sonoma county to yosemite national park

We've spent the last two days eating, drinking, talking, laughing, hugging, dancing, drinking, talking, drinking, hugging and laughing. All amid the rolling, vineyard hills and under perfect blue skies. Good times.

The wedding was beautiful - outdoors, with a vineyard as a backdrop. My niece-in-law is an artist and designed the wedding after the work of the artist Alophonse Mucha, especially "The Four Seasons". My nephew is very spiritual, so there was a mix of religious and spiritual traditions along with the basics of a Jewish wedding. Taken together, it was a beautiful mix.

I will note that the officiator - a female cantor - ended the ceremony with a view to the day when all people can marry if they choose. We were very pleased to hear that; I'm sure the plug wasn't lost on anyone there. My nephew is also an ordained officiator and married same-sex couples the moment the equal marriage law (now rescinded) went into effect.

The party was great, if a bit chaotic. Some friends of the couple's lent the grounds of their beautiful home for the event, so we were outdoors, under tents, drinking copious amounts of local wine, dancing and enjoying each other's company. Two weddings, two years in a row, has us all spoiled.

Yesterday, the day after the wedding, we headed back to the same site to meet up with my sister, brother-in-law, and nieces and nephews other than the newlyweds. We were going to do some exploring in the area, but ended up just enjoying a leisurely meal together, which was undoubtedly better. There's no end of wineries to tour and cute little towns to poke around, but at this point that's really of limited interest to me. I was happier just to hang out with people I love who I seldom see.

After that, Allan and I called my mom and went over to her hotel to hang out for a few hours. This was a surprise for her - I didn't want to plan it in advance in case it didn't work out - and made her very happy. Everyone I spoke to at the wedding was kvelling over my mom, her great energy and spirit, kickin' at age 79.

This morning we leave our little farm-side cottage and drive to Yosemite National Park. I won't have internet access there, so I'll keep a journal on paper. I'll have plenty of time to catch up as we wait for flights in Oakland and JFK. I'm not looking forward to the return trip - the redeye to JFK, then a four-hour layover, then a flight to Buffalo and the drive home from there. Not ideal for someone like me who can't sleep on planes, ever. On the other hand, I've done it before and lived to tell the tale, so I don't want to wind myself up over it.

Now, Yosemite awaits! I'm very excited about it. See you all on Thursday night.

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