Friday, July 31, 2015

Moore reunion and B.Moore wedding number two -- Tennessee

A 3 ½ hour flight brings both the nation-wide familiarity of freeways and Dunkin Donuts but also stark contrast between the brown and dry drought of California and the lush and green of Tennessee. 

It's a 2 1/2 hour drive from Nashville airport to the reunion site on Kentucky Lake.  In a 30 mile stretch of highway we pass at least 10 churches, 2 pawn shops (1 a pawn and gun combo), and one gun shop. 

We find we have no cell phone coverage or wifi.  Having difficulties with an international bank transfer we repair to a local coffee shop for breakfast and internet  (unlimited coffee refills for hours—imagine!).  At a nearby table a girl of 10 or 12 sitting with her family eats a hamburger and a large order of fried onion rings, with a large coke.  Her belly hangs on her thighs.  Oh America, the super sized. Here are a couple of items spotted at the Piggly Wiggly supermarket:

Though these items didn't qualify for our Must Have in America list, we happily continued making our way through it with other favored treats including milk shakes, cheesecake, burgers (for T), omelettes with hash browns, donuts, and, here in TN, grits! Yum.

The wedding was held at the home of the groom in Sandy, TN.  A bus had been arranged to take guests from the reunion site--good call.  

The ceremony was conducted by a dear cousin and held under a massive tent in case of rain.  Here the minister, groom and best man await the bide's arrival

The ceremony

There followed a buffet featuring an entire roasted pig (no pix for sure).  

Here is evidence of some typical brother confusion

And the bride posing with the Moore siblings
...what has she gotten herself into?

The next day the reunion was in full swing.  A fine time for catching up
and telling stories
T and the groom

Brothers + 1 and wives
Sisters in law

'Til next time....

Back at Nashville airport, a mobile cosmetics store (huh?)
Meanwhile, photos from the honeymoon of couple #1 in Venice come in :-)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Wedding!

A beautiful, memorable, masterfully planned occasion, 150 souls from across the globe creating a fleeting but somehow also lasting community on a scenic California hilltop. 

It was a wonderfully mixed crowd, the bride’s family Iraqi immigrants of Armenian descent, the wacky Moorenado, quirky Tveterites, and loads of 20 somethings—all dressed up and ready to party and dance big time.  And we did!  

People rose to the occasion by dressing up.  Here are T and I in action.
K's dear friend L, doing make up

Call me Bond

The finished product with one of the many supportive women who made it happen (thanks L and T and M and B and E and L2!)

Here is the wedding party:

youngest members of wedding party

Bride's brother and mother
And the ceremony

 A fine ceremony under the gazebo, conducted by B's pastor from UCLA days, when he attended North Hollywood Christian Church. 

After, there were many family photos while guests took advantage of the full bar on the outdoor terrace. The DJ started the music and there was so much enthusiastic dancing he hated to stop it but he had to--there was more on the program: a formal welcome by B, partly in Arabic which drew wild cheers, three excellent speeches, by the bride's father, the groom's brother and father, and the formal dances,
Bride's Dad giving speech

Mr. and Mrs.

Groom and mom's dance  (for video see

Lots of fun dancing!

People stopped dancing long enough to enjoy dinner choices that included prime rib and salmon with scampi.  

Alas, the bride and groom skipped dinner. Their prime rib was served but before indulging they opted to make the rounds from table to table greeting guests and never made it back to their meals.  Ah, but 11:30 brought an In ‘n Out burger truck.  Here they are with their double doubles, ready to board a town car for their hotel and, the next day, a Tuscan honeymoon. 

There was such good feeling and a communion of well-wishers.  We so enjoyed reconnecting with old friends of Ben from high school, college and grad school days, relatives, and friends from Tacoma.

 Bride and groom had spent months planning the event and it showed.  So many details.  “Goody bags” were made and delivered beforehand to each guest staying at a hotel. A complete list of family photos to take following the ceremony was prepared for the photographer. Tables were named for places on the UCLA campus that had meaning for them.  Photographs of those buildings were transformed into line drawings, blown up and printed, with an explanation of the place’s significance on the back, and placed in the center of each table.  Diddy Reiese (a local tradition) cookies were given to each guest  with their place cards. A photo booth and coffee station were arranged, and a bucket list placed for guests to suggest life experiences. Shuttle vans were arranged to take guest to and from the wedding venue.  I know I've neglected to mention any more details. It was a tour de force and all went well. 

Happy guests leaving on the party bus (shuttle to hotel):

California here we are!

Super thrilling coming back to the US this time, as we are coming for son B’s wedding to the lovely Miss S.  We arrive five days before the Big Day.

Los Angeles is in the middle of a serious drought. There are frequent news reports of forest fires and an increased number of brown lawns.  

We take in the wonder of familiar culture, and seek out milkshakes and burgers and bagels and decent coffee.  Comfort and convenience are so readily at hand.  

Seen:  a long line for donuts and the above-mentioned coffee

Other marvels: The standard household washing machine--four times the size of ours and four times faster.

And apparently everyone needs a security guard 

Heard, with wonder:  “gluten free vodka”—advertised on NPR! 

And here are some of the TV offerings in LA:
  • ·         Sexy adult toy shopping
  • ·         The Twilight Zone
  • ·         World’s Dumbest Performers
  • ·         Cougar Tom
  • ·         Hot Tub Time Machine
  • ·         From Mommy to Hottie
  • ·         Million Dollar Baby
  • ·         Skin Wars

On to wedding prep!  First stop, tuxedo fitting

Next, silver shoes for mother of the groom dress (it's a Cinderella thing)

And checking out the venue with the lucky couple

Son Cam arrives and we are off to the tuxedo shop again.
followed by the obligatory In n Out stop

And then it’s time for the rehearsal !
K and boys

T and M 

K and more boys

the gazebo

M watching the action (or lack thereof?)

Practice makes perfect

Time for the "rehearsal dinner," hosted by the parents of the groom for the immediate families and wedding party.  We had a very nice meal at the Wokcano Restaurant in Burbank.

Proud mamas!

Bride and her Dad


The couple
And capping off a perfect day, a friendly beer competition, Suds Smackdown, pitting home brews brought from across continents, by father and son. The event was emceed by the incomprable Yousif M, aka brother of the bride.

Here, beer experts confer:

And the groom trying to influence the panel judges--the uncles and father of the bride

T's brews:
 The judges in action:

One of T's wins!

And so does one of C's but it's all good!