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Garden Soiree - Chapter Coronation

Many of my happiest memories were made in a garden. As a child, I played with my friends in our garden. I joyfully married my husband Paul in a garden. Now we enjoy our beautiful valley evenings relaxing and sipping wine in our garden. Naturally, I choose a Garden Soiree as my theme. I wanted an evening full of flowers and happy memories.

Everyone seemed ready to have a great time, and we did!

Hospitality was a noisy and friendly affair with guests visiting friends and enjoying delicious food and strawberry Margaritas. Thank you Sally Bailey, Carol Abeyda, and Linda Guttierrez for making everyone feel so welcome.

The hall was decorated in green and white with hanging lanterns, botanical prints, white hydrangea pots on the tables, the stage decorated with pots, plants, flowers, topiaries, lanterns, candles and green netting. The arch was also in green netting with white peonies reinforcing the garden theme.

The evening festivities began with a wine reception. The wine was selected by Tom Giampietro who poured along with Sue Giampietro, Karl Richards, and President Jerry Bailey.

Visalia’s Queen, Debbie Renfro, led the Queen’s procession of beautifully gowned visiting Queens carrying flower nosegays. Making the procession even more special were Grand-daughters Olivia and Taylor Storey carrying the crown and flowers. My husband Paul and I came last.

Queen Debbie placed the crown on my head, and my reign had begun. Our waltz, choreographed by our instructor Dan Goss, was nerve wracking but fun. It was followed by a waltz with current and past queens joining us, when everyone had taken the floor, it was a vision of beautiful, swirling, graceful movement.

Three star Champions and friends Barbara and Greg Uichanco preformed a beautiful and joyous Viennese Waltz, which left everyone in awe. I felt so honored by their beautiful dance.

Dinner, catered by Happy Cookers, was delicious with chopped salad, fork tender chicken breasts with mushrooms, pilaf, baked yams, chilled asparagus with Hollandaise sauce, quinoa with black beans, all followed by strawberry pizza.

The dancing began with a waltz. The music, by music man extraordinaire Greg Uichanco, was a happy mix of traditional and contemporary. Couples crowded the floor, enjoying the energy that seemed to flow in the room. Upping the energy level, were our Entertainers Tom Hicks (past American Champion), Leah Dickerson, and Sharon Benis. Tom and Leah did a fun foxtrot/swing, a very, very high energy Charleston, and a steamy cha cha. Sharon and Tom did a beautiful waltz. It was a joy to watch them. Then we danced and danced and danced until sadly the evening came to an end. But still, people milled around, continuing to visit, seemingly unwilling for the evening to end.

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