Hawaii Wedding Part III – Our Vows

**If you missed the first two posts about our wedding, you can find the first one here and the second one here. Part III is a long one, so thank you if you actually make it through the entire post. All photo credit up until the dinner portion of this post goes to our wonderful wedding photographer, Mariah Milan.

mj-maui-0195

Jason and I are a very non traditional couple. We wanted to have a small wedding that focused on us and did not revolve around trying to make a ton of guests happy. The decision to have our wedding in Hawaii came after we visited Charleston, SC to scope out venues. We loved Charleston and could imagine having our dream wedding in this beautiful city. However, before we even booked anything, the costs were adding up rather quickly (via quotes from vendors, and the venue fee). Since we were paying for everything ourselves, we decided it was just too much to put towards a 4-5 hour event.

So the search began for more intimate “elopement” wedding packages. We didn’t want our wedding to feel cheap or thrown together, and got these vibes from many of the places/packages we researched. Yes we were trying to save money, but no, we were not going to completely skimp on something that was so important to us.

mj-maui-0115

The search was frustrating, so I resorted to google for “elopement wedding” inspiration. Thats when I came across Megan Fox’s wedding pictures from Hawaii and decided to look into the cost of such a wedding. I actually looked into the exact resort, The Four Seasons, and was surprised at how affordable it was (but still out of our budget). It was kind of a silly idea I tossed at Jason, fully knowing how unrealistic it would it would be, and how fast it would be turned down.

To my surprise he was on board. His immediate excitement threw me for a loop. I hand’t bothered letting myself imagine it ever being a realistic option! When I told him, it was done in frustration at the end of the night when I was exhausted from trying to figure out what we should do. I flopped on the bed while he was getting changed from work and said “I just want to get married on a cliff in Hawaii”. Never could I imagine his next words would be “Okay, lets do it. Let’s look into it and see we can do this”. And so that’s what we did. We planned our wedding completely by phone and email!

Mauis Angels Weddings took care of everything! I cannot say enough good things about this company, and the friendly people that work there. Jason and I felt so relaxed during the planning process, and found it so easy from start to finish. They were the coordinator for the wedding, and all vendors for our day. The only thing Jason and I planned outside of them was our dinner because we wanted to do a private event through a hotel, but more on that below.

Our Wedding Day

Jason and I woke up bright and early on the day of our wedding and went out for breakfast almost before the sun rose. We planned to spend the day together until around 2:30 p.m. when my mom and sister would arrive to help me get ready.  We relaxed, talked, and then grabbed a quick bite to eat at Dukes before it was time for Jason to get ready. He headed to his moms hotel so we could get ready in private, and spend time with family before the ceremony. My mom and sister arrived right before my hair and makeup artist knocked on the door, and from this point the day progressed so fast!

mj-maui-0020

I gave both mine and Jason’s mom a handkerchief embroidered with a special sentiment, plus included a hand written letter for my mom that I gave her when she got to our room. We chatted throughout the entire time my hair and makeup was being done, and before I knew it the photographer had arrived.

I felt that the arrival of our photographer is when everything started to feel a bit more real. I knew it was my wedding day, but up until this point I didn’t have that “this is it” moment. It was around this time that I started to think about how crazy it was that the day had finally arrived. After 14 months of being engaged and planning, the day we were waiting for had arrived. I was getting married!

mj-maui-0061

After the photographer finished the before photos we headed to the car so we could drive to our ceremony site, Ironwoods Beach. While waiting in the lobby for the car to be pulled up I received so many kind words from passerby’s, which amplified my excitement even more. It suddenly felt so unbelievable that this was my wedding day. I was having those “holly crap this is happening” excited feelings that had sorta been missing the rest of the day. Of course I was excited to marry Jason, but being in my gown, at our ceremony site, really sparked a new anticipation that felt great.

We arrived at the beach just before 6:00 p.m. and while everyone else took their places I stayed back so Jason and I could have our first look.

mj-maui-0041

mj-maui-0048

We were able to walk together down the path that led to the stairs that would take us to the beach where we were to be married. Once we were there, Jason headed down the stairs to take his place while I waited for the signal (the blowing of the conch) to start my walk towards my husband-to-be. During my walk, our musician played the ukulele while singing our wedding song “Over the Rainbow”.

mj-maui-0118

Our vows lasted about 15 minutes, after which we signed our marriage license. This was also the time when we hugged everyone before they headed off to wait for us at our dinner location. We only had four guests, so we opted for a private dinner at the Westin. But first we had to finish up our photography session!

mj-maui-0160

We could not have been more happy with Mariah Milan. She was so kind and had tons of ideas for photo poses, which we loved because we’ve never been photographed before.

After our session ended we headed to our car so we could make our way to dinner at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa. 

Dinner

When we were planning our wedding, the one thing we knew we didn’t want to sacrifice was a special dinner afterwards that would be private and memorable. We found a few places on the west side of the island that offered private options, and ultimately decided the Westin met all of our needs. We sent them our menu selections ahead of time, and were able to order drinks from the menu when we arrived.

Our table was set up outdoors and surrounded by tiki torches. They added a bit of decor to the table, and had a separate table set up for our cake. The dinner was managed by a private waiter that took care of everything we needed from start to finish.

Each course was brought out one at a time, with plenty of time in between for us to feel relaxed and not rushed. We enjoyed every second together, and chatted away throughout the entire dinner.

Towards the end we cut the cake, which was one of the traditional wedding events that I really wanted to incorporate in the day.

We loved our “reception”. I’m so glad we stuck with our decision to have a small wedding in Hawaii with just a few guests. We were told by so many people who had traditional large weddings that they: didn’t even get to spend much time with their spouse, didn’t get to eat, felt rushed the entire time, etc. We both loved being able to focus on each other and enjoy all the little moments throughout the day.

Advertisements

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Last weekend we decided to take a short trip to Maryland, to a place that holds a lot of memories for me. Jason has on numerous occasions shown me around places all over Pennsylvania that are meaningful to his childhood, and it was about time that I did the same.

IMG_0839 copy

With Robelee in tow, we headed to Fort Washington National park. We wanted to get Robelee out of the house and do something active together, so this seemed to fit the bill (not too far away, and the historic nature was right up Jason’s alley). I spent countless days visiting this place with my grandparents and parents when I was little, and the memories just flooded back the second we pulled into the parking lot.

I vividly remember parking and making the walk to the entrance of the fort, and visitors building. It almost felt like stepping back in time to when I was little, especially since not much has changed at the fort since then.

image3

Robelee was all too excited to be out and about.  I don’t think he’s ever been so into any other trip he’s gone on. You’d think by his eagerness to get into the fort that we were making late for some sort of important party.

image2

We spent about an hour exploring all the “ins and outs” of the fort, which was so fun. I forgot how many places you could go that aren’t off limits (stairwells, different rooms, etc.), which made it that much more interactive and exciting.

image1

After we finished up, we decided to go a bit further down memory lane to BJ’s Carryout for ice cream. My chocolate malt satisfied my sweet tooth, and added even more to the nostalgia I was already feeling from the day.

We also decided to add onto our trip and take a drive to the first house I lived in before my parents divorced, and then past my grandparents house. So many memories!

Seeing everything in person after so many years was quite the emotion overload and brought back so many happy memories from my childhood. It was nice to be able to share them all with Jason.

Hawaii Wedding Part II – Maui

You can find Part I here.

Maui was the second leg of our wedding vacation, and also the island where we said our I Do’s!

Of the three islands we visited, Maui seemed to be the best of both worlds; calm and relaxing, but also lots to do, see, and eat.

We hopped in the rental car and made the journey to Kaanapali where we checked into our first hotel (we switched hotels three times while in Maui). The majority of our hotels were booked through either Hotwire or Priceline using their secret rate feature. This allowed us to save tons of cash but still get a super nice room.

Our first hotel was the Westin. We loved the hotel, and felt so relaxed here. The bathroom was amazing, and the bed was super comfy.

Maui IIIIIIIIIII-0261

Maui IIIIIIIIIIII-0263

Our only complain was that the pool was 3.5 feet at its deepest. Jason and I both love swimming, but definitely prefer something a little deeper to float around in.

Maui IIIIII-0287

After checking out the room and grounds, we headed out to the beach so we could meet up with my mom and sister! I hadn’t seen my mom in nearly three years before this, which is entirely too long. We live on opposite sides of the country, so having them join us for our big day was quite special.

Oops, I was so focused on spending time with everyone, that I forgot to take any pictures. So, here's a throwback of my sister and I, circa 1995ish.

I was so focused on spending time with everyone, that I forgot to take any pictures. Here’s a throwback of my sister and I, circa 1995ish.

My mom, sister, and I decided to hang out while Jason met up with his mom and her boyfriend for dinner. It was nice being able to just sit and talk after being away from each other for so long. Before the night ended we made plans to meet up together the next day for a little sight seeing. We had to check out of our hotel in the morning anyway,  and would have a lot of free time until the 3:00 p.m. check in at the next hotel.

The next morning my mom and sister asked us to meet them at Whalers Village and guaranteed we’d love all the shops. they had made the rounds earlier in the morning and had put quite the dent in their wallets from all the shopping they did. The outdoor style mall was the perfect setting for shopping while still maintaining a vacation feel.

Sorry:( I forgot to take pictures of Whaler’s Village. But seriously, it was a great shopping area to walk around and shop. 

We decided to stop for lunch at Hula Grill, which is part of the Dukes chain. Can you see a theme? Jason and I just couldn’t turn down the chance to eat at Dukes, or enjoy another Mai Tai.

Robelee-4662

Our next stop was Lahaina Village, another great place to do some shopping and sight seeing. Lahaina is right on the water and was basically a downtown area full of touristy shops, restaurants, and the largest Banyan Tree in Hawaii.

Banyan Tree-0069

Oops, I forgot to take daytime pics.

Oops, I forgot to take daytime pics.

Bring sunscreen (duh) and a hat, because it was H-O-T! The sun drained me nearly every day that we were in Hawaii. I’m naturally super sensitive to the sun and heat, so we had to take a few breaks to refuel and cool off. I  bought a large sun hat to help keep the sun off my face, and wish I had done so sooner. It was a total game changer.

Robelee-4693

Okay, so this isn’t the hat I bought. But how often do you see Indiana Jones’s hat?

After a busy day of shopping and spending time with family, we checked into the Honua Kai Resort and Spa in Kaanapali. This was the only hotel we didn’t book through Priceline or Hotwire. We wanted to be sure we had a nice room for the night before and night of our wedding, so this was the only hotel we splurged on.

Honua Kai IIII-0129

Quick note – This was the only hotel where we could spell the nearby poop plant wafting through the room at certain times of day. Yuck! Jason’s mom had the same problem at their hotel too, so maybe it depends on which side of the building your staying on. Something to keep in mind if your sensitive to smells, but it wasn’t much of an inconvenience for us. 

The room and view was nice, but we weren’t overly impressed by anything the hotel had to offer compared to others on our trip, except that they had a Duke’s onsite which we took advantage of… again.  The main pool, which was part of the appeal in the pictures we looked at prior to booking was closed down and surrounded by a temporary wall, which really took away from the beauty of the place. We both agreed that we felt like we wasted quite a bit of money by booking with the Honua Kai. The staff were friendly, but the website impressed us more than the actual resort.

Honua Kai III-0130

Honua Kai-0134

Honua Kai II-0132

Robelee-4660

We got to bed because our wedding was the next day! Getting ready for our 6:00 p.m. ceremony consumed the entire day, so Hawaiian Wedding Part III will be entirely dedicated to our day. In the mean time, here’s a quick glimpse.

Photo credit goes to Mariah Milan Photography

Photo credit goes to Mariah Milan Photography

Our first day of married life was pretty much the same as engaged life. Except, we were finally done with the stress of planning a wedding and could start our lives together as husband and wife! Oh, and I was sick for half the day:(

Robelee-4778

But lets back up a bit to before I got sick… we started out our first day as newlyweds with a trip back to the airport to return our rental car. The check engine light had come on after the wedding when we were pulling up to our hotel for the night. The rental company told us to stop by to exchange it, so we headed straight there when we woke up in the morning. The nice perk to that was the company upgraded us to a Camaro for half the price! Given our addiction to Hawaii Five-O, we were just a little excited (they drive a silver Camaro on the show).

We topped the trip off with a visit to Coconut’s Fish Cafe in Kihei for lunch, and finished with a coffee from Java Cafe just a few stores over. The fish tacos are apparently the draw to this place, and they were great. The combination of the slaw, fish, cheese, and mango was just fantastic. And the coffee? It was probably the best coffee i’d had in a long time. I ordered a kailua and cream latte, or something of the sort, and it was just perfect.

Robelee-4756

Robelee-4759

I think the combination of travel, eating tons of food/sweets, and the heat had gotten to me and my belly just couldn’t handle anymore. We were able to make it to another out door shopping village on our way back to the hotel, but I was down for the count for a few hours afterwards. Everyone understood and even chimed in that they also had their bouts of sickness during the trip… so I wasn’t the only one feeling the combo of circumstances. I’ll tell ya, a six hour time change and great (but heavy) food really does a job on the system.

The rest of our time in Maui was spent relaxing, visiting with family, and enjoying the scenery. One of the especially scenic outings we took was to Iao Valley in Wailuki. The ride to the monument traversed a winding road surrounded by homes and lush greenery. The weather became more and more cool as we neared the top and eventually started to lightly rain.

Iao Valley II-0147

After finding a place to park we headed up the stairs to the top of the monument for a few pictures. This place was absolutely beautiful and just felt like we were in a far away land, completely removed from civilization.

Iao Valley-0184

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Maui II-0178

Maui III-0230

Maui IIII-0240Our time in Maui was wonderful. We were so happy to have family join us, and start our lives together as a married couple in such a beautiful place. We will always remember how much fun we had, and how special this particular leg of our trip was.

Stay tuned! “Part three, The Wedding” will be up soon.

Hawaii Wedding Part I – Oahu

Jason and I tied the knot, Hawaiian style!

We soaked up every ounce of Hawaii during our nearly two week stay and loved everything the beautiful state had to offer. I originally wanted to journal at the end of each night to document our trip, but I forgot about the idea until a few days before coming home, so it never happened. We did however take tons of pictures!

Honolulu: Jason and I arrived mid-day and were tired, and hungry after a nearly 11 hour flight. We picked up our car and got on the road so we could check into The Hawaii Prince Hotel. This place had the most comfortable bed i’ve ever slept in at a hotel, and probably one of the best views of the trip. After we were done being mesmerized by the view, we immediately threw on clothes to hit the town… in search of food.

Hawaii III-0033We read good reviews about Duke’s on Waikiki Beach, and were not disappointed! The Mahi Mahi fish and chips, paired with one of their famous Mai Tai’s was the perfect introduction to all the great food to come during our trip. 

 After dinner we took a quick stroll down Waikiki Beach. There are so many famous places in Hawaii i’ve heard about, and this was just one of them, so it was really cool to actually be there in person.

Of course dinner, especially while on vacation, is not complete without desert. Thanks to Hawaii Five-O, I couldn’t wait to try the Cocoa Puffs from Liliha Bakery. I can’t begin to describe how delicious they were, but the chantilly frosting on top made this into a hands down winner.

With full bellies we headed back to the hotel for the night. We had a bright and early day ahead of us, with something on the agenda that i’ve been wanting to see for over a decade. Jason and I actually made a stop in Oahu for this alone.

Pearl Harbor

After stopping for a quick Starbucks breakfast we headed to the Pearl Harbor visitors parking lot to wait for our tour time. We were so excited for this part of our day that we arrived almost two hours early.  Luckily we were able to exchange our tickets for an earlier visit to the memorial. I would definitely suggest going early to avoid the crowds and heat. We enjoyed cool weather during our visit since we arrived so early in the morning (I think before 8:00 a.m.). I would also suggest booking tickets online, which I think you can do almost two months in advance. Knowing we had tickets and wouldn’t have to wait in line hoping they didn’t run out alleviated a lot of stress. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The tour started with a short movie recounting the events leading up to, during, and after December 7th, 1941. After it was over we exited the theater and headed to a boat that was waiting to take us to the USS Arizona memorial. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The boat ride to the memorial took only a few minutes. We were able to walk around for about 10-15 minutes, which felt like just the right amount of time to really take everything in without feeling rushed. It was a very peaceful experience, and felt a little unbelievable knowing exactly what had once occurred in that very spot. You could even still see oil spilling into the water from the USS Arizona.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Jason loves submarines, so after the boat dropped us back at the dock we headed over to the USS Bowfin to take a self guided tour. We were able to walk along the top and inside the submarine which was very cool! It was even better that there were only a few others walking through at the same time as us.

Oh, and talk about claustrophobia! With such tight spaces, I don’t think it would have been as enjoyable if there had been tons of visitors there all at once. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We were only in Honolulu for a short time, so we wanted to soak up as much as we could during our stay. After we left Pearl Harbor, we went on a driving tour of the island.

During our drive we came across this beach and were floored by how blue the water was. This picture hasn’t been retouched at all! It was extremely windy, but gosh, we were just in awe of this place.

And this is the view from behind. Seriously, the beach and those mountains combined made for such a beautiful setting. 

We finally made our way back to town and knew we couldn’t leave Oahu without stopping to see the King Kamehameha statue. Jason and I both binge watched Hawaii Five-O, and after seeing this in numerous scenes we put it on our list of things to see during our trip.

Our flight left the next morning, so we wrapped up our day with another trip to Dukes and Liliha Bakery before crawling into bed and watching the sunset.  We checked out the next morning and packed up the car. But, the trip wouldn’t be complete without a morning stroll to the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The lagoon there is another common scene from Hawaii Five-O and was super close to our hotel. We had just enough time to walk there and back before making our way back to the airport.

Oahu II-0060

We wish we could have had a little longer on this beautiful, yet busy island. There was so much to do and see in such a short amount of time.

Stay tuned, part II of our trip will be posted soon.

DC Cupcake Debate

For some reason WordPress isn’t letting me upload pictures, so this is coming at you really late. It was another great weekend here in Virginia. Were really getting lucky with this awesome weekend weather we’ve been having lately. Jason and I caught up with his friend Mike on Saturday and it wasn’t long before we got into a ‘cupcake debate’. I’m sure it’s obvious from some of my other posts that I love cupcakes. So, it wasn’t long before we were headed to D.C. to settle the score! Jason has sworn by “Baked and Wired” ever since we first tried them a few years ago, while I’ve always been a “Red Velvet Cupcakery” and “Sprinkles” fan. Mike was elected to be the tie breaker since he’s new to the D.C. cupcake scene.

DC Cupcake-2304

So who won??? It was inconclusive, I think our tie breaker just didn’t want to pick a side. But my absolute favorite cupcake in the Northern Virginia/DC area is Red Velvet Cupcakery. They just have the perfect cake to frosting ratio and are always full of delicious flavor. Sprinkles would be a close second. I feel like their cupcakes are heavy and dense (in the best way) compared to others, and are super tasty and moist.

DC Cupcake-5246

We had a pretty fabulous time enjoying our cupcakes by the Washington Monument before embarking on a 4 mile walk to burn off all that frosting. Along the way we made stops at the Washington Monument and WWII Memorial. But, my favorite stop of the night was the Lincoln Memorial. It’s always been my favorite spot in DC. The view from atop the steps and being able to see so many of DC’s important landmarks and monuments just can’t be beat. I wish I had remembered to snap a quick photo of it but I completely forgot:(

Inside the Lincoln Memorial

Inside the Lincoln Memorial

We decided to extend our walk just a little more and stop by the White House. I don’t think Mike had ever been to many of the places we visited so it was a great opportunity for him to really experience DC.

DSC00067 There’s so much to see and do in Washington DC, and living so close it’s easy to take it all for granted. So it’s nice to take the time every once and awhile to really enjoy it… and a cupcake.

 

A NYC Engagement

It sure took me long enough to get this post up, but I am ENGAGED!

photo 2

A few weeks ago Jason took me to NYC to “get out of the house”. Since NYC is one of my favorite places to visit, I was completely on board. As soon as we arrived I was itching to get my hands on a few of my favorite cupcakes at “Baked By Melissa”.

photo 3

After we bought 50 of these little guys, we walked to Central Park where we spent probably 20 minutes just looking for a quite place to sit and eat. I will admit, I had my suspicions this was going to be the weekend Jason proposed, but after downing a handful of cupcakes and stopping at numerous places in the park… my anticipation began to dwindle. I was slowly becoming more and more certain that I had over analyzed Jason’s enthusiasm for the purpose of this weekend.

I was getting antsy to leave the park and hit more of our favorite NYC spots when we took one last stroll down one of the paths that led onto a rock overlooking the park. While I was busy taking pictures, Jason got down on one knee and ‘finally’ asked me to marry him. What a relief. We were of course happy and excited to finally be Fiancés, but boy were we also relieved… I was on the verge of getting frustrated that he wouldn’t let us leave the park and he was making himself sick trying to find the perfect spot to propose. We’ve discussed marriage plenty of times before, so we both knew it would happen eventually. But, it still felt so surreal after the fact… kinda like, wow it really happened!

After we left the park we walked around a bit more before heading back to the hotel room to call our families and take a few really blurry “were engaged” photos.

photo

This is actually one of the best pictures of us from the weekend. We rock at taking blurry iPhone photos:)

Some habits can’t be broken, so we made a quick detour through Times Square, then grabbed a piping hot slice of pizza when we worked walked up an appetite. We also got a few peaks of the Empire State Building.

NYC Engagement-01672

We spent the rest of the day walking around the city just enjoying being together in this new chapter of our relationship. We both agreed we didn’t have anything special on our minds to do until it was time for dinner. Another “must” for us when in NYC is dinner at Stix Mediterranean Grill. We absolutely love this place and the food has never disappointed. We always order the cheese spread with Pita bread, and the Greek Fries which are just too fabulous for words. I think they cook the fries in olive oil which gives them a slightly different (but amazing) flavor and texture.

The next morning we packed our bags and headed over to Levain Bakery for a few GIGANTIC cookies. I love the Chocolate Peanut Butter, while Jason prefers the Chocolate Chocolate variety. Levain was a great way to wrap up our engagement weekend before the 5 hour ride home.

photo 5 photo 4

Now we’ve got to start planning the wedding!

A Day Trip To Gettysburg

Summer is winding down so i’ve been trying to soak up as much of this beautiful weather as possible while it lasts. I love Fall, but it’s also just a sour reminder that Winter is on its way. I’ve got a few busy weekends coming up, so Jason and I headed to Gettysburg to enjoy one of our last free weekends before a chill sets in.

Gettysburg-0050

The plan was to get up bright and early, but we both had no trouble sleeping in until 8:00 a.m.. Luckily, we were on the road by 9:00 a.m. and the drive went by super fast! Our first stop was breakfast before we getting our walk on. There is so much to see in Gettysburg, and its nice to be able to drive throughout the whole park, stop at different sites, and walk around at our own leisure. We had no trouble finding parking at the sites which gave us ample time to explore.

Gettysburg IIII-0075

Gettysburg III-0089

Gettysburg II-0061

We’ve been to Gettysburg a few times before, so we breezed through the park pretty fast and were soon ready to get on the road again. We had no idea we would be ready to leave so soon and quickly found another destination… Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. This was a double whammy for Jason since he loves history, and both of these places are jam packed with it.

Harpers Ferry III-0112

Bring your walking shoes because you may encounter a hill or two. There are tons of small shops and historical buildings to visit in Harpers Ferry. The local shops are mostly located towards the top part of the hill, while the historic buildings are near the bottom by the river.  The C&O canal also used to run beside the town and we got too see what it looks like today.

Harpers Ferry IIII-0116

Harpers Ferry IIIII-0141

Harpers Ferry Canal-0126

We had a great day but our favorite part was probably the walkway that was beside the train tracks that went over the river. We got to see two trains roll by during our stroll… and it was loud!

Harpers Ferry II-0136

We were both getting tired after such a long day and I couldn’t wait to get back into the car and relax on the car ride home. The trip home was just as scenic as the rest of the day had been and we had a great time spending a bit of time outdoors together. We lucked out with such beautiful sunny weather and were really glad it wasn’t a scorcher.

A Night in NYC

It’s been a while since my last post, but thats because life lately has been super busy.  Last Saturday I was up bright dark and early so I could catch a 7:00 a.m. flight to Dallas, Texas. Half a bagel, one granola bar, and eight hours later, I was on a flight back home.

20130817-171502.jpg

This was a one day trip so I could interview for a job that I have ALWAYS wanted. I’ll share more about that soon. But first things first…

Jason greeted me at the gate when I landed and we headed straight to his moms house in Pennsylvania for the night. We had a big day planned in NYC, so staying at his moms put us a few hours closer to the city, and let us sleep in a bit longer. I was exhausted when we pulled into the driveway and had no trouble falling asleep immediately upon getting in the door.

After a good nights sleep Jason and I headed to the big city and found our hotel. We booked an express deal through Priceline.com and ended up staying at The Roosevelt Hotel. The lobby was huge, way bigger than any other lobby I’ve seen in previous hotels i’ve stayed at in NY. We arrived early and were allowed to check our bags with the concierge so we could head out and start enjoying all that NYC has to offer.

photo 1

You guessed it, pizza. I don’t know why, but I can’t go to the city and not get a slice of pizza. This particular slice was from Uncle Paul’s Pizza and it didn’t disappoint. I opted for plain cheese and it was hot, thin, and super cheesy, just as I like it.  Jason got his usual white pizza (pictured) and loved it. But with pizza always comes dessert.  Baked By Melissa has become a tradition for Jason and I. We usually get one of the big  25 pack of cupcakes to share. They’re delicious and so small that I don’t feel bad trying 5 different flavors in one sitting. My favorite has to be Tye Dye, but Jason prefers the PB&J.

CUPCAKE III-3

CUPCAKE-2

After jam packing our bellies full of pizza and cupcakes we made a few more quick stops, then headed back to the hotel to see if our room was ready. Luckily it was, because my exhaustion had caught up to me again and I needed a nap. I knew it would be worth it because we had a fabulous dinner in mind, and I didn’t want to be drowsy for it.

BED-2

Although the bed was not easy to get out of, we were soon ready for dinner at Stix, a mediterranean style restaurant that we found earlier this year. The food is really great, but the coffee is what left a mark. Jason and I both love the Mochaccino. I can’t even describe how amazingly delicious this coffee is… which is saying something, because I’m typically not a coffee drinker.

photo 1

Greek Fries

The only thing left to do was a walk through Central Park. I was really looking forward to this and had my fingers crossed that the weather wouldn’t ruin the fun. Turns out the weather was beautiful. Sunshine, blue skies, and a nice cool temperature. We spent a good hour wandering through the paths. I took immediate notice at how well behaved the dogs were at the park. Every dog we saw was off the leash, but not one ever left its owners side or chased another person, dog, squirrel, etc. I was impressed!

That was our NY trip in a nutshell and I can’t wait to go back.

Places I Want To Visit

It’s a beautiful sunny day and I can’t wait to spend a bit of time outdoors with Jason. Who knows, maybe we’ll head over to HomeGoods this afternoon and find a few new pieces for the house. It’s always hit or miss when we go, but when it’s a hit we always feel like we’ve struck gold.

Table-2008

Gold

Anyway, Jason and I have a short trip to NY coming up this month and we’re still not exactly sure what were doing or where were staying. Camping, hotel, B&B? Still undecided. I want to make sure we stay active during this trip, maybe hiking or kayaking, so we can enjoy the warm weather why it lasts.  I’ll make sure to dedicate a post after we get back.

In light of planning another getaway I’ve decided to put together a list of the places I want to visit someday. My “Places to Visit” list is the first of four: Places to Visit, To Do List, To Buy List, and Goals. I’ll keep adding to them and checking items off as I go.

Some places are located within other states/countries that are also on the list, but lets not get nitpicky here!

Places To Visit

  • France
  • The Eiffel Tower
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • Blarney Stone
  • Scotland
  • Holland
  • Belgium
  • Switzerland
  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • Romania
  • Greece
  • Spain
  • Madagascar
  • London
  • Tahiti
  • St. Lucia
  • New Zealand
  • Hawaii
  • California
  • Havasu Falls
  • Lake Tahoe
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Disney Land/World
  • Crater of Diamonds State Park
  • Chicago
  • The FingerLakes

I’ve been to a lot of great places, especially since being with Jason. We both LOVE to travel. I also feel incredibly lucky to have travelled as much as we have so far. We never fail to make unforgettable memories wherever we go.

Barbados

Canada 2012-00675

Niagara Falls, Canada

FL 2013-01342

Florida

Maine 2012-01041

Camden, Maine

NYC 2012-00843

New York City

I collect shot glasses from everywhere I visit. Even if it’s just a short day trip somewhere not too far from home, I make sure to pick up a unique shot glass to commemorate the experience.

Florida Vacation, Part II

Yesterday I shared the first part of Jason and my Florida vacation, and you can read all about it here. Today i’m back to fill you in on the final leg of our trip: Naples and Tampa. We had a great time during our final five days in Florida. We certainly jam packed it full of memorable experiences: Alligator sightings, a trip to the Clearwater Aquarium (where Winter lives), searching for shark teeth on Venice beach, and of course a few great meals. Continue reading