Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year! A Wedding in Santa Barbara

Hope everyone had a wonderful new years celebration, full of hope and promise and reflections on the past year.

Michael and I spent our new years eve at a wedding celebration with great friends in none other than beautiful, sunny, Santa Barbara.  The wedding ceremony was outside, on the beautiful grounds of the Biltmore Four Seasons Santa Barbara.  The weather was absolutely perfect, with not a hint of a cloud in the sky, but, given that we were in Southern California, that was hardly a surprise.

The wedding reception was held indoors, with beautiful floral centerpieces and place settings.  Each of the paper cranes was made by hand (!) by my friend, the bride. 
Even more impressive than the paper crane table pieces were the 1000 gorgeous cascading cranes (also folded completely by hand!) that were hung over three candelabras in the dining area.  Little coins were attached to the cranes as well. 
The food was delicious, as one would expect from the Four Seasons.  The menu was very thoughtful and each appetizer and entree and dessert had a tasty vegan option.

To start, I had the ginger scallop with parsnip puree paired with microgreens and basil - this was probably my favorite dish of the night.
I had the minestrone soup while Michael opted for the bacon corn chowder with jalapeno biscuit:
The entree was short rib and steak duo (although they gave me two short ribs by accident), paired with broccoli rabe, mushrooms and a parsnip puree.  The mushrooms were delightfully nutty.
Floating peonies decorated the tables and were just the right touch of romantic and tasteful.
The wedding cake continued the paper crane theme.  It was a little bit of a mystery as to how they got the cranes to stick to the cake so well, but it was the perfect icing on the cake, you could say.
I could not leave the wedding without at least a handful of flowers, in typical Alli fashion:

We finished the night by hanging out at the hotel's pool and hot tub with friends, drinking little bottles of champagne that the hotel had gifted us that afternoon.  It was really the perfect end to a very fun and perfect day.  

We did not quite make it to midnight, though we did get close -- but we were just fine with that, figuring it was already nearly 3 am east coast time, which had to count for something.

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