Let me sum up...
The day before I left I had a toothache and my AC quit working. An emergency visit to dentist and a call to my HVAC friend T.B. put it all to rights. Thanks to T.B. for putting in a new fan on Tuesday (who would not tell me how much it cost! That got him a case of champagne), so the poor cats and sitter did not die of heat stroke while I was gone.
I left Durham for the wilds of Oregon and Washington on Tuesday, June 2 and right off the bat the joys of traveling presented themselves - my flight to Chicago was canceled before I even arrived at the airport. (random trivia - did you know the list of passengers is called the "soul list"?)
United did a good job of recovering, putting me on an American flight to DFW, then Alaska to PDX and gave me $14 worth of food vouchers to boot. Alaska Airlines was so great I sighed up for their mileage program. The 20 minute baggage guarantee was the clincher; I think it was less than 10 minutes before I was flying out the door to catch the shuttle to Salem. All in all, I was only 2 hours behind my original schedule. Not bad.
Thursday my sister and I headed up to Lyle, Washington, the nearest town to High Prairie. Beautiful day with amazing scenery along the Columbia gorge, watching all those crazy windsurfers.
After stopping in at the amazing cabin of our hosts for directions (follow the mowed path, turn right at the bluebird house), we arrived at our home away from home, a fantastic tricked out yurt (complete with icemaker!), with spectacular views of Mt. Adams and the tip of Mt. Hood, kindly loaned to us by a neighbor of the bride's parents.
|Glamping at its highest level|
|Mt. Adams from the yurt deck|
|At night the skylight was full of stars|
After oohing and aahing whist examining all the nooks and crannies of our lodging, we headed down to the big house, about a 10 minute stroll through the fields, to meet the rest of the family.
|Much laughing was done on that front porch|
|Afternoon shadows on the goat barn|
|The Boy, The Most High Unicorn, and the Maid of Honor have a moment|
More people arrived throughout the day - The Boy's almost step mother, who I hadn't seen since his sixth grade graduation (she is wonderful); his friend from Reno who came with a broken wrist because she didn't have time to set it before leaving (she broke it the night before playing softball); childhood friends; former neighbors; travel companions. There was laughing and hugging and meeting of old and new friends.
|Cousin, aunt, and mother of the bride doing flower prep in the hay barn|
|Some finished vases lining the barn walls|
|Flower prep area still life|
|Daughter and mom hard at work with flower prep|
At night we sat on the porch and laughed so hard The Boy bruised a rib. I may have spewed my hard cider, but just once. There were some funny, funny people there, one of whom was my sister (pretty AND funny!).
Saturday, the day of the wedding, dawned sunny, cloudless, with a lovely breeze, and thankfully 10 degrees cooler than was forecast. We did more prep in the morning and early afternoon - setting the tables for the reception, arranging flowers and rocks (from the couple's rock hounding obsession).
|Everyone's labor of love|
After getting dressed in our wedding finery, my sister and I missed a critical turn on the way down from the yurt which necessitated an approximately mile long very, very, very painfully slow backup up a hill in The Most High Unicorn's rental car.
I watched the minutes fly by while thinking on the extremely bad form it would be for the mother of the groom to be the reason the wedding started late, but we made it in time.
And I only freaked out a little bit.
The wedding party ladies received this beautiful silk scarf from the couple:
The men had ties with the same design.
We clambered on to our transport to the wedding site (thank god for that ladder):
|That's me standing on the far left|
|Our awesome driver, cousin of the bride (I love her so much)|
|Mt. Adams from the "altar"|
|Altar flower close up|
|The wedding venue|
|Ring exchange. The rings were made by a New Zealand artist, Ash Hilton,|
of reclaimed ethical gold and recycled stones.
|The married couple|
The Boy cried. The best man had to get him a Kleenex, which I happened to have. My eyes welled up but did not spill over, I'm happy to report, because people, I am not a pretty crier.
|Cousin, father, mother of bride, and the ecstatic couple|
|The bride and groom and me|
|The Boy and his dad|
|Three gorgeous ladies: the bride, her aunt, and her cousin|
|Goat barn through flower vases|
|Tucking into a strawberry cupcake|
After dark, we wandered off to our beds, full of love and good cheer.
The next day we headed down to the big house one last time to say our goodbyes. Phone numbers, emails, business cards, and hugs were exchanged in large numbers.
Sadly, there was one causality right before we left; the sweet little farm dog Zoe, was bit on the face by a rattlesnake. She is making a good recovery and hopefully will have little to no nerve/tissue damage. (You could say a wee prayer to the dog gods for her if so inclined)
|Doesn't know she was bred to be a lap dog|
The rest of the week I spent with my sister and brother in law, wandering around Silverton, Corvallis, and Salem.
I dropped quite a bit of cash in the Lunaria Gallery in Silverton after lunch at Mac's Place.
|Our table view at Mac's|
Corvallis was great. Vibrant downtown. Much shopping was fueled by a huge breakfast at The Broken Yolk.
Got to hang out for a few hours with my niece, her kidlets, and chickens.
It was a great trip. Full of family, friends, and lots of laughter.
(photo credits: B.Q., S.K., R.C., L.C., me, and probably many others)