A Weekend in Sonoma: Eat, Drink and Be Married!

How were we so lucky to score a coveted invitation to Easton and Ming’s wedding? We aren’t swimmers. We most certainly aren’t Princeton alums. And even if you add the bride and groom’s ages together, there’s still a generation gap between us. I guess it must be our connections, one of them being to a beloved grinning sock monster named Pierre, and the other…well, more about that later.

Those in the know know that Pierre loves weddings.

Those in the know know that Pierre loves weddings.

However undeserving of the invitation we may be, we RSVP’d with an enthusiastic YES, and on a beautiful late summer morning, we set out for Sonoma, where Ming and Easton were to be married.

It was a seven-hour drive through parched central California. Pray for rain this winter!

It was a seven-hour drive through parched central California. Pray for rain this winter!

We stayed at the cozy Inn at Sonoma. Just a few blocks from the town square AND they keep a perpetually-filled jar of cookies in the lobby!

Our cheerful little room at the Inn at Sonoma.

Our cheerful little room at the Inn at Sonoma.

We find Sonoma to be friendlier and more accessible than neighboring Napa, and it was especially so the week after a 6.0 earthquake that caused some damage in Napa but left Sonoma undisturbed and undeterred. After settling into our lodgings, we walked into town for the evening.

Sonoma has a lovely, leafy town square. (image from virtualtourist.com)

Sonoma has a lovely, leafy town square. (image from virtualtourist.com)

After a glass of wine on the terrace at Centre du Vin we ambled over to the highly recommended LaSalette for dinner. The cuisine is Portuguese, the outdoor terrace is impossibly charming and their dessert “flights” are completely irresistible.

The CE ordered scallops at LaSalette.

The CE ordered scallops at LaSalette.

And the caramel dessert "flight". Divine!

And the caramel dessert “flight”. Divine!

If you visit Sonoma, you will want to eat here.

If you visit Sonoma, you will want to eat here.

The next day we toured Jack London State Historic Park and stopped afterwards in London’s cherished hamlet of Glen Ellen. The terrace of the Glen Ellen Inn was a perfect place to enjoy lunch and their cioppino was superb.

It looks unremarkable from the outside, but the Glen Ellen Inn restaurant has a beautiful "secret garden".

It looks unremarkable from the outside, but the Glen Ellen Inn restaurant has a beautiful “secret garden”.

The cioppino is definitely worth the stop!

The cioppino is definitely worth the stop!

After lunch, we visited the nearby Benziger Family Winery and took their tram tour through the vineyard. A fun stop!

Benziger Family Winery. So pretty!

Benziger Family Winery. So pretty!

We tasted their cabernet grapes from the vine.

We tasted their cabernet grapes from the vine.

For dinner that evening, we visited an old favorite on the Sonoma town square, the girl & the fig, where we happily continued our streak of eating every meal al fresco.

Appropriately, an appetizer "fig flight" is served at The Girl & the Fig.

Appropriately, an appetizer “fig flight” is served at The Girl & the Fig.

I also enjoyed their flight of Rose wines. L to R, from Mathis, Imagry and Cochon vineyards.

I also enjoyed their flight of Rose wines. L to R, from Mathis, Imagry and Cochon vineyards.

The patio at the girl & the fig is lively and festive.

The patio at the girl & the fig is lively and festive.

The next day dawned just as beautiful as the two before and that afternoon we made our way to Cline Vineyards, the breathtakingly beautiful setting Ming and Easton chose for their wedding. As the programs were handed out, the guests learned that the couple had a surprise in store for them: they had chosen their dear friend and our dear son, Taylor, as the “officiant” for the ceremony! That, of course, is how we squeaked onto the guest list, and it was such a privilege to be there for the occasion!

The handsome "officiant" before the ceremony

The handsome “officiant” before the ceremony

The beautiful couple and Taylor after the ceremony.

The beautiful couple and Taylor after the ceremony.

This was the backdrop for the ceremony - exquisite!

This was the backdrop for the ceremony – exquisite!

Easton and Ming are that “meant to be” couple everyone admires, and many of their friends from their college years at Princeton traveled from all over the country to attend the wedding. Everyone laughed when Taylor took a “ceremonial selfie” and everyone cried when he spoke touchingly (I know he will groan at that adjective) of that “paradoxical creature known as #mingston”.

The bride was escorted by her parents.

The bride was escorted by her parents.

The flowers were SO beautiful!

The flowers were SO beautiful!

This is known as capturing the moment!

This is known as capturing the moment!

We were so proud of Taylor, who has a new gig as “officiant” to fall back on in case the day job doesn’t work out, and we are so thrilled for Ming and Easton! What a special, blessed day. How lucky we were to be a part of it.

The CE and the "officiant" after the ceremony.

The CE and the “officiant” after the ceremony.

Taylor, me and Easton

Taylor, me and Easton

Emily, Dr. Philson and our beloved Dana.

Emily, Dr. Philson and our beloved Dana.

The dinner  reception was held in the candlelit Cline Cellars barrel room. Such a special evening!

The dinner reception was held in the candlelit Cline Cellars barrel room. Such a special evening!

Congratulations, Ming and Easton!

Congratulations, Ming and Easton!

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
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8 Responses to A Weekend in Sonoma: Eat, Drink and Be Married!

  1. Katherine says:

    Gorgeous! From food to farms to gowns (which do I covet more – the bride’s or yours? I am not sure. But I know where you live so yours is less safe. Watch out.) What an appropriate setting to be drunk of love. Congrats to the happy couple. (And lucky couple to have such a special officiant. Nothing ether than someone who knows you well and loves you to boot.)

  2. Phyllis says:

    What wonderful pictures of such a special event. The wine country is indeed a great place to visit and to have the wedding there with our Taylor such an important part of it is unreal. Best to the young couple on the next phase of their lives.

  3. dizzyguy says:

    Such a beautiful affair was the wedding, from start to finish. Cannot find a better suited couple nor a more attractive one. Also, I can honestly say I have never seen a lovelier venue for a wedding. Congratulations and long live #mingston!

    Our adventures in Sonoma before the event were also memorable. Concur with CCL that the food and side trips we experienced there (including the Jack London tour discussed in last week’s blog) far exceeded expectations (which were high anyway), and the hotel was perfect. It is a great little town to just wander around. You can just pop into nearly any eatery and be very surprised at how good everything is. We hope to return since the famous #mingston event has made us into true Sonoma fans.

  4. Mrs. G says:

    So very, very lovely….ALL! And touching that Taylor was the officiant for his dear friends! xoxo

  5. Angela Gutsche DiGaetano says:

    WOW! What a special trip and event! Absolutely a GORGEOUS wedding, location and couple. So proud of Taylor! Impressive! Thanks Pollo, for sharing with all of us. xo

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