The Wedding & Tour Update
The wedding was outside, at the Terra Blanca winery, high on a hill in the vineyard overlooking the smooth, creased brown hills of Eastern Washington. The winery is new, but had an old world feel, with lawns and gardens, huge wooden doors, stucco arches and broad terraces with slate floors.
Lexie was beautiful and Stuart handsome in his black suit, and Andrew, Carl, Jessie and Lexie's brother Kyle all looked great too- The bridesmaids were beautiful in short black dresses with green and cream bouquets. The flower girls smiled and the ring bearer didn't drop anything. The guys had stylized fish hooks in their lapels. ( The groom, and two of the groom's men were commercial fishermen.)
Brian officiated and he greeted the 200 or so guests in the stone and greenery filled outside chapel area, and then said sweet and funny things about Lexie and Stuart. He said when asked what were the faults of their respective spouse-to-be were, all Stuart could come up with is that Lexie leaves milk in her cereal bowl, and Lexie said that Stuart should visit a dentist regularly.
Brian added serious vows too, and said love is great, but a marriage also needs commitment, communication, and compromise. (He was so good, in fact, that more than a few of the local guests thought he was a minister.) Lexie dabbed back tears, Stuart smiled, two girls from the high school played a jig on the violin and bass and every woman in the place blew her nose and smiled.
The food was great ( Stuart caught the halibut and salmon) and the guys from Haines looked awfully sophisticated holding large red wine glasses. (They soon found bottled beer...) We all toasted the couple ( the crazy Alaskans did most of the talking, as this is our tradition. These Washington people may not know what an open microphone at a party is for.) Everyone danced and laughed until midnight. (Including a break-dancing little girl dressed like Tinkerbell.) I got to waltz sleeping baby Caroline in the front pack. Sarah looked great dancing with the Rev. Elliott.
I remember being at a wedding when Sarah and Eliza were very small ( Eliza was toddling, Sarah still packable) and wishing I could dance and have fun, and feeling somehow that I was missing something. (I still wish I could recall just one event clearly, without a photo album prompt, from when I had all those little children. One birthday party, even. It is all a blur. Guess that's what sleep deprivation can do to a young mother.) Anyway, at this wedding, I didn't even have a date (Chip is home minding the fort) and yet I was so happy to be there, with Sarah and Brian and visiting with the Haines friends that came down, not to mention all those clean cut, cheerful blonds in Lexie's family.
It was a great party, and wonderful wedding. Sure, the setting helped, as did the healthy young crowd, but I think the best weddings are the ones when the bride and groom are obviously so happy and sure of their choice, and when their families and friends are all in agreement that each is the best thing that ever happened to the other. That's what happened here. Lexie's dad Steve choked up on his toast, and so did Stuart's dad Charlie. They were both grateful that the other's child had chosen their child.
So, back to book-touring reality. Tonight, I'm at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park at 7, and tomorrow I drive up to Bellingham, where I'll read at Village Books at 7 and then spend the night. I head to downtown Seattle on Thursday, and Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge Island that night at 7:30. It's Elliott Bay Books Friday night at 7. I have a slide show, and will read and sign and answer questions at all of them. Sunday is open, so far, then I'm off to Portland on Monday. Phew. Wish me luck.