We'd planned that Tom and I, Tommy, Phill and Theresa, though on different flights, would all arrive within an hour of each other, then rent two cars and drive from Phoenix to Wickenburg, with a stop along the way in Surprise, Arizona, (the closest shopping area for Wickenburg. the two towns are about 40 minutes apart) for lunch and to pick up some last-minute wedding supplies.
But Tommy's plane from Columbus was late so he missed his connection in Huston and would be delayed another three hours.
So Theresa, Phill, and I took off and Tom stayed behind to wait for Tommy.
Our first stop was at the Walmart in Surprise to pick up candy for the candy stations at the receptions (can't have a reception without candy stations!) and something to put the candy in.
Phill came up with the great idea of flower pots, and - what serendipitous luck! - we found the perfect ones in Claire and Miguel's color - sage green.
Then it was time for lunch. At the Surprise shopping center we had two options: an Applebees or a place called Uncle Bear's Grille Paw Bar.
As Phill pointed out, we could always go to an Applebees, but when would we get another opportunity to eat at a place called Uncle Bear's Grille Paw Bar?
So Uncle Bear's it was. It was a dog-themed place, with photos of all kinds of poochies on the walls. The food was really good: Theresa and I had a walnut chicken salad sandwich with tomatoes, lettuce and avocado and really hot steak fries on the side. Phill had barbequed chicken fahitas, which he also really liked.
Then we left Surprise for Wickenburg. The Arizona landscape was all cacti and desert plants and palm trees, with brown mountains off in the distance. A very dry and exotic-looking vista for us mid-westerners.
Wickenburg is a tiny town in the middle of the desert, but it's very pretty and scenic, as it's a tourist town, a stop-over for people on their way to Las vegas. It has cowboy motifs and interesting little shops selling western things.
As soon as we arrived at our hotel in Wickenburg, a Best Western with adobe walls in shades of sage green and maize with ceramic tiles painted with Spanish scenes on the walls and a red tile roof, Phill and Theresa concked out for a power nap, but I took off to meet Claire and Miguel.
We met at the CVS to pick up a few necessities then stopped at the Safeway for some desserts for the big dinner that Miguel's mother was throwing that evening.
Then we headed over to Miguel's mother Lolita's house, which was already full of family who'd arrived for the wedding, as well as boxes of flowers, ribbons, and mason jars for the center pieces.
So Claire, Lolita's Aunt Maria, and I rolled up our sleeves and dove into the flowers and began putting together the center pieces,
Everybody got a whole fish, head, tail, bones and all!