Taking the Plunge

by Maria Theresa Maggi on August 29, 2013

Mike and Kelly cake

I just got back from another trip to the City of Roses. This time I went to celebrate the marriage of my son Mike to his long time girlfriend Kelly.  I am happy beyond words, so I’ll try to keep them at a minimum, and let a few pictures stand in for a thousand or so that wouldn’t do the weekend justice.

Here they are outside the Multmonah County  courthouse after the ceremony:

Mike carries Kelly courthouse

And here is a nice shot of them at our celebratory lunch at Produce Row Cafe in Portland OR:

Mike and Kelly Produce Row small

I’m amazed to say I actually took this picture myself, and that it turned out to be one of their favorites. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I actually was able to operate my camera on the day of my only son’s wedding, and take a few decent pictures of targets that move faster than eggplants or cabbage.

The next day we drove out to a beautiful spot on the Clackamas River for the second part of their wedding event:

jump spot Clackamas

Mike filmed part of the music video Mystery Life he wrote and directed last summer at this location. They both chose this spot to “take the plunge” so they could have truly unique wedding photos. Here they are, rowing over to the other side of the river.

Mike rowing Kelly

And here they are, poised to jump:

Kelly and Mike about to jump

And there they go:

wedding jump Clackamas River Oregon

It was magical, beautiful, thrilling (and a little bit scary as a parent, I’ll admit). But the beauty of the place, their trust in one another, and their sense of adventure were infectious, and blessed us all. Here they are, post jump:

Mike and Kelly kiss Clackamas

And since this is a blog about my own slow motion miracle, I’ll also say that the way down to this spot is a very narrow, often rocky footpath, not as wide or accessible as the trail at Elk Creek I hiked last summer. And I made it down, with Romeo spotting me every step of the way.  Here we are, taking in the view after our hike down the slope:

Me and Romeo Clackamas

Once there, I managed to put on my glasses and take a few photos. Here I am, new glasses on, caught in the act:

Me Camera Glasses Clackamas

I even “peed in the wild” (but thankfully no one caught that on camera!).  Even though I wasn’t the one who jumped, I decided to take a break in the raft after all the excitement:

Me in raft at Clackamas

And since this is also a blog about food, I can’t let this post go by without a glowing mention of our dinner out to celebrate the jump at Bamboo back in Portland.  Here is a shot of Romeo and me en route to the restaurant:

Me and Romeo en route to Bamboo

At the risk of overestimating, I’d say Bamboo is the most amazing sushi place on the planet. They actually call themselves “the first certified sustainable sushi restaurant in the world,” and part of their  mission is to make sure all their produce and fish are harvested by healthy, sustainable standards while still being delicious and appealing. I say it’s the best on the planet because they not only had fresh healthy vegan options, but the waitress worked with me to find three different dishes that could be adapted to my very strict requirements (no oil, soy, or gluten). And they all were delicious. We weren’t in photo mode at the table, but they were so spectacular that at the last minute I attempted to get a shot on Mike’s iphone before gobbling it all up. Here’s what I came up with:

Bamboo low fat vegan meal

This is a shot of the three dishes I could eat.  On the right is a fresh forage plate, which that night consisted of a fresh melon, tomato and basil salad dressed with fresh limes and juice and a tiny bit of  some kind of special salt. The forage plate is different each week depending on what is in season locally. It was hard to believe something so simple could be so heavenly. In the back center is a classic vegetable roll with avocado, cucumber, carrot and roasted red pepper. Wonderful. And front and center and to the left was the piece de resistance that evening: a baked sweet potato box, topped with a slight dusting of sesame powder and chili powder. It usually comes in soya garlic butter, but I asked if that could be left off and put on the side for anyone who wanted to taste it.

The presentation of everything, even the water glasses (note the cucumber slice at the bottom) was elegant without being opulent. Just simple, and fresh, and gorgeous. Even the pickled ginger was heavenly, thin slices, not discolored with the usual pink preservative effect.

But back to those sweet potatoes:

Bamboo Sweet Potatoes

These were so good that we ordered a second “box” so everyone could try them. Kelly’s Dad, who is definitely not vegan, was heard to say “these would make a vegan out of anyone!”  And aren’t they just lovely to look at, despite the dark photo?

It was a beautiful weekend, running the gamut from the fun and hilarious to laughter through tears and tenderness. I feel so blessed, not only to have kept up with it all, but that at the courthouse wedding I was able to serenade Mike and Kelly along with Mike’s Dad with an acapella version of Devoted To You. Once upon a time, I sang at weddings, but before I started eating low fat whole plants my throat had become too weak to manage something like this. Years ago, after John Denver died, I can remember putting on a favorite hits CD and trying to sing along, my back flat on the floor to help with projecting my voice, and ending up in silent tears because I couldn’t sing to my satisfaction. Not anymore. To be able to bless my son and new daughter-in-law with a song is itself  a blessing beyond compare. I know my mother, who was a vocal music teacher, was smiling down on all of us for including it in the weekend of festivities.

So did I have a good time? I’d have to say the answer to that is exactly what Mike and Kelly ordered to have written on their second cake from vegan Sweet Pea Baking Company in Portland. The first one, at the top of the post, said “Mike and Kelly.” And the second one (which was a vegan, gluten free cheesecake)–well, the second one, said this:

fuck yeah cake

Maybe this is not the way I would normally say it at this point in my life, but nevertheless I couldn’t agree more. (Truth be told, there have been moments in my life I’ve sworn like a sailor, savoring every profane syllable that came out of my mouth.) Whatever type of expletive you feel most comfortable with, it was a fabulous, loving, spectacular time.  All of us family members on both sides are so delighted these two are now officially hitched. And we’re lucky too. Between their newly purchased home and the old rental they just moved out of, they graciously managed to put us all up for the weekend, and host a wedding party to boot. If it gets much better than this, I can’t imagine how. Hats off and love unlimited to my amazing son and daughter-in-law for “taking the plunge”!!

Maria (moonwatcher)





Leave a Comment

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michelle August 29, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Oh Maria –

It’s all so wonderful! I loved seeing all of these photos and glad you contributed to the lot of them too!

Got to say you and Romeo – also a match made in Heaven! Love the waterside picture of you both!

The food looked very special too 🙂 Best to you all – Michelle


2 moonwatcher August 29, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Thanks so much, Michelle! I’m glad you liked the waterside photo of me and Romeo. We ARE two peas in a pod. I feel lucky as can be on many fronts. And blessed by your kind words, too.


3 Kiwi Fan August 29, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Dear Maria, I was thrilled to learn that the delay in your latest post – we’re so spoilt by your regular entertaining and inspiring contributions – was due to such a wonderful family occasion. Congratulations to the happy couple whose literal expression of ‘taking the plunge’ was truly delightful. Thanks for all the great photos – the food looked and sounded amazing. All the best to your son + new daughter-in-law.
P.S. I would have loved to hear you sing! I am thrilled for you that you can enjoy that pleasure again. xx


4 moonwatcher August 29, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Thanks for these lovely well wishes, Kiwi Fan!! So nice to hear from you. I am glad you delighted in the literalness of taking the plunge. 🙂 And thank you so much for appreciating what it means to be able to sing a little in public again. 🙂


5 Carole August 30, 2013 at 7:02 am

Wonderful memories Maria! I wish the happy couple a special and wonderful life together filled with many blessings!


6 moonwatcher August 30, 2013 at 9:29 am

Thank you, Carole, for reading and for these lovely blessings!


7 Sheri August 30, 2013 at 8:20 am

Truly lovely! Thanks for sharing this special moment!


8 moonwatcher August 30, 2013 at 9:29 am

Welcome, Sheri, and thanks!


9 Marge Evans August 30, 2013 at 8:34 am

so awesome! so happy for you and you son and daughter in law!


10 moonwatcher August 30, 2013 at 9:29 am

Thanks so much, Marge!


11 Tami @Nutmeg Notebook August 30, 2013 at 8:56 am

What a beautiful couple! It sounds like a perfect weekend filled with so many happy memories and you were able to participate in all of it! Thank you so much for sharing your joy with us.


12 moonwatcher August 30, 2013 at 9:30 am

Thanks, Tami! I think they are a beautiful couple, too, but then I’m biased. 🙂 And yes, I am very happy, too, I could participate in all of the fun.


13 Veronica August 30, 2013 at 10:18 am

Awesome post and many congratulations!! I’m so glad it was such a fantastic time. Thanks for sharing all the pictures! The food looked divine, and the smiles and laughter of everyone (and pup!) will be lasting memories.
“The plunge” – brilliant concept! I think I like them. 🙂 And I’m glad you found your song again; would love to hear it someday (post a vine!). I love to sing, but I think I’d get kicked out of the courthouse were I to break out in song at a family wedding…
Fuck yeah is right!! Sometimes only certain expressions will do – and I think this was a perfect time. Congrats again to you on your miracles, both personal and familial!


14 moonwatcher August 30, 2013 at 10:28 am

HI Veronica, thanks for this awesome comment that made me laugh out loud in places, especially the part about you getting kicked out of the courthouse if you tried to sing. Sing away, girl!! And I’m glad you loved the photos of the food. It really was a magnificent dining out experience. And yes, sometimes only certain expressions will do. LOL I have no doubt you and Mike and Kelly would indeed like each other. 🙂 Thanks for all the wonderful well wishes here. 🙂


15 kally August 30, 2013 at 1:52 pm

wonderful wedding, and you look so good.


16 moonwatcher August 30, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Thanks, kally!! 🙂


17 carollynne kelly August 30, 2013 at 3:59 pm

It all sounded and looked like the perfect way to get married. I love the plunge they took off that cliff. How wonderful that you did it all with them, including the walk down that steep trail. You are wonderful to share it all with us too!


18 moonwatcher August 30, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Thanks, carollynne!! It was all indeed a perfect expression for them, and so glad I could do it all, too. 🙂


19 Donna McFarland August 31, 2013 at 12:51 am

Dearest Maria,

What sheer joy in every aspect of this beautiful life event!! Thank you,thank you, thank you, for sharing this remarkable love story, & gorgeous photo’s of all with us! Wow…so much to take IN, but what sweet, sweet memories! Loved it all! 🙂


20 moonwatcher August 31, 2013 at 8:23 am

Thank you, Donna! So glad you enjoyed it all. And yes, I’m STILL taking it all in. 🙂


21 Michele August 31, 2013 at 3:27 am

So happy to hear about one of the best days of your life!! Your son and daughter in law did it their way, and I loved it. Also appreciate your acknowledging all the blessings in your life. Thanks so much for sharing. Your posts just keep getting better and better. 🙂


22 moonwatcher August 31, 2013 at 8:24 am

Thank YOU, Michele, for this lovely comment in solidarity with the spirit of my post. I am honored by it. 🙂


23 Pam Woods September 1, 2013 at 11:43 am

I just love every aspect of this wedding, including the 2nd cake! Thanks for mentioning Bamboo. I’m adding it to my list of restaurants to check out when I’m in Portland in a few weeks!


24 moonwatcher September 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Thanks Pam!! 🙂 Bamboo is a splurge, but it’s definitely worth experiencing. Let me know how you like it if you get there!


25 Patrick September 25, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Wow! Just Wow. P


26 moonwatcher September 25, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Thanks, Patrick 🙂


27 Lisa November 16, 2013 at 11:49 am

Love reading your posts! Love Bamboo Sushi! And now I want to go there and have a baked sweet potato box. Congratulations to your son and his lovely wife. Maybe I’ll run into them some day here in PDX.


28 moonwatcher November 16, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Thanks, Lisa! Oh, those sweet potato boxes are so good!! I still think about it–lol–and they made it without oil for me! A really cool place. Hope you enjoy it. 🙂


29 Sushi Denver October 13, 2019 at 5:42 am

Its fun to see people on their wedding day. Best Wishes! The cake looks delicious!


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