May 7 didn’t start out as a usual day. What was different? My husband and I were going to spend the next few days celebrating our son’s impending marriage.
When I got off the plane at The Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California, the weather wasn’t wedding friendly. It was a drab, cold day. Was this a joke? Isn’t it a rule that the sun is always supposed to shine in California?
So, after rolling our suitcases for at least a mile, (Okay a 1/8 of a mile that seemed like 5 miles), we rented a car at the airport and headed to Hollywood. My son lives there, and booked us a room at a Best Western “Hollywood Hotel.”
Hundreds of movie stars were permanently residing at this hotel. Unfortunately, most of them are no longer with us, but their likenesses and autographs were everywhere: the elevator, the bedroom, the hotel walls, and even the bathroom. Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, Ava Gardner, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne are only a few of the featured principals. Millenials wouldn’t have a clue to some of their names. “Fame is fleeting.”
I encountered the other two wedding guests in the hotel lobby, my lovely daughters. ( My son-in-law and grandson could not attend). My mind’s eye flashed back to 1982. I saw myself and three little children going around the neighborhood block; my eldest daughter leading the way, pedaling her shiny, blue, two-wheeler with training wheels, and her brother and sister in the double stroller. After a few seconds I catapulted back into the 21st century. In front of me I saw three responsible likeable adults.
The next day the family headed toward Santa Barbara, the wedding destination. I thought, how can this be bad when the place and I share the name, Barbara? The place is breathtaking. How can you go wrong with the Pacific Ocean, and mountains, and no honky-tonk; The shopping area is away from the beach and is very quaint.
My son’s future wife is English and is a woman with good looks and spirit. With her English accent, she sounds so “proper.” Many things are “lovely.” During one of our conversations, we learned that people often wear hats to weddings in the UK.
The next day we got up, and went to the shopping district sans the bride and groom. One of my daughters saw a hat shop, and suggested we make it a “proper” English wedding. We happily tried on hats for an hour. I almost bought one of those english hats that they wore to Kate and Will’s wedding, but I figured the royals aren’t going to invite me, so I settled on an American style floppy white one.
Finally, the day of the wedding arrived. We arrived at the beach where the wedding was going to take place. It was an idyllic setting.The officiate, wearing an appropriate white blouse and black slacks arrived and told us where to stand.( Nobody minded the cute little dogs walking the beach with their owners.)
As if on cue, the sun decided to shine. It was like an old-fashioned film. (The era before they blew up buildings, people and chased each other in moving cars.)
The officiate earnestly performed the ceremony she’d written, based on the information the bride and groom gave her. She brought up William Shakespeare and his views on marriage. She also acknowledged our long 42-year old marriage. My daughter-in-law picked her parent’s wedding anniversary to marry. What a tribute!
Finally, they exchanged unique rings flown in from Hawaii. They were finally man and wife. The passionate kiss after the pronouncement made it official.
The small intimate wedding they planned together was lovely.