Home > Pre-Japan > Dash’s whirlwind trip around the world, part 1: A wedding

Dash’s whirlwind trip around the world, part 1: A wedding

There are some vacations which, while thoroughly enjoyable, tire you out so much that by the last few days you can’t wait to go home and sleep in your own bed, in your own place, in a familiar city. And then there are vacations which are so thoroughly enjoyable that even though you are both mentally and physically dead tired, you do not want them to end. I had the latter experience this past week in my trip to San Francisco, and then Mt. Fuji. Just thinking about how I am going to put this past week into words has me daunted to the point of frustration. There is so much to tell. So many amazing memories. Let’s start with the wedding.

My good friends Stu and Becca, whom I’ve known since the very first day I started college (we were all in the same dorm together) got married last Saturday in San Francisco. They have been together now for five-ish years, and I think of all my friends in college and outside, their end result was the most clear. Of course it’s easy to say in hindsight that I saw this coming all along, but having watched them in college, and then having followed them creepily through facebook after, there were never any doubts. It was a matter of when, not if. That “when” was August 7th in a little Naval chapel made of redwood and Tiffany stained glass.

I arrived on Wednesday in San Francisco and headed into Berkeley to where I would stay until Saturday with some distant relatives. We spent much of the time trying to figure out how exactly we are related. I still can’t quite figure out what Rina and Malcolm, whom I stayed with, are in relation to me but their kids are my cousins twice removed. Our great grandmothers were sisters. It was wonderful to meet this part of the family I had either never met, or not seen in many years, certainly too long ago to remember. I learned that one of my cousins, Reuben, is a “kinetic sculptor” which is a super sweet word describing someone who makes art that moves. I also learned that my other cousin, Sadie, just had her second baby four weeks ago. I had a great time with them all, and I really appreciated their hospitality. Hopefully I will have a chance to go back and do some of the things I did not have time to do, including checking out Reuben’s studio.

On Thursday I met up with Becca, as well as Matt and Mia, also from Beloit, who made the trip to San Francisco. Well, Matt lives there so it wasn’t much of a trip for him, but Mia came all the way from Delaware! I had not seen either of them for more than a year, so it was great to catch up. We spent the day touring the USS Hornet, where Becca works. The Hornet is an aircraft carrier, actually the 9th re-incarnation of the “Hornet” ship. The first one saw action in the war of 1812, probably alongside the USS Constitution, interesting because that’s the museum my dad works at.

I spent the first two days back in America dealing with a fairly serious case of reverse culture shock. Even though it had only been six months since I was in Boston for Christmas, I found it extremely difficult to be back in the U.S. Everything was so…understandable. So easy. The people were so…rude. So fat. Yet countering that was a fairly strong pull to be near my friends. I had forgotten, in a way, why we were friends in the first place and being back, hanging out with them certainly gave me something to think about as I continue my life in Japan.

Finally on Saturday was the wedding. I must admit to being slightly worried it would be an overly religious, boring affair. I should not have had any doubts. Stu and Becca planned the service themselves, and that really shone through. From start to finish (which was less than an hour) it was an extremely lovely ceremony which reflected very nicely the two extremely lovely people participating in it. From the chapel we moved on to the reception, equally as “Stu and Becca” as I had hoped. No one but Stu would force people to know movie/ TV music in order to eat, after all. Luckily he was lenient and let us know when it was our turn to go, as no one at our table knew the music to “The Shawshank Redemption,” never having seen the movie myself.

The food was great, as was the company, and it was lovely to catch up to some ex Beloiters in the process, in particular Sam and Ivy who after two years teaching in Taiwan are back in the Bay area, Mia, who I don’t think rolled her eyes once even though my dance moves leave much to be desired, Matt, who has not changed at all since Beloit (and that’s a good thing) and Schultzy who drove all the way from Kansas where he is the Political Director in a campaign for the bad guys. He was driving back again the next day.

There is not much else to say, really. I had a wonderful time, and it was a pleasure to attend the wedding of two people who mean a lot to me, even if we don’t speak often now that we are so far apart. They’re off on their honeymoon to Hawai’i now, and I wish them the very best, not that that’s really necessary.

Below are some of the pictures I took. There are more online, just click here.


A Beautiful St. Peter's Chapel where Stu and Becca got married.

Matt and I arrived a bit too early at the chapel, so we decided to do a little pre-wedding photo shoot of our own.

They came out quite well!

If I didn't know myself I'd think I was born to be a model.

Of course Matt had to get in on the action as well. I'm not sure whether it's my lack of ability at taking pictures, but instead of looking cool, Matt just looks like he was caught peeing in public.

That's a little better

Oh the irony!

And I even brought this special short grain rice from Japan! Awww shucks

It was very pretty inside. A little too dark for my camera's liking though!

There's Stu and his brother/best man Glen

Awaiting the bride to be

There she is!

Oh so cute

Matt and Audrey performing a song Matt wrote in their honor.

Doing the ring thing

Smooch! YAY!

Showing off their dance moves at the reception

There's Becca and Mia making everyone look bad.

Sam, Ivy, and Sam's fabulous Narky moustache

I think this is probably my favorite one out of all the ones I took that day. It just came out so perfectly.

Categories: Pre-Japan
  1. Winnie
    August 13, 2010 at 4:53 am

    You and your friend looked very dashing in those pics (no pun intended) and the wedding looked great! Congrats to the couple 🙂

  2. Peri Bearman
    August 13, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Had my laugh for the day, or maybe week–Matt’s picture: priceless!

  3. Stu
    August 17, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    First, you really should see The Shawshank Redemption, it is a great movie. Second, that picture of Matt… oh my fricking god, that is funny as hell. Third, and most important, Becca and I were SO glad you were able to make it. It meant the world to us to have you and all those other Beloiters there to help celebrate. It wouldn’t have been right without you there.

  1. August 16, 2010 at 9:13 am

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