Party Over Here, Party Over There

Note: Today is Day 6 of my 30 day blog challenge. If you want to get my random thoughts about random stuff in your inbox, you can subscribe at the bottom of any post or mash the RSS button if that’s how you roll.

Today everyone decided to have ALL the parties on the same day. Left to my own devices, I’m undaunted by the prospect of five social events in one day, but shepherding my introverted wife through them all is a different story. We’re at two of five at the moment and so far, it’s been wonderful.

After a rough start this morning involving some cat puke, we headed to Sand in the City in Pioneer Square to hear one of my favorite bands made up of some of my favorite people: Dirty Martini. After a few years mostly on hiatus, band members Stephanie, Lara and McKinley are back together and writing lots of new songs.

Dirty Martini playing the Sand in the City event at Pioneer Square

In addition to amazing sand sculptures and great music, we got to see Steph’s new 9 month old baby, and ran into a friend and her 3 year old twins.

Next up was a wedding reception of our good friends Jenn and Kym. This one was close to home so we took the truck in order to enjoy the perfect July weather.

I have never been a big fan of weddings–probably because I never wanted one, and even if I did, when I was younger, I couldn’t conceive of it ever being A) legal or B) supported by my family. So it was a real treat to witness Kym and Jenn’s two families, many of whom traveled across the country to support them in their special day, leaving behind any ideological, religious or other differences to just celebrate love. A sandstorm kicked up in the middle of the father daughter dance–I don’t know how else to explain everyone getting something in their eye at the same time.

Father daughter dance

Cutting of the gluten free cake

A photo with the happy couple

We heard it didn’t take long before the parents and grandparents were overheard making plans to take vacations to each other’s respective cities to visit.

Party number three: cousin Donna’s 50th birthday surprise party. She actually was surprised, which is a miracle considering the comedy of errors that ensued trying to get the invitations out.

It was a swanky affair at the Embassy Suites hotel and folks were dressed to the nines, as my people love to do.

For once, I did not have to count.

me and Jess with birthday girl cousin Donna

Party number four: Kinley Manor House Party

My friends Rupert and Scott have been giving epic house parties for many years. The kind where a room is dedicated for dancing and 90% of the time, it’s filled with wall to wall sweaty people bumpin’ and groovin’ to the kind of songs that make me run out onto the dance floor screaming, “That’s my JAAAAM!” People have changed flights in order to make Kinley manor parties, and I have spent many hours saying, “No, after *this* song, I’m really leaving,” only to be trapped by Rupert’s relentless DJ skills.

Tonight was celebrating many things, anniversaries, birthdays and the annual visit of our dear friend Jenny and family, which recently increased by one when they adopted a young man into their family.

There were many reasons to make this party.

The vibe was a little more subdued this time, with people spread out on the front porches, and back, more talking than dancing, but considering this was our fourth party, that suited me fine. I really wanted a chance for Jess to meet Jenny’s son, since she was working when I hung out with them all on Friday. And we got to spend plenty of time talking with Jenny, which always makes me feel terribly grateful to know someone so amazing and also terribly sad that she lives so far away. But she’s offered their home as a haven for one of my sabbaticals from Portland, so I look forward to more visiting, hopefully soon.


We had our second longest stay at party #4, and as we were leaving, Jenny was sent over to delay. “I’m not making this up,” she said. I looked over and saw Rupert shuffling a CD into the player–and since he’d been using a DJ iPad app with a pre-made playlist for the rest of the party, I knew he was up to something.

Sure enough, the strains of Stevie Wonder’s Do I Do came wafting out of the speakers. Tradition must be upheld. So Jess and I ditched our bags and returned to the dance floor for a last hurrah.

Four down, one to go.

We headed to the Florida Room for Kym and Jenn’s wedding after party. The afternoon party was the kid-friendly reception version. This was not. We made our way through a haze of smoke into the bar, got stamped for official entry, and ran into someone I met at a networking event, but didn’t know we had Jenn and Kym in common. She was also an introvert and Jess and I were happy to huddle up with her in a corner and chat about hot yoga.

Later we spied the couple of the hour(s), working the crowd, dishing out hugs and salsa dancing on the patio.

They are so damned cute.

We didn’t last long, coming up on 12 hours of socializing that was pushing even my extroverted limits. Also, the smoke was daunting for two people who can’t stand the smell of cigarettes. We got in a few extra hugs and left. Tired, smelling of perfume and cigarettes, but triumphant at successfully navigating our way through so much love in one day.


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