We soon found ourselves dressed and ready to head over to the Cheese School. Kim and Marty’s good friend Rhonda, who’d be staying with us that night kindly took a number of pictures of us, all cleaned up and ready to go. We drove the Honda over to the venue as it would be needed later to ferry wedding paraphernalia back to the house and were fortunate to find a parking spot directly in front.
We were about an hour early giving us time to take a few pictures, drink a glass or two of champagne, and generally admire how good everyone looked. There was an underlying nervous energy, the good kind, filling the air and yet the overall mood was one of calm.
All of the planning, preparation, communication and effort for the night had brought us to this moment and we were all ready to enjoy it to its fullest.
Before long guests started to trickle in, some more champagne was consumed, and the next thing I knew the wedding planner was letting us know it was time to line up. Jessica and I had agreed that I would stand on the opposite side of the entrance to the courtyard and meet in the middle for me to walk her in; this enabled me to watch each of the matched pairs of attendees enter the venue.
Then it was our turn and this is one of the best walks you get to take; with your lovely daughter on your arm, it’s over before you know it and you step off the stage quickly to become a member of the audience.
Jessica and Kris asked their friend Sam from UCSB to perform the ceremony and his approach, personal, humorous, and thoughtful hit all the right notes, making it about them without diminishing the seriousness of the commitment they were about to make.
Their vows were heartfelt and rang true if you know the two of them and then in a flash, it was done, they were married and now the party could really start. It was a great night, sharing a joyous occasion with family and friends.
My immediate family doesn’t get together too often and lately it’s been for more solemn occasions, so given the chance to celebrate instead of mourning we made the most of it.
As the evening progressed Marty and I gave our speeches, lots of good food was consumed, the traditional dances were performed (Jessica and I danced to the Beatles ‘I Will’) and the cake of cheese (yes, a cake made of four different kinds of cheese) was cut.
And then it was over, faster than one would have anticipated, wanting to linger over one more conversation, dance one more dance.
We packed up the car and returned to the Potrero House while the rest of the wedding party and some of the guests moved on to a nearby bar in the Mission. Back at the house I enjoyed a glass or two of that good Remy 1738 I’d received the week before and then we called it a night, ready to spend one more day celebrating with those of the party who’d stayed in town.
A brunch was scheduled for 11:30 am at Zero Zero and so about thirty minutes prior Joanna and I drove the Honda over to the B&B, picked up Jessica and Kris and joined the rest of the folks at the restaurant. They had just opened and so we had most of the second-floor landing to ourselves, filling four long tables, a pretty good turnout for a post wedding event. Mimosa’s seemed to be the drink of choice for many, pitchers full of fresh orange juice and champagne, keeping in theme with the beverage of choice for many from the night before.
For a fixed price brunch, the food was particularly good; varied in choice, high quality ingredients and presentation, and mighty tasty. We started with the Caesar Salad (Hearts of Romaine, Torn Garlic Croutons, Grana Padano and Bruce’s Caesar Dressing), followed with the Avocado Bruschetta (Avocado, House Pork Coppa, and Manodori Balsamic), then the Cavatelli Carbonara (with Hobb’s Bacon, Poached Egg, Pecorino, and Black Pepper) and finally, two pizzas, one veggie, the Judah (Blistered Shishito Peppers, Sweet Corn, Basil, Black Pepper, Mozzarella, Pecorino, Grana Padano, and Ricotta) and one with heavy meat, the Castro (Sopressata, House Made Sausage, Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, and Basil).
Wow, looking at that last paragraph I can’t believe we ate all of it, but then again it was that good. I’ve not had avocado toast before and was looking forward to trying it; this bruschetta presentation helped me to understand what all of the hubbub was about. The Carbonara was spot on and honestly, the veggie pizza was so good I made a pig of myself on it, hardly leaving any room for the meat one, although I did manage to knock off a piece or two.
This was a no host brunch and the restaurant advised they would not split checks, so Joanna and I were a little concerned about handling the final bill, as it often leads to madness and someone, usually the person left making the payment, on the short end. Marty though volunteered to put the total on his card and after I went to each table to explain the process, one of the differences between the generations gathered there became apparent to me.
Every single one of Jessica and Kris’ counterparts easily paid Kim through Venmo while the others had to come up with cash or some other form of payment. This familiarity with technology and comfort with its safety is a defining distinction between different age groups; I’ve had trouble convincing folks my own age to feel at ease with trusting an institution to transfer their money. But the banks are jumping all over this as they see the market Venmo and its ilk have captured, all the majors having just introduced their own easy transfer payment system called Zelle.
We left the restaurant and split up, Jessica and Kris heading back over to Oakland to take a breather, others beginning the trek to their homes and a group of us, deciding to walk up to the Embarcadero in search of a drink or two. Kim and my cousin Lindy took off via Uber/Lfyt for Bistro Boudin and the rest of us (Greg, Bev, Jed, Dillon, Joanna’s sister Nicole, Joanna, Marty and I) made way for the waterfront.
Not realizing the distance involved, nearly 3 miles, by a little over halfway there and seriously parched, we stopped in at Pier 23 for a quick beer, for me an Anchor Steam on draft. Revived we pushed on, stopping for a moment to admire a couple of nice lowriders parked near the water, finally arriving at the Bistro and locating the rest of the party at the bar, a drink or so into their afternoon.
We two would stay for a couple, Mai Tai’s for me, the setting so nice and with it the realization that we’d bid adieu to most of the group as our weekend was ending. Joanna and I departed, stopping at the retail store downstairs to pick up a small round of their sourdough bread to take back to Charlotte the next day and returned to the Potrero House.
After an hour or so, Marty drove the four of us over to Oakland for one last visit with Jessica and Kris. On the way, I ordered Thai food to be delivered via Caviar, a service that picks up at a restaurant of your choice, and it too arrived not long after we got to the apartment. We opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate one more time, drank a beer to go along with the food and shared a last special moment together, everyone drained from a long but beautiful weekend.
The next morning Joanna and I took Uber/Lyft to the airport, the Potrero House a bit too far from BART for us to manage with the amount of luggage we had (one whole suitcase alone devoted to the clothes we brought specifically for the wedding), making for an easy transit there. Our TSA pre-check certification provided smooth entry behind security and on the way to our gate we stopped at Three Twins Ice Cream to get a ham and cheese crepe. It took some time for it to be prepared but it was worth the wait, one of the best food items, particularly at airport prices, we’ve consumed at that terminal recently.
We arrived home safely and began preparing and packing for our next adventure, three months in Europe to begin three days later. We’d scarcely thought about it with the wedding trip we’d just completed dominating our attention. And indeed, even when we climbed aboard the large jet for Athens that following Thursday, we were still aglow with that buzz you get when someone you truly care for finds their future in someone to love.
Zero Zero: http://www.zerozerosf.com/welcome#new-page
Bistro Boudin: http://www.bistroboudin.com/