Sunday, November 09, 2008

Celina's El Salvador Wedding

Celina’s wedding in her home country of El Salvador was always going to be a glamorous extravaganza. Firstly, it’s simply not possible for Celina to do otherwise, and secondly, the combination of her worldly Salvadorean entourage and Alex’s Connecticut royalty flying into San Salvador for a week of festivities meant that no pastel-coloured stone was left unturned! As you can see from the photos, the weekend was an exercise in moderation and sobriety, so some of my recollections may be a little less accurate than usual.

The celebrations had already been in full swing for a couple of days before I swanned in from Guatemala, adding my “backpacker chic” ensemble and aroma to the pastel-&-cardigan-enrobed masses. I was fortunate to arrive in time to make the evening dinner on the hills of San Salvador, where I immediately began reacquainting myself with Celina’s extended family, my b-school classmates, and of course, several Cuba Libres (the revolutionary’s beverage of choice).

The following morning dawned clear & bright (although FAR too early) as we stumbled onto the bus for an excursion to Lake Cotepaque, a stunning volcanic crater lake, where we spent the day sunning, drinking, waterskiing and swimming, before retreating back to San Salvador and trying to make insightful observations on the gallery’s collection of Miro.

The location played host to a plethora of speeches by people whose prose evoked apparently splendid memories of times gone by at a certain oft-mentioned college, during sailing trips, squash matches, or tennis duels in Bermuda (presumably all while still clad in the latest pastels).

As obfuscating as some of these references were, all were heartfelt, as were Celina’s family’s rejoinders, and a rollicking good time was had by all, except perhaps by those of us who attempted to party on afterwards and were subject to 8 mediocre guitarists straining vainly to find a common tune at a local bar.

The following evening was the wedding itself, and my memories of the earlier part of the evening are crystal clear. The most important part is that Celina & Alex got married, and shortly thereafter we were bussed to the reception where the Salvadoreans demonstrated that they know how to have a good time!! Amid the dining, dancing, and celebrating, my sense is that most sensory perceptions started to go downhill around the time that a giant Ice Sombrero appeared on the dancefloor, filled with Tequila shots & ringed with limes.

Shortly thereafter the photos seem to indicate that nobody present was without castanets, horns, sombreros, pigtails, and/or tequila shots.

I have it on good authority that everyone made it home safely and Celina & Alex made their flight to Australia several hours later.

Nic & I, with another day to kill in San Salvador, tried in vain to do some cultural sightseeing (does Tony Roma’s count?), but ended up drinking Long Islands and watching back-to-back films at the local mall.

Photos are here.

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