased to report that another brother has married up. As with Dave's wedding, and all family celebrations since late 2006, there were a number of bittersweet moments as we all wished my mom could be there in person. But as Dave said in his Best Man toast, I'm sure she had on her dancing shoes and was celebrating up a storm. With Laura heading off to Alaska in July, and us hopefully sailing off into the sunset in September, it'll probably be a while before we're all together again, and it was great to have such a happy occasion to do so.