Which leads us to another MOG tip: If your son is getting married in a distant location that requires plane travel to get to, book your plane tickets so you will arrive TWO days before the wedding, if at all possible.
Happily I figured this out and we re-booked our flight to arrive on Thursday, two days before the wedding. As it turned out, while our flight went off without a hitch, the traffic in Oakland was hideous, and we were stalled on the freeway for an hour. Once the traffic loosened up again, we had a moment of indecision as to which turn-off to make, and instead of heading north from Oakland, we instead circled back across the Bay Bridge to....
The town I left my heart in about ten years ago...San Francisco.
During the year we lived in San Jose before moving to Texas, we used to drive to San Francisco for a day trip. I was SO glad we didn't need to rush to get to Sonoma, and instead could enjoy....
The classic SF meal: Sour dough bread bowls with clam chowder and crab cake sandwiches on the wharf. It was cold, and foggy, and exactly like SF should be.
They do sour dough like nobody else!
Good food, good times...
It was a perfect mini-vacation for us! We would have had to miss that opportunity if we had flown in on Friday, the day before the wedding, because, of course, it is the parents of groom's duties to host the rehearsal dinner the day before the wedding...being late to arrive would have been unthinkable.
After we ate, we enjoyed driving by the typical multicolored SF row house that faced the waterfront.
Then a trip across the Golden Gate bridge, and then we took a leisurely drive up the coast.
(Laura had arrived at roughly the same time we did, but she stopped and took a lot of great pictures of the same drive we took...and let me borrow some of her pictures.)
The California poppies were nodding a bright greeting to us as we traveled, as well as other wildflowers like wild radish, mustard, lupin, and veronica.
MOG tip: If at all possible, reserve a room for just you and the groom's father at the nicest place you can find for the weekend, close to the church and the location of the rehearsal dinner.
We stayed at the lovely lodge with the most beautiful roses in full fragrant bloom, and art scattered about the grounds. Our room was a separate bungalow with a fireplace to enjoy as well. It was SO nice!
Since we had had a late filling lunch at the SF wharf, we decided to just eat at the hotel, and have a small late meal of salad.
That was a bit of a pity, considering what the menu had to offer!
(I always am interested in seeing interesting menus for meal planning inspiration later.)
After our meal and a flight of white wine, we walked back through the grounds and through a walkway lined with fragrant orange blossoms.
How perfect in light of the upcoming wedding.
MOG tip: Take note of the flowers and scents and sensations of season and weather that surrounds your son's wedding. If you are like me, you can recall what flowers and seasonal delights were surrounding you as you awaited the birth of your son. The flowers and scents that were experience while awaiting the birth of your son, and while awaiting the wedding ceremony can become memory stirring bookends marking the beginning and the ending of the season of your life when you were a mother to a growing son.
After our stroll we retired to our room for a good night sleep. The next day we awoke refreshed and ready for the beginning of the prenuptual activities.