Wow. Has it been since November that I last wrote? At that time, we were in California, headed home after Tony and Colette’s wedding in the Bellvue, Washington Temple on November 8.
We stayed with Colette’s family for the first part of our stay. They live 3 hours southeast of Seattle, Washington. It’s where they grow food.
Orchard after orchard, vineyard after vineyard, and vegetables as well. It was fall, so the colors were red, gold, yellow, and brown. Then when there were pines, the bright colors contrasted against the green and just simply beautiful.
It’s a rugged land with tall rock formations, but it has its own beauty.
We fell in love with her family and friends. It was as though we have always known them. We think alike and we are so blessed that Tony found a girl from such a family. It’s just too bad that we don’t live closer where we can do things together.
The first night after arriving, it was to the church to prepare for the reception. Decorations, setting up tables, chairs, ironing, prepping food: all the thousand little tasks that have to be done. We had paid the extra $25 to bring an extra bag on the plane and we brought 4 duffel bags full of ice cream buckets (3-4 in each bag) of Pupusa Mixture, Taco Meat, Spanish Turkey, Re-fried Beans, and 1 box with 44 loaves of Poppy Seed and Apple Coconut Bread.(or Cooking for a Crowd)
The next day, was the same. Preparation. I was smarter though, this time, than at the previous children’s weddings. I had Colette’s sister do my hair early in the morning in a French Twist with pretty pins and spray it really well. Makeup done. That way, I did not have to leave the food or kitchen later. Worked out much better.
We had the taco meat and Spanish turkey in roaster pans that we had borrowed, then had chips, bread, salsa, grated cheese, diced hard-boiled eggs, mushrooms, onion, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado, Spanish cream, etc. that people could either make a pile-on taco or make sandwiches with the turkey. I also made two roaster pans of rice and we had re-fried beans. And strawberry lemonade to drink with the Poppy Seed Bread and Apple coconut bread for dessert. There was also ice cream, and chocolate and strawberry to drizzle on.
The reception was that night and the church had been converted to an enchanted fairyland. It was simply beautiful with floating Japanese lanterns, flowers, a metal gazebo, candles, etc. Fun music, a video presentation, good food, and lots of love flowing. Colette and Tony sang to each other and we had a wonderful evening.
We drove on to Tacoma that night to not have to make the 3 hour drive in the morning, which probably was a mistake, because I was so tired and the roads were curvy. We finally made it to Fito’s sister: Blanca’s home. Then surprise! His other sister, Maria, who lives in Ohio had flown in for the wedding!
We stayed up another hour or so. Then it was time to get up a few hours later and get all pretty again.
We went straight to the Temple on Saturday for the ceremony. What a beautiful temple and the landscaping is so incredible. Even though it was fall, the grass was super green and flowers were blooming. That part of the US is so beautiful.
After the ceremony, Colette was still glowing. I am dead serious that she was glowing. I believe in auras, and occasionally see them at certain times, and Colette was radiant- she was truly glowing. Partly from happiness and partly, I believe, from her purity.
After the Temple Wedding, friends of Tony, from West Point came in their uniforms and sabers and did a fun tradition. They made a tunnel that Tony and Colette had to pass under. As they went through the tunnel, two of the officers would lower their sabers, stopping them and Colette had to kiss Tony in order to pass. It was really fun.
Then lots of pictures, then off to the church for a family dinner. This time, I made Pupusas with the help of my mom and sisters-in laws and Fito and my children. They came out great. We had four griddles going and whipped out several 100 in about 40 minutes. Another success. Having the meat frozen and prepared beforehand made a big difference and it was cheaper to bring it all on the plane than to FedEx it.
The dinner had the same program as the reception, but was more formal in the table settings, but less decorations. The family was wonderful and we had such a wonderful visit with Fito’s family, as well.
Sunday, we went to the farmer’s market in Seattle which is amazing. We also had to drop Fito off at the airport as he was going back home to work, and drop Colette and Tony’s rental car off, and pick up Colette’s car as I and the 3 children (David, Elizabeth, and Rebeca) were driving it back to Oklahoma. Tony and Colette were headed to Florida for their honeymoon but their plane left really late.
It was a day that required a lot of patience. We had to wait several times as things simple did not go as planned. Everyone waited so patiently. Fito’s family is amazing: other people would have been frustrated by all the things that went wrong and all the waiting, but they were great.
Monday morning came. I took Colette’s car to the post office, packed up all their things into 4 boxes and mailed them to Missouri where she and Tony reside. We had too much luggage and could not leave until I made room. I then went back to Blanca’s, we loaded up and left.
We headed down though Oregon, then through northern California. The whole drive was spectacular. The ocean, the tall mountains butting up to the Pacific coast, the magnificent Redwoods, the red, yellow, and golden deciduous trees against the green pines, the amazing villas and foothills of wine country. We stopped at San Francisco and went to China Town. I want to go back some time with Fito: it was amazing and I didn’t see enough (or buy enough).
Then we drove across central California into the rugged mountains and desert of Nevada. We were going onto the Grand Canyon, but headed straight for home. 18 hour straight drive through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas; then home to Oklahoma. Amazing rock formations, striking deserts, incredible sunsets, star lit skies with an almost full moon in the New Mexico landscape. No man made light to dim the magnificence of the heavens.
We headed home as bad weather was coming. It had been following us all the way home, but was just about to catch up with us. It snowed the night we made it home.
Home. What more needs to be said. The US is incredible. Each of the 34 states I have seen, is its own kind of pretty. But home is always the best place to be.
See how she is glowing?!