We're back. We had a good time, but I'm exhausted, largely from having woken up at 5:30 this morning and then driven 250 miles. But being tired is good, because it means I'll get to bed early, which will make getting up for my 7:30 a.m. stress-echo a lot easier.
We had a very pleasant evening with my friend Ellen, her grown nephew Nate, and her son Paul, who's three and adorable: extremely bright, verbal, and energetic. It was great to see them, and Ellen fixed us a lovely dinner. I've always admired her efficiency, but watching her parent a three year old -- and she's trying to adopt another child from the Ukraine -- ratcheted the admiration up to awe, especially since she's doing all this as a single mom. (She's also one of the founding partners of her law firm.) She has a nanny, and she has a lot of help from family . . . but still!
I could never handle the stress of raising a kid. I just don't have the patience or physical stamina for it, and I don't think I would have when I was younger, either. Visiting friends with young children always a) deepens my enormous respect for parents (including my own!) and b) reinforces my gut sense that I made a very wise decision in not having kids myself.
We stayed Friday night at Ellen's and then drove down to the Sofitel Hotel in Redwood City, where we stayed on Saturday. Rina had put together beautiful gift bags for wedding guests at the hotel: several books, chocolate, different kinds of tea, and some bath items. Gary and I were touched and impressed. I wasn't nearly that thoughtful or organized when we got married!
The wedding was great: a short, simple ceremony led by Richard Lupoff, who -- among more traditional vows -- had Rina and Jacob recite the Green Lantern Oath:
"In brightest day, in blackest night,Thanks to Gary for tracking this down for me. Have you ever heard these lines at a wedding? I hadn't, either, but they certainly added a distinctive touch!
no evil shall escape my sight!
Let those who worship evil's might,
beware my power . . . Green Lantern's light!"
-Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern
[1943, credited to Alfred Bester]
The wedding and reception were held in the San Mateo County History Museum, which is in an old courthouse. The ceremony was on the stairway; the dinner tables were set up in the second-floor courtroom. Rina and Jacob sat at the judge's table, with the wedding party at the attorneys' tables and the rest of us at round tables set up for the occasion. The food was really good (pan Asian, not the standard rubber chicken), and the cake was fabulous: iced with stars, and decorated on top with a toy spaceship and a round plastic planet. We didn't bring a camera, but lots of people were taking pictures, so I hope I'll be able to post one at some point.
We had good conversations with a variety of folks, including Bernie Goodman, to whom I'm forever grateful for telling Jacob to read "Gestella" (which is how the idea of a story collection got started). It was a lovely event and a thoroughly good time.
Today we got up entirely too early -- Gary slept later than I did, since he didn't have a coffee deadline -- and drove for a very long time. We stopped in Berkeley for brunch and in Sacramento for gas, but it was still a long drive. And tomorrow promises to be a long day too.
The cats are delighted to see us again, and it's mutual.
I hope everyone reading this had a good weekend!