Sunday, July 23, 2006

What happened

Yes, folks, it's true. We're getting married!!! Christian picked the most perfect moment possible to propose. Here's our day at Point Reyes National Seashore:

We started out at the Raford Inn in wine country, where we had spent two truly blissful days in the most gorgeous and spacious room imaginable. Dane and Rita, the innkeepers, have a magical little spot -- a Victorian mansion that looks out over acres ands acres of vineyards. We had huge and delicious breakfasts both mornings we were there, prepared by a lovely young woman named Kristen who reminded us both of our friend Jamie in Nashville. At the end of the day, all the guests gather on the broad front porch to sip wine and sample cheeses and compare notes on the day before heading out to dinner. Thursday night we weren't really up to going out to eat, after hitting all the wineries all day, so we picked up a picnic supper of prosciutto, cheese and locally made bread. We had heard rumors there was a hot tub, but since the guests aren't technically allowed to use it we certainly didn't eat our picnic in it and drink wine and watch the sunset over the vineyards. No, we certainly did not do that. You can ask innkeeper Dane, because he certainly did not come talk to us while we soaked, and he absolutely did not show us how to turn on the local jazz station on the built-in radio. Nope. Never happpened.

The next morning we got up early and packed up. After another of Kristen's lavish breakfasts -- a marvelous chili cheese quiche, vanilla yogurt with fruit and granola, mandarin orange salad, a fresh corn muffin, and chicken-mango sausage -- we were off, back to the coast and more of the celebrated California Route 1. By 2 p.m. we were at the trailhead, overnight packs loaded up and ready to set out on the 5.5-mile hike to Wildcat Camp. The hike was breathtaking, winding along ocean cliffs and back into canyons. It was very, VERY hilly. All the way in we were convinced we were hiking uphill the entire way. Funny thing was, on the way back out the next morning it STILL feelt like we were going nothing but uphill. How does that work, anyway?

We got to camp, where Kristin had secured us the closest campsite to the beach. What she hadn't known was that our campsite also had its own private ocean overlook. There was a narrow trail that led straight up from the site, leading to a tiny overlook just large enough for the two of us. Nice!

Christian took the water filter and went in search of a stream. Kristin, meanwhile, decided to surprise him by setting up camp, which she had never done before. By the time he returned, the tent was up, the fly (tent cover) was on, the sleeping bags and pillows were set up and she was attempting to stake everything down.

We took camp chairs, the camp stove, coffee and supper fixins up to the bluff, where we settled in to watch the sunset. We were already marvelling at how simply perfect the entire day had been from start to finish, and then we were treated to one of those unbelievable Hollywood sunsets -- fuschia, magenta, vivid purple, sinking from a crystal-blue cloudless sky into the sea. It was such a desperately beautiful moment that, even though he had planned to wait until he could ask Kristin's father, Christian decided he simply couldn't let it pass. We were having our little moment, then we turned around and realized we had an audience -- a couple and their two little kids were watching the sunset from the bluff behind us. So Kristin, who was already giddy and giggling, started jumping up and down and waving her hand in the air, yelling, "We're getting married!"

Blissful? You bet.

Oh, I even forgot part of the magical day. After we set up camp but before sunset time, we walked several miles down the beach to the waterfall. Yes, there was a waterfall that cascaded out of the rugged, sun-bleached rocks and poured out into the ocean. The ranger at the park visitor center had told us about it. It was as lovely a little waterfall as you could hope for, green and clear and cold, spilling out into the sea. In fact, it looked a lot like this:

However, there were a few moments after we arrived in our camp when it seemed that our stay wouldn't be so blissful.

We had just come back from the beach, when we discovered that we had an unwanted visitor. Kristin had gone to a restroom (not a real restroom with running water, but more like a toilet that emptied out into a hole in the ground. Someone must clean it out. Or something? Things that make you go hmmmm.) Christian was going back to the camp.

That's when they met.

Christian walked up the narrow trail into camp ... and came face to face with a giant, hairy, black-and-white skunk with a serious attitude problem, right beside our tent.

Their eyes met. The skunk went behind a little patch of weeds. Christian took several steps back, yelling for the skunk to go away. Stinky wouldn't budge. They continued to stare each other down for what felt like minutes, until the skunk decided he had had enough. He raised his tail ... and then lumbered off into the underbrush. Thankfully he didn't squirt. And the skunk didn't spray Christian, either.

The scenes that played out after that felt like something out of "Caddyshack." Christian was convinced that the skunk was following him. Never mind that we neither saw nor smelled the slightest trace of him for the rest of the trip -- he WAS following Christian. He was around every corner. Waiting. Stalking. Stinking.

Gunga galunga.

OK, we're off to dinner at Nopa, which comes heartily recommended by Kristin's chef friend Aaron, at whose restaurant we shall dine in L.A. We have more interesting stories to share from San Francisco, including two small children who gave us the best cup of lemonade either of us had ever tasted, and two traveling college students from New Jersey who had rescued a darling baby duck from becoming a Chinatown dinner.

More later. Love to all.


  • Wahoo!

    Congratulations and felicitations and many years of happiness to you both!

    Get home safe.

    By Blogger grandefille, at 1:29 AM, July 24, 2006  

  • How da heck did I misss commenting on this post this morning?!? Anyway, K, I am so happy for you as you sound happy and C, 4 words regarding the skunk, paranoia will destroy ya. LOL

    By Anonymous beer goddess, at 7:58 PM, July 25, 2006  

  • Okay one last indulging comment for the record please. I absolutely must punish you guys somewhere down the road for the gunga galunga link. I'll only confess to reading it end to end while laughing close to hysterics under pain of torture involving a meat hook and car battery.

    By Anonymous beer goddess, at 8:10 PM, July 25, 2006  

  • ooooooh congratulations to you both! :)

    By Anonymous Kate Howard, at 8:56 PM, July 26, 2006  

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