I have been back in California for just over a week now, so I think it is time to finish my summary of events.
Since I have returned, I have been struggling to find the appropriate words to describe Dana and Kenny’s wedding, and I have found that many of them fall short. Everything on that day came together so wonderfully, from the delicious food to the ideal weather. The location, the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, Arkansas, is so beautiful that it is difficult to wander about the gardens without a smile. The ceremony was short, sweet, and incredibly touching, leaving many eyes less dry than when they arrived. The whole evening could not have been more lovely and serene, perfect for our Dana.
The journey back to California took just under 40 hours. We drove through Oklahoma, stopping for about an hour to treasure hunt at a flea market, and then straight on through Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, arriving at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon just as the sun began to climb over the mountains on the horizon. We soaked up the glorious sights and sounds for about an hour, then grabbed some breakfast at the lodge and hit the road. We stopped at the Hoover Dam for some photos, and then reached Las Vegas at around 2:00 in the afternoon, where we stopped for lunch and a quick drive down the strip. We hit the road, and then arrived in Reno to swap cars at about 11:00 at night.
After we (I) successfully Tetris-ed two suitcases, a large ice chest, and a fun assortment of other necessities into my sedan, we took off for Vacaville at around midnight, arriving home just after 2am.
The entire trip was unforgettable, and the main thing I am taking away from it all is the overwhelming beauty of the planet we inhabit. In my opinion, each region of this country that I have had the pleasure to explore holds its own unique appeal, and each can be enjoyed in a different way. This trip has prepared me for my imminent journey abroad, and I feel much more ready to take on what is coming for me.
We live in a beautiful world.