It was 8-8-08, and my friends Betty and Mark decided to make the 1-1/2 hour drive from LA for a weekend in Ojai, which is where I live. They wanted to take me to dinner “someplace peaceful and delicious.” So naturally, I chose the Ranch House, a lushly landscaped oasis at the edge of town. From our seat on the restaurant’s pretty patio, we spied a couple dining alone on the garden terrace, he in formal wear and she in a long white satin gown. They were obviously way past their prom days, and after discreet inquiries, we learned that they were indeed “just married.”
All through our meal, Betty, who is a woman who fully embraces the concept of random acts of kindness, kept saying how we should do something special for the lovebirds. She thought it was sad that they were dining by themselves, but Mark and I guessed they probably preferred it that way. Betty was so taken with the idea of a romantic gesture, she finally requested that an after-dinner drink be sent to the newlyweds with our best wishes. After a few minutes, the manager, bearing a fancy silver tray with an open bottle of fine port and elegant glasses, began a ceremonial walk towards their table—only to discover that the couple had already left!
We had a good embarrassed laugh at our table, but the Ranch House staff sprang into action, quickly locating the AWOL bride and groom (who’d been enjoying a stroll through the moonlit garden), and inviting them to enjoy their port before calling it a night. The couple, Susan and Carlos, stopped by to chat with us afterward. They told us that though they had been together many years, they had just never gotten around to actually getting married. Turns out that the number “8” has special significance for them both, and when 8-8-08 rolled around they made a spontaneous decision to say their vows in a personal ceremony on Ojai’s Meditation Mount. Their wedding dinner at the famous Ranch House was “enchanting,” and they didn’t mind one bit that we’d intruded on their private celebration. We took a few photos before wishing them well.
So Carlos and Susan, this blog’s for you—may you have 8×8 years of happiness together.
How did you choose your wedding date? Does it have any special significance for you as a couple? I wonder if 9-9-09 will be as popular for weddings as 7-7-07 and 8-8-08.
Napa and Sonoma may have made California wine famous way back when, but there are world-class wineries up and down this state’s varied valleys.
As proof, one of our favorite Central Coast wineries has been cleaning up on accolades from all over the globe. Robert Hall Winery’s 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon was awarded a Double Gold medal at this year’s International Eastern Wine Competition. And rumor has it they just took home a shiny 4-Star Gold Medal at the Orange County Fair Wine Competition for their 2007 Viognier.
The one downside: As their list of awards keeps getting longer and longer, so does my monthly wine bill. You gotta sample the best, right?
I think I speak for all the lushes at Here Comes The Guide when I say, congratulations, Robert Hall Winery! Now pass me that 2007 Chardonnay.