"Ready?" My Nana said. "Let's peel outta here!"
She was wearing her banana suit when we picked Hal up from work in The Valley on our way due North, taking the 101 to Bodega Bay for my cousin Erica's wedding.
Soon after, she stripped down to her normal clothes, but even without her banana suit, Nana the Banana rocked the banana-suit vibe all the while north.
It was Nana the Banana's idea to shack-up at the Madonna Inn (a family favorite) for the night, as we made our way up the coastal route, singing along to our special road-trip mix-tape which included this song (covered below by a foreign kid with a ukulele):
Nana took the Yahoo room, the rustic western Banana that she was/is as Archer, Hal and me shacked up in the Rock Bottom room:
Archer sneezing in the Rock Bottom room of the Madonna Inn
My cousin, Erica's wedding was beautiful. Her friend, Christopher, a fashion designer, made her dress from scratch and I got to write something for the occasion, excerpted below:
...Once there was a time when the power went out and there were no candles in the house so they bit lifesavers and made sparks until the light returned. And then there was the afternoon where the two of them overlooked the sea and discussed the future and the past and today. And she said, "Remember the day we were married? Remember how it felt as if Daddy was smiling down and your mother was watching us dance from the sky?" And he nodded and said, "yes."
The years twisted and moaned around their growing garden, with a little sun and water and the kind of love that only happens when two four-leaf clovers grow side by side.
And among the raindrops and power-outages and fallen leaves they drew a life together. first with pencil, then with pen and finally with precious metals and then after... A wild and wonderful collage made from the leaves they first sat upon, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.
All of my immediate and extended cousins were there, chasing Archer around the grounds in his Seersucker Suit, like they had known each other for ages, even though for many of them, it was the first time they had met:
Oh yes, the suit. How could I forget the Seersucker Suit I had searched high and low for the past several months, finding much to my sadness that no one working in children's retail has ever heard of Seersucker. Pulease. Are you joking? A Seersucker Suit is a must-have for a Pirate of the Snails, if not every toddler boy from coast to coast. I'll show you why:
Seersucker Suit from (who else?) Hampton's Child
...and one size too big = room to grow.My Grandfather, Nana the Banana's late husband used to sing the song to my cousins and I when we were little girls, now all of us grown up, married, with babies, watching our yesterdays flash before us in the form of our younger cousins:
Sometimes I forget I'm all grown up when I watch them dance around in their floral dresses. I think of my cousins and I when we were their age and I wonder where the time went and if they think of me as old and unable to relate to their giggles.
Nana the Banana stepped back into her banana suit for one last Hoorah! before we set sail back down the coast, the four of us happily trapped among animal crackers and trail mix and bottled water and songs about Jessica Simpson.
We spent a night in Pismo Beach, overlooking the end of the world, and watched the fish swim below our feet at the Olde Port Inn, on the end of a pier, surrounded by old fisherman and buckets of entrails, and seated ourselves at a glass bottom table with plates full of shellfish.
"Louis and I used to frequent this spot," Nana the Banana said. "I haven't been here for years. It was one of our favorites."
I haven't been home for two weeks and much like any vacation or collection of vacations I have been a little bit sad unpacking my various night-on-town costumes and uploading my photos.
But also refreshed and ready for a new chapter. New projects and people to keep in contact with. New life and stories to tell. New moments to cherish.
And even though it's over for now, the adventure continues. A neatly folded Banana suit tucked away in the trunk of my Nana's Highlander. Waiting to come alive again and dance among the generations of smiling flower girls and beautiful brides and of course, pirates of the snails.