This adventure began on a Tuesday at the Old Walker Field Airport on a gorgeous Grand Valley afternoon. Not a cloud in sight and minimal wind, perfect recipe for taking flight.
|Flying Over Las Vegas - The GTREEN Building is the MGM|
My seat on the first leg was next to a delightful gal from all places CRESTED BUTTE. We chatted the whole 40+ minutes about everything and everyone. One of my best flights from GJ to Salt Lake City. The rest of the trip was completely uneventful. SCORE
My first order of business was hitting the Administration Building in downtown San Diego. I mailed in my $$$ and paperwork but never heard a peep back. Tim and I personally walked in and got the inevitable run around. Go To That Room, Wait In This Line, Go Over There, etc. We were then told that in order for me to become deputized we would have to wait 30 days??? Thats when I took charge. I was extremely polite and pulled the COLORADO card and explained just how happy I would be to escort those papers downstairs for all the appropriate signatures. The Clerk Says," WE WILL CALL YOU WHEN THE CERTIFICATE IS READY." Sure, Government Agency Call Me?? Sure
We left downtown and made a "quick" stop at Costco and talk about visually stimulated. That place in unreal and I had no idea about the amount of Organic items they stock. All the alcohol was relatively cheaper. Beer wise! Spirits were about the same price as in Colorado. We then drove over to the store to pick up a few miscellaneous items and realized the Spirits were almost $15 more expensive than back home. Couldn't believe the sale price on the VooDoo Ranger though. Dig That
Tim asked me to have a look at his vows that afternoon. No Problem. He had a very elementary "paragraph" and I was concerned as I am no creative speech writer. So I asked him about Amanda and jotted down some key words. Wrote out a rough sketch/outline and then asked Tim HOW HE REALLY FEELS. "Close your eyes and what do you see when I say Amanda?" I then wrote his vows and he was so stoked! He took it as his own and jumped into character immediately. You could literally see the weight lifted of his shoulders. A Moment That We Will Never Forget. The pieces were easily falling into place. Zen Baby Zen
|Our Backyard Work Station - Making It Happen |
Onto BBQ'n the night away with friends and family members of the Bride And Groom. Some of the faces I remembered from previous visits and many of the attendees where from Kentucky, Sac-A-Tomatoes, and various parts of SD. So under my goals, REMEMBER NAMES, thats were I was coming from. I fixed on the association game of recalling their name 3x and associating them to their specific seat around the fire. Worked Pretty Well
Off to northern San Diego the next morning. San Diego is so gorgeous and in Full On Springtime Mode. Hillsides painted in emerald shades of green, the lush cacti was blooming, and all the erect flowers appeared so damn healthy as they wait for pollinators. Devine I Tell Ya
Arrived in the afternoon and the sun feels much hotter inland than along the coast. Duh. I was a wheeeee bit dehydrated and started pounding H2o while mixing up my detox potion. I picked a few fresh lemons and oranges of T & A's trees, fresh organic garlic, and fresh organic ginger. I grated and mixed it all together and took mom on a walk while that concoction married. We walked and she explains in great detail the workings of her neighborhood, who's who, what yards received the Yard of the Month Award, pointed out the TWO murder homes, and dropped names of original home owners that I nodded to and responded with," Oh Yeah, Those Folks." Not in a dick headed demeanor but I don't recall that stuff. So & So from 1979 hosted such & such party. But this was one of my other goals, BE PRESENT. Engage & Play Nice
|My Nieces Some 6 Years Ago - Such Kids |
Pretty wild to be back at my mothers place as it a museum of artifacts and what nots. First thing through the door she says," Welcome Home!" I didn't make any fuss but that is not my home, never felt like home, and that place carries so much turmoil from my youth. And whats with all the bells and alarm chimes?? Any door that opens has its own chime. The lamp post out front makes a doorbell sound as you walk by. And all the Phuc-N Clocks ticking and tocking! It Was So Age Appropriate
But then, There Is This Guy. All Is Right In The World. Except for him as he was REALLY trying his best to grab a little shut eye. My butt rubs were clearly wrecking his daily nap time. But he is such a cuddlier in the mornings. He jumped in bed with me and wormed around until it was Go Time. We choose to believe he likes people But In Reality, he believe every human has a treat just for him. Right
P & P & I sat out back and enjoyed a few beverages and reminisced and chatted about upcoming travel plans. Quite relaxing really. Purposely No Mention Of Politics, Religion, And Partners. Another goal was BEST FOOT FORWARD. You know, taking the high road. KISS - Keeping It Simple Stupid
This was wild!! The amount of growth over the past 30+ years was mind boggling to say the least. The above photo is where my friends and I would ride our BMX bikes to the "Trail Head" of Black Mountain. You can clearly see the road that has been cut into the hillside. Later, I heard that there is a whole new MTB Trail System on the north side of Ole BLK Mountain. Wish I Had Done My Research
I drove my mom through old neighborhoods and ended up here. This location is now a massive green grassy park above my high school. CRAZY. That pool, I spent four years practicing water polo and swim seasons in. Countless hours!! Then went on to coach Freshman High School Water Polo all through the 90's while finishing up my own collegiate career. All of of those school buildings to the right of the pool were obviously built after my time. That area was the old soccer field as soccer fields and football fields were always separated. Also, the band/drill team practiced there before taking the field during Friday Night Halftime Shows.
Everything from the ballfields on is ALL new to me. Back in the day, there was an old dirt road that meandered all the way to Del Mar State Beach. This was an all day adventure as a kid and I'll bet that my mom would have cringed had she known about this. That road housed numerous migrant working camps and she is totally fear based. I never had any problems and skated kidnappings both ways everyday during the summer months. It just wild to me to see all the business parks and residential areas now. AND What Do They Do For Water
Now, there is the famous HOF ballplayer Ted Williams Parkway that ends in Del Mar from my mom's house. Its ONLY six miles, minutes away, and offers the most spectacular bike path along the parkway. Had I known this, another missed opportunity on my part, would have rented a road bike while I was in town. Flipping Amazing
So Friday rolls around and no word from the Admin Folks. Surprise Surprise. So around 3ish I headed downtown to storm the building and create some waves. Pulled into a metered space that had 45 minutes still, NICE. Walked in and Erica says, "Your From Colorado?!?" NICE. She says she has my certificate. NICE. I only waited for about 15 minutes and she hands over my packet. Nice. The State Of California Authorized Me As Deputy Commissioner of Marriage. NICE
I captured this photo, the Admin Building as well, sent to T & A. They were tickled pink! With my certification in hand, the wedding is now officially happening. Its Party Time
Many of you may already know this, I Am A Real Gene Wilder fan. This gum-ball machine stopped me dead in my tracks. Love This
Friday around 5pm was the rehearsal dinner at The Pearl in Point Loma and the site of the ceremony on Saturday. The place is beautiful and them folks JUST finished a full on renovation. They were even installing the door locks on my room, even after I had checked in. They were apologetic but I told them that my door would be wide open until Sunday Evening. No Worries! The T & A Wedding would be the first after this renovation. EVERYTHING was brand spanking new. And The Pearl just might never see a ceremony such as T & A's again.
The rehearsal was warm buttery smooth, the dinner was prepared onsite and deliciously amazing, and my room was quickly established as the hospitality suite. Surprise Surprise!?! The meal served consisted of perfectly roasted vegetables, mixed green salad WITH edible flowers, and savory based chicken wings. Two brews were served that Amanda hand picked out. A fantastic chewy DOUBLE I.P.A. and a Mexican logger that I shied away from. Again, another evening of laughter, dynamic friends, and sipping on the good stuff. Exceeding All Expectations
Saturday morning ( 02/22/20 ) poured rain. Poured is an understatement. The streets of Point Loma were cascading like rivers of fresh tropical water features. For me, it was bitchin to witness and I danced around like a little kid with my shoes off. I continued to reassure T & A that rain on your wedding day was a true good luck measure. And for those two, totally ideal!! They were so cool about it. About everything really. The photo below is when the first sight of sunshine peaked through from those ominous clouds just hours before. Clearing sky, postcard beautiful, and the ocean air smelled so clean. Phuc- Yes
Tim & I hung in my room while Amanda and her two daughters were treated to a professional hair and make up session. Tim casually rehearsed his vows and we laughed with all the folks popping in my room at different times. Dropping off center pieces, offering any assistance, and just having fun in general. Me, still without shoes, dress shorts, and my favorite light weight white shirt from Cambodia ventured on down to the lobby area for more meet and greets. Still doing my best to remember names. By 4pm, the photographer took T & A and kids off for their photo shoot. I took that time to crank on my 2019 birthday show by The String Cheese Incident
in my room. As I was finding my center, random faces popped in to express some encouraging words or ask questions or whatever. Everyone of them scanned me over and hesitantly made the comment of " You Look ( slight pause ) Nice??.!?" Too Funny
|Photo Credit - J Butterfield|
Just as the magical time of 4:56pm rolled into play, Tim & I made our way down the backstair case. We stood off to the side, out of sight of the guest, and waited out the last minute seating and beverage needs. Tim's soon to be Uncle in Law came by to say some very kind words to Tim. That is when it dawned on me that I had written out this entire ceremony, choreographed our parts, went over important cues with Tim, but had absolutely no introduction. None What So Ever. Sh*T Fire!
I waltzed my way out and open with,"How About That Good Luck Charm Of A Rainy Enriched Morning??" The attendees went nuts and I knew we were in for a urbane ride!! I introduced my self and explained how the Great State of California granted me the title of Deputy Commissioner of Marriage. I told a very quick story about how Tim reached out on August 15th 2019, in my model of the world, expected the best man speech as were in Elementary, Middle, And High School classmates. " WoW, am I ever honored!!" were my exact words. I then asked for a welcoming round of applause for the mother of the Bride. Then the first set of parents of the groom and then the second set. Closed out with, "All of us are privileged to be here today to witness this ceremony. " Everyone Cheered And Clapped
|Photo Credit - J Butterfield|
Ladies and Gentelmen.. We hit all of our marks. I never stumbled once and spoke with grace, integrity, and from the diaphragm. T & A asked me to spare down my speech from the original as they really wanted a short, sweet, and to the point ceremony. And that is what we did. I was so proud of Tim for nailing his vows, never projected any sort of nervousness, and spoke so cool and clam while slipping on Amanda's wedding ring. As I was talking about how deep
their love for each other or something to that matter, I Paused and said to the crowd, "You Know, Like A Tony Gwynn
Long Ball Deep
." That was a huge hit and we all took a second to laugh and honor the late T Gwynn. Complete improv moment. I am telling you, the second best wedding I have ever witnessed and by far the best wedding I have ever had the privilege of being apart of.
|Photo Credit - J Butterfield |
As the parents and attendees walked towards us, you could see how "pleased" "happy" "excited" everyone was. So genuine and so kind. Hugs and photos were on the agenda for about an hour. As for me and my interactions, not one not two BUT three couples asked me if I would officiate their weddings. The other standard reply I had for everyone when asked about how many weddings have a done."Including This One Today, One." Their faces were reading pure amazement. Everyone confessed to me how great T & A appeared and everyone expressed to T & A how great I was. Throughout the night T & A & I giggled about all the positive feedback and how we gave each other all the credit. I also shared with folks about how something is really easy to do when you believe in the cause. Tim And Amanda are beyond in love and truly are best of friends. They compliment each other so well and have always looked out for each others best interest. Its Refreshing
Another huge hit that T & A pulled off was a photo booth. They hired a guy who arrived with a small trailer. The trailer had been gutted out and remodeled into a welcoming photo booth. Tons of costumes!! Each group took 5 separate photos, the pictured were developed, and then the prints were issued right out of the side of the trailer. BRILLIANT!! Take your photos, move on out to grab your photos, and makes room for the next group coming in. I am telling, fantastic addition to an already fantastic day.
Oh, dinner after the wedding you ask???? Holy Smokes!! T & A went all out!! Waiters roamed around with fresh hot samples on small pizza paddles all night long. My favorite by far were the stuffed crab cakes. Delightfully prepared chicken breast on skewers were so handy. Bite size macaroni shells stuffed with creamy mashed potatoes. Everything that passed my way was mouth watering. Everyone raved about all the desserts but I knew they would give me hiccups. Happens anytime I mix sweets and alcohol. My Lose But A Damn Good Day
The next few days were spent seeing old high school friends, previous workmates, and more BBQ'n under a moonless sky. This is the view from where I spent a majority of my high school years in San Diego. Only those two closest rows of homes ( solar panel house was the cut off house to the neighborhood ) down below existed back in the 80's. Everything else is "new" and so many humans. Again, what do they do for water?? And I never saw one person utilize that park way down there were all that green grass is. CRAZY
Drove over to the Torrey Pines State Beach and I really enjoyed that. Parked the automobile and went for a little walk. The ocean breeze was almost too cold for me but the walk was much needed. Reflecting, enjoying, and processing game plans with each step towards the future. That afternoon, T & A & I ate the most boss fish tacos. Fresh Cabbage, Fried Calamari, Mahi Mahi, and Yellowtail with fresh beans, guacamole, and homemade authentic salsa. Another mark on my goal list, BLISS OUT. We laughed together all afternoon long. Affirmative
One of those BBQ evening was beer can chicken and smoked beef ribs. The last of the remaining friends and family in town popped over. Quite a few brought dishes to add to the mix. Super casual and relaxing after a full spectrum of weekend execution. Only a couple of us lasted past the midnight hour. I happily maned the fire pit until it was just that hot coal glow. Oh Yeah
And check out that masterpiece above?!?!? I threw that sucker back in 1989 and Tim still had it in his garage. Missing a little hair, just like all of us as we age, still functional. That Totally Touched Me
The photo above was on my last night. I shot this out the backseat window as Amanda drove us down to the Coronado Brewery. Not bad for an old iPhone6 at 35+mph. We met up with more friends that night, few more well crafted brews, and had a blast catching up. Anyway, this photo is over looking Mission Bay and Festa Island. Back in the day, Tim & I hosted a number of bon fires on Festa Island. Its been alcohol and glass free for almost 30 years now according to Tim. However, back to the evening, every brew I "sampled" at the brewery was excellent. The food was outstanding as we all shared dishes. Actually, the pizza slice I tried was just OK now that I recall it. But Totally Award Winning Beers
Needless to say, my head never found a pillow before 1am. I call that feet maximizing your itinerary. I remember sitting here before my flight and thinking about if I was going to be able to stay awake.
Even more impressive is the fact that I am very lucky person with incredible friends. I traveled to Sunny San Diego, meet new faces, saw old friends, remembered familiar faces, and was part of a gathering that created life long memories. This, even today as I type this, fills my heart with love. Love And Friends... Perfect Combination
|Departing Salt Lake City|
GOALS FOR MARCH:
- Reflect upon those moments in time
- Importunateness of my time
- Define my workout schedule
- Express gratitude
Thanx For Checking In,