West coast weddings!


This post is by Nancy Jardine

On August 6th 2016, my post for this Wranglers Blog was about attending a wedding on the west coast of Scotland. Today’s post is also about my attending a wedding, but this time I’m so excited that it’s on the west coast of the US!

I’m extremely delighted that I’m writing this entry from a delightful holiday rental house in Kinneloa Mesa, near Pasadena, Los Angeles, California. I’m here with a family group of 7 from Scotland to attend my niece’s wedding that’s taking place later today in Pasadena (3rd Sept). It’s no great stretch of the imagination that coming all the way across the Atlantic, and all the way across the US to the west coast to be present, isn’t exactly practical on a day trip.

 Am I just here for the wedding? That would be a huge NO. I confess that attending the wedding is intermingled with a whole load of sightseeing and other wonderful reasons – one of which included an excellent short meeting with Mike Staton, fellow contributor to this Writing Wranglers and Warriors Blog.

Me at left. Middle is Mike’s friend Sharon. Mike at right.

 Meeting Mike, and his friend Sharon, was amazing after being fellow contributors for a couple of years on this Wranglers Blog.

When first invited to my niece’s wedding, my OH and I got out the map to see where we’d be going. Los Angeles wasn’t completely new to us since we’d taken our daughters to Disneyland back in 1989, having driven down from the San Francisco area. However, apart from the Annaheim/Long Beach areas, the rest of Los Angeles was totally unknown territory. We decided that a mini road trip would be fabulous before the wedding, giving us a few days to explore the Pasadena and Los Angeles areas after the event.

The Bellagio- By Nancy Jardine

It was just way too tempting not to include a brief look at Las Vegas and ‘the Strip’. ‘Must sees’ were The Hoover Dam; Bryce Canyon (since friends and relatives who had already visited had raved over it); Zion National Park. We decided that seeing those involved quite long drives but were do-able. It made great sense for us to fly in to Las Vegas and fly out of Los Angeles, the rest of our tourist itinerary squeezed in between.

The Hoover Dam

We set off to The Hoover Dam immediately after and what a magnificent structure that is. I’ve visited Hydro Dams in Scotland but they are teensie compared to the immense scale of The Hoover Dam. The tour was really informative and paid great tribute to the thousands of people who built the dam, the generated electricity sustaining so many people and states around it for decades afterwards.


To the newbie like I was, my evening experience of the Las Vegas ‘strip’ was an amazing and fun spectacle. What was doubly amusing was walking past the lookalikes of buildings I’d seen on my trip to Rome earlier this year. The restaurants we visited had spectacular food. My NY steak in The Capitole Grille was so immense that I was unable to finish it and that rarely happens with me and steak!


View from our Tower Room at the Excalibur

Phantasmagorical! We just had to spend one of our 3 Vegas nights in The Excalibur– a building of supreme extravagance and glee. The sum total of my gambling was losing a dollar bill at the bar in the main reception area. Those machines with a barrage of images and information on ‘how to play’ were mind boggling to the exhausted traveller and I’m afraid to say – it just ain’t for me!


Bryce Canyon

Our trip to Bryce Canyon was awesome, using the word in its original intent. Every single step along the rim pathway gave a new view. It was so easy to imagine the hoodoos as watching people and many of them together as objects. Sitting on the stone benches just to breathe in the scenery was awe-inspiring. Unfortunately it was also very hot so spending too much time wasn’t practical. I loved every bit of it!


My Son-in-law, main driver of our trip, drove us down to Pasadena via Zion National Park which is equally as impressive as Bryce Canyon. In its own way, the rock formations of Zion are massive, striking and very memorable. I was so relieved to have been driven through what is a pretty difficult little road to manoeuvre through. (I took loads of photos but still need to process them)

My husband’s brother (been in the US since 1973), father of the bride, had told me that the drive from Bryce in Utah, to Paadena via Arizona on the  highway might be a bit boring but I can say with all honesty that I didn’t find it that way at all. I was fascinated by the ever changing scenery.

Downtown Pasadena is beautiful, the City Hall building outstanding in the strong sunlight. The Argentinian restaurant, Malbec, was definitely worth a visit last night before we attended the post Rehearsal Dinner cocktails at another venue.

20160903_004602I’ll be getting ready to don my wedding finery mid-afternoon but a bit of sun soaking and a dip in the neat little pool first sounds just the ticket!

We’ve still got 2 days (Mon & Tues) after the official wedding events are over. What should I try to squeeze in? – Given that the young things of our party (my daughter, S-I-L, my nephew and his wife) have done the Hollywood Studios yesterday. I’m loving my US trip!

Whatever you’re doing this weekend, have fun.

Nancy Jardine writes:New Facebook withnew TE

Find her at:

http://nancyjardine.blogspot.co.uk   http://nancyjardineauthor.com/   Twitter @nansjar  Facebook: http://on.fb.me/XeQdkG and http://on.fb.me/1Kaeh5G (for The Rubidium time Travel Novels.) email: nan_jar@btinternet.com

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21 thoughts on “West coast weddings!

  1. Your enthusiasm is catching. And the fountains at the Bellagio did sound like cannons going off, didn’t they? If it’s a windy day, they cancel the fountain shows. Doesn’t surprise me that you don’t excited over the slot machines. I don’t either.


    1. If I’d had more time I might have learned how to work the machines and then more chance of getting addicted. 😉 Just as well I was on a flying visit, Mike. It’s a great holiday!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I get very excited over slot machines, well I used to. Now they have lost their character. They are all so much alike, and shoot out paper instead of coins. Cher’ley


  2. That sounds like a fantastic trip so far, Nancy! Hope you enjoy the wedding today! And the weather has been perfect out here. I’d suggest the Huntington Library in Pasadena (I might have already mentioned) and the Getty Museum. The grounds are beautiful. If you could do a drive up the coast along Santa Monica to Malibu, that would be nice too (although traffic during the holiday weekend might be a nightmare). Whatever you decide, have a fabulous time!


    1. Thanks, Sarah. We have a post wedding ‘pool party’ on Sunday but I’d like to get to at least one Museum on Monday or Tuesday, if possible.


  3. I did, Abbie. It’s an exciting time coming here and meeting some people who have only been virtual names till now. It was the same at the wedding today- I met relatives and friends of my American sister-in-law that I’d only heard about over the last decades.


  4. Nancy,
    So glad you are enjoying the scenery and magnificence of the Western US. I am enjoying seeing it through the eyes of someone who is observing it for the first time. Thank you for reminding us how lucky we are. Enjoy the wedding and have a safe trip home. Doris


  5. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. It sounds fabulous and I love your enthusiasm and positive take on everything. I have not seen Zion or Bryce but now I definitely have added incentive to go there. Too bad you can’t get to the Tetons in Wyoming. They too are awe-inspiring. We are headed in the morning for the Black Hills of South Dakota, another beautiful spot, with our camper. You take beautiful pictures.


    1. Thank you, Neva. I’ve been to North Dakota from Minnesota many years ago but not South Dakota and the Tetons look very beautiful. Enjoy your trip.


  6. Nancy, I’m SO EXCITED for you! Zion and Bryce are two of my favorite national parks, and of course, meeting Mike last year was a highlight for me, too. I hope you continue to enjoy your travels in the U.S. and that your flight home is a safe one. Thank you for sharing so much of your journey with us — your photos are fabulous!


    1. You’re welcome, Gayle, and I’ve loved my trip. I’ve been too busy to update on these last days in California but i’ll try to get something on my blog asap.


  7. Sounds like you had a great time. I still have a $5 chip from the Excalibur. I’d like to go back and see some of the night shows. I went across Hoover Dam before they built the new bridge. It was very scary. Since I drive an 18 wheeler, I have seen most of the sights that you wrote of, but I am still in Awe each time I see them. Glad you had a great time. I’m hoping some day to come to Scotland. Cher’ley


    1. It;s been a fabulous trip, Cherley. I love the sights we’ve seen and I love the heat! I can imagine going over the Hoover Dam before the present bridge would have been a scary prospect but the view of the canyon below would have been very impressive.


    1. Hi Linda- the wedding was great. We had no precedent for how a west coast Californian wedding would enfold but afterwards were told that what happened was uniquely my niece and her new hubby’s idea for their ‘ Hawaiian themed’ wedding. They’re both involved in Holywood Script writing and Comedy Improvisation skits so although it was still very traditional, it was entertainingly different.


  8. Weddings are a great excuse to travel. When my niece got married in Colorado the rest of the family flew there. I on the other hand spent several days on the road. Hubby and I explored several wildlife refuges along the way.


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