the wedding saga
Whew! Now that was a busy month! Nancy got back from Hawaii on January 16, and after just a couple days in California to plan our moving strategy (and to celebrate the end of the “long-distance” period of our relationship :-), we flew back to Iowa. We had less than a week to get packed and ready for the movers.
First, though, we had one very important piece of business to attend to: applying for our marriage license! The day after we got back to Iowa, we grabbed Nancy’s close friend Amy to be our witness (and her children Sydney and Jonah) and headed over to the county seat, and started filling out forms.
For the rest of the week, we sorted, and organized, and packed, and boxed, until our sorters and organizers and packers and boxers were sore! :-) We rented a truck and took a load of antique furniture down to Nancy’s parents’. They were beautiful pieces, but we just didn’t have enough room in our apartment. We made several trips to donate clothes and other items to Goodwill.
Monday afternoon, January 25, we took a break from packing for the wedding :-)
Both Nancy’s parents and mine came up for the wedding. We drove over to the courthouse at the county seat. Everyone was dressed very nicely, except (I must confess) Nancy and I, who were in the clothes we were working in! It was a very simple civil ceremony, but I liked it. I can’t imagine how we could have combined all the work of packing and moving with organizing a big fancy wedding!
Our moms were our witnesses, and Nancy’s dad ran the video camera. It’ll be fun to watch the tape when we’re home for the holidays this year!
The plan for after the ceremony was for the six of us to go out to dinner at a nice restaurant, then Nancy and I would get back to work, since we only had one more day before the movers arrived. Walking out the courthouse door on that chilly but sunny day, I know I was mentally already back at the apartment, figuring out what to pack next.
Imagine my surprise, then, when out from behind a pillar came Don, Tom, and Chan, throwing rice and shouting “Congratulations!!” They had kept their conspiracy a complete secret (well, I think my mom knew :-) What a wonderful moment! They made a great day even better! Apparently, it was my friend John’s idea originally (he works with Don), but that day a water pipe burst in his basement and he couldn’t make the drive up. Many thanks anyway, John; friends like you are rare and special.
So the whole group of us headed back to Hickory Park for dinner, which was great! Afterwards, Nancy’s mom Neva presented Nancy and me with a wedding cake she’d had made special just for us. We saved just enough pieces to take back with us to California to share with our friends there.
After dinner and cake, and goodbyes, Nancy and I went back to the apartment to resume packing, and managed to get everything ready by the time the movers arrived on Wednesday morning. You’ll forgive me, I hope, for not having any pictures of the packing or moving activities, but it was a pretty busy time. :-) Our job was made much easier by Nancy’s landlord, Barry, who let us leave behind anything we didn’t want to take and hadn’t had time to dispose of, since he was planning on doing some renovation and redecoration of the apartment anyway. Thanks, Barry!
After the movers were gone, and our cleanup was finished, Nancy and I started our drive west. We stopped at my parents’ house the first night, then made an early start the next morning (after a great pancake breakfast — thanks, Mom!). The weather was cool, but sunny, and we made good time, arriving at our first stop, Cheyenne, Wyoming, late in the afternoon.
On all my previous drives west, I’ve always stayed at inexpensive roadside motels; but as this was essentially our honeymoon, we decided to “splurge” and find nice B&Bs to stay at. I’d done some research on the Web, and found references to the Nagle Warren Mansion in Cheyenne that made it sound great. When we arrived, we found that those references weren’t exaggerations!
After a very relaxing evening (I didn’t get a picture of the antique clawfoot tub :-) and restful night in the king size sleigh bed, we had breakfast made for us by Jacquie while we had a delightful conversation with her husband Jim (they’re the owners of the Nagle Warren Mansion). No more Motel 6’s for me! :-)
After breakfast, it was time to continue west. Again, it was cool but sunny, and the drive across Wyoming was beautiful. There was one section, maybe an hour or so, in western Wyoming where I-80 was a bit icy and my grip on the wheel tightened a bit, but we got through it without incident.
After we crossed over into Utah, we came across a mountain lake that we just had to pull over and get a picture of.
We made good time that day, and we got into Salt Lake City, our second night’s stop, well before sunset. Nancy spent the summer in Salt Lake City some years ago, and remembered enough of the geography to make finding our destination, the Inn on Capitol Hill, easy. Just as the name implies, the Inn on Capitol Hill is on the hill directly below the Utah state capitol building. It’s a Victorian-style mansion now run as a B&B. After we checked in, we took a little tour around the house.
From the window of our room, you can see downtown Salt Lake City, and the Mormon Tabernacle on Temple Square. (If the choir was singing, we couldn’t hear it, though. :-) I didn’t get a picture of it, but in the opposite direction you can see the mountains that Salt Lake City is built directly under. Covered in snow, and much higher than the “mountains” of the Bay area, they’re an awesome sight. I can easily see why Nancy likes this city so much!
Being in Salt Lake City gave me a chance to meet someone who has been very important in Nancy’s life. Ten years ago, Nancy had a summer internship in Salt Lake City, and Nancy’s aunt arranged for Nancy to stay at her friend Bob’s place. When her aunt died unexpectedly, Bob was a good friend in a difficult time. Nancy credits much of her interest in outdoor recreation to Bob. So we couldn’t pass up the chance to stop in and see him!
Bob and his wife Sue took us to dinner at one of their favorite restaurants, and we had a great time filling each other in on the events in our lives. Bob and Sue are terrific, friendly people, and Nancy and I are looking forward to spending more time with them in the future, both in Salt Lake City and California.
The next morning while waiting for breakfast at the B&B, we did a little more looking around the house.
Here, Nancy captured the contrast of the morning sun refracting through the crystal water glasses, and the deep burgundy of the tablecloth and napkins, as well as the steam rising from her hot cup of coffee. You gotta like it when breakfast becomes art! :-)
Over breakfast, we discussed our driving schedule.
Originally, we’d planned to stop over our third night in Reno, Nevada, but the weather forecast suggested that there could be snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains that night. So we decided to try to drive straight on through to the Bay area, even though that would make for a pretty long driving day.
We did stop in to an auto parts store to pick up tire chains for the car, just in case. In the end, it all worked out fine. We traded off driving, and had plenty of our favorite CDs to listen to, so the driving wasn’t too tiresome. We stopped for dinner in Reno, at a natural and health food restaurant called the Blue Heron (which I highly recommend!), then continued on. There wasn’t too much traffic on I-80 that night, and the moon was nearly full, so the view of the snow-covered peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains at night were breathtaking!
Our last bit of “excitement” was due to extremely thick fog in the Central Valley for about an hour, but once we were past that it was smooth sailing into Silicon Valley. Sure enough, there was snow in the mountains later that night and into the next day, so I’m very glad we drove through — we were snug in our bed at home!
That put us home late on Saturday night, January 30. The moving truck arrived the following Friday, filling the apartment with new furniture and boxes. As you can well imagine, Nancy and I have been busy since then opening, unpacking, arranging, and re-arranging all of our collected stuff. :-) A “bachelor pad” no longer, with the combination of Nancy’s and my things, we’ve made it into our place, a place that feels like home.