Greetings from San Jose

I am writing this from a suite at the Fairmont San Jose.  Tomorrow, I will be the Matron of Honor and my girls will be Flower Girls for my best friend’s wedding.  She happens to be the manager at this Fairmont Hotel; thus, the complimentary suite.

This wedding weekend coincides with another event that is taking place here in San Jose, CA at the moment — a big anime convention called FanimeCon.  The city is currently overrun with people in costumes featuring hair of every color (orange, blue, white, fire engine red) and elaborate outfits typically accompanied by sword props.  It’s fantastic!

I spent the day yesterday as tour guide to a German friend living in Barcelona, Spain, a Norwegian friend currently residing in Hamburg, Germany, and two friends who hail from Boston, MA.  There was quite a representation of international accents (including the Bostonians).  We’re all in town for the wedding, and it was great to catch up with old friends.

We spent a surprisingly sunny day in San Francisco where we ate Chinese food for lunch, and then drove part of the scenic 49 Mile Drive.  Enjoying views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Oakland Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, Coit Tower, the Transamerica Building, Ocean Beach, and the Bay, we drove around the city and spent the afternoon as tourists.  I drove them down the crooked brick-paved Lombard street, past the Embarcadero, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Ghirardelli Square before continuing on to Golden Gate Park.  We didn’t have time to hit every spot I would have liked to show them, but we did see enough for them to get a feel for the size and sites of this interesting city on the Bay.

We ended the day at the Polterabend party for the wedding couple.  It was my first Polterabend, a German pre-wedding party tradition where guests throw and smash ceramic dishes to bring luck to the betrothed.  The couple uses brooms to sweep up the mess, which symbolizes their working together as a team to build a long and happy marriage.  I brought a little ceramic frog.  The bride happens to have an irrational phobia about frogs (one of the only things that scare her), so we smashed it to bits, demonstrating that she has nothing to fear in her future.

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