I'm back from El Paso, having survived the biggest wedding I've ever been in. We arrived two days early and spent most of the time running errands for the wedding. We had a sweet ride, a 2005 Chrysler 300, so the time spent in the car was done in style. We ran all over the city but looked good doing it. This was the first trip where I didn't make it to Starbucks, but Frank's dad obligingly picked up soy lattes for us one morning. He said the one thing I always say: The only time you see white people in El Paso is at Starbucks. I have no idea where the rest of the caucasian population is hiding in EP, but they aren't in the grocery stores, Sam's or Wal-Mart. (Before you start leaving hateful comments about supposed racism, let me remind everyone that I am a mixed race child. Half Anglo and half Mexican. I look like a white girl, but have the passion of la raza in mi alma. Aside from errands, I stole every chance I could to hold Elena, Michael & Peggy's baby. There is nothing nicer than a warm, sweet smelling soft and cuddly baby. Elena was born almost two months early and was tiny, less than four pounds at birth. She's a chunky monkey now! She eats well and often. Kinda like me when Frank's mom is cooking. Her enchiladas montañas are excellent.
Like I said, the wedding was huge. There were 11 couples as attendents, plus the ring bearer, flower girl and the Lucky Charms. Other than the cereal, I'd never heard of Lucky Charms before, but it's similar to having a junior bridesmaid and groomsman. It's also the first time I've been in a wedding where the bridesmaids are cautioned to "please try to cover up as many tattoos as possible when in the church". We were all worried that Kiwi would burst into flames when the priest blessed the bridal party with holy water prior to starting the ceremony. The guys were stylin' in zoot suits, complete with chain and hat while the bridesmaids wore blue & white dresses. The ceremony was in Spanish, which was difficult for the bride, who doesn't speak that language. There were a few mishaps, but in the end Michael & Peggy were married, which is all that matters. And the party began. The food was good. Tío George and Frank's Dad made briskets, Tía Marti made chili colorado and there was potato salad, beans and other yummy stuff. The cake was a towering five tiers and lovely. We didn't float the kegs because so many people brought liquor, but everyone was feeling kacheery by the end of the evening. You know I was, since I Tejano danced not once but twice and did the Cotton Eyed Joe. Once the reception was over, the bridal party and extended family headed over to Frank's parents house for breakfast.
I had been challenged to make an enormous pot of menudo for the afterparty. Frank's grandpa said it was a test and if the menudo wasn't good then I was out. Oh, no pressure. I was up for the challenge, though. I heard "the gringa makes good menudo" several times before the last bowl was served up at 4:30am. You know it's been a great party when the morning newspaper comes before the last person leaves.
Sunday afternoon had the house full again, with everyone over to eat leftovers from the reception. We played a card game called 31 that, according to the internet, dates back to at least 1440 when it was mentioned in a sermon as an evil to avoid. That evening we went to the (New) Old Plantation where I had a cricket jump on my foot and a drink spilled on me, in addition to watching a fashion (yes, fashion, not drag) show. It was followed by a dance group who did one number where they were dressed as a S.W.A.T. squad gunning down a criminal who "died" onstage with much twitching and flopping around. Just when I was thinking "whoa, that's messed up!" the squad took off their black tee shirts and danced in only their camoflauge pants and black boots. I was immediately distracted by bulging pecs and rock hard abs. We left shortly after that, to find a hooker laying across the hood of our rental, total rock video style. She wasn't bothered much by us, just lazily got up and moved over to stand next to the car. She had on daisy dukes that were so short her cheeks were exposed. To add to the effect, she reached up under the back of them and adjusted her thong. Pretty.
Monday we enjoyed a farewell breakfast at a Mexican joint called Good Coffee. I had the coffee. It was good. So was my picadillo and fried eggs with hash browns and refried beans plate. I piled on the green chile and dug in. Mmmmm! Once back in Austin, we celebrated Frank's new home by sitting around in the empty condo and drinking beer. We also did our infamous "only one drink" trip to the bar, which means I am really tired at work today. I need a vacation to recuperate from my vacation!