Friday, October 14, 2011

Happily Ever After

Dave and I spent last weekend with friends, both old and new.

We drove down to Monterey Friday night and spent the night with Dennis and Margo. They live in Pasadera, on the golf course, and their life revolves around golf. Dennis fired up the grill and we had steaks and salad, and a lot of wine was consumed.

Turn back the clock 16 years. My alarm clock went off at 4:30am on a Saturday morning. Margo and her ex-husband pulled up in our driveway at 5:00am and off we went for an overnight ski trip to Kirkwood. Margo and Mark drove from San Carlos so they were easily up at 3:30a. We got to the mountain as the lifts opened, skied all day, and apres-ski Dave, Mark and I collapsed on couches in the rental condo. Margo then made an amazing dinner of Chicken Piccata and salad. Sixteen years later I still remember the meal. I still remember that she made it after little sleep, driving 4 hours, and skiing all day. That's Margo.

The Margo I saw Friday night is still working her way back to normal after two miserable years of illness. Although I've seen her several times during the last few years it still threw me.

Saturday morning we hopped on the 101 south to Solvang for Andy and Angela's wedding nearby. The day could not have been more perfect for a wedding: it was 80F and sunny with a slight breeze. The wedding was at the Gainey Vineyard Ranch in Santa Ynez and it was one of those rustic ranch style weddings Martha Stewart popularized.

The place cards were tiny clusters of flowers in salt shaker vases. The favors were lavender potpourri and Jordan almonds that the Andy's mom brought back from France. Many of the floral arrangements were in mason jars (my favorite!). There bathrooms were labeled Cowgirl and Cowboy. And best of all, dinner was Santa Maria BBQ! Dessert was It's Its. Divine!

Andy is a friend of Dave's, someone I've met just a few times. What struck me most about the event was how fabulous Andy's friends are. They were nearly all from his prep school, college and finance-industry days. Each one was smarter, nicer and more inclusive than the next.

Solvang, the Danish enclave in central California established in the early 1900s, is as kitschy as I remember it from childhood. We were there less than 24 hours and tried three bakeries.

And then we made the long drive home, back to reality and The Three Pinks.

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