Five years ago I got to reunite with my old elementary school friend Toshiaki when he came to the states on holiday and this weekend he came back, but this time he brought a whole posse with him. Not for any small occasion but for his own wedding at the Ritz-Carlton Dana Point. He recently got transfered from Honda Japan to Honda Brazil and decided it was time to take a plunge with his long time girlfriend kanai (whom i’ve never met before).
I was lucky enough to get together with him a few nights before his wedding to catch up since i knew he would be too busy the day of. We shared a few glasses of beer and sake along with my basketball pals CJ and Song. After dinner i wanted to extend the night a little longer and took him to Cafe Lu for some vietnamese coffee.
The day before the wedding was dark and rainy but as the sun rose on Sunday the skies cleared out and left a perfect setting for a wedding. The ceremony was short and sweet, even if 90% of the audience couldn’t even understand the minister. I really didn’t know anyone else at the wedding but i got reacquainted with Tosh’s parents and little sister who i haven’t seen since she was 6, and now she’s 31. I also got to know about Tosh’s “god father” from Atlanta whom befriended the family when the first moved to the states back in the 80s.
You couldn’t expect anything less than great when you book with the Ritz and the service and food was all top notch. Probably the fanciest and memorable food i’ve had at a wedding from the asparagus soup, shrimp cocktail, spiny lobster tail and filet mignon.
I always like having a drink with the fathers because they always seem the happiest at weddings. I knew going in that i was going to get into trouble but it was all worth it.
I hope it wont be another five years until i see him again, but its going to be tough to make it down to Brazil, now that i know it costs $800+ just to get a Visa to visit the country. Hopefully i can meet up with him when he decides to go back to Japan for a visit.
I thought i was done with weddings last year but i guess you continuously make friends from all corners in your life and i’m thankful i can still make friends as i get older. Once we got back from Europe it was a nonstop wedding month with weddings three weeks in a row.
The first one was for my accountant/friend Sung at the Crystal Cathedral in Orange which i’ve always seen going to the block or driving down the 5 freeway but never stepped foot in. Its a grand church with a huge pipe organ walls that open up to the outside, and fountains shoot up that can be controlled for effect. It was a dry wedding so it was a very peaceful wedding with a dinner in the courtyard and lots of Korean food to feast on.
The following week was Joy’s ex-coworker at College Hospital Kathleen and Alex who we’ve hung out a few times and took a trip to Vegas with too. Their wedding was a step up in terms of production level because Filipinos know how to throw a party. The reception was out in San Dimas so i wasn’t really planning on drinking much but Joy’s other coworkers are a fun bunch at we threw back a few drinks and had a really good time. Thankfully i came to my senses the day before and booked a hotel room at the nearby Sheraton Onatario so we didn’t have to drive an hour home.
The last wedding of the bunch was the most important with it being Joy’s last college girlfriend Shelly to get wed. This was the biggest, most organized of the bunch with of course with the most people that we knew. The wedding was extra interesting with me arriving back from Las Vegas in the afternoon and heading straight the reception. It was an all night affair and at the end of the night having a Burger Truck dishing out hot burgers and fries helped everyone sober up.