Thursday, May 30, 2013

One Year Anniversary and Babymoon in Seattle

For our one year anniversary we decided to take a little trip over to Seattle.  We also tied in our “babymoon” into this trip however I think that type of trip is better suited for a relaxing time at a bed and breakfast or beach.  Babymoon aside, we had a great time.  We had always wanted to go to Seattle in hopes that it would be a cheaper alternative to San Francisco.  In a lot of ways it is, with lots of hills to walk up and down (we had no idea Seattle was so hilly), lots of fresh seafood, and small sleepy towns right outside the city. 

The first day, we woke up bright and early in order to catch our early flight.  We got pre-boarding due to the fact that I was pregnant.  Due to flying Southwest, that meant we got front row on the plane!

We ended up getting to Seattle at 11am and took the lightrail or “Link” from the airport to the city.  It’s a great and cheap alternative to getting a taxi.  We ended up having to walk about ½ a mile to our hotel.  It was chilly but the walk wasn’t too bad.  We checked in and unpacked and I laid down for about an hour before we decided to venture out and try to find lunch.  We ended up going down to Pike Place Market and I got very distracted with all the flowers that they offered. 

I couldn’t believe how amazingly beautiful those flowers were… and how cheap they were.  I told Mike if we lived here, we would have a new bouquet in the house every week.  I spent a good 45 minutes just admiring the flowers but we didn’t buy any because I didn’t want our allergies to act up in a small hotel room. 

We also ran across a little bakery with the biggest cookies I had ever seen (we got a PB cookie to share after lunch). 

We asked the bakery where the best Fish and Chips were at the Market and they pointed us in the direction of Jack’s Fish Spot.  We got an order of Cod n’ Chips, Prawns n’ Chips, and Mike ordered a side of Cioppiono (hoping it would resemble San Francisco’s). 

 Everything was very good, greasy, but good.  We then walked around some more and I started to get sleepy so we went back to the room, which was another trek uphill.  The first day, we did a lot of walking just because we didn’t know where everything was and we didn’t really realize how hilly Seattle was.  The following days we took taxis and buses.  

For dinner, we again walked to the market to find a good restaurant.  This is when we came across the gum wall.  I didn’t really know it existed so when I started to see lots of gum just splattered on the sidewalk and wall, I was a little grossed out.  But then I saw all the tourists chewing their gum rapidly and putting it on the wall.  We couldn’t resist and contributed to the public art wall.

We of course had to visit the famed "First Starbucks."  Mike is a big coffee fan so he got his usual Caramel Macchiato and a Pike Place coffee mug.

We already have a hard time deciding what to eat for dinner without me being pregnant (which has made me more picky) , so we walked a long time before I spotted a restaurant with a nice patio, I pointed and said, “we are just going to eat there.”  Turned out that patio belonged to the “Pink Door” restaurant. 

They didn’t have any tables inside, and at that point it was already really chilly.  They said they had blankets so we decided to just eat outside.  The restaurant has more of an Italian feel but it is really quirky with live entertainment ranging from live piano to burlesque dancers.  Mike ordered the Cioppino for dinner and I ordered the famous lasagna.  I was too concerned to eat much fish on this trip so I didn’t try Mike’s dish but he seemed to really enjoy it.  My lasagna was amazing.  When it first came out, I thought I wouldn’t be able to eat more than half of it but it ended up being all gone by the time we left.  It was very simple, spinach lasagna noodles, a cream sauce, and basil pesto but the taste was anything but simple. 

We forwent the dessert because we were getting so cold.  We caught a taxi back to the hotel for the night.

The next day, we had breakfast at the hotel and then took the ferry over to Bainbridge Island.  

My favorite picture of the trip!  Look at how much he loves me.
I was so excited to take a ferry!  We got some popcorn and hot chocolate from the little café onboard and went to the deck to see if we could spot any whales and take in the scenery.  No whales but the scenery was great. 

When we ported on the island we again ventured for somewhere to eat lunch and ended up at Doc’s Marina which was waterfront.  Mike had Dungeness risotto and I had the Crab Louise Salad. 

We then went to Blackbird bakery.  My family has always gone overboard at bakeries and I did not break tradition at this one.  We ordered five different desserts for the two of us.  Coconut Cream Pie, Apricot Almond Cream Cake, Raspberry Lavender Cream Cake, Bluebarb pie (blueberry and rhubarb), and a lemon ginger sandwich cookie.  All were sooo good. 

Mike got some coffee at this funky little joint.  It is actually an Absinthe bar... first I had ever seen.

As we were walking out we came across a march against Monsanto.  Lots of people chanting things like “Old McDonald had a farm, e-i-e-i-o.  With a round-up here, and a round-up there, everywhere a round-up, e-i-e-i-o”  There were a lot of different songs like that but that one was the one I took note of.  I did notice a whole lot more honeybees there than here in Colorado, which was really nice to see.

 We headed back to Seattle after that and took a long nap once we got back to the hotel.  For dinner we had a few mishaps again.  We decided to ask the concierge where to go for dinner.  They recommended a few restaurants and we eventually decided on going to BlueAcre in the shopping district of Seattle.  We walked down there and were seated right away.  We looked at the menu, ordered an appetizer (crab tater tots…which were amazing) ordered our dinner choices only to find out that both of our dishes were out for the night.  Mike got pretty peeved and I was frustrated.  We ended up getting our appetizer paid for but since I didn’t want to eat fish again we chose to find another place to eat. 

Us at BlueAcre before getting upset at the menu
We did run into some pretty painted trees though on our search for food.

Again, we walked and I started getting even more frustrated with the choices of restaurants close to us.  We ended up eating at Vito’s Restaurant.  This was an oldschool Italian restaurant with décor that had not been changed since it opened in the 70’s… disco ball and all.  I wasn’t very hungry so I ordered a caprese salad and Mike ordered Bolognese rigatoni.  He very much enjoyed his dish and mine was also very enjoyable.  We waited for the nightly entertainment and listened to 2 or 3 songs before we decided to call it a night.  I think I was really tired because I didn't take any pictures of this restaurant.  But it really was a good restaurant with a good vibe and atmosphere.

The next morning, which was our one year anniversary, we went to Ballard for their Sunday farmer’s market.  We took the bus there and boy was that an experience.  Not only was every single person on the bus “off their meds” crazy but the bus driver wasn’t taking any kind of crap from anyone.  Anywho, we made it safely to Ballard and walked over to the farmer’s market.  It was a very busy farmer’s market with lots of vendors.  They had everything from a butcher to a psychic reader there. 

We ate brunch at Bastille.  I ordered a Daisy #2 drink, challah French toast, and Mike ordered some sort of breakfast cast iron dish with a goose egg.  Everything was great, especially the service.  We headed back on the bus to Seattle and again took a long nap.

We actually had dinner planned out for our anniversary and we had reservations at Elliott’s Oyster bar.  Our waiter was very nice and knew it was our anniversary and also that I was pregnant, he made our experience very original and memorable.  Mike had his first raw oyster there and really enjoyed it and ordered another 2 for an appetizer.  

We ordered coconut prawns for an appetizer for the both of us.  I ordered Crab Cakes and Mike ordered his favorite dish, a whole Dungeness Crab.  The coconut prawns were amazing!  When Mike’s dinner was about to come out, our waiter came by and made sure he had his bib on… even tied it for him.  

I was actually expecting only one or two crab cakes but the dish actually came out with  four.  I only ate about 1 ½ and Mike finished the rest. 

Mike loves crab and this one didn’t disappoint. 

For dessert we ordered a Carrot Cake and Lemon Cheesecake with blackberry sauce.  They were so yummy but we left two or three bites of each because they were just so big.  We even got a candle for our anniversary!

Our plane didn’t leave until 7pm so we had almost another whole day in Seattle.  This was the rainiest day we had. We really wanted to go to the Space Needle, so we went to the Seattle City Center.  We actually ran into a Folk Fair there with vendors of all kinds.  We had fun walking around there and ended up walking right into the Space Needle.  We also got to see the live fountain and we took my pregnancy pictures there.  We headed up to the Space Needle, it was cloudy but we still got to see a 360 view of the city. 

We went back to Pike Place market for the last time and had lunch at Beecher’s Cheese.  Mike had the spicy Mac n’ cheese and I had French Onion soup with a Breadtzle (very yummy).  We also waited in line at Piroshky-Piroshky and had a Cardamom Cinnamon twist.  We then headed back to the hotel to take a rest before heading home. 

We had a great time in Seattle even with the cold and dreary weather.  It is fun to go out and venture new cities but maybe not so much if you’re pregnant and easily fatigued.  Seattle is a great city with a lot to offer but I think we will stick to San Francisco for our west coast and “eating” vacations.  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Wedding Recap

It is hard to believe that Mike and I have been married for a year already.  It is amazing how fast time flies when so many wonderful things are happening.

The wedding day came and went but it is one of the happiest memories I have! 

Since I just started this blog I thought I would recap our wedding day here.  Its such a hard post to write because it is hard to write about all of the emotions and feelings that went on… but I will try my best.

Our rehearsal dinner was the night before in the hotel we were getting married at.  We had a family style dinner at SecondHome, which was fun and memorable.  The food was great and the company and atmosphere better!  The families decided to stay the night at the hotel for the simplicity of it.  Mike and I parted right before midnight.

I couldn’t sleep a wink that night.  I kept going over my vows over and over again. I finally got out of bed and went to the coffee bar only to be surprised by my mom already in there.  It was nice having that quiet morning with her before all of the chaos of the day happened.  After awhile we went back to the room and found my sisters and niece up.  We all sat at the dining table drinking more coffee and talking. 

All of the “getting ready” wasn’t going to start happening until 11 so I decided to go out for a run.  It helped keep my nerves at bay.  When I got back, brunch was set out for us.  All of my family was there and it was something I always had dreamt of.   The day was starting to drag though and all I wanted to do was marry Mike.  But, finally things started happening.  The weather forecasted for a very gusty day.  I kept checking my weather app and the wind speeds kept getting higher and higher.  I was nervous about it but I knew there wasn’t anything I could do about it.  I kept saying, “at least it isn’t rainy.” 

My mom and I decided to have hair and makeup stylists come to the suite so that we weren’t rushing around town.  It was a lot of fun and I felt like a celebrity getting ready for a movie role. 

Our fantastic photographer, Michele Hart, arrived just in time for hair and makeup.  She is seriously the best photographer we could have asked for. 

Cynthia, was our makeup person and she did a great job.  I hate wearing makeup and usually don’t but she had a light touch and made my eyes pop!  She made everyone look their best!

Audrey did everyone’s hair.  She had told me at our consultation that she doesn't usually do weddings anymore because of the criticism… but not from the bride, it’s usually the mother of the bride.  This mother of the bride did not disappoint.  Audrey was great though and listened to my mom’s concerns and fixed it right up.  I loved my hair.

I had joked with Mike that I was going to forget our marriage license when we were packing… as I was getting my hair done I remembered that I had actually forgotten it!  My sister volunteered to fetch it from our house!  I thanked her a hundred times.

When it was finally time to put my dress on… I couldn’t find my family.  My parents were downstairs trying to get everything situated for the ceremony and my sisters were in their room still getting dressed.  I finally found one of my moms and had her bring up the other one and had my niece hurry my sisters up.  

It zipped right up but I wasn’t done yet.   It took another 20 or so minutes to fasten all the buttons.  It allowed for some amazing photos though.

After the dress was all zipped and buttoned, my moms flew downstairs again, Michele left to take pictures of Mike, and my sisters finished getting ready.  And I was left to a moment to myself.  Reflecting on how our life was going to change forever.  I was going to be a wife in less than 45 minutes. 

Michele and my sisters came back to the room and we got to take some really great photos.  I love them so much! 

I finally got to pose with my mom in a photo when she came upstairs to wait with me until I was set to go downstairs.

My sister put my veil on; my jewels were set, and shoes on…. I was just waiting for a phone call from downstairs to let me know they were ready for me.  RING…RING.  We headed downstairs.

This is when my heart started to thump HARD.  Waiting in the room downstairs, was a glass of champagne and I gulped it when I saw it.  The wedding coordinator at the hotel came in and asked me if I was ready and I said “Yes”

It was extremely windy and my veil was flying everywhere!... At least it wasn’t raining.

I started walking down to the ceremony tent and I stood in the entry way.  No one was standing up, my song wasn’t playing, and even though my eyesight is not the greatest… I could tell Mike was not up on the stage.  I kept thinking there was a joke going around but I looked behind me at the coordinator and asked where Mike was.  She said, “Oh, Shit” (sorry for the language) and told us to run back inside.  I had no idea what was happening until she came back to the room and apologized profusely saying that she had forgotten to walk the flower girls, ring bearer, and MIKE into the ceremony.  She said everyone was in place now and told me they were really ready this time.  I wish I didn’t have to write about this part, as I really want to forget about it.  But it wouldn’t be the true day and I want to share the best and worst parts of everything here.  This was by far the worst part of the wedding day… the only bad part.

Second time around… I walked to the ceremony entrance and finally everyone stood up and my song… “Such Great Heights” was being played by the string quartet.  There isn’t anything much like it… walking down and seeing all the people you love at your sides and seeing the man you’re going to marry steps away.  It’s pretty spectacular and something you should only experience once in life.

Once at the stage, Nancy, Mike’s Aunt, asked who is giving this woman and both of my moms said, “we do.”  Mike walked down the three steps that separated us and together we walked up to get married.

The wind was whipping the tent around but at that point I didn’t care, I don’t think I would have cared if it were down pouring rain.  I was only focused on Mike.

Nancy did a fantastic job of officiating our marriage.  She gave us a great ceremony with so many thoughtful and inspiring words.  I am not going to share our whole ceremony here as I want a part of our wedding day to be only for ourselves and those who were there but here is a small excerpt from our wedding.  This reading is my favorite of the wedding (besides our vows) because it suited Mike and I so well. 

“You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks — all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” — those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” — and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.
The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed — well, I meant it all, every word.”
"Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another  — acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this is my husband, this is my wife."

In Colorado, only a priest, minister, army general, or self can proclaim marriage.  Our last words at the ceremony… I’ll admit jittery words… were “We now pronounce ourselves Husband and Wife” We kissed and walked away as Mr. and Mrs. Robertson.

We signed our marriage license that my sister so kindly fetched for us.  And we were off to take our wedding pictures with family and then with just the two of us.  Here are some of my favorites.

We got to get a glimpse of our reception before anybody arrived and it was my dream of the perfect wedding.  I couldn’t have asked for anything more amazing… from the flowers, to the cake, to the linens.  It was breathtaking. 

After we were announced at the reception, we sat down to a toast my mom had prepared which was the poem… “I keep your heart, in my heart” by  e.e. Cummings.  A poem that is special to the both of us. 

Afterwards, dinner was served.  Mike and I actually got to eat.  It was delicious and tasted just the way it did at the tasting!

After eating, Mike and I went around to each individual person and thanked him or her for coming.  We got some advice, some kisses, and a lot of love. 

We then had our first dance.  About six months into our relationship, Mike played a song for me and told me that he was waiting a long time to be able to that song for someone and really mean it.  The song was  “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds. 

We then cut the cake, threw the bouquet (which my friend Renee caught… and her time should be coming up pretty soon!), and did the garter toss.  All of the girls wanted to catch the bouquet, but none of the guys even flinched for the garter. 

Then more toasts… My sisters, Mike’s best friend, Mike’s mom and dad, and my other mom.  They were great toasts.  My sisters’ made me cry, Mike’s mom’s toast won the show with laughs, our best man poked fun at Mike and made me look like a princess, and my mom’s was the kind that could melt your heart. 

Then it was dancing time.  The night slowly came to an end and we said goodnight and thanked everyone again for coming.

After all the months of planning songs, invitations, cake designs, flowers, and dress fittings… We were finally married and off to our happily ever after!

Happy One Year to the man of my dreams.  You make me feel safe and more content than I ever have been.  I love you and thank you for all that you do for our up and coming family!

Cheers to us!

Photos courtesy of Michele Hart Photography
Hair done by Audrey Gerhardt
Makeup done by Cynthia Goodberry (the Makeup Guru)
Dress from D’Anelli Bridal