This weekend I flew out to Santa Barbara, CA for the wedding of one of my best friends from college, Anna, and her now-husband Pablo. While I wouldn't normally condone a cross-country weekend getaway (especially 30 weeks pregnant), I am so, so happy I was able to be present for Anna's big day. We've been friends since we first met in our freshmen year dorm and have stayed close after more than 12 years, despite living on 2 different coasts now instead of 2 different dorm floors!
It was a quick trip out to Cali, but a wonderful weekend. I arrived in LA Friday morning - a little sleepy after a SERIOUSLY early departure from Charlotte - where I met my friend Britta at the rental car place. We made the beautiful 2 hour drive up the coast together to Santa Barbara, and met our other friend Sarah at the hotel. The four of us - Anna, Britta, Sarah and I - all met freshmen year in our dorm, pledged the same sorority, lived together at various points throughout college, and have now have each taken turns being one another’s bridesmaids!
The wedding was so perfectly suited to Anna & Pablo - honestly, I don't think I have ever been to a wedding that was more personal than this one. The ceremony site was a shaded little corner of a park with huge rock boulders for privacy. While waiting for the ceremony to start, guests stood and mingled around a lemonade table and looked at pictures of the couple hanging from ribbons from the trees, while we bridesmaids huddled behind a huge boulder to stay hidden. The ceremony was conducted underneath a huge tree by Anna's brother, Martin, while guests stood in a close circle around us. They had written their own vows, and they were so sweet and meaningful - I don't think there was a single dry eye among us. (I wish I had some pictures of the actual ceremony, but I didn’t think snapping some pics while standing in the bridal line was considered good wedding party etiquette!)
Afterwards, we traipsed back through the woods to our cars (my first time driving a bride to her own wedding!) and to a nearby restaurant called the Wine Cask, for an absolutely fabulous meal, wonderful toasts, lots of congratulatory hugs and of course, dancing. (And for the record, being pregnant in a place called "the Wine Cask" is indeed absolute purgatory.) But, in lieu of wine, I found my vice of the night - chocolate chevre donuts. Just let that sink in for a minute.
I kind of want to devote a whole paragraph to this donut. Anna had a mini-dessert bar (which, AMAZING) with oversized spoon filled with lemon curd, mini peanut butter cupcakes, slices of wedding cake and mini chocolate chevre donuts. I took a spoonful of lemon curd - nice, but I wasn't over the moon. I bit into the peanut butter cupcake - and gave the rest to Sarah because it was too rich. Then I reached for the donuts (shut up, I'm pregnant) and as soon as I took a bite told Sarah "stop eating that peanut butter thing right now and put this in your mouth immediately!" Possibly one of the best things I have ever eaten. Ok, I did just devote a whole paragraph to it, didn't I?
Anyways, it was a fantastic weekend although way, way too short. We had dinner together Friday night at the rehearsal dinner and a relaxing albeit breezy day on the beach together on Saturday, but I felt like I was saying good-bye to my friends almost as soon as I had said hello. Before I knew it, I was wishing Anna and Pablo congratulations and goodnight and slinking back to the hotel room due to my 5 am (eek!) departure to drive back to LAX the next morning. The travel home was long, but fortunately and blissfully uneventful - and even made a tiny bit easier by a sweet TSA lady who waved me through the long security line to get in priority security so I didn't have to wait so long. (Preggo perks!) I was happy to pull in to my garage and climb into bed Sunday night, but I'm even more happy I made the long journey out to the other side of the country to witness one of my best friends and the start of her happy, happy marriage.
Breezy Beach Day
Working on her vows…
Getting in her dress w/ her sister Rebecca’s help
Congratulations, Anna & Pabs!