A couple weeks ago my 8 year old son and I made a trip to California for none other than my best friends wedding! I explain HERE why only the two of us ended up going this time.

As much as I missed my little princess on this trip, deep inside it felt really special to have some one on one time with my son. I often feel mom guilt for not spending enough time with him because of constant need to tend to my little one’s needs. He is actually very sweet and patient about it but I know he craves that mom time too.

The trip to California went smoothly. My little travel buddy is at the age when he either watches movies in his iPad or sleeps during the drive.  I put in my ear buds, turned on Audible app and listened through half of No Drama Discipline book (<— strongly recommend).

We also talked about these guys as they snuck up on us around the mountains:

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Anyone else drove between Phoenix and San Diego on I-8 and was mesmerized by these super-sized wind turbines? They make you feel like a tiny Alice in Wonderland 🙂

For our few nights of stay in California we picked a small golf resort next to a wedding venue and it was perfect.

View from our balcony:

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The pool was all my son really cared for. After an eight hour drive, it was a perfect way to unwind.

I packed my sneakers and workout clothes with a full intent of going for a run after the drive (I love running in California!). But the sight of the pool from our balcony was too enticing. Can’t even say, I put up a struggle.  The pool won.

The next day we started with a beautiful breakfast special at the resort (I only ate eggs and bacon with a few bites of pancake; Dmitri cleaned his plate):

With a view from our table:

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My son was begging to jump on a golf cart to play some golf but I explained we didn’t have out clubs with us and that we had some wedding chores to attend to.

That day was the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner with the wedding crew. Dmitri and I stopped by Starbucks for an almond milk latte for me, half sweetened chocolate milk for him and some Sous Vide egg bites with roasted pepper.

After running some errands, we joined everyone at the wedding site:

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I absolutely adored the lovely lake which would serve as the bride’s wedding entrance on a boat. The place was tranquil, bearing only hints of celebrations to come tomorrow.

We lined up for the rehearsal, giggling in pleasant anticipation:

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Photo credit: Dmitri

Once the formalities were over, we moved to the villa that bride and groom rented for the occasion. Sitting on top of a hill with astonishing views of the wine country, the villa reminded me of an Italian countryside.

Dmitri surely enjoyed investigating all 4 levels of the property. He’d pop up here and there happily waving at us:

The rehearsal dinner was a perfect mix of casual and elegant with the most delicious food: light and tasty.  There was a lovely fresh spinach Gorgonzola candied pecans salad that made my heart happy, roasted garden vegetables and a delicious lasagna.

We ate, laughed, and toasted to the future Mr. And Mrs. The smaller more intimate setting made this celebration even more special.

The bride squad 🙂

 

After dinner, Dmitri ran around with the beautiful flower girl with blond curls. She was about his little sister’s age and they immediately bonded.  It was so adorable to watch how tenderly he looked after her and held her hand.

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Me and my girlfriend getting the inside scoop on how to properly pose in front of a camera from our model friend.

We are obviously succeeding:

The next day we did our usual Starbucks run for breakfast and reported to the villa early. It was time to prepare for the big day.

The bride was so sweet to make a gift bag for each bridesmaid with a silky turquoise robe, jewelry for the wedding and a gorgeous stainless steel cup with our names. We threw on our robes and got to work:

It reminded me of the college years when my friends and I would get together to put on make up and curl each other’s hair while stereo blasted the latest hits. It was perfect.

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I decided against hiring a stylist for hair and makeup this time.  After all, it was not my big day to shine. But I ended up being pretty happy with how the DIY version had turned out. The glamour look of false lashes made up for the otherwise lacking makeup application skills 🙂

Of course my curls immediately fell flat in Californian humidity, but that was to be expected.

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I took a little tea break while the bride was finishing up.

Meanwhile downstairs the bride was turning into a princess from a fairy tale:

Her hair and look ended up being so effortlessly chick and natural! I kept looking at the bride with happy tears in my eyes.

Dmitri was the sign bearer with his cute little partner, the most adorable flower girl I’ve seen.

I was watching them from the gazebo (as a Maid of Honor, my place was at the front) and felt so proud!

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In what must have been the most romantic ceremony ever, the gorgeous bride arrived gliding on a boat across the lake and everyone took a deep breath. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard muffled “wow’s” and saw the groom fighting off tears. Unmistakably, my eyes filled up too. She was just SO beautiful!

After the ceremony, the photographers swished us away for pictures, and we finished just in time for dinner.

I took a deep breath and went up to the podium with my Maid of Honor speech. Unlike my usual self, I started working on the speech a while back and added finishing touches the night before. I felt most honored and intimidated at the same time.

Later, we hit the dance floor with my little partner.  Handsome guy!

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At some point between the songs my son won the garter toss.  Wildly inappropriate, I thought, because all other eligible bachelors were now robbed of their chance to toast at their own wedding next. But it was too late as everyone busted out laughing and photographers snapped away their shots.

When the guests started to depart, I felt a pinch of sadness that this special evening was coming to an end. But it was also the beginning of something beautiful for many years to come and I couldn’t be happier for my friend and her husband.

The next day Dmitri and I met family for a lovely lunch at Lemonade (variety of fresh seasonal food, try it if you’re in California!) and headed to San Diego for a day. I’ll be back later to tell you about our little adventures.

What are your favorite memories from a wedding? Did you ever have to give a MOH or Best Man speech? 

Hope you have a lovely rest of your day!

Cheers,

Katrina

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