Monday, August 11, 2014

Callahan Expedition!

Matthew 22 in the New Testament contains the "Parable of the Wedding Feast", and this story has new meaning for me, since I had the enjoyable experience of attending the wedding festivities of Kaylee Self and Dean Johnson recently.  At the time Jesus spoke the parable, a wedding feast could go on for days with much food and merriment.  Such was also the case for this early August wedding weekend at Callahan's Lodge ( ) near Ashland, Oregon.

Guests started gathering at the lodge on Friday afternoon.  It was a beautiful summer day, and the large, manicured lawn of Callahan's Lodge was partially set up for the wedding, to give the bridal party an idea of where they would be walking and standing on the actual day of the wedding.  A covered gazebo at the east end of the lawn served as the backdrop for the ceremonies.

This photo shows a bridesmaid and groomsman practicing their stroll down the aisle, while us family members practiced looking pretty for the camera!

Pastor Ray had given the groom and groomsmen instructions on where to stand and how to behave, but they nonetheless did some taunting and bickering among themselves, to help get them through the awkward wait for the bride.  However, at least they all got the memo to wear shorts for the rehearsal!

My son also got the memo about wearing shorts for the rehearsal, as he practiced escorting the bride-to-be down the center aisle.

The maid of honor stood "on call" to be of whatever assistance that would be needed, as the bride would be wearing a wedding dress with a lovely long train on the following day.  Pastor Ray briefly explained to the couple what he would be talking about to them on the next day, and the order of the wedding nuptials. 

During the rehearsal, a helicopter (painted the traditional Oregon colors of green and yellow) kept buzzing the lawn where we were gathered.  This gave us  an opportunity to see what movie stars feel like when their weddings are photographed by the paparazzi!  Since the groom works in television news broadcasting, he is probably used to having helicopters flying overhead when he is doing an "on location" report!

After the rehearsals were complete, the groom's family hosted a pizza and salad buffet on the outdoor patio beside the lawn.  Once again, I was thanking God for the nice weather and for being served my favorite meal!

Kaylee and Dean seemed to be enjoying the camaraderie as well!

After we ate, Kaylee and Dean invited the bridesmaids and groomsmen up to the deck so they could be presented with their "swag" gifts from the bride and groom to help them remember this special day.  Each bridesmaid received a custom-made purse, filled with makeup, jewelry, wallet/phone cases, and more!

Although the groomsmen did not get purses, their gift bags DID have custom-made cuff links from actual NY Yankees baseballs, monogrammed ties, green and yellow Oregon socks, and more!  The wedding party was all smiles after this fun gift-opening ceremony!

As darkness settled over Callahan's Lodge, the twinkle lights that lined all the balconies and lawn glowed---almost as much as the bride and groom glowed in the anticipation of their wedding the next day!

To help pass the night away, the guys set up their ring toss game (in green and yellow colors, of course).  Some of them had apparently become experts during their college days at this familiar "tail gate party" activity!  This photo also shows some of the Wyoming television news crew that had come down to Oregon for the wedding. 

Kaylee and the gals were using this custom-made scoreboard to track which team was winning the ring toss.  And of course, it was painted green and yellow!

The feasting did not stop when we got to our rooms in the lodge.  Kaylee and Dean (and their helpers!) had prepared a lovely gift basket for our rooms that continued the baseball theme.  I especially liked the water bottles with the couple's photo on them, as well as their wedding date and inititals.  They had also written out a greeting to us, along with the verse from I Corinthians 13:4-7.  It says, in part, that "Love is kind", and it was certainly very kind of them to give me snacks for my room!

Callahan's Lodge has a section on their website devoted to backpackers who are hiking through the Ashland area on the Pacific Crest Trail.  One couple there had started on the trail in Mexico, and were headed northward to Canada---that's alot of walking, all while carrying your "house" on your back!  For a fee, backpackers can have resupply packages mailed to Callahan's, to be picked up when the hiker reaches that location.  Also, for a fee, they can use shower facilities,  laundry facilities, and permission to lay out their sleeping bags on the lawn.  I was still on "Central Time Zone" instead of Pacific Time, so I awoke early enough to see them still dozing cozily in their sleeping bags, and took this photo from my second story balcony.  However, the backpackers were long gone by the time most of the hotel guests woke up.

Saturday morning found us once again outside dining al fresco, as we ordered delicious treats from the Callahan breakfast menu. 

The bride-to-be gave us a "shout out" from her third story balcony, letting us know that she and her bridesmaids had survived an all-girls, "grins and giggles" slumber party in their room the previous evening!

folks in this photo show the international flavor of the wedding party, as they flew in from Canada, to be a part of their niece/cousin's wedding!  Oh, Canada!!  Looking good , eh??

While the previous photos have shown people who came by plane, by motorized vehicle, by helicopter, or on foot as backpackers, this photo shows that some people come to Callahan's on horseback!  It's not often you see a horse in the same photo as an Interstate 5 highway sign!  No matter HOW we arrived at this big event for Kaylee and Dean, we all had "MILES OF SMILES"!!  Tricia