Sunday, September 15, 2013

Laura's Wedding at South Lake Tahoe

9/15/13 Today I get to share a special event in our family - my daughter, Laura's wedding to Dennis Calvin at Nevada Beach, South Lake Tahoe. The wedding was on the 7th, but we have been too busy for me to go through all the pictures and get this post written until today. As mentioned in our previous post, we had our RV in Sacramento at the property of friends, Ron & Carol Leonard. We drove up to Lake Tahoe in our car, stopping on the way in Diamond Springs in order to have a quick visit with RV friends, Odel King & Laurie Brown. Last year they stopped RVing and purchased a manufactured home in order to help take care of Laurie's elderly parents and aunts. Recently they sold their RV, after 9 years of full-timing. They have a beautiful park, with a lake, pool, and walking trails. Additionally, they have been busy making professional looking modifications to their home, and just before we visited, they had finished landscaping the front yard. Here is a picture of them in front of their new home:
They have been foster parents for a couple of kittens, and when they got old enough to be adopted, they returned them to the shelter. One of the kittens was adopted immediately, but they other one wasn't. So guess what - Odel went back to get him and now he is theirs. Here is his picture:
There is always 2 reasons occasions such as a wedding are so delightful: 1) the celebration of the love and commitment of the couple getting married, and 2) the opportunity for our family to have a reunion. Laura and Dennis rented a big, beautiful house near Heavenly Valley ski area where they provided housing for Dennis' three grown children and their families, as well as his Mother, and also Laura's college daughter, Michaela. They also used the home to provide a cocktail party on Friday night, and a brunch on Sunday morning. Elaine and I rented a big house only 2 miles from Nevada beach, the wedding site. Elaine's daughter, Tarra, her husband Alonzo, and his family of 3 delightful young ladies, my son Thomas, Elaine's son Darran & his wife, Marielle, my granddaughter Paige, and her roommate Allison, and our friends Mike & Marilyn all stayed at our rented house. It was on 2 levels and had a big deck with a hot tub on the main level, and a big bonus room with a pool table, TV, games, etc. on the lower level, plus 5 bedrooms. Here is a picture of Elaine with Tarra, Alonzo, Ari & Alia out on the deck when they first arrived.
After dinner on Friday, all of us drove over to Laura's house for the cocktail party. Our 4 kids were all raised together since they were very young, and they consider each other siblings, so I tried to take lots of pictures of all of them. Laura was looking radiant, as you can see in this picture with Tarra:
Here is a picture of Elaine and I, called The Moms by our kids, with Laura and her fiancee, Dennis:
My son, Thomas, had hitched a ride up with Tarra, and he was also happy to see his sister, and his Mom:
He has lost 55 pounds since Darran & Marielle's wedding 2 years ago, so it was a real surprise to see him looking so fit and healthy. He also has quite a lot of grey hair in his beard, so he has more grey hair than his Mom!! My granddaughter, Paige, who we recently saw in Seattle when she graduated from college, came with her roommate, Allison. Here she is sitting with Alonzo's 3 daughters, Alia, Analy, and Ari:
I couldn't resist putting this picture in - The Moms with the 2 daughters:
One of Laura's good friends flew out from Omaha in order to prepare all the food for the parties and the wedding. This is an example of some of her work:
After the party, everyone returned to our house where the kids made good use of some of the amenities. Here are Thomas and Analy with the pool table in the bonus room:
Good thing no one else wanted to get in the hot tub because it was very popular. Even Elaine enjoyed it!
Saturday everyone kicked back at the house all morning and then got ready for the 2PM wedding. Here are the Monges girls all dressed up:
Darran & Marielle didn't fly in from San Diego until Saturday morning and had trouble getting their rental car, so they barely made it to the wedding on time. Darran arrived in an air cast because he messed his ankle up on one of his construction jobs:
The wedding was held in the pavilion at Nevada Beach which had been nicely decorated for this event. You can barely see the beach and the water in the background because smoke from the Rim Fire near Yosemite was polluting the air:
While waiting for the ceremony, we had the opportunity to take some more family pictures. Here is Elaine with her son, Darran, his wife, Marielle, Elaine's daughter, Tarra, and Tarra's husband, Alonzo:
My niece, Kathy, and her daughter, Camille, drove up from Sacramento for this event and posed with the family. They are all the way on the right in this picture:
I wanted to be in one of the pictures too, so here is one with me in it with Marielle, Darran, Elaine, Tarra and Thomas:
Our friends, Mike & Marilyn Harrison, were the main organizers and helpers at our wedding 5 years ago, and they have also become great friends with Laura and Dennis quite independently. They stayed at our house and helped with everything there, and with all the events and Laura & Dennis' place too. They always get along well with everyone and always look well dressed and elegant:
Laura had told us to wear "beach wear", so Elaine and I, plus part of our family did that, and everyone else didn't, so we looked like the beach combers! Laura walked in wearing the most amazing wedding dress, which she and Dennis had bought at a charity auction quite some time ago. They wanted to contribute to a good cause and they also got a good deal on it. It had red panels and really elegant beadwork. Of course she looked gorgeous in it:
She and Dennis had both been married before and they wanted the ceremony to be simple, yet elegant, so they didn't have any attendants. Here they are with the minister:
They said some personally composed vows to each other, Laura's youngest daughter, Michaela, sang a song to them, and then they walked back looking happy:
I'm sorry that picture is so dark, but the light was behind them and I can't seem to get it lightened up on my computer. This picture of their backs shows what an awesome train she had on her dress:
Then everyone dragged their chairs over to some tables on the other side of the pavillion, where we had all the accoutrements for tequila shots.
After we all ate a nice buffet and drank lots of frozen margaritas, Laura and Dennis cut their beautiful (and delicious) red velvet cake:
Before the dancing started, I managed to get this picture of (left to right) Michaela, Allison, Paige & Thomas. Paige and Allison had been helping so much with the wedding, that this was the first opportunity we had to do this:
The bride and groom had their dance, then Laura danced with her brother, Thomas:
And Paige had a dance with her new step-father:
Sunday morning we closed up our rental house and went over to Laura's for brunch. This was my chance for a last picture with my 2 biological kids, since we will be traveling a lot and won't see them for a long time:
Sunday night we stayed with Mike & Marilyn at their condo in Reno. This gave us a chance to spend a little more time with Darran & Marielle, who were not flying home until Monday. They joined us over at the condo and then Laura and Dennis, Paige & Allison came over also. I'm sure Mike & Marilyn were in overload mode by the time everyone left!! Monday morning Elaine and I went for a long walk along the Riverwalk in Reno, which has been greatly enhanced and beautified in recent years.
Now we are back at Park Sierra and are catching up on mail, doing RV fixup and cleanup, and making more travel plans. In October we are flying to Boston and spending 4 days exploring, then going on a 2 week cruise up along the Maine coast and maritime Canada. Now doubt our next travel report will be from there.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Sacramento On Labor Day

9/2/13 It is an overcast and occasionally rainy day here in Sacramento on this Labor Day. We drove down here from Oregon a few days ago and have been staying on the lot of our friends, Ron & Carol Leonard. Until today, it was hot here. I suspect it will be that way again, starting tomorrow. Of course, we have been having Happy Hours and dinners with Ron & Carol. Here is a picture of us with them last evening on their backyard deck:
The main reason we are here is to get ready to leave our RV here, and drive our car up to South Lake Tahoe on Friday. My daughter, Laura, is getting married to Dennis Calvin on Saturday at Nevada Beach. We have rented a big house for the weekend and all the other kids and grandkids will be staying with us, as well as our friends, Mike & Marilyn Harrison. It will be a mini family reunion. Happily, the weather forecast is for 79-80 degree days and no rain - perfect! Here in Sacramento it is supposed to be 104! We are glad we will be up there and not down here. Prior to arriving here, we spent 3 days staying in Cottage Grove, OR at the home of cruise friends, Kay & Hank Habenick. They have a lot right on the Row River outside of town and there is a very scenic covered bridge right at the road near their property:
Besides enjoying the walking trails near there, we also shared my birthday with them. They are wine club members at the King Estates Winery which is quite an extensive and beautiful property not far from Cottage Grove. In the early afternoon, we went there and did some wine tasting (delicious). Here we are in the tasting room:
Then we sat out on the patio, which overlooks the hills covered with greenery and vines and which reminds Hank of Tuscany, in order to enjoy a gourmet lunch. We all had something different and everything was outstanding.
Our last blog post was from Winchester Bay, where we were not having much success catching crab. Turns out we never did catch very many, but we got a few from the dock and enjoyed eating them. This is the first time we have ever been there where we were not catching so many crab that we had to can some. Sorry to the friends who have enjoyed some of our canned crab in the past. The salmon run was incredible and we managed to get some advantage from that even though we weren't fishing. Some of the RoVing Rods showed up and were camped not far from us so we had nice Happy Hours and one potluck with them. Some of the guys caught some nice salmon and Dick & Marcia Sumner gave us a very nice king salmon fillet, and Chuck Goehring gave us some of his salmon which he had already canned. We also got some carcasses from the cleaning stations and used them for crab bait, so that saved us a lot of money. Here are a few pictures so you can see the size of the fish.
Most of the fishermen were catching their limit each day (the limit is 2 fish per license). Here is a scene at the cleaning station:
Some of the guys at the cleaning station also gave us some salmon fillets, which was awesome because they didn't even know us! Towards the end of the month we got tired of the lack of crab and the cold, rainy, windy weather so we left and drove inland to Kay & Hank's. My next post will no doubt be full of wedding pictures and family reunion pictures and anecdotes. Elaine and I will be driving down to Park Sierra next week to spend a few weeks before all the planned Fall travels start. We have to have some medical checkups and do some final travel planning. Will tell you about all that later.