That said, I'll continue my trip diary.
Wednesday started with the two of us taking the Behemoth downtown so we could take a harbor tour cruise, with Shay's bachelorette party scheduled for that evening. It was cloudy and overcast, so I just sunscreened up the important bits (face) and left my hat behind, as it had no tie (unlike Jess's) and I was fairly sure it would blow off.
This was a Mistake.
The tour was two hours, starting at 12:30pm. It was kind of neat; we saw a lot of ships and stuff, but also sea lions chilling on buoys and a dolphin being trained by the Navy. But the sun came out during it, and by the time it was over, I knew my forearms were burned. By the time we got back to the hotel, I knew they were OMG WHAT THE HELL YOU LOOK LIKE A LOBSTER!!! burned. As was the part in my hair, and my nose, and my shoulders where my shirt had gaped. But my arms were by far the worst. I ended up begging Shay to bring aloe, as sticking my arms in cold water and wrapping wet washcloths around them wasn't cutting it.
She brought the aloe, and we went to a hotel (Best Western) south of Escondido, near the karaoke bar. Her cousin Mika, who I had heard much about but hadn't met, was there too. (Mika was the maid of honor, fyi.) The four of us hung at the hotel awhile, during which Mika (who works in internet security) used her phone to see if she could access the hotel's router. To quote, "Oh my god, their username is 'admin' and their password is 'bestwest'?" So she crashed the router, citing that anyone with security that lax deserved it. Then she told us a story of being stalked at 4am at night while walking home from work, which culminated in her holding her phone in one hand and a knife in the other and yelling at the guys, "I'm calling 911 now, and if either of you get near me I will cut you." They left in a hurry. Thus we learned: "Do not fuck with Mika, for she will fuck back."
Anyway, after we discovered that Shay's aloe had lidocaine in it, which meant I shouldn't be applying it every ten minutes, we went shopping for dinner (the room had a microwave) and non-drugged aloe for me. Then we went to the karaoke bar, where Shay wore a ridiculous veil and a sash proclaiming her a 'BRIDE-TO-BE!' and had several women buy her drinks. Shay, Mika, and Jess all bonded over being raised Mormon while drinking shots. I whimpered and ran ice over my arms and got sticky with aloe. Shay had intended it to be an overnight thing, but her mother (who had invited Jess and me) hadn't mentioned that, so I had nothing with me, and besides was in a lot of pain, so we checked out of the Best Western at like 2am and I drove us (as I was sober) back to my hotel, and then Mika (who was sober by then) drove Shay (who had had like 9 shots) home from there, and I spent the next two hours icing my arms. Then I finally fell asleep.
Summary: Southern sunlight is clearly far more direct than northern and will BURN YOUR SHIT UP, sea lions are awesome, and do not fuck with Mika.
So we slept till like noon or something, and then got all prettified for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. I tried to scrub the flaking skin on my nose off and ended up making it bleed, so I just wore my Zoo hat whenever I was outside, and I wore a long-sleeved shirt to cover the BURNS OF DOOOOOOM on my arms (which fortunately did not hurt anymore). The rehearsal was mostly uneventful; we met the other bridesmaid, Shay's husband-to-be's sister Athena (her husband is Achilles; their brother is Hercules. I sense a pattern) and the three groomsmen, as well as the photographer, who was a friend of theirs too. I found out Shay met Achilles at an anime con (anime brings people together!). We did the rehearsal twice and I realized the wedding would be outside, in direct sunlight, so I secured permission to wear a shawl over my shoulders and arms the next day (though for some reason Shay vetoed the pith helmet hat. Wonder why?).
After that we went to the dinner at Claim Jumper, which from what I remember is famous for ginormous portions. It was tasty and had AMAZING strawberry lemonade. After that, we went to Shay's for dessert (root beer floats and sorbet) and mingling with huge amounts of family and friends and dogs (she has two Borzoi, and they are SO CUTE). Then Jess and I went to leave, hoping Shay's bitchy neighbors hadn't trapped me again. (The time before we visited her, her neighbors apparently decided I had parked too close to THEIR side of the tree, so they parked SO CLOSE to the Behemoth that no one, not even size 0 Shay, could have gotten in on the driver's side. Her mom ended up climbing through the passenger side to back it out. Talk about passive-aggressive bitchery.) Fortunately, they hadn't, so Jess and I went back to Escondido and watched bad TV till we fell asleep.
Summary: Rehearsals are kind of boring, Shay's husband's family has interesting name ideas, and borzois are adorable.
Stay tuned, as the wedding is next! But it's time for me to work, alas.