We closed out the picnic and followed the kids back to the B&B where the wedding party was staying in order to pick up the Honda and ferry it back to Potrero House as there was available parking there. There we relaxed until it was time to head over to The Cheese School of San Francisco, the wedding venue, where we would hold the rehearsal and afterwards repair to Chambers for the rehearsal dinner.
A brief note here about the wedding itself and the planning that went into it. The engagement officially started right around Valentine’s Day, which also is close to the anniversary that Jessica and Kris celebrate as a couple. They had already planned for and booked a two-week trip to Europe (Majorca, Barcelona, Paris, Florence and Siena) so the honeymoon was already spoken for, but choosing a date for the wedding was complicated.
Joanna and I had been planning for a year or so to spend three months in Europe in the fall this year with five weeks of it hiking on the Camino de Santiago. Plans had already been discussed about spending Thanksgiving in Las Vegas with Kim and Marty which meant we’d need to depart for the continent by late August to make our dates work.
With Jessica in the lead, she and Kris put together all of the details including the venue, catering, all outfits for the wedding party, photographer, D.J., invitations, etc. in less than a couple of months, settling on August 19th as the big day, providing us with the wiggle room we needed for the trip. It would be an understatement to say this event was well planned and executed, and that’s not just a proud father’s empty boast.
One positive element of the planning process was the need to check out some restaurants to determine which would be selected for a few of the meals that would take place during the wedding weekend. Followers of the blog will recall our visit to Schroeder’s http://www.schroederssf.com/) from my post for our April trip to the West Coast, which was one of the considerations. In the end, it was decided to use Chambers for the rehearsal dinner, which would turn out to be a winning choice.
This venue is the remodeled coffee shop of the Caravan Motor Lodge, built in 1956 where legend has it Neil Young lived while recording Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s album Deja Vu. It fell into disrepair in the 70’s and 80’s until it was rescued by Chip Conley in 1987 who converted it into a boutique hotel, renaming it the Phoenix and catering to rock and roll bands on tour who needed a place to park the bus for the night.
Jessica and Kris like to eat good food (as do we) and dinner that night would reflect their well thought out dining choices. I’ve posted the menu below and won’t go into great detail, except to say it was served family style so we got to sample the entire list of options as presented and my favorites were the pork belly with ravioli (the pork not as fatty as usual), the pan seared wild sea bass, and the potato Aligot that accompanied the pork chop.
Given we enjoyed an open bar with appetizers earlier, and the pleasantly long dining experience, the parental units were done in by the end of dinner and so repaired to the Potrero House for a good night’s sleep in preparation for the big day ahead.
Joanna and Kim would be busy most of the Saturday getting beautified leaving Marty and I on our own, a situation we quickly remedied by contacting Bev, my cousin Lindy and her husband Greg, and Kris’ brothers Taylor and Simon to meet up at the Ferry Building.
Marty and I took an Uber/Lfyt over to the Marriott that the brothers were staying at, then the four of us started walking towards the Embarcadero. As sometimes happens to all of us, who should come walking down the sidewalk in the opposite direction but Joanna and Kim, freshly made up and looking sharp.
They joined us and we met the rest of the group, now including Dillon as Jed was a bit under the weather; as Joanna and Kim needed to move on to their next beautification appointment, they bid the group and adieu while the rest of us spent an hour or more walking through the weekly farmer’s market held outside the building. I recognized a number of the same vendors that populate the Oakland market on Friday’s so there were plenty of food options to choose from, a welcome diversion.
I opted for a BLT on an Acme baguette from the Hayes Street Grill booth, just enough calories and protein to hold me over through the afternoon and on into the wedding. We finished up at the market, everyone having grabbed something to eat and walked a little over a mile to 21st-Amendment Brewing on 2nd Street.
We grabbed a table outside, ordered a round of beers and thoroughly enjoyed the tasty brews, a beautiful afternoon, and the company of others as we anticipated the celebration to come later that day.
We left the brewery and went our separate ways, Marty and I taking an Uber/Lyft back to Potrero House to get ready for the big event. We’d both have minor parts to play later that night, one of which was to speak before a crowd, something we’d both done before but not recently and not for such a special event. It would be an evening to remember.
The Cheese School: https://thecheeseschool.com/
Camino de Santiago: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camino_de_Santiago
Farmer’s Market: https://www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com/farmers-market/