WHAT A WEEK! Whew! Glad its over. I still feel like I'm recovering. Anyhow, the week was completely hectic and full starting the minute I stepped foot off the Greyhound onto El Centro soil. I slept only 1 hour and dozed [sorta] on the bus for 2 hours. I shopped until I dropped! Most days we went to no less than 3 stores picking up supplies. I got my hair cut on Wednesday, the longest shopping day ever! 7+ hours: Starting with Wal-Mart, Target, Food4Less, Costco, Smart & Final, and Vons. I know most of you don't know anything about El Centro, but it plain ol' sucks. Obviously, it took 6 stores to get everything we needed. We also spent 3 solid hours cleaning my grandmother's patio and doing some yard work, as that's where we had the reception. We didn't take any breaks in that 3 hours, either. We left there a sweaty, sticky, dusty, leafy, wood/paint chippy mess. Worse case of allergies ever- for all 3 of us.
Thursday morning I woke up bright and early. And spent the ENTIRE DAY cooking for the dinner. I made bruschetta (just tomatoes, feta, and basil) and sliced up 3 baguettes, two kinds of hummus (roasted red pepper and spicy), baked macaroni and cheese (using gruyere and havarti cheeses, artichoke hearts, and spinach), chocolate and colorful candied mustache and lip lollipops, cupcakes in a jar, and wedding cake. I also handmade a topper for it. In addition to what I made, my aunt made her famous whole wheat dinner rolls, my grandma made a green salad (salad bar style!), my other aunt made the cocktails, and my mom made two huge briskets and two racks of baby back ribs. We also had rice crispies treats, petit fours, and snickerdoodles; and savories we had my mom's famous potato salad and roasted veggies. It was a veritable feast, washed down with iced tea, lemonade, and Dr. Pepper.
I was a flurry of teal the entire night, as I was the one putting this shindig on.
The morning of the ceremony I got up extra early and baked the sponge cake. I painted my nails, ironed my dress and my brother's suit, and generally got everyone going. As I was a witness, I had to be at the courthouse early with the bride and groom. My parents came later. And we all realized my other brother was missing from the action. Well, we couldn't stall the ceremony, so we went through with it. Turns out my poor brother was there the whole time! He just didn't know where to go. So, he missed the ceremony. I felt so terrible, I wanted to cry. He was pretty upset also. :-( It was important for us all to be there, as the bride's flaky parents didn't even bother to show up. They didn't object to the wedding, they love my brother and my family. They're just flakes, plain and simple.
The "wedding party". I was Best Man. Then there's the groom, my baby brother Ethan. Then, Lauren, my beautiful sister-in-law, and Viviana, the Matron of Honor.
The dining area in the yard.
Beautiful lantern on the table.
Bottles with daisies and carnations (and the cupcake in a jar)
Anyway, it was crazy getting everything decorated and food warmed and plated and set out, but I got through it. By the time I got everything done, I didn't even want to eat dinner. I munched a small plate of food while I assembled the wedding cake. It was made with whipped cream and fresh berries, so it needed to be assembled and eaten pretty quickly. It was a delicious cake! It was a wonderful night, surrounded with loved ones and delicious eats. I got home at about 11pm and don't even remember my head hitting the pillow.
The wedding cake with handmade topper!
Decorations and food area, side 1.
Decorations and food area, side 2.
The next morning I woke up and headed to the Holtville Carrot Festival parade with my dad. He owns a 1970 Chevrolet El Camino (his very first car) and is part of a car club. They named themselves "The Drifter's Car Club" which I think is totally lame. I suggested they call themselves "Old Guys with Old Cars". Much better, in my humble opinion! ;-) Anyway, we drove through the parade, I drank a sh*tty cup of gas station coffee, and I got a giant 3 or 4 gallon bag of fresh produce- it was "fill your bag with as much as you can" for only $5!! The sad thing is, this is the only farmer's market type thing in the Imperial Valley (the Farmer's Market they have once a year doesn't even have any fresh produce to buy). Its pathetic considering its a HUGE agricultural area. The entire Imperial Valley is completely and totally surrounded by fields and agriculture.
My dad's truck
The car parade line-up. My dad's is the 3rd car. The 2nd one is my dream car!
One side of the festival in the town square.
The other side, with the carnival and cars from another club.
Anyway, that was a fun day. I saw some old friends, had some fresh fish tacos, saw some more of my family. It was nice to revisit it, as I grew up attending that festival. Super awesome!
Me & the other witness, Vivi.