Daily Archives: July 7, 2013

Gargoyles of Notre Dame

When I was around 13 years old my mother and her friend Ingrid took me to France and Paris to visit our exchange student Eric. My most memorable experience was walking amongst the gargoyles of the towers of Notre Dame.

We tried 3 times to visit the towers but the lines were so long during the day we didn’t want to wait in them. However, on our last day in Paris I woke my family up early and eased the early rise with an offering of a cafe au lait for Tawny, a chocolat chaud for Clara, and croissants for us all. We headed down through the Left Bank to queue up, thinking we were late. Although, when were arrived there were only a few people there. We were a bit confused. Apparently the towers opened at 10am. It was 9. ūüė¶ We waited in line, only 4-5 people back from the front. Great position! However, it was cold and we had only packed for Greece, so we were cold too. Then the wind started to blow. And then it rained. We were drenched by the time the doors opened at 10 and we made our way up the towers. The only condolence seeing how the gargoyles work as rain spouts they were designed for.

The towers of Notre Dame (celebrating its 850 year anniversary) have always held fascination for me. From that first experience I was entranced by the gothic architecture, the tormented gargoyles adorning the turrets, the ornate embellishments with their symbolism and hidden meanings.

And the view of Paris…spectacular. As we walked out on the towers the skies parted and the sun shone through. A glimmer of hope for the tortured souls eternally trapped in a gothic purgatory spewing water from the ramparts of Notre Dame.

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Categories: Europe, Paris | 1 Comment

Debra and Michelle’s Wedding

Deb_Michelle_Cake

We’ve known Debra and Michelle for about 10 years. Their son Jackson went to pre-school with our daughter Clara. While we were certainly cordial school hallway acquaintances during drop-off and pickup, we didn’t really get to know them well until one day Jackson asked Clara out on a date. A date!?! They were like 4 years old, if a day! Michelle and I chaperoned the two to¬†Endolyne Joe’s¬†where they ate macaroni and cheese off the kiddie menu before heading to the nearby playground to run it off. I held the rose Jackson and brought Clara. It was all very sweet. And we all became fast friends.

Since that time Michelle and Debra have always maintained that if gay marriage ever became legal in the State of Washington they’d tie the knot and ask Clara to be the flower girl. Sure enough, in November of 2012 the voters of Washington State legalized gay marriage with a referendum of the people. They asked Clara shortly thereafter and we rearranged our trip to Europe to ensure we could attend. We wouldn’t miss this wedding for the world! The wedding becoming all the more special when just a few last week the United States¬†Supreme Court struck down DOMA and California’s Proposition 8 as unconstitutional¬†– clearing the way for federal recognition of gay marriages performed by States that have approved.

So, on July 6th, 2013 (29 years to they day since they committed to eachother) we had the honor of attending (and Clara participating) in the nuptials of our dear friends at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church. Congratulations Debra and Michelle. Its been a long time (29 years) in coming.

As a wedding present we gave Debra and Michelle a Parisian Love Lock similar to the one we did for our own anniversary. And mounted the keys to the lock in a frame along with some of the photos below.

Long a symbol of eternal fidelity, love locks have adorned the bridges of some of the world’s most romantic cities. In Paris, a couple writes their names on a padlock and locks it onto the the bridge. They then throw the key into the Seine River, a symbol of never-ending love. The only way to break the seal of love brought on by this love lock is to find the key and unlock the padlock – clearly an impossible feat as the key sits amongst thousands at the bottom of the swift moving Seine.

Debra and Michelle’s love lock is on the Pont de l’Archev√©ch√© with the beautiful Notre Dame cathedral as the backdrop.

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The wedding ceremony was a beautiful, touching, and moving experience punctuated with quotes, prayers, and reflections on love from the Bible. A particularly moving sermon from the priest apologizing on behalf of the Church for taking so long to recognize the love between two people regardless of who they are.

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Flower Girl

Flower Girl

The reception, with decorations, food, wine, and different desserts on each table, with their extended network of family and friends was a joyous celebration of life and love.

Decorations

Decorations

Joyous Bride

Joyous Bride

Happy Couple

Happy Couple

Bride & Bride

Bride & Bride

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Cake cutting ceremony

Cake cutting ceremony

Cake cutting ceremony

Cake cutting ceremony

Cake cutting ceremony

Cake cutting ceremony

Cake cutting

Cake cutting

cake cutting

cake cutting

 

The after party was hosted at the pre-school where we first met Debra and Michelle. Dancing with more food and drink into the wee hours of the morning before Debra and Michelle left on their honeymoon (a cruise to Alaska). Bon Voyage! We love you.

After party

After party

After party

After party

After party

After party

YMCA

YMCA

Dancing at after party

Dancing at after party

After Party

After Party

Happily Married

Happily Married

 

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