Saturday, June 15, 2013

An Adventure

This is a personal shout out post in honor of my PA school besties (holla at a dolla honey boo boos!).

We've been fortunate enough to be able to take time to go on mini-vacays (mini-vacations) and local outings in between our studies and now in between our work schedules. All have ended successfully, but let me tell you - they were not always smooth sailing, complicated often by rain, cranky non-morning people, missed transportation, or other series of unfortunate events. Let me take you on an adventure with a little creative writing of our most recent get-away:
With the rolling in of early spring, we were absolutely tired. Tired of winter, tired of work, tired of the monotony that our lives had recently transformed into. It was time. After the success of our last mini-vacay to Florida, we were ready to embark once again. While sitting on the couch at an impromptu and very rare evening get together, Misterious and myself were chatting.

"I'm tired of work, I need a beach," I said.
"I know, we need to go on a vacation," Misterious replied.
"Well lets do it, when can we go? How about June? We don't have our schedules, we can request off now."

With that, Talulah meandered in "What's that?"
"We are going on a mini-vacay, wanna come?" I asserted.
"We are? Where are we going?" Talulah questioned hesitantly.
"Anywhere, lets just go, why not?"

And so the planning commenced. We were each a bit nervous at first if we should all commit to the request, and it took some convincing to get Mr. Napkin Head to agree to take time off, but finally we picked the dates: a Monday-Wednesday in early-mid June. We had the destination, we had our bathing suits, we had the booze (what we didn't have was a promising weather forecast). That Sunday night we settled departure times. Monday morning we woke to a dreary clouded sky with sprinkles of rain in the air. Last minute errands were accomplished and Mist texted me to let me know they were on the way to pick me up. I was in my usual state of last minute rushing trying to play musical dufflebags so all of my belongings, snacks, and sun lotion would fit.

The phone starts ringing, which is also usual when I'm rushing. It's Talulah. "Heyyy..." I answer in my what's up voice. "Soooo... I don't know about making the 12:15 ferry....", "Uhh... why?", "We just got in an accident..." Talulah proceeds to explain to me that no one was hurt (thankfully), but that the guy who hit them is crazy and it might be a while.

1 hour later via text "how you guys doing?", "waiting for the police", "they haven't arrived yet? what's with these bronx po po"

2 hours later via text "po po show up?", "nope, not yet", "what?! that's crazy!", "we just called 911 again"

3 hours later the phone rings. It's Talulah. "Soooo... we just got back to the apartment and are switching cars now, so we should be there in a half hour." Finally we were on our way again headed towards our mini vacay. After a stop for coffee, cash (real cash, no checks), and a run back to the house for a wine bottle opener we hit the highway. After our drive over the bridge and through the woods we made it to Bayshore. We grabbed a quick snack and found the ferry boats - the only visible ferry boats from the parking lot, mind you. It was rush-rush as usual since we had exactly enough time to buy our tickets and hop on the boat before it departed.

After twenty or so minutes of mouthing sentences to each other on the very loud ferry boat we landed at stop 1 and then shimmied over to stop 2 where we departed into the light drizzle. We walked about 30 steps and called the hotel to find out where to go.

(Side note, this is my personal interpretation of the phone conversation that took place since it was not I who was on the phone):
"You're where?!?" The receptionist exclaimed.
"Uh... Ocean Bay Park? Right?" We nodded in agreement.
"Ocean Bay Park, you girls took the wrong ferry!" I hope you are inserting the Long Island accent when this receptionist is speaking... it really makes the translation better.
"Well, I mean, I guess you have to either walk here or you can take the ferry back to Bay Shore and come back on the other ferry."
"Well, how far is it?"
"A mile."
"Then it seems like it makes more sense to just walk, I guess."
"Alright well just keep walking for a mile towards the water tower and you will find Ocean Beach." We looked around, and alas, no water tower insight. But fortunately we were right next to a bar so Misterious peeked her head in, asked for directions and we embarked on our mile long journey, each with multiple heavy bags, plus groceries in our hands.

As we began hobbling along, our faces sunk. Ten yards away was a puddle the size of a small pond blocking our walkway. We hesitantly glided through the cool water as frowns of concern traversed our faces. What were we walking through? What were we gonna do? We forged forward calculating when our last tetanus shots were through alternating dry and puddled walkways. Some puddles were as deep as our ankles, others we could hop around on the outskirts of the walk. On two occasions we were greeted by extremely friendly deer. The first attempted to follow us until we reached a puddled, the second darted at our bags and sniffed them before trotting off.

With Talulah on the google maps navigator we made it, "The blue ball says we are at Ocean Beach, now what?" We couldn't see anything obvious to walk towards so we called our receptionist friend once again.
"You're where?!"
"Cottage," the name of the walkway we were on.
"Oohhkay, Just turn this way, walk to town, go right, then right, then I'll be looking for you." So we walked to town, and the rains came down. Our clothes began turning see through, our bags became heavier, and I felt as though I needed windshield wipers for my eyes. We got to town and traversed the puddles with Mr. Napkin Head on the phone with the receptionist until we finally made it.

With a great huff she said, "Aww, look at you, the lost girls, let me get you some towels. I guess you've never been to Fire Island before." We weren't quite sure if she thought we were complete idiots or if she genuinely felt for us, but the towels were warm and we were aching from our bags so we went with it. Our journey wasn't quite over, though. We had a two block walk to our apartment through yet more puddles before finally being able to change into dry clothes and lay our our belongings to dry. Once we accomplished that, you can guess what a group of four sensible women like ourselves did - made good use of that bottle opener.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Two Months and Counting

A couple of days ago I passed the two-months-until-the-wedding mark. This is absolutely terrifying - how can this be moving so quickly!!

Here's an update on where I'm at, whats going well, and what has been trickier than I could have thought.

The Dress:
Last time I told you my dress was on the way - well it finally came at the end of July and the alteration we made looks great! It was so great to finally see it again after 9 months of waiting. Time to finalize shoes before my first fitting!

The Shoes:
Speaking of shoes, I found a pair that could potentially work while shopping with my sister for her shoes. Ironically, the shoe we picked for her looked so cute and was so comfortable (for the 10 minutes we spent walking around DSW anyway) that I ended up buying the same shoe. Normally, I have the inkling that this is taboo... but I'm not sure I really care. I like it, its comfortable, my sister likes it, it goes with her dress, what's the harm? I probably will keep my eye out anyway in case I do happen to stumble upon something else... but in the end I'm not sure there's actually a problem with wearing the same shoes as others in my bridal party. I also don't really buy into the concept of wearing shoes all over your house for 3 months straight to break them in so I feel a sense of flexibility with this issue that I think others tend to put more pressure on.

The Invitations and the Guest List:
This is the crux of the stress with wedding planning. The storm has not fully hit yet, but it's coming. We have a family friend writing out the addresses in calligraphy and so we have been sending them out as she has completed them. If you have not yet planned a wedding or if you have the type of budget that you can afford to invite everyone you've ever met to your wedding, this may seem like a terrible thing to say. However, we have a limited budget and there are a handful of individuals we would like to invite that we have been thinking about because inviting everyone may or may not make the numbers borderline unreasonable. This has caused a lot of pressure and stress and hopefully it will pass without any major issues with us being able to include everyone we would want. Once this is settled, the chore of seating arrangements will begin.

The Flowers:
... Are not yet booked. That's right folks! I'm just about screwed when it comes to flowers. I know next to nothing about flowers which made me hesitant to jump into this task. My mom and I went on a trip at the very end of April and had been talking and trying to negotiate a contract with a florist, but by the end of May it fell through. So now I'm scrambling. Part of the reason it fell through was lack of comparison - after talking to this florist and seeing the prices we soon realized that this place was far over priced. After talking to a few friends who have been through wedding planning my realization about price was confirmed. In hindsight, we should have compared more florists at the beginning of our search and, in a perfect world, we should have been more assertive about our budget from the get-go. Unfortunately when working and coordinating multiple wedding plans at the same time in the setting of regular life commitments time got a bit away from us on this one. This week I've contacted several florists in an attempt to quickly negotiate a contract that we will hopefully be able to finalize by the end of next week.

The Tuxes:
This chore I placed directly on Howie's shoulders. If he shows up in khaki's, oh well!

The Transportation:
We've had an idea about what transportation we would like to have, but we just started the research this week ... more to come on this topic once we know more.

The Rings:
This was incredibly easy to finalize. We went to the same jeweler where Howie purchased my engagement ring to select styles. They should be ready for pick up in a week or two (a month total from our visit to the jeweler).

The Centerpieces:
We have decided to do these ourselves. states moderate flower centerpieces are about $50 per table, and the price can quickly go up. We are expecting to have 13-15 tables. I'm not a girl who's really into flowers anyway, so we decided to do an arrangement of vases and floating candles for a little under $20 per table. We were very fortunate that our venue offers a few extras which include 10-inch flat mirrors for each table with 3 votive candles. We also plan to add flower petals in the same colors as the flowers in the bouquets once those are finalized. Other than the petals, this task is checked off the list!

The Honeymoon:
We were a little late to the game on this too, but for good reason. On average, couples book their honeymoons 3-4 months before their wedding. We held out because of flight pricing. We had a dream honeymoon location, but due to the costs and our position in life, we'll have to postpone that trip. Instead we just booked our honeymoon location in a different spot we had not previously consider and we are incredibly excited! We still have to organize our schedule with the various excursions included and book our flight. But overall, its a trip on a better budget for us with the same balance of excitement and down-time we were looking for. We are keeping it a secret (as best I can) until we depart, but it will involve beach, adventure, and relaxation!

The Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party:
While this was not something I was an integral part in planning, its still an integral part of preparing to get married. We did both events in one weekend to ease planning with my friends and my work schedules and it was a blast. The shower was perfect and the bachelorette party was absolutely crazy. I couldn't have asked for a better time. Shout out thank yous to my sister, my bridesmaids, and my besties for all your help with this!

More to come soon on flower finalizations, transportation, engagement photos, favors, and seating plans! Bring it on!