Monday, September 17, 2007

Friends In High Places

WOW! What a crazy, fun, amazing, fantastic 4 day weekend I had! I made it out to Tahoe with Kirst, Ang, Lisa, and my new friend Anouk for the event of the month: Vince & Julie's wedding!

It was an incredible weekend, and I can't express what a great time I had. I got closer with many of my friends, and made a bunch of new ones!

I took about 5 gazillion (technical term) photos, so it was murderous to try and pick through them... but here are some of my favs of my Tahoe Weekend!

The trip started out painfully - I got about 2 hours of sleep and had to be up at 5am for an 8am flight - much to "The Early Crew's" chagrin.
No sleep + Up early = Unhappy D.
However I rallied and managed to not be grumpy. YAY FOR ME!
Christ, my extendo-arm even works in enclosed spaces like planes. Lovely.
Later we stopped at Joe's Diner in Reno for some breakfast which was super tasty....

And Lisa noticed one of the best signs ever made, which I promptly took a photo of:
Oh yes, Daddy, it does smell good. WTF? I mean seriously, who would make a sign like that? So needless to say, Ang and I repeated it to each other throughout the rest of the trip. After awhile it was like a challenge to see who could freak each other out with that phrase more.

We stayed at Harrah's, and the view from the room was quite nice:

Given that Ang and I have a flair for grossing people out (see: Stalker Eyes), we decided to recreate the "It smells good Daddy!" image later on our trip:
And the results speak for themselves. LOL!

Along the way to Lake Tahoe The Amazing Lisa (my new nickname for her, given that she drove, navigated, planned, scouted, and basically were our eyes and ears the whole trip :) noticed some hawt signs...

Who wants a Chocolate Nugget? YUM!
Come stay at the Motel Washoe - free serial killer in every closet!
Along the way, I got the distinct feeling I was no longer in LA. You'll note the roads look slightly different.
We went to The Beacon Pub (or something) for dinner after checking in at the Hotel, and had a fantastic waterfront dining experience thanks to good food, good company and the sun setting...

Unfortch I was feeling camera shy and decided to hide in my menu. See, it doesn't really work for the Olsen twins, it doesn't work for me. Luckily I overcame it for a group photo! Note how Anouk is totally hiding something under that red shawl! She totally made out with like 3 pairs of silverware from the eatery. I hear Vince and Julie loved their partial set, too!

I'm kidding, Anouk only stole some glasses. Sheesh people.
Kirst and I got all artsy fartsy and took like 1,000 photos of the lights with the sun setting. I totally stole her idea, but we both got great photos. :)

At the grocery store I saw an ad I HAD to share:
Yeah, if I need a bail bond, I'm TOTALLY hitting up an androgynous mullet couple. They had to know their way around the legal system, right?

That night we hit up Hard Rock where I started meeting many cool new peeps:
Ang, Jules, and Blaire before shot #1!
Blaire turned 21 recently, and since we weren't at her birthday we were guilted into having shots (which, really, didn't take much guilting). Fun fact: Blaire is Shelby's younger sister! And Angela's niece! Between them and Aileen (Ang's sister in the blue jacket), I'm thinking their whole family pretty much rocks. Oregon peeps RULE!
Extendo-arm-crane-bday shot!

Happy B-Day Blaire!
Here I am with Lisa The Awesome, and it sorta looks like I'm standing on a stool... sadly, I'm not....
We were a fun crowd, although most of us were drinking water, which didn't make the bartenders at The Hard Rock too happy. ;)
But we managed a few shots!
Me, Jules, Ang, and my new Chicago girl Jen!
Aussie Leisa is my 2nd Aussie BFF (after LK of course) and is simply fabulous. Not only is she an amazing dancer WITHOUT alcohol, she cracks me up. Plus she can totally insult you, but with the accent you are like... "Awww, thanks!" ;)
Vince! The day before impending doom! Ehr... marriage.

So I conked out and then got up early (AGAIN! This time on a Saturday! AGH!) for a morning hike to see Emerald Bay from up high and hike down to a castle built in the 1920's by a super rich old lady... yeah names & such slip my mind.
The view was gorgeous!

So Lisa offered to take my photo, and I think she said something like "Act like an animal" or something photographer-ish (watch out Annie Liebowitz, homegirl's gunnin for ya):
Hardy-har har. I think I was going for cougar/man giant/dork. I win.
Luckily she took a nice one too. I think I just lost cougar and stuck with dork on this one.
The air was SO CRISP and SO NOT LA! It was gorgeous out. Sigh.
I call this piece: Tourists On The Rocks.
The water was so blue it was like a commercial.
Lisa spotted a great photo op and I jumped for it! Or, squatted, rather...
We made our way down to the bay and got a great view from down below... and then toured the castle!
It's very well kept up although I got claustrophobic inside as I think it was made for people like 4 feet tall.
There were these flying objects everywhere making sounds - someone called them "Birds". All us LA folk were quite shocked. And a little scared. Those lil bastards were jumpy.
Inside the castle was a ton of authentic Scandinavian furniture, it was pretty cool.
They even had a classic Dodge!
Apparently the clock's name was Elma or something. We totally made out. I love slutty 1920's clock faced objects. CALL ME BACK BABY!

No rest for the weary, after the hike and such LK, Lisa The Incredible and my tired ass went on a cruise around Lake Tahoe:
We went on the MS Dixie II (The first one was eaten by a giant sea creature or something)*

*I don't remember WTF the dude said about the MS Dixie 1 and that's more entertaining. Love it.
The views were awesome and we had a great time being out on the water.
The best part tho was all the drunk Southerner's on the boat! It was great. The accent just cracks me up. They were all over Tahoe! My favorite quote, later heard in the elevator: "Where's a Wallllllllll-Mart when ya need oneeee, YA'LL?". I actually giggled.
Note to self: Get rich, buy mini island, build Dr. Evil style fortress.

After all that adventure, we met up for the rehearsal dinner at The Cantina bar, where we promptly overate a ton of great Mexican food!

The Bride & "The Best Maid" - Anouk referred to Angela as The Best Maid and it stuck the rest of the trip. :)Julie with her brother Mike and his kids, Allie, Maggie, and Tyler (His lovely wife Carol is unfortunately not in the photo!) - aren't they ridiculously cute? I mean really!
The wifey and I! I don't think it's possible for LK to take a bad picture... doncha hate models?
Ashley, Lisa The Fantastic (I'm thinking Lisa's thing is going to be a new nickname every time! HAWT!), LK and I all lined up!

So Ang and I decided it was time to do some Stalker Eyes:

HELP! AAAAAH! Altho really I look like I have indigestion and/or gas.

"Grrrrr I have my eye on you!" LMAO I love creeping other people's families out.J/K ya'll! We made up!

I proceeded to take photos of the large room we had for dinner, and Angela managed to be front and center of every camera in the room - it's her dark gift. I'm pretty sure she either sold her soul or sacrificed a chicken for it, but damn it's effective!

"OMG! Camera! Hi!""You again.... tee-hee! Do I look pretty?" ;)

I met more of Vince and Julie's family and they are all such nice people.
After we headed back for a few pre-party drinks in the hotel... straight from the bottle. Now that's why I'm called classy!
Blaire started it off like a champ!

Of course we asked Anouk, the pregnant one to join us... she posed with the bottle which got everyone to laugh, but wouldn't drink - come on, you know Britney did it!

Ang doesn't appear to be a fan of whiskey. ;)
Ashley rocked the hizzy and promptly through the coke bottle against the wall saying "That's for weaklings.".
Lisa The Fantastic jumped in with mucho gusto!
I tried to do a classy "Whiskey and Coke from the Bottle" magazine ad - I think I rocked it!
This photo was too cute not to share. :)

We went out to Hard Rock again and hung out for awhile, then crashed out... Sunday was THE wedding day! Along a morning walk I noticed my new fav store:

I also posed with my friend, Bob The Indian:
We then joined up with my rockin new LA friends Robb and Tanya who do the internet sitcom Life From The Inside to ride the Heavenly Gondola up the mountain and go on a hike....
At the viewing area we made posed with this lovely bear who is apparently licensed to fly - given the recent flight issues Alaska has been having, I think it's safe to say he is in their employ.
The views were simply amazing.
The water in Tahoe goes through multiple shades of blue as the shoreline decreases. Spectacular!
It reminds me a lot of Oregon!
And LA! But with trees, no smog, and land that isn't covered in cement.
Pretty cool viewing spot! After that, we made our way on the hike, which covers trails normally used for skiing, which was fun.
And no shortage of beauty.
I soaked it all up before returning to my cement paradise!
We even ran into wildlife, which always amazes us LA types....
The gondola ride was pretty awesome.

After all that it was time for the big ceremony! It was held at The Edgewood golf course & country club in Lake Tahoe. It was such a beautiful setting!

The sun was setting over the lake as the ceremony began, it was beautiful!
Speaking of beautiful, it's Ang, the Best Maid! ;)
Julie's parents Betty and Bill escorted her down the aisle - they were both so nice!!
Down the aisle they go! Vince's parents Tom and Terry were also there on his right, they were so friendly and warm to talk to. I have to give a special shout out to both sets of parents for putting on such on amazing wedding! Oh yeah, and the whole giving-life thing.
Vince's sister Cassie performed a fantastic ceremony! Officiants in the hizzy!
Leisa read a great heartfelt piece of poem that I don't remember the name of... but it was great! Especially with the accent!
Marv (CHICAGO! WOO!) also read another great piece I don't remember the name of, but did a great job!
And then just like that... they were married!!!
Reed the best man and Ang both gave amazing toasts and speeches later on in the night. Ang totally made 75% of the women in the room cry! :D
Their wedding photos had a great backdrop! :)
The dining room was really nicely set up as well!

Sunset FTW!
Brian and Cammie came up from LA and sat next to Kirsten and I and were a lot of fun to talk to.
It's Mr. & Mrs. B! Congrats!
Children eating chocolate and smearing it all over = always funny!

Ang's speech begins - and so do the waterworks! :) It was so sweet.
Vince: This cake is actually pretty damn good!
The bride and groom shared a wonderful first dance...
And had clearly been practicing.

OK, now is where it gets CRUISE-AZY!
The rest of these pics more or less speak for themselves. ;)
Reed danced like a man posessed - it was really impressive, and put the rest of us guys to shame! :) Jen being nice and tall joined me for several dances - I have hereby decided Vince's entire Chicago crew rules. :)
"Oh la la!" Leisa was the Non-Bridal Queen of the dancefloor!
Brian flew in all the way from Switzerland for Vince's wedding!
Ang never stops doing Spirit Fingers, I swear...
Ashley and Blaire helped me belt out lyrics louder then I thought possible! It rocked, and we all had sexy smoker voice the next day.
Ashley and Aileen, I'm surrounded by pretty!
TRUE PROPS to Julie, who rocked her wedding dress on the dancefloor unlike any bride I've ever seen! The girl knows how to move! She rocked the house, it was so fun! :)
Whaddup LK!
Whaddup Leese (The Groovin')?
Whaddup Blairrrrreee?
I wish I remembered what song this went with! :)
Tanya and Robb rocked it!
You guys rule!
Julie worked the dancefloor!!
And of course belted out the tunes with the best of us! SO FUN! :D
I love Reed's expression in the background, this pic rules!
Grace and Marv got totally drunk and made out on the dancefloor like it was prom. *

*I'm kidding! They weren't drunk at all.


OK, I have to thank Ang for taking two of the most ridiculous and funny photos of me ever:I think Cammie and Kirsten feel sorry for the crazy seizure-giant.

We took a moment after to take some nice photos, and someone called me "John Travolta" - but I'm sure they meant it pre-freaky scientology era.
Awww X2.
Awww X LK!

Afterwards we had a few drinks at The Hard Rock, shutting it down...
And Julie rocked the casino by playing craps in her wedding dress! How awesome is that?
Bill, Matt (who totally cracked me up, and his lovely spouse Kerrie was also super cool - we must hang out you guys!), and Coleen (as well as Garry, Stephen - dinner in Long Beach right?, Leisa - who promised me she'd visit again soon, and many others) cheered her on!
It was pretty cool to see.
After we had the much needed 2am drunk breakfast, which was a lot of fun... and even managed to have Ang out at 2am which was a miracle in of itself!

One thing I have to mention before I go... it was a little scary... but... the rooms at Harrah's have these crazy old TV's in them... and... well... I turned one on... only to find...

They air crazy SAW style torture videos!

Well not really but it sure does look like it, doesn't it? :)

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, and it was the brunch hosted by Betty, Julie's Mom, on Monday morning, at a fun place called Thai One On...

I had one last time to talk to more of the super cool people that came from all over the globe to wish them well. I also had a chance to talk to the super cool Deborah who promised to join me for Bitchy Bingo one night. ;) I'm holding you to it D!

While I did look forward to coming back home to my normal job/life/etc, it was tough to say goodbye to everyone! I was greeted by the stark contrast of returning to LA: Mmmh, smog, yum. :D

So all in all I had a FANTASTIC weekend and I feel incredibly lucky to have such amazing friends. There are some points in life where I think you can step back and examine your life and realize... dayumn, I am really lucky. :)

Even though I've only known V&J for a short time, they are amazing friends and I know they'll have many happy years together! You guys deserve all the happiness in the world! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

1 comment:

s said...

nice got all the ladies