Why, to fly out to Olivia and John's wedding, of course.
Now, let it be known: I usually don't go to weddings if I have to buy a plane ticket. I will buy the people a nice gift, and send that, and then just plan on visiting them later. However, John and Olivia have both travelled to see me a time or two, and we have connected all over the country, from CA to WA to NY to MD and back again, so I thought I should go. Plus, Olivia wanted me to play as part of their wedding band. :)
I got to LAX on Friday, secured my rental car, and ended up meeting Kim at her mom's house in Culver City. I got to meet her awesome boyfriend, Aaron, and the four of us eventually got out the door and headed for the Getty center, a great art museum in LA off the 405, where you can see a great view of the city beyond the gardens.
Here's Kim and me at the Getty Center.
Here's Aaron squatting by this great fountain that dripped down into a vase-shaped cavern on the floor below.
I ended up having dinner with Kim, Aaron, Kim's mom, and Kim's brother and his girlfriend, then it was time for me to drive the last 45 min to the Motel 6 in Camarillo.
The motel messed up and only gave me one bed, when I requested two, so I made a flurry of phone calls and ended up having the room to myself on Fri night.
Saturday, I woke up early, and after getting myself an Ice-Blended mocha (no sugar added) from the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (more of a favorite coffee place than Starbucks... I wish they had them in WA), I made my way over to Olivia's parents house. Therein, I found John and the boys, and got to meet all of his friends who had showed up for the wedding. It turns out John wanted me at his bachelor party, but I didn't know that until Saturday... or else I really would have made an effort to go out earlier!
We hung out there for a time, went to breakfast at Marie Callender's, then came back and I made a trip to the wedding site (a botanical garden) with Dave and Rick to set up the band stuff. We met up with Kim, Aaron, Toby, and Ross (other band members from UCD), and picked out a set list and got the PA system ready, then I had to shuttle Dave and Rick back to Olivia's parents to get ready.
Finally, it was time for the wedding. I am such a sap - I am totally non-emotional, then two people get married and the tears come. Good Lord. But it was an awesome ceremony, no religious stuff, but plenty of thoughtful and learned quotes from famous authors and philosophers. Totally their style. They had a reading in both English and Chinese, and Rick sang a great song expressing their love for each other.
Then...party time! Here's a picture of everyone from Davis! L-R: Eli, Priya, Toby (Mr. Spencer!), me, Damien, Tizita (her and Damien are together now - which is so awesome! yay!), Kim, Ross, and Penny. Toby plays drums, and Ross plays guitar. Dave (who isn't in the picture for some reason) plays piano and organ. Priya and Penny lived with Olivia intermittently, Kim plays flute and bass and piano :), and Tizita was their friend from Davis, too. I think Damien had a class with someone, which is how he got to know them, and he and I were in the engineering department together. Eli and Priya have been together a long time (incidentally, Eli made the skateboard that is hanging on my wall in my condo). And Penny is awesome and gorgeous and apparently used to work in a lesbian bar.
Here are Olivia and John, looking so happy together and coming around the tables thanking everyone for coming...
We played a set during the cocktail hour, and then another set right before dinner...the tunes were pretty cool, although I wished for some free jazz (but some folks there might not have gotten it.. :) )
Olivia's mom is Chinese, and somehow secured a Dragon Dance troupe to come perform (the dragons that come out during Chinese New Year parades...) That was Awesome!
Here is a shot of Olivia gettin' down on the dance floor with Dave during the party-time. I love the red cheongsam (did I get the spelling right, Dawn? :) ) she changed into...
I ended up spending the night with Dave (i.e. we shared the bed for three hours while he talked to me about being compassionate towards the less fortunate, and finally we fell asleep), and I meant to split the room more (with Penny, Ross & Toby), but it just didn't work out... So Dave and I got up at 4 AM and made our way to LAX again....and back home I am! (With a ferry stop to see Daniel for a chunk of Sunday, of course!)