Wendy Stories
April 1996

Wendy's @ Home Page is Growing! Welcome new husband Mike and daughter Melissa Mae. Our wedding took place aboard the Harbor Bay Express on the San Francisco Bay. 'Twas a calm and sunny day so we unfortunately could not enjoy the drama of seeing anyone toss their cookies. Despite many obstacles, I made it to the boat on time!

How I Almost Missed the Wedding
But Made it to the Boat On Time

The wedding was on a ferry near Tiburon on Saturday, April 27, 1996.

Mike and I went to the pier early that morning to decorate. My mom had rented a room where I could shower and change into my dress after putting the boat in order. She gave me a key to the room, and handed me a newspaper advertisement for the Bay Bridge Inn. "Here is the address," said she.

The boat was scheduled to depart at 2:00. The Matron of Honor finished stapling flowers to the Trellis at 11:00, then she dropped me off at the Maiden Lane Salon in Union Square for my hair styling appointment. I had $10 to cover the taxi ride to the motel. Unbeknownst to me, as we drove away from the pier, Mom was running after the car shouting, "Let me give you some extra cash just in case!" If only we had waited.

My hair turned out fabulous. It was so perfect, I didn't put my glasses on, for fear of mussing it. I strolled out of the salon and hailed a cab. I handed the driver the newspaper clipping. "The Bay Bridge Inn!" The taxi driver didn't speak English well. He had trouble reading the clipping. I peered over the back seat, having a little trouble myself without my glasses. Finally I pointed out the address. "Is it 22 Harrison?" I asked. "66 Harrison," replied he. And off we went.

At the foot of Harrison, with the Bay Bridge appropriately in sight, we searched for the motel. We saw One Harrison. We saw 100 Harrison. It must be in between. But the taxi driver kept rolling, peering out, looking for a sign. I was in a hurry and I thought he might be trying to drive up the fare. "Let me out here!" He asked, dubiously, "Are yee shure?" "Yes! Let me out!" I passed forward the $10 bill to cover the $6 fare, plus what turned out to be a generous tip. And out I leapt.

The first block of Harrison is a desolate section of warehouses and empty buildings. No phones, no traffic, no ATM machines. I prowled up and down the block, fruitlessly searching for 66 Harrison. Where could it be? The corporate building at One Harrison covered a whole block. Across the street was a gutted warehouse. I ran up and down the block desperately. Finally I found a guard on duty at One Harrison, and I shoved the newspaper ad into his hand. "Excuse me. I'm getting married today! I'm looking for this motel. My dress is there Do you know where it is?" He didn't speak English. He handed the ad back, shaking his head. I ran from the building, crying.

There, across the alley, was a used-clothing store. Maybe they could help! I dashed in, accosted a customer, shoved the ad into his hand. "Excuse me. I'm getting married today! I'm looking for this motel. My dress is there Do you know where it is?" He kindly peered at the crumpled clipping and pointed out a penciled correction. "It's at 966 Harrison!" I thanked him and ran from the building, crying.

There I was, penniless, stuck in a deserted section of town nine long blocks away from the motel with time running out. What could I do? What would you do? Would you run for it? Would you try to hitchhike one of the infrequent passing motorists? I did not know what to do. There was one door with three guards standing around a kiosk inside. I knocked on the door with abandon. A female guard let me in. "I'm getting married today! I'm late! Some taxi driver dropped me off here! I need to get to 966 Harrison! I don't have any money left! I don't know what to do! Curse that taxi driver." My tears were flying left and right. She calmed me down. She called two different taxi dispatchers. She told me that they would take me to an ATM to get some money. She gave me a Kleenex. She showed me the door.

Finally another taxi driver appeared, but he turned the wrong way on Harrison. I dashed into the street and flagged him down, waving the newspaper clipping, crying. He made a quick U-turn and I pulled open the door, babbling. "I'm getting married today! Some taxi driver dropped me off here! Curse that taxi driver. I need to go to 966 Harrison. I'm late! You've got to take me to an ATM!" The taxi driver didn't speak English very well. He gazed at me blankly. So I leapt into the back seat and explained the situation in words of one syllable.

On the way to the ATM, the driver, from Russia, told me of his wedding day. He was to meet his wife and her family at the "courthouse" at a specific time. He had no car, and had decided to rent a limousine, but for some reason that I could not quite catch, he had monumental trouble. Hurry as he might, he could not get to the courthouse on time. In fact, he was an hour late for the appointment. By the time he got there, his wife was in tears, certain that he had abandoned her. The taxi driver succeeded in drying my tears. He took me to an ATM and, with judicious use of the gas pedal, got me to the Bay Bridge Inn. And so, the Russian taxi driver saved the day.

And that is how I made it to the boat on time.

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