Carmel Valley Day Two

I wrote this entry halfway through day three. It was supposed to include another of Anna’s photos but Bluehost is not letting me in to my email and I’ve got too many other things to do to wait on tech idiocy.

Arose yesterday about 8 a.m., which would have been 11 a.m., and went to breakfast around 9. Anna had arrived at 8, said only one other person had been in. Ashley and Skylar came in briefly and then collected Julian to get shaved. They remained vague about the exact nature of the male bonding ritual except that it involved straight razors.

Anna and Kathryn and I walked down the “miracle mile” – don’t think it’s a mile but maybe we did walk that far with the detour through the community garden and the Cowgirl winery garden, which included loose chickens, beautiful roses, some grapevines, and small cypress trees. A definite ranch feeling to the whole thing including the cowboy boots on display. A real-world, serious note when the sheriff arrived to quiz the woman behind the counter on the whereabouts of another woman concerning a burglary. No more information available.

We walked back via a small market and various shops but couldn’t find the thrift shop, which would probably have contained a gold mine of excellent stuff since the residents who aren’t farmers are almost as upscale as the Clint’s Carmel.

We trotted back up the hill and hung around until time to get dressed for the wedding. Larry and Anna and I drove up the hill to the Holman Ranch and then made the last short leg of the journey in a golf cart. We arrived at the glorious old hacienda with a small patch of green lawn, fire pits, and a barn that included the sign directing people to the “loo.”

We were greeted with beverage options: somewhat sweet peach champagne, or lemonade or iced tea served in Mason jars. We wandered through the grounds for a bit and then went inside where the walls are covered with pictures of Clark Gable and other luminaries gone by.

Back outside, the cart pulled up with Kathryn’s mother and sister Liz. They were walking toward us when Mrs. Golden stopped right in front of Larry and said, “Pardon me. I have to find a ladies room and adjust these panty hose.” She hitched up her dress as she spoke. I wish I had taken a picture of Larry’s expression, but I was too concerned that he was collapsing of shock. I guess Liz was used to it. She just walked away.

Perfect. Anna's photo.
Perfect. Anna’s photo.

We recovered in time to enjoy the glorious wedding ceremony. We walked up to the seats, and were greeted by a sign reading, “Pick a seat not a side,” which I loved. Julian and Tristen and the officiant stood on a platform framed by mountains. It started with Julian escorting Kathryn in to the Chambers Brothers’ “Time.” They had no attendants, and Tristen’s father escorted the gorgeous bride as she giggled and said “Hi” and told everyone how great they looked. The party favors were foldout fans and small bottles of soap bubbles, both inscribed with their names.

The minister, (?) Skylar said she was from Unitarian Universalist Church, did a wonderful job. She talked about how the joining of their lives would be forever – that they would support each other. She spoke of faith but not of God. They had each written what they loved about each other, which she read. Then they exchanged vows as two hawks wheeled overhead. The ceremony ended with a quote from that “great philosopher Dr. Seuss.”

Then it was time for excellent Pinot Noir, produced by the Holman Ranch, and passed hors d’oeuvres. I skipped the duck muffin, which Anna and Larry said could not be identified as duck, but went for the vegan spring rolls – with carrot, avocado, oshinko, ginger and (spinach? lettuce?). Had several of those and two shrimp (“prawns”) on blue corn with a dollop of sesame (?) sauce. Skipped the cheese and crackers.

Kathryn’s Uncle John, fourteen years younger than her mother and a Vietnam veteran, regaled us with stories of his days in the Peace Corps in India. He said he became a vegetarian because he and his cook went to a market. John asked the vendor where the meat was. The guy took a huge piece of something and flicked against the wall. All these flies took off, and there was the meat beneath it.

Everyone got to pose for a photo with the bride and groom. The photographer snapped thousands of shots. I wonder at the poor person who has to select and Photoshop what will go to Julian and Tristen.

Then it was on to dinner. Salads with a bit of goat cheese, blackberries, almonds, and greens. Freshness just makes such a difference. The main course had been grilled outside. Kathryn said afterward that we were supposed to watch the cooking process, but there was too much other stuff going on. The protein was a choice of salmon or tri-tips. The salmon was accompanied by the best  chimichurri sauce. Sides were potatoes, couscous, and fabulous veggies including also the best grilled red and green peppers and asparagus. The hit was barbecued sweet potatoes. Oh, my. That will most definitely be on the menu this summer.

It had begun to turn chilly so everyone huddled around these outdoor heaters and eventually made their way to the barn where we danced and danced and danced. I think we left at around 11 before the cake.

Woke up at 6 a.m. hungry as hell.


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