Vacation, all I ever wanted

The first time I ever got on a plane, I was headed to California. A five-hour, cross country flight is a rather big one for your very first, and as a 10 year old. My second time flying, we took a month long trip to England and Australia. I was 12 on that trip.

People without passports astound me. Perhaps it's unfair, but I instantly judge those people (sorry for those reading who fall into this category - but consider this an offer, get your passport and I will plan you one hell of a trip and show you exactly why it is so important and so fun to see the world!).

I have learned that I'm happiest when planning a trip - whether it's a quick two day stay or a 10 night trip to a brand new spot. I really enjoy researching places to stay, where and what to eat, how to get from one spot to the next and also to learn, in general, the history and background of wherever we're going. I like finding the hidden spots and going where locals go, getting a real sense of how people live their daily life.


Flaunt Your Rock!

As most already know...Andy and I are entered into a fabulous contest to win an engagement shoot!

In order to enter, we had to submit a picture of ourselves as well as a picture of my e-ring. At the very least, I have to thank this contest for getting me off my butt and taking pictures of my ring that I will now always have. After speaking with a few more photography-inclined friends, as well as scouring the internet for pictures of rings and how they are framed, I finally ended up with a few that I liked.

The picture of us I took from our trip out west last fall - more specifically from a really wonderful wine dinner we went to in Sonoma at Balleto Vinyards with my sister and cousin. It was a delicious meal, amazing wine, gorgeous views and great company. I felt it really captured what Andy and I strive for in life; enjoying what the world has to offer surrounded by people we care about.

If we win this contest, not only do we get free engagement photos with pretty fantastic photographer April (I already have about 20 different ideas for the shoot, plus several others that incorporate Sam and Rei), but we are then entered into a national contest where we could win custom invites, cake topper, and other fun wedding goodies. It's not only super fun to win, but obviously as we're paying for this big party ourselves, free things help too!

So if you haven't already, or if you are just stumbling across this now, please go to: http://www.aprilziegler.com/?p=3509 and vote for Couple Number 6! (and check out my handiwork at ring photography!)


Home Cooking

I consider myself a foodie. I'm always up for trying the dishes that other people wrinkle their noses at on the menu. I still remember Marrvelous's shock when he found out that not only had I tried black pudding, but that I love it. Although at the time, I referred to it as morcilla (which was what it's called in Spain). For those of you not in the know, I'd tell you to google it, but then you might not try it...

Before heading to Scotland for the holidays, everyone asked me if I was up for trying haggis. I admit, the first time Marrvelous sent me a picture of haggis he certainly didn't do a good job in selecting one that looked remotely appetizing. But I could honestly tell people that I was excited to try it and wasn't going to be hesitant either about the sausage suppers, scotch pies, or deep fried mars bars.


Craft Beer - I Like

I love beer.

I've spent many a night reading about beer, talking about beer, and most importantly - tasting beer. It certainly helps to live in one of the top three beer cities in all of America. Next week should have been the third annual Philly Beer Week, but the powers that be thought hosting it in June would be better for all involved. Before you start thinking Beer Week is simply pulling up a stool at a bar and drinking, you should check out: www.phillybeerweek.org

You'll see there are so many fun and creative events. Brewers from all over the country and world come to Philly to host events from karaoke (My personal fave) to meal pairings to contests and games.

However, since it's not until June this year, I will have to satisfy my March beer cravings with tonight's Philly Craft Beer Fest! There's a big group going (including my dear friend, Ms. Liz from our nation's capital) and will be Marrvelous's first true beer fest experience. This is a young man, who when I met him 1 short year ago, though Miller Lite was nectar of the Gods. I worked on him, educated him, forced him to test out new beers and I'm proud to say that today he agonizes over what bar to go to in case they only carry Miller Lite. That might be my finest beer accomplishment in life.

So tonight we will toast each other, our good friends, and our good city as we throw back a few of Butternuts Pork Slap Pale Ale.


Real Men Wear Skirts

After when? and where?, pretty much everyone follows up with the same number 3 question: "Will Andy wear a kilt?".

At first I was actually shocked that so many people were asking; I just thought everyone would know that yes, of course he would be. He's Scottish. But then I stopped and remembered that I'm always harping on what people just seem to expect about weddings, and so I should be happy that everyone is curious and aren't making any assumptions. This is perhaps the one aspect of the wedding though that is set, for sure.

So to answer everyone, yes - the groom will be in his kilt. As will his father, the best man and any other Scotsman in attendance.

As a quick tutorial: the kilt each man wears is based on his family surname and the clan they belong to. This will determine the tartan (basically, the plaid pattern of the kilt). There are informal as well as formal ("Dress") versions of the tartans and so the Mr will be sporting his Dress Gordon. Here is what he'll look like (minus the steamy, good looking model) ...


The First Test?

Ok, I think I've figured out why people have weddings. If you can make it through the planning process as a couple, you can make it through anything.

Maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. But I have found myself several times in this process (and we're only two months into it!) thinking "Why don't we just run off somewhere to do this". The thing is - I want the party. And I want my family, his family, our friends to be there to help us celebrate and watch us make that commitment.