Of Weddings and Cousins and Adventures with Nanas Who Dress Up Like Bananas


"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

The Yahoo Room = Giddee-up, Banana!

And boy, did she ever:



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

perfect for a wedding by the sea...

...and one size too big = room to grow.



And in the famous words of Maurice Chevalier a la Colette's Gigi: Thank Heaven for Little Girls...


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.

Nana the Banana and the children who love her

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.


Peel, out.

GGC

32 comments:

Molly | 2:35 PM

Holy smokes, Archer could not possibly look any cooler if he tried. That is some kind of suit.

stacey | 3:39 PM

she has to be the coolest nana. nana the banana :D

moosh in indy. | 4:00 PM

Nana Banana and seersucker. You should write a book *toot*

braiding mommy | 4:04 PM

omg - the suit is so adorable. love it.

radical mama | 4:26 PM

What beautiful photos! And the dresses and the suit... It's all so pretty!

boogiemum | 4:35 PM

I love the suit and your family is just dreamy. Really, can I borrow them?

PunditMom | 5:45 PM

Your Nana is fierce in that banana costume. And the rest of it? Beautiful.

Kyran | 6:10 PM

in this part of the country, seersucker suits are still worn (by gentlemen big and little) with regularity in the summer months. there is something so anachronistically genteel about the custom. I adore them.

I couldn't tell, did Archer have white suede bucks?

clueless but hopeful mama | 7:07 PM

Beautiful story and gotta love seersucker. Archer must have made all the girls swoon.

Mom101 | 7:21 PM

Hello? Professional photographer lady? Is there anything you can't do well?

And I'm so jealous you got the Flintstone room. I was stuck in the Cayucos Queen (or something) with toilet paper holders that looked like ye olde time-y shotguns.

k | 7:28 PM

i'm with liz. nice job on the shots.

Major Bedhead | 7:36 PM

This whole post was stunning. Photos, words, everything.

I love the suit. It's perfection. I remember having seersucker sun-dresses as a child and loving their cool crispness. I think my mother loved them because they never looked rumpled.

motherbumper | 7:38 PM

I felt like a part of the family just from reading this post - beautiful in every way. And that suit - absolute perfection for a wedding by the sea in the warm weather, he is one classy boy.

mothergoosemouse | 8:03 PM

Completely overwhelmed - by Nana, by the rooms at the inn, by the bride, and by the seersucker suit. Incredible photos and a beautiful story.

Chag | 8:14 PM

Archer looks like a model in his seersucker suit (and I mean that in a good way). Glad you guys had a great time!

kittenpie | 8:35 PM

Okay, you wrote this whole beautiful thing and I am totally fixated on those awesome little girl dresses. right now I want to be 6 and wearing one of those.

Oh, and the rockingness of that hotel. AND your beyond awesome nana.

Her Bad Mother | 6:42 AM

Dammit, girl. First, you get me all weepy with the Nana Banana and the wedding and the misty pics. THEN you spring Archer Sagebrush, Prince of Southern Thieves on me, thereby making me vow to raise WB as a strict heterosexual - never the plan - just so that they can be betrothed and one day march down an aisle in matching seersucker suits and be serenaded by a banana.

You got me all fucked up, yo.

Jaci | 7:05 AM

I don't even know Nana Banana & your family, and I got all weepy reading your post. Damn girl, I got my own family memories to cry over!

It's a really touching post, well done.

Eliza | 8:58 AM

seriously could he look any cooler?!

mfk | 12:54 PM

OMG. Archer is so adorably GQ in that black and white photo. Right down to the hair.

Emery Jo | 3:35 PM

Oh! You were briefly in my old neck of the woods! I used to live in San Luis Obispo, and if I still did, I would have taken you on many mini adventures during your short stay...

That place is amazing.

mrs. q. | 6:09 PM

I want a Nana Banana, too! She's adorable.

Love the Madonna. We had the Kona Rock room and enjoyed breakfast in the pink dining room with beedazzled ladies from Texas. Ah.

(you make me want to get tattooed.)

abbersnail | 8:13 PM

Beautiful pictures, beautiful Archer. But the most important thing? What does your tattoo say???

Day to Day Chronicles | 11:52 PM

Excuse me, I have to go buy a banana suit for my mother-in-law (aka Nana.) I hope that if I am ever lucky enough to be a nana I will have such a spirit as yours. Your photos are wonderful. Especially the last one.

Kitty | 8:46 AM

I love that last picture! It has a magical air about it.
Kitty

laurie | 10:36 AM

omg. those shots of seersucker archer look like catalog pictures. or at least, what catalog pictures *should* look like. gorgeous. what a lovely post.

we had a nana banana too. fondness.

BOSSY | 7:04 PM

Ahhhhhhhhh. Siiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

TheMoncurs | 2:33 PM

Funny story, I thought your room at the Madonna Inn looked kinda familiar so I called my mom. My parents stayed in the Rock Bottom room for their anniversary like 17 years ago and brought back a bunch of pictures to show little me. Small world!

kerrianne | 6:05 AM

That suit is awesome.

PunditMom | 7:35 PM

Hmmm. Someone seems to have hijacked my login for commenting above! :O

As for me, I say about Archer -- he is a sharp-dressed man!

Divine Mrs D | 9:12 AM

I googled the Rock Bottom room on Google and your website popped up! My husband and I are staying there in June and I'm curious to see it before we get there. :) I love your pictures and your post!

Anonymous | 3:29 PM

Dearest niece,

I just read this for the first time.

Incredibal!!!!!!

Becca, you are such a talent!!!!

Much Love Aunt Frances