The time Phish crashed our friend's wedding

9.27.2009 Comments: (2)
Holler, I'm finally getting around to posting (Franklin's) pictures from Ben and Jess's wedding, which was now about 5 weeks ago. The entire weekend was pretty gorgeous.
Dan and I took the red eye to Albany on Thursday evening. I literally left the unit after training my RA staff since 10 AM, and went directly to the airport. We took an enormous plane to Chicago, where we switched to a teeny tiny jet, which made me uncomfortable. Jess's brother picked us up, and went to Jess's parents' house, where they very kindly let us nap and take showers before we all headed over to the Mansion. (fyi - "The Mansion" should be said with a heavy accent)
Most folks arrived on Friday evening, so we ordered dinner in and drank a lot of wine, while people arrived all night. It was a rockin good time for everyone to stay in one place, so that we were all together most of the time, and didn't have to worry about going anywhere else. Saturday, we went to the rehearsal, and then got all dressed up and went to the Saratoga racetrack to watch the horse races, which is what people DO there. People were into it, let me tell you. Jess's family went to the track at 6 AM to reserve tables for us to sit at later that day, and then people had to hang out there all morning and afternoon to keep saving them, it was crazy. Saturday also included a BBQ dinner back at the Mansion for anyone coming to the wedding, followed by wine, dancing and ridiculous photos.
Sunday, of course, was the wedding, which Phish was invited to. The amphitheater they were playing in was literally right next door to the wedding hall. However, we didn't hear a damn thing once the (awesome!) band started playing at the wedding. Because it was pouring rain, we did see a lot of scantily clad Phish fans right up against the doors of the hall trying to get some cover from the weather.
The wedding was gorgeous. And Ben and Jess are both very pretty people. All in all, it was very aesthetically pleasing.
The Mansion Inn, site of wedding good times
At the races, blending right in with our hats
BBQ before dark
BBQ after dark. We love wine.
The Hall of Springs, wedding site
Fancy groomsmen
Josh and I walking down the aisle before the ceremony. Afterwards, our smiles are more forced because Josh was sweaty and my feet were numb.
Ceremony, all personal and emotional and stuff.
College crew with the newest bride and groom.

City Walk: Eureka Valley

9.18.2009 Comments: (2)
We really have been in the Bay Area for selected parts of the summer, I promise. During part of that, Deborah was staying with us (before she abandoned us to move to Australia I mean) and one of the things she really wanted to do was go on a city walk with us. So to the city we went. Deborah chose our walk - Eureka Valley. The area sits on a hill, beneath Twin Peaks and right above the Castro. The walk was pretty long with some of the longest hills we've encountered yet, and easily the windiest day we've done a walk. This turned out to be unfortunate, because Deborah is in way better shape than Dan or I. There's no real history or fun facts I can give you about this area, because our book mostly talks about the Castro, and also Harvey Milk. I won't go on about Milk here except to say that if you have no idea who I'm talking about, I need you to go rent the movie "Milk" that came out last year. SO GOOD.
This is an alley between two homes, and is super cute, leading to a little neighborhood park. It's actually called Acme Alley, and used to be a path used for taking cattle across the city to pasture.
These are the Seward park slides, which were waiting for us at the end of that stairway. They are AWESOME slides. All the neighborhood kids have left stacks of cardboard for anyone to use, and the slides are super fast. We regressed a few years to play here for awhile.
Clearly, playing here is for serious.
Some of the hills here are so steep that stairs are built into the sidewalks. Not as a separate set, but carved right there into the concrete so that you don't have to lean into the hill like a crazy person while you head uphill. This is one example. Probably one of the longest hills we've done. My calves are burning thinking about it.
This is ONE house. It was built for $100,00 in 1872 and has 5 stories, 45 rooms, 52 closets, 10 fireplaces and 272 windows. It's now 15 one bedroom apartments.
You can't really tell, but the city is pretty much laid out behind us. Good walk team!
(Walk stats: 2.02 miles per Google Earth, 2 hours)
Up next: Saratoga Springs, NY. Weddings and horse races.

Wedding pictures for Uncle Mike

9.15.2009 Comments: (3)
The culmination of the Deep South Roadtrip was Brian and Christy's wedding in Houston. Honestly, pretty much everyone who reads this blog was there but I thought Uncle Mike might enjoy seeing some fabulous photos. Plus, the roadtrip series needed a finale entry, don't you think? I had the BEST time with you all in Houston. Hugs. The groomsmens' tuxes were very fancy, as displayed here by Franklin and Josh.
Clearly enjoying ourselves at the reception. We figured we wouldn't be able to get a photo with Brian and Christy until later, so we worked with what we had.
Cutting the cake.
Shiny and happy married couple :)
Um, this is why we love you so much.
B. Drake.
On the way out from the reception.
At the bar after the reception. Christy brought her bouquet and wore her tiara, and kept yelling "I just got married!" at random strangers. It was amazing.

Wow. This post is so late it's irrelevant.

9.14.2009 Comments: (2)
New Orleans what? Right, so two months ago, we were in Louisiana. We did a lot in two days. You've seen the ninth ward photos, and the swamp boat tour, which were the highlights. Also, we ate a lot. There is SO MUCH GOOD FOOD in New Orleans.
So, as a quick recap, we toured around the Garden District, walked around Tulane's campus, drove all through the French Quarter and the Marigny, got some drinks on Bourbon Street - where there was more nakedness than I expected in low-tourist season on a Wednesday night,
and generally decided that we would like to go back to spend some more time. So much culture and pride in a place. I really enjoyed it.
I thought it would be ungodly warm while we were there, but it turned out to be really nice. The weather was warm, but not sunny, so we weren't in the bright noonday sun ever. And, all three days we were there, it stormed right around 2 PM to cool everything off. It was perfect weather. Although, bugs. Big bugs. Ew.
Dan and I after the swampboat ride. Notice Dan's windswept hair.
In the Quarter.
Jackson Square at night, while we searched for a working ATM to buy some beignets. (It never worked out, we ended up getting them the next morning en route to Baton Rouge)
Dan, excited about a muffaletta.
Beads still hanging in the trees on Tulane's campus.