“Hawaii is not a state of mind, but a state of grace.” Paul Theroux
There is nothing like a destination wedding, for it is a gift to all. Last weekend we attended a Hawaiian themed wedding in Mendocino, California. Driving one hundred and fifty miles north of San Francisco, a stunningly beautiful and varied terrain unfolded. Sunny and dry Sonoma with fall colored grape leaves turned into Redwood forests deep and dark, and came out on the Pacific Coast Highway. There, with hawks circling on high over land that has done everything in its power to keep from development, perched the white shingled town of Mendocino on a headland jetting out into the ocean. How it glistened! We were fortunate, they said, for it is often foggy.
Our bride was elegant in elbow length gloves and vintage Hawaiian. The groom wore shorts and a Tommy Bahama shirt. Their guests went to all lengths to wear tropical prints.
Floral arrangements blazed in brilliant oranges, reds and purples: bird of paradise, lobster claw, halaconia, torch ginger, and liatris. Orchids poised throughout. People mingled with leis and kukui nut beads strung around their necks. The surf, the pop of champagne corks, and clink of toasting glasses.
And Hawaii was in the feast. Pork with pear sauce, prawns, scallops. Pate, duck confit, ahi with sesame and soy ginger sauce. Fresh cut papaya, pineapple, kiwi, and mango. Banana cream pies in lieu of a wedding cake.
Did I mention the wine? Did I mention they married?
When I love a place I start to see my life there. How else to live multiple lives? Three weeks ago I was practically house hunting in Laguna Beach, but my first impression of Mendocino is one I may never get over.