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  Monday, October 23, 2017  
 
04 July 2001
California Dreamin'

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From 22 June - 2 July, the Foster family took to the land and air to get to the opposite sea. We flew out from Boston via Phoenix to San Francisco on Friday to attend my sister's wedding in Napa Valley. Following the typical trials of travel, we went on to enjoy a spectacular wedding and all that goes with it.

A ton of our extended family made the journey as well as many old friends from West Des Moines, IA--the homeland. It was fantastic to see both groups in person after too many years of separation.

My sister, Kristin, and her husband, Garret, put on a phenomenal gala. Napa Valley is famous for its vineyards, and the whole area exudes class. Wine seems to be as much about presentation as it is about taste. Everything in the Valley appeals to aesthetics. The wedding was certainly no exception.

The location was the Auberge du Soleil, a stunning setting that, "...[E]choes the Mediterranean feeling of the wine country with its French accented country inn ambiance" (www.aubergedusoleil.com). It was a beautiful day full of wondrous emotion.

The first group of pictures are from that leg of the journey.

After the wedding, Libby, Luke, Todd and Kari all went back to stay with the newlyweds. Nothing like having the in-laws along for the honeymoon. They were generous hosts so that we could attend another wedding the following weekend without having to fly home or stay in a hotel.

Kurt Rinehart and Susie Caldwell were married in Santa Barbara, CA the next weekend. Kurt and I have been friends since we were in sixth grade--circa 1981! He was the best man at my wedding, and I was honored to be his.

Kristin and Garret drove south with us to attend festivities. The five-hour roadtrip took seven hours with the infant and his parent's bladders.

Another beautiful setting. This wedding and all activies were outdoors. I had never been to Santa Barbara before, and I was shocked by how great it was. The mountains and the ocean are less than an hour apart. I was happy to get in a little rock scrambling AND surfing.

This wedding was another collection of close friends from Iowa as well as Kurt and Susie's friends from around the world. A diverse and entertaining group. At the reception, my mother was introduced to, and loved, a cheesy pop tune called "Who Let the Dogs Out" by the Baha Men. Somehow her enthusiasm turned the song from cheesy into a pleasant memory for me.

In case you were wondering, Kristin and Garret left Sunday from LA to fly to Tahita, Bora Bora, and somewhere else you haven't heard of for twelve days. I'm sure they're glad to be rid of us. Kurt and Susie are leaving shortly to go to southern Africa for their honeymoon. Can't wait for the details.

The travel was strenuous, and the positive emotions were overwhelming. We're still recovering from the journey, but it was a most memorable experience.

 

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