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On this overland, we took it easy. Jameson has a pretty wicked cold so no gym, no exploring. We just waited for the train and enjoyed a movie at a local theater (Miss Peregrine's Home for Extraordinary Children), then got a hotel when by 9pm the train was not in the yard.

The next morning we left early to get back to the train because I had a union meeting...our first negotiations of 2016. As union steward for the band, I was invited to be present for negotations. I ended up participating via Skype. It was very interesting, and our first of many I'm sure. Hopefully the talks will go well!

The meeting took a few hours, and afterward I was busy packing and cleaning my room, making sure everything was in order before I fly to California for Kayle's wedding. So excited!! But I lost track of time and sort of missed lunch. The train is parked behind a large shopping plaza with several food options, but there are two live tracks and a fence between us and all the goodies. In the past, we've always snuck through a hole in the fence (probably made by circus people of days past), but the railroad doesn't like that. This time we were told a path would be made for us, but it was late and dark and I snuck through the hole because it was the only way I knew. Shh, don't tell :P

The next day I got to wake up nice and late and relax. I did a final load of laundry, then set out to print some documents. Roselli (bus driver) kindly gave me a lift to the shopping plaza, but to my disappointment the Staples that had been there in years past was permanently closed. So instead I found lunch and took it back to the train, using the new path. It's a gate behind a Wendy's, marked with greenish spray paint and tons of little red flags. I guess this makes it easier for the train engineers to know where people will be crossing, and keep an eye out. How nice!

A few hours later I made sure everything was packed, and locked the door to my room. My sub was on his way (huge thanks to Doug Elliott for covering for me while I was gone!) Jameson drove me to a train station nearby, where I caught an Amtrak to Newark International, then a shuttle to a hotel. I called my sister Raven and talked for a bit, then my friend Lauren whom I haven't spoken to since Christmas. Then sleep.

The next day was full of travel. A six hour flight to San Francisco, during which I watched Finding Dory and part of Kung Fu Panda 3. My second flight was delayed so I didn't get in to Santa Barbara until late. Beautiful sunset though!

Friday got off to a nice slow start, thankfully! Everyone sort of went off to do their own thing, so I did too, walking to a nearby plaza for breakfast. There was a bagel place there, Jack's Bistro & Famous Bagels. I went intending to get a bagel of some kind, but the French toast looked so good I went with that instead!

Then I went into a nearby Trader Joe's for some items for some folks, then back to the hotel. From there my sister Kate and I decided we should pick up bathing suits (we hadn't packed any thinking there wouldn't be time for swimming) and our Mom and Dad had just gotten a rental car, so we piled in and went shopping!

We enjoyed hanging out with Kayle and her husband-to-be Skylar and some of their friends poolside until it was time to get dressed for the rehearsal. We all cleaned up and headed over to the church. It was huge, with a massive vaulted ceiling and gorgeous stained glass windows.

The rehearsal went pretty well...we'd see how well on the day of the wedding! The rehearsal dinner was at a restaurant near the church called Cadiz. The meal was served family style, and was VERY delicious! Seafood paella with saffron, marinated beef roast, seared scallops, pesto chicken...and everything tasted better because of the wonderful company. Mr. and Mrs. Cobb (the groom's parents) made some heartfelt speeches and led a prayer before we started the meal. Afterward the younger crowd headed out to a nearby bar, while the old and jetlagged headed back to the hotel :D

And then, it was the big day!!! We got up semi-early to get ready for the hairdresser and makeup artist, who came out to the hotel. Once they arrived it was a whirlwind of hairspray, bobby pins, and false eyelashes. Kayle's friends are extremely thoughtful and brought champagne and snacks for us to enjoy while getting primped. Once we were all dressed and styled and painted, we had a few photos with Kayle in her bridal suite. She then presented all of her bridesmaids with gifts: necklaces to wear to the ceremony, earrings, and lovely soft gold scarves/shawls/there's a fancy word for these that I don't remember. I was really touched by the unexpected presents. Thanks sis!

In true Kayle fashion we left late and arrived late, but really it was right on time to get lined up and go. The ceremony was beautiful, a full Catholic service. Our Mom sang, and many of Kayle's friends participated in the ceremony by reading scripture verses. Absolutely wonderful. I'm so glad I could make it!

(photo courtesy Jennifer Monroe)

After the ceremony...more pictures! Tell you what, smiling hurts your face after a while! But the photographers made it fun, and we loved capturing this special day with Kayle. Awww!!

(photo courtesy Jenna Scarpino)

Then we headed over to Chase Palm Park Plaza for the reception. I didn't take many pictures here because I wanted to be in the moment, but hopefully we'll see some great professional photos soon! The park was beautifully decorated for Kayle and her guests. Open bar and great food! My Dad and my sister Kate both gave speeches, along with members of the groom's family. After a great meal we danced and partied the night away! The park had a carousel that was open for our use. It was fun (and kind of funny!) to see a bunch of nicely-dressed adults riding the horses like little kids!

The evening ended with Kayle and her husband riding off under a shower of sparklers held by her friends and family. The whole day was romantic, fun, stressful, emotional, and incredible. I was so glad I could be there.

The next day it was time for me to say my goodbyes. Well, I didn't get to say many because my flight was at 5am! But I will see my family again soon, over the holidays. Today was a day of flying, all day, until I got to Albany, where Jameson met me at the hotel he'd booked for us. Next time I'll have to make some excuse to stay longer haha!

Next up is Rochester, NY!

Other stuff:

While I was gone there was a Yeshiva show (a show for the Jewish community), so expect some photos/videos of that next week when I've gathered some!

While I was gone, looks like the train got some new wheels! Fun fact, everyone who lives in the car being hoisted into the air has to be out until the process is complete.

(photos courtesy Nikki R.)