What a great weekend! Saturday, we split up for the morning and early afternoon - I took Rachel to Tessa's house, went to the City to get the transponder for the Prius, and then came back to get a haircut and a couple of wing bolts before going back to get Rachel; meanwhile, Dawn, Dick, Darryl & Molly went into the City to the farmer's and art markets.
While picking up Rachel, I talked to Dana for a while. We talked about a bunch of things. At some point, the conversation helped me realize that since we're hoping we'll be able to get more solar up in a few years, we probably don't want to replace the furnace(s) or water heater, even with new gas ones. I figure that in several years, when it is time to replace the main shingle roof on our house it will be possible to use solar shingles; they seem to be about a hundred dollars each right now, which would probably be ridiculously expensive.
Dana's brother-in-law told me about an FM transmitter he got for his iPod and says works really well. It is a large white module that plugs directly into the cigarette lighter and has a slot to hold the iPod. He said that it is far better than the one he tried before that was more like my Belkin. I'm going to have to hunt for it a little; so far, it looks as if it might be by Griffin. He said that he drove all the way to Santa Cruz and didn't have to change it off 88.1 until he got there.
I also told Dana about Rachel hitting her head on the arm of the futon on Monday when she was sick. She hit her head pretty hard; at first, I didn't think she was going to cry, but then she started to. I said, "wow, that was a pretty good thunk!" I was just trying to see if she'd talk rather than cry, so I was a little surprised when she started laughing, hard. I said 'thunk' a few more times to help this along, and it was all over, no crying necessary.
Shortly after I told the story, Rachel banged her head on the coffee table when we were putting on her socks and shoes, but good. She started crying almost immediately this time, but I said "thunk" several times and she went straight from crying to laughing hysterically. Dana, standing near the door said "it's magic!"
On the way home, I started talking to Rachel about having time with Yeni in the evening; when she asked why, I didn't really want to explain that we were all going out to dinner because she might feel left out. I told her it was so they could spend some time together and that maybe they could go to dinner. She loved that idea! When we got home, Rachel and I fixed her coat rack, with the wing bolts - the plastic anchors I used originally were coming out of the wall.
We had Yeni come over a little early and let her take Rachel to the chinese restaurant around the corner. That made leaving really easy - we didn't have to worry about her getting upset about seeing all of us leave. She came up to our room where we were getting ready, to say goodbye. Very sweet.
While we were getting ready, I gave Dawn the bracelet, which I mentioned in the just unclassified post I wrote a few days ago. It's really very pretty. It has 22 ruby beads interspersed more or less randomly across the 5 strands of Keshi pearls. The clasp is made of platinum, has five very small ruby gems set into it, 3 on one side of one half, 1 on the other side of that half, and 1 more on the other half. It has a really cool way to link, where the two halves have to be perpendicular to each other to let the two channels pass each other. She loves it!
Eventually, we got to the Lark Creek; Dick went with Elisabeth while Dawn and I took Darryl and Molly with us in the Prius. When we got there, almost everyone was standing outside talking. As we went inside, wondering where Elisabeth and Dick were, there were a number of observations of how many people in the group have names starting with the letter D: Dylan, Dawn, Don, Dan, Dick, Darryl. Six of 15. Turns out Elisabeth and Dick had gone straight in instead of standing around in the cold!
We started with a champagne toast. Dawn said a few words and asked everyone to sign the wedding book we put out at the wedding. The staff was very good; they managed to put 15 dishes on the table in very close proximity twice! We did run them out of the special main course of beef tenderloin on forest mushrooms in a wine sauce with foie gras. Sounded really great until those last two words. Ick. Dawn had pork "in the bag" - cooked in a foil bag... it looks like Jiffy Pop. Or Jiffy Pork as Mike called it. I had a culotte steak that was pretty good, although slightly more rare than I would normally like. All in all a wonderful evening; 4 hours of food, drink, talk and pictures. Dawn's right, though... we should have called the woman who made our wedding cakes and had her make some for us to have with the crowd; the desserts were a little hit-or-miss.
Since Dan and Karyn were up we really wanted to get together with them for a while longer. We'd been planning on breakfast, but we couldn't quite finagle a chance to see them by ourselves since they were staying with John for the weekend, and pretty soon we wound up doing breakfast for 10 at our place. It was quite nice, but I really want to get a chance to spend some real time with Dan and Karyn. I think we're going to try to go visit them after Christmas instead of going to Hawaii. We'll go there soon too, but this seems much nicer to me right now.
Friday will be our actual anniversary; at the moment, we are scheduled to have dinner at the Lark Creek again. I think we still will, since it is on the way to Pt. Reyes, where we'll be staying for the weekend.