Wedding Recap!

with the bride and groom

I didn’t go into this weekend’s festivities with the intention to write a post about it. I figured weddings are private events and that I was invited as a friend, not as a blogger. I figured I was on vacation!

But at the request of the bride and groom, Jacqueline and Chris, here I am about to tell you all about their hella Basque wedding. The recap of the actual wedding is after the jump, so click the continue link at the end of the post to find the Sunday heading.


I flew into San Diego bright and early on Saturday morning. I felt like such a grown up, for as much as I’ve traveled solo in my short life, I had never rented a car before this weekend. I cruised up the San Diego coast to Carlsbad in my little blue Yaris, windows down and blasting Top 40. Life was good!

La Jolla Cove

That afternoon the families of the couple hosted a beach pre-party. Being accustomed to cold and windy Northern California beaches, I was not entirely prepared to face the fiery inferno of Southern California beach heat. The sand burned my feet! I was sweating! It was a little too much for me.

Not being big on swimming in the ocean and being a big fan of the motto “modest is hottest,” I wore a sundress to the beach. And I paid dearly for that choice in buckets of sweat. But thank God for our lovely hosts, who had an endless supply of non-alcoholic drinks (Caprisun! So nostalgic), fruit salad, hot dogs, and other snacks.

Other than the insufferable heat and massive leg sunburn I acquired, it was a really nice afternoon. I met some of the groom’s family, the groomsmen, and reunited with my Chino boys. Even though I had seen them all a short six days before at Chino picnic, it’s always cool to hang out with Basque kids outside of a Basque event. It’s a totally different vibe.

Sadly the bride and her bridesmaids only showed up right at the end of the beach event, as they had been running last minute errands all afternoon. Still, it was lovely to see her for a bit before the big day.

Since we were covered in sand and sea salt, the Chino boys and I showered (separately, not together) back at the hotel before dinner. We spent an amusing evening at Pizza Port, a popular local pizzeria and brewery. Various college football games played on the flat screens throughout the establishment, and we witnessed some heated discussions about football. Grown men yelling at strangers about sports… I don’t get it.

It took the place an hour to get us our two pizzas, as it was completely packed. Fortunately for us, the guys in the kitchen messed up our order so we got a free pizza! In the end, we ate a little too much. But it was freakin’ delicious.

Pizza Port

Then we went back to the hotel to jacuzz ‘n’ booze, but the hotel brochure lied to us about the pool opening hours and the pool guy kicked us out after ten minutes. Such a wild night! Continue reading


Recap: 9th Annual Green Street Wobblestone Run

Running of the Bars 2013!

There’s something really special about taking over North Beach with a mob of people wearing red and white, attracting stares and questions from confused passers by.  In theory, the annual Green Street Wobblestone Run (a.k.a. Running of the Bars) is just another bar crawl, your run of the mill night out.

But energetically, it’s a beast of its own.   Continue reading

Afterparties Aren’t All That

At the end of the night, Basque festival dances usually break out into several afterparties.  Among the young ones, these mostly revolve around dance groups.  At Convention, the beauty is that if you have friends or family from different towns, you have a number of affairs to choose from.  Should I go hang out with Salt Lake?  Crash at Chino’s motel?  Sneak onto the Oinkaris’ party bus?

Last weekend in Elko, I said no to all of these options.  For the first time, I was faced with the question: “Why?”  Why would I not come?  As I’m usually all about the afterparties, I had some explaining to do.  I made polite excuses to my friends about how I had to be up in early in the morning for the drive, but normally lack of sleep wouldn’t stop me.

Here’s the real reason.  I was heeding the wise words of my aita:

Nothing good happens after 1:00 AM.

Continue reading

On to the Next One: SF’s Green Street Wobblestone Run

This Saturday, the 9th Annual Green Street Wobblestone Run will take place in San Francisco’s North Beach district. If you’ve never heard of this event, I wouldn’t be surprised.  The name confuses me too.  I have no idea where the official name came from or what it really means, but this bar crawl is more commonly referred to as “Running of the Bars” and “Running of the Bullshitters.”

Essentially, it’s another big Basque party, except this one leaves the Basque clubs and fairgrounds to get out into the community. Celebrating the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, this bar crawl brings Basques out into San Francisco with a very visible presence. The selected bars blast Basque music through the house speakers and provide Basque drink specials. And of course, everyone wears the uniform of Pamplona bull runners, whites paired with red sashes and scarves around their necks, making for a fun, chummy, and distinctly European vibe.

Anyone can be Basque for the night, so long as they’re wearing the right gear. Lots of Basques bring their civilian friends along for the ride, and many randoms from the North Beach Saturday night crowd tag along. It’s a party for everyone.

Don’t have a red scarf? Don’t worry about it! Organizers sell souvenir scarves at the beginning of the night, but be sure to get to the first bar early enough before they sell out.

If you’re in the area, the Wobblestone Run is definitely worth checking out. It’s like no other Basque American event. Starting at 5:00 PM and going well into the night, be prepared for a marathon of drinking and the light of sloppy Golden Boy Pizza at the end of the tunnel.  Go to the Facebook event page for full details here.

I have Hella Basque stickers to hand out at the event, so come earn one by taking a picture and posting it on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with #hellabasque.  Hope to see you there!

Also, if you haven’t done so already, Like our Hella Basque fan page on Facebook for blog post updates directly to your News Feed.