Nov 17, 2010

Goodbye

 


After over a year of blogging, saying goodbye is hard. That’s why I’ve put off this post for over a month.

Some of you might remember my debate regarding what to do with my blog after the wedding. Well, getting married answered that question for me. It turns out that soon after returning from the honeymoon, I lost all interest in weddings. I loved my own wedding and my planning process, and I have no regrets (except not eating more of our yummy wedding food). I also loved the online wedding planning community and sharing ideas with my creative and inspiring fellow blogger brides. But if you’ve read my blog for a while, you know that I was never one to obsess over flowers, colors and dresses; so now that I’m married, I am more than ready to move on.

My next big project is focusing on my career. I’ve been working in finance for the past year and a half, and now it’s time for a change. I’m applying to grad school for a master’s in education with a focus on developmental psychology. Eventually I am hoping to get a Ph.D. and become a research psychologist. The application process is intense and I’m currently in the midst of half a dozen looming deadlines. So wish me luck – and if anyone’s in a similar field, I would love to hear some advice!

Planning and blogging my wedding has been an incredible learning experience and I am so grateful to every reader who joined me on this journey. If I can be helpful to anyone still planning or if you’d like to get in touch, please feel free to email me girlwitharing [at] gmail [dot] com

Thank you and good luck to everyone- I hope you have incredible weddings and even more incredible marriages!

Oh, and I couldn’t leave you without a few parting photos!


















Oct 7, 2010

They're Here! They're Here!

Our pro wedding photos, that is. And I could not be happier. Our photographers captured the wedding day in all its incarnations:


As  a love story...




... and a canvas for some gorgeous eye candy...


... and the party of our lives. 




Fun fact: my mouth is open in the majority of the photos, evidence of the fact that I barely stopped laughing, smiling or talking all night. 


I look forward to sharing more of the pro photos with all of you soon - hope you enjoy! 

Oct 5, 2010

How’s Married Life? Just Great, Thank You.

Today marks exactly a month of marriage for S and me, and in honor of the occasion I am pondering that much-maligned question: how is married life?

To be honest, I was prepared for life after the wedding to be much the same as life before the wedding. We’d still be living together in our tiny studio in NYC, still working our “fun” jobs in finance, still spending time with our old friends. And indeed, all of these things have remained the same. But still, it feels different.

Ever since September 5th, we’ve been happier and more in love with each other. Less bickering, more hugs and kisses. Joyful, secure, passionate warmth enveloping both of us. I don’t want to get too sentimental, so I’ll stop trying to capture this intangible feeling in words. But it’s definitely different – perhaps this is what people call the honeymoon period? I’m sure it’ll end soon enough, but for now, I’m enjoying every minute.

Do I miss the wedding? I often worried that I would, because it was absolutely perfect. But I haven’t so far – I don’t want to jinx myself, but I’m just too busy to get sentimental right now. In fact, I’m relieved to have put wedding planning behind me.

I do enjoy looking at the photos – the smiling faces of all our nearest and dearest gathered together, celebrating with us. And speaking of, I just have one complaint: our pro photos still aren’t here! We just got a blog preview last night, which I promise to share soon, but still waiting for the full gallery. 

Besides that one tiny annoyance, though, married life is, in a word, incredible. For those of you who are still on the other side: based on my limited experience, I think you’ll like it : )

For my fellow married women…how’s married life? Have you found it to be truly different from your pre-wedding existence, or is it much the same? Also, do you get that question so often that you’ve grown tired of hearing it? 

Oct 4, 2010

Hawaii Honeymoon Part VI - The Luckiest Cockroach


We ended our stay at the St. Regis on a high note – a final dip in that gorgeous pool and Sunday brunch on the terrace overlooking the mountains.




It was a stunning contrast to the sunset we had watched the previous night.


The buffet was absolutely delicious - any breakfast food you could think of, most with a Hawaiian touch. My favorites included ahi tuna with avocado puree, French toast topped with coconut shavings and macadamia nuts, and the delectable dessert buffet with the best macaroons I have ever had.

We headed down to the Sheraton for our Poipu Beach experience with full stomachs. Driving the North Shore for the last time was bittersweet – I silently bid farewell to the lush mountains and greenery. If we ever come back to Hawaii, I definitely want to stay there again.



Last glimpses of the hotel...



The South Shore was beautiful, but definitely not as lush and green as the north. One benefit of our night at the Sheraton, however, was the beach, which was gorgeous. We had a perfect lazy afternoon:


Swinging in a hammock


Boogie boarding in the ocean.


Watching a monk seal nap on shore and then unexpectedly wake up and disappear into the water. 





As darkness fell, we dressed up for dinner and headed to a restaurant called Roy’s, recommended by a coworker of Seth’s.




The grounds of the resort were gorgeous at night. 


And dinner at Roy's was delicious. 



As we walked back into our room that evening, we were greeted with an unpleasant surprise. A huge cockroach sat right in the middle of the floor, as if it had been waiting for us. After a valiant battle, S killed the bug, but soon after, we saw another one. S insisted on calling the front desk to see if they could do anything.

Suffice it to say, that call was a good decision. Barely half an hour later, we found ourselves in a gorgeous suite, one of the hotel’s best. A huge living room with a bar, a luxurious bedroom with a king-size bed, and a bathroom that was nearly the size of our previous room, with a fancy tub and gold-plated fixtures. Oh, and it had sweeping views of the ocean and a 20-foot lanai. As the bellman dropped of our bags, he said, “wow, someone here must really love you.”




This is about half of our lanai:

Watching the sunrise from the lanai

Living room

S will be your bartender this evening :)
A last glimpse of the sunrise before heading out.

Turned out that cockroach was our biggest stroke of luck of the entire honeymoon!

Oct 2, 2010

Hawaii Honeymoon Parts IV and V - Near Death Experiences and Stunning Sunsets

Bad decisions happen to good people. And day 4 in Kauai was ours.

The Napali Coast is gorgeous – an island must-see. Most tourists take a boat tour, or perhaps a raft that can get them into some of the smaller caves. Not S and I: boats and rafts were not adventurous enough. Instead, we decided to kayak the Napali Coast – all 17 miles of it.

Our kayaking experience to this date had consisted of a two-hour lesson in a marsh. The Napali Coast takes 12-13 hours in the open ocean. Looking back, it was clearly a disaster waiting to happen. I knew we had make a mistake when we met the 7 other members of our kayaking group. Each one was big, muscular, and athletic; two were marathon runners, another was a pro white water rafter. S and I don’t even go to the gym – no way we could compare with this crew.

Here is a short summary of our kayak trip: we paddled too slowly and had to be separated. Shortly after, I got very seasick and almost passed out. But we still had to finish the trip. Was it worth it? I’m not sure. Sadly, I don’t have any photos, as we were too busy trying to survive, but here’s some of the fancy room service food we treated ourselves to after dragging our sore bodies back to the hotel that night.



Now, on to happier experiences. After we barely survived our kayaking trip, we promised each other to take it easy the next day. But if you know us, you won’t be surprised to hear that we did not, in fact, take it easy.

A couple of days earlier, S had mentioned reading about some heaius, or remains of ancient Hawaiian religious structures, located not too far from our hotel. He’s a big fan of all historical sights, and today was our last chance to see them. So, being a considerate wife, I agreed to give up my dreams of a beach/pool day and got ready to go out. 

We snapped a few pics at the hotel on our way - I was already getting sad about having to leave the next day and wanted to capture as many memories as I could.



Aren't these views just perfect?



Once we got to the general location of the heaius, we had to scout each one out using our guidebook's directions. Most of them turned up pretty quickly, while others were better hidden. We found all but one, and they generally looked something like this.


We spent a few hours driving between heiaus and learning about ancient Hawaiian culture. Fun facts like: back in the day, letting your shadow cross the shadow of a chief was punishable by death. Or: if a rat took a newborn's umbilical cord, he'd turn out to be a thief, so the ancient Hawaiians took huge pains to hide them safely. Who knew?





We got back to the hotel just in time to get ready for our most glamorous Hawaii meal: dinner at the super-fancy Jean Georges restaurant, the Kauai Grill, located right at the hotel. S had made a reservation right around sunset, so we could watch the unforgettable view.

The food was delicious – definitely our best meal of the honeymoon. Watermelon and goat cheese salad, spiced chicken samosas, yummy  Wagyu beef and Moi fish, white chocolate Pavlova, and the most amazing cocktails.



And the views...absolutely incredible. We timed our reservation just right - the sun set before us, illuminating the mountains.


 The ocean turned pink.


The sky lit on fire. Just look at those colors...I still can't believe that was real. 


This amazing last night at the St. Regis definitely made up for the questionable Napali Coast kayak experience!!!


Sep 27, 2010

Hawaii Honeymoon Part III - Helicopters and the Grand Canyon of the Pacific

We started our third day of the honeymoon with a helicopter ride around the island– the very first activity we booked and one of our most anticipated Kauai experiences. Our excitement was just a bit dampened when we were placed onto the back row of seats, which had less visibility than the front. Oh well, better luck next time!

For the next hour, I was floating in paradise – I didn’t even notice the time pass. We flew over rolling hills and clear waterfalls (see the really thin waterfall on the right in the photo below?)

 


We got stunning views of Kauai's most famous sights: the Napali Coast....



...and the Waimea Canyon.


And finished with a last look at the lush greenery and bountiful waterfalls of the island.



The ride went by too fast, but on the bright side, we still had the whole day left to explore. First, though, we stopped for lunch at a place called Keoki’s Paradise. The restaurant looked like something out of South Pacific the musical – in other words, a completely unrealistic but nevertheless beautiful conception of the island lifestyle.



I ordered a fancy sounding appetizer; sadly it turned out to be the shrimp version of a corn dog.


As we ate, we discussed options for the rest of the day and decided to drive to the west side of the island for the first time to explore the Waimea Canyon. After catching a glimpse of “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific” on the helicopter, I couldn’t wait to see more.

And for the rest of the day, that’s exactly what we did. We drove the long, winding road up to the canyon, stopping periodically to play in the bright red earth.





The landscape was like nothing I'd seen before - I felt like we could have been walking on Mars.



At the top of our drive, we stopped at a few lookout points to take in the views.





Then, we did a hike that took you out right into the canyon. No protective railings or tourists – just us and the incredible red green vastness of the cliffs.


We were exhausted by the time darkness came, and my once-white pants had turned red. So we called it a night pretty early. The next day, we’d have to get up at 5AM for our biggest adventure yet.