Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wedding in Arizona #1 -- December 22, 2009

We just got back from Arizona, where we went to attend a wedding. Weddings are always nice, but this was a particularly good one. We flew down to Phoenix Sky Harbor on Southwest Friday morning. We left the car at Sky Park in San Bruno. There was a very long line for the TSA inspection. The 737 was full, but my wife had gotten boarding passes as soon as she could the day before, so we had our pick of seats. The air was turbulent for much of the trip. The stewardesses had handed out about 1/3 of the drinks before they had to strap themselves in. They were able to finish service before the flight was over.

We were picked up by ExecuCar and went out to Surprise. Interesting name. Our hotel, the Windmill Inn, and virtually everything else in Surprise was on West Bell Road. We met my in-laws there. It was a nice place, by pond with a flock of ducks. We went to a nearby Enterprise office (on West Bell Road) to pick up a car. We upgraded to a Toyota Avalon. Nice car -- when I started it, I couldn't tell the engine was running.

We headed off to the rehearsal at Saint Claire of Assisi church (on West Bell Road). The best man and his wife, coming from the Los Angeles area, were stuck behind a 6-fatality accident on I-10, so our nephew stood in for him. My wife read the first reading, my daughter read an intention, and my brother-in-law and I took up the gifts. I also volunteered to walk my mother-in-law up the aisle before and back down the aisle after.

After that, we headed for Tiburon Restaurant and Aquarium (not on West Bell Road), next to the Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park. The patio outside our room looked out on the flamingo pond. My brother-in-law and I discussed why an animal would evolve the habit of standing on one leg. We couldn't figure it out. A window looked out on an indoor pool with an albino alligator. There was an excellent singer/guitar player whose name I neglected to write down. He had a heart full of music, mostly blues-related. We danced a little bit. The chocolate-corn tamale for desert was unique. It was a nice rehearsal dinner.

Saturday morning, the ladies headed for hair and makeup appointments and I went for a walk. It was windy and cool. I found the ducks across the road. After everyone got dressed, we headed for the Corte Bella Country Club (not on West Bell Road) in Sun City West for non-traditional pre-wedding photographs. It was windy up there, so some of the pictures should be very dramatic. There was some confusion about the location, so not everyone made it in time. The room and the view were wonderful.

We went on to the church (on West Bell Road). There weren't any ushers, so I helped with opening the doors and directing people. The priest presiding was Father Brian Paulson, SJ, president of Saint Ignatius, Chicago. I mentioned that I had attended Saint Ignatius in San Francisco. He said he has many friends there.

The mass and wedding ceremony went well, with a lovely song before everyone processed in. Father Paulson gave a good homily. I fought the habit of taking the collection before bringing up the gifts. After mass they took more photos in the church. Saint Claire is a nearly-new church building, having been occupied on Christmas Eve last year. It is very large and has a nice ceiling with a series of blue arches that look like the heavens. There is a remarkable crucifix hanging over the altar. I had to explain why there was a skull and crossbones at the bottom.

We went back to the country club for the reception. After, the DJ said it was a very good crowd to work with, and he particularly liked the kids. Our nieces our nephew and our daughter all had a good time. The groom's grandmother and aunt did all the flowers and centerpieces. They are talented. We danced. The food and wine were very good.

We went back to the hotel exhausted. I thought it was 10pm, but it turned out to be only 7:30.

I took the photo late Sunday morning at the hotel. We were sitting on our patio and ducks started running towards us from the lake.

More tomorrow.

No comments: