Monday, September 10, 2012

Check out our new blog

We've moved to CA, hence the new blog - check out our adventures!

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Honeymoon

 We spent one day in the Mariposa grove of Giant Sequoias. Wow! What an amazing place!
 That tree behind us is still alive!
 Just to get an idea of scale! These trees have to be some of the biggest things on earth!
 Want to know how weird we are? We decided that mountain water was way better than tap water, so we hit up the river in Yosemite to fill up our gallon jugs. Every day. Yeah, we're a little crazy. But the water was out of this world! I swear I would drink water all the time if it tasted that good!
 Here we are pumping water through our little water filter.
 Lower Yosemite Falls
Yosemite Falls (I know you can't see it, but it's there!)
 We had some pretty nasty weather while we were in the Valley. It was foggy and rainy and just plain cold, wet and miserable. Thankfully, Alex has forced me to be outfitted for weather of all sorts, so we came prepared with rain pants and jackets, and I was actually pleasantly comfortable for most of the trip! The giant, warm socks he bought me also helped a lot too!
 The Ahwanee Hotel!
 This picture is worth a thousand words. One night, we headed out of Yosemite for the 45 mile drive back to our cabin in Wawona. The road is two lane, mountain pass that goes up to about 6500 feet before descending back to Wawona (which is about 4000 feet). As we were leaving the Valley, it was raining, lightly at first, but then it rained more and more. Rain turned into ice. Ice turned into snow! Pretty soon, we were driving through a real snowstorm in my Dad's little Chevy Aveo. Thankfully, Alex knows how to drive in the snow, but our little car started slipping. We came upon a few cars that were stuck in the road, and we stopped. Alex tried to help them, but the snow was accumulating too fast to do anything but get back into our car. Alex made the executive decision to drive back into the valley for the night, as we hadn't even reached the top of the mountain pass. We got back into the Valley, and luckily found a place to stay at the Yosemite Lodge. We got some dinner at the Lodge and literally collapsed into bed. What a harrowing adventure!
 This is the view from the Yosemite Lodge of Yosemite Falls. How pretty!
 The rest of our days at Yosemite were pretty gorgeous. This was the day after the storm, can you see the snow on the granite?
 Bridalveil Falls!
 I made Alex stop the car to take in this beautiful sunset!
 We hiked the Four Mile trail up to Glacier Point. The rising sun just made Yosemite Falls look amazing.
 The view from Glacier Point
 Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point
 We made it to Glacier Point!
 Four Mile trail goes up that! Can you believe it?
 Alex making a fire in the firepit at our little cabin.
 The cabin we stayed in was super adorable. The stove was pretty old - we even had to light the burners! We cooked most every night on this great old stove, which was really fun!

 The inside of the little cabin.
Out rustic little abode for the week!

Altogether, we really had a fantastic stay in Yosemite. The weather put a damper on our plans to go backpacking for a few days, as our destination (Tuolomne Meadows) received over 2 feet of snow during the storm we witnessed. As we were prepared for cold weather camping, butnot for snow camping, we scrapped the idea and decided to just hang out. Our trip up the four mile trail later than week proved to us that we had made the right decision. We came upon hard packed snow and ice all along the granite trail (which had been carved out of granite cliffs). I was convinced that Alex was trying to kill me, as I don't do well with heights, or ice and snow for that matter. We made it to the top of Glacier Point, but I had no desire to hike back down. Our trip was wonderful, and a great way to unwind after all the craziness of the wedding. It was with a great deal of sadness that we packed up and headed back to reality. Why are vacations always so short, but work days seem so long :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Our Wedding Day

We were so lucky to have a wonderful day for our wedding. I woke up in the morning to a shining sun and not a cloud in the sky. The day was actually quite warm, and lovely, and I was so happy about that! I ate some breakfast with Randi and did some last minute things in my room, taking a shower and packing up. My Mom and I went to get our hair done by Marci at Purveyors of Beauty, which was so special. Marci and my Mom went to high school together, and Marci has been doing my Mom's hair as long as I can remember. Marci cut my hair when I was a kid, and did my hair for proms, and even for Randi's wedding. So, I knew my hair was in the right hands! In the meantime, I was trying to handle a few little things, like, you know, writing your vows? Haha! Yeah, I didn't do that! Whoops! I have to admit that when things got down to the wire, I handed off the ceremony responsibilities to Alex and Joe, and I thought that whatever they came up with would be great. Good delegation, right?
So, I got my hair and makeup done, and let me tell you, I felt like a Hollywood movie star. I had on fake eyelashes, and airbrushed makeup - what a hoot! Back at the Pierpont, I felt cool as a cucumber. We met up with our photographer, who captured some great shots, and I literally threw on my dress and I was ready to go! Alex and I had decided to see each other before the wedding. Although my Grandma Seaton would have frowned on that, we wanted the chance to spend as much time with our guests and at our reception as we could. Our photographer arranged for us to "meet" and see each other all decked out. I don't think I've ever seen Alex so handsome! We had so much fun taking pictures. I felt like such a movie star - I loved it! Pretty soon, it was time to walk down the aisle - whee! I disappeared into the cottage and we had a quick toast, and then it was time to get started. One thing I remember is Clare, my mother-in-law, telling me the time, it seemed like every minute or so. OK, it's 5:23, it's 5:24, it's 5:25! I didn't really feel nervous, and I though it was funny that she was counting down the minutes - like it was a space shuttle launch. You will be married in 5.....4.....3....2....Blastoff! When my cousin, Adrian, started singing "White Dress", I was dancing in my room, singing along! I was having so much fun, and I almost wanted her to keep singing. And then I thought, wait! I have to get married!
The walk down the aisle was a blur - I remember my Dad being a bit nervous that he would trip me, and I remember seeing so many faces, smiling at me, in the crowd. Then I saw Alex and I though, uh-oh, he has that weepy look on his face! Oh no! Don't cry! I must admit, I did get teary-eyed. The whole thing about a wedding is overwhelming, and to be standing there, surrounded by so many well-wishers, it was awesome. Our ceremony, thankfully, had a built in tension-breaker. The beer ceremony! Haha! That was so fun to do! The ceremony went by so fast (in fact, the whole day did). We had a great time! We took lots of pictures (which I cannot wait to see!) and I was so excited to have so many people there, our friends and families! There are a few things that stand out in my head, and one of them is when we walked into the reception hall. I think since I changed my dress to do our first dance, everyone was, like, who on earth are these people walking into the room? Haha! I thought it was so fun to see the confused looks on people's faces. We chose to do a swing dance as our first dance since we both love to swing and we thought it might set the mood for the reception to get out on the floor and dance! And it seems like it worked! The dance with my Dad was hysterical. He was so funny, laughing and asking me why the song was so long (you picked it, Dad!). Little did he know, he would be the talk of the dance floor later that evening! I don't remember what the food tasted like (haha, I hope it was good), but I do remember absolutely everyone dancing on the dance floor once the music started, so we hope everyone had a good time! I was so excited to have a band that played dance-able music (although I do recall them playing "How Much is that Doggie in the Window?" hmmm...). I had so much fun seeing our flower girl, Kaitlyn, dancing and spinning in her dress. I loved seeing my cousin Sayer run around the dance floor, having a blast. I loved to see everyone with a smile on their face, that was the best part. And when it was all over, and it was all said and done, I was a little bit bummed, I must admit.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Married Life!

*Note: One post cannot cover everything wedding and honeymoon-related, so I am going to try to post things in a chronological order, and hopefully catch up to present times soon!*

Well, we did it! We survived an awesome wedding, and we both had a blast (and I think most of our guests did, too!). The weeks leading up to the wedding were a little bit stressful. There were so many little things to do, and it felt like there was so little time to do it all in, but somehow everything got done. In the weeks after my last post, I ran a half marathon, interviewed for a job in Boston (at Harvard), and had a Philly bridal shower. Things got a little bit busy there for a while! Haha! Everything turned out great, though. The half marathon was great - great weather, flat course through downtown Philly with rock and roll bands every mile or two, and a fiance who biked all over the city to cheer for me all over the course. It was my first half marathon, so I had no idea what to expect. The first 10 miles were a piece of cake, but those last 3.1 were really hard. I finished in 2:22, which is not too bad for a first timer, and I blew away my 10 mile PR by 7 minutes, so I know I can improve my half marathon time, too.
My interview in Boston went really well (at least in my opinion). I took the train to Boston, which was beautiful, and I was able to wander around Harvard campus for a little while before the madness ensued. The interview was a lot of fun. Great meetings with the lab members and the PI, a really interesting seminar and two delicious dinners in the Boston area - can't really ask for more! I have a couple more interviews coming up in November, and then I am hoping to make a decision as to where to go next - really exciting stuff, right?
Then, all of a sudden, the wedding snuck up on me! We were packing our things, and making a getaway to CA so fast. It was amazing that we could pack all of our things and get them on the airplane. Even the taxi driver who took us to the airport commented on all our luggage (and we had even MORE coming back, haha!). The trip out was fantastic, as my lovely parents had donated some miles to us, so we travelled first class - can you believe it? I felt so far away from Alex in that big, old seat - we are so used to traveling coach. It was such a treat to be treated so nicely (and to have a bathroom mostly to ourselves!). I, of course, spent the time arranging tables and seating and watching "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", which is a WONDERFUL movie, I must say!
Once in CA, we hit the ground running. Alex and I worked on the last final details, like picking up tuxedos, grabbing a few last minute things for camping, and making place cards, table names, and programs. We were also writing our ceremony (literally up until the day of the wedding!), and running through checklists of things to be done. When family started to arrive, things started to slow down, which was great. Alex was able to spend some time with his family, and I was able to de-compress a bit with my parents and my Matron of Honor, Randi. Then, all of a sudden, it was the Rehearsal and the Rehearsal Dinner and we were on our way! The rehearsal was hysterical, because nobody knew what was going on, a wedding had just happened a couple hours before, and they were still taking pictures in the ceremony area. We practiced walking the aisle, listened to the coordinator, Pam, trying to tell us what to do, and showing our flower girl, Kaitlyn (Alex's niece) how to toss dry leaves out of her Daddy's hat. It was too funny! The rehearsal dinner was awesome! Alex's Mom, Clare, did everything, and she did an amazing job. There was more food than you can imagine, beautiful fall decor, an amazing sunset (complete with visible islands!), and lots of good times. It was great to relax, meet everyone in the families, catch up, and just hang out. I had a blast and I almost didn't want to leave! Except, I knew that I had to get my beauty rest (haha!). I headed upstairs to my ridiculous suite of rooms with my girls, Randi, Lisa and Betsy, We had a lovely time chatting, hanging out, eating M&Ms and just catching up. It's so rare to be able to hang out like that anymore. With all our busy lives, things just get insane. It's so nice to sit down and have a real conversation with people who live all over the country. When Randi and I were kids, we used to have sleepovers every Friday night. We would stay up late, watch scary movies, eat Oreos, talk about all sorts of things, and play. It's honestly such a bummer that doesn't happen anymore! So, my last night as a single woman (as my Mom would say) was spent being nostalgic, which was a blast. And now, I will leave this long tale here, and say that it's to be continued.....

Monday, September 19, 2011

Philly Shower!

Yay! Coffee shop bridal shower with all my Philly girls!

Of course, the boys were also hanging out too, they just didn't plan anything. So, they hung out outside the coffee shop (with new baby Conor!) for a while and we just couldn't resist taking a pic of them being indecisive :)

OK, so you can tell that Jen and I started grad school together because she got me this hysterical sleeping mask (which is so true!).

Philly BYOB, or BYOC (champagne!)

This is my "Presents! Yay!" face :)

With my bestie, Lisa, who is my bridesmaid, and who threw me this awesome shower. Yup, I'm spoiled!
A couple weeks before the wedding, Lisa, my bridesmaid, told me to show up at a coffee shop in South Philly. I took the bus down there, and saw this fantastic, colorful, Mexican themed cafe. I had such a great time, seeing everyone. I've known Lisa since I started this whole grad school thing, and we both graduated from the same lab. It was so great to see all my friends and to catch up. And there were even some surprises! I had no idea my friend Melissa would make the trek from Baltimore to come hang out, and my friend Danee had just had little Conor about a month beforehand. The boys took baby Conor (I think to his first bar - sorry Danee!) and we all hung out, drank champagne, and chatted for a while. I had the best time! Thanks so much, Lisa! You're awesome!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A word on California

While a lot of our guests are coming from the great state of California to the wedding, we do have quite a few out of town guests. I wanted to give you an idea of what to expect, and some suggestions on things to bring. Ventura County can have cool nights and warm days, making it a lovely vacation destination. However that breeze coming off the ocean can sometimes be downright chilly, so I'd suggest bringing something warm, like a fleece and some pants for the evenings you might be outside. And, contrary to popular belief, the ocean off the coast of California is not that warm. The water will likely be in the low to mid 60s, which can be quite chilly! The good news is that there's a pool at the Pierpont that's lovely and heated. There are also lots of places to learn to surf, paddleboard, etc very near the Inn, so if you're feeling adventurous, definitely talk to the front desk when you check in. They'll be able to help you out with anything you might want to know. The Pierpont is literally a bock from the beach, definitely walking distance to a lovely state beach, with a pier, a nice walking / biking path, and even some kid's equipment to play on. There's no need to pay to hang out on the beach (as in New Jersey!), but there are some places that charge a few dollars for parking. Altogether, Alex and I had a lovely time in Ventura and we hope you do too!