Local festivities for July 4th weekend: Janice’s birthday + reuniting with Whitney + Jeff & Kayla’s wedding

Happy first week of July! To my American friends, I hope you had a lovely Independence Day weekend. This was the first July 4th I spent in San Francisco in all my years of living here (I usually try and leave town) because we had to stay local for a wedding. While SF is typically pretty quiet for this holiday, it ended up being a packed weekend with lots of bonding with our usual group of friends in the city.

Saturday: Janice’s 30th birthday party

Saturday started off with a peaceful walk with Joe in Golden Gate park, which was much needed before the weekend of festivities. We walked through the Conservatory of Flowers where we regularly go, and we checked in on the garden’s new growth – I just love that Joe and I can bond over our shared love for plants/flowers. 🙂

For lunch, we met up with our friends for Janice’s 30th birthday party. We went to a super fancy restaurant called Spruce where Janice rented out a room for us. There was a tasty menu, fancy décor, and the service was impeccable. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a Janice party. 🙂

Love these party favors from Janice.

Group shot! This was also our main crew for the wedding on Monday so we got lots of bonding time together. The lunch was so much fun that it ended up bleeding into dinner time. 😛 

Sunday: Catching up with Whitney at Dolores Park

Sunday started off with errands, errands, and after that, some more errands. I was leaving for Mexico on Tuesday, so I had lots to do especially since I wouldn’t get much time with the wedding tomorrow.

I did get out for one fun activity, which was catching up with Whitney after 3 years of not seeing each other. Whitney and I are very good friends from her days of living in SF. She now lives on the east coast for medical school, and she was in town this weekend for the wedding so it was a huge blessing to see her with our friends and also catch up one-on-one on Sunday. We decided to have a picnic at Dolores Park just like the good old days.

It warmed my heart to talk to Whitney as we both pointed out how much our lives have changed over the last 3 years, and definitely for the better. Three years ago, the two of us would sit at Dolores Park commiserating over the terrible guys we were dating, but the things we talked and cared about this time was so different. We both seemed so much more stable, content with our lives, and hopeful for our futures. I’m so happy for Whitney and grateful for the time we got with each other. ❤

Monday: Jeff & Kayla’s wedding

The main event of the weekend was Jeff & Kayla’s wedding on Monday. I was SO excited as this was my first post-COVID wedding and a much-anticipated event with our group of friends. Jeff & Kayla had to reschedule their wedding due to COVID and they handled it like champs, so we were so happy to finally see it come together and celebrate their special day.

The wedding was a short drive from SF in Fairfax, a sleepy, quaint town filled with forestry and stunning nature. We decided to head up in a group van so that we didn’t have to worry about driving that day. When we got to the venue, I was immediately blown away – there was definitely a wow-factor as it was right in the middle of giant redwood trees, but it was still an upscale venue so we didn’t feel like we were in the middle of nowhere.

A little photoshoot before the ceremony with our group.

My handsome date 😉

The ceremony was very classic and absolutely beautiful. There was an intimate feel with the natural setting and smaller guest size. Afterwards, we transitioned to cocktail hour and then dinner, where a few toasts were given (which actually turned out more like roasts). There were good vibes all around, hanging with our friends and making new ones as well.

The décor was stunning – I marveled at the beautiful flower arrangements and small aesthetic touches that Kayla thought of. 🙂

After dinner it was time to par-tay! Our group started up the dance floor as we sang along to classic 90s songs. The venue had different areas where people would chat and relax if they didn’t want to dance. We bopped between the dance floor inside and catching our breath by the fire pits under the stars.

We stayed all the way til the venue’s closing and then took the van back to SF. The wedding was a bumpin’ time and hands down the most beautiful one I’ve ever attended. The long wait was definitely worth it!

And after the fun packed long weekend, I am now blogging from my flight to Mexico. 8am flights the day after a wedding are always a good idea…:P

I’m very excited for the next 4 weeks in Mexico. I’m starting out on my own in a tiny beach town called San Francisco (locally known as San Pancho), and then Joe is meeting me in Sayulita for the last 3 weeks. It really hasn’t hit me yet that we’re going on this adventure; we did so much planning and logistics to get to this point and it’s finally here! I think our reduced travel this past year has made it even harder to imagine what it’s like to leave the country (this is my first time in 1.5 years), but I know once I get there the magic will settle in.

3 thoughts on “Local festivities for July 4th weekend: Janice’s birthday + reuniting with Whitney + Jeff & Kayla’s wedding

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