It figures

I just got an emergency electronic notification from the college in Worcester where I'm taking my class that there is a suspect on the loose wanted for a double shooting. Worcester is such a hole!


The altars at which we pray

Bret Michaels' reaction to a personal strip show on the most recent episode of Rock of Love 2:

"I'm looking for a woman I can have a spiritual connection with. A woman who smears chocolate mousse on her breasts and then licks it off... that's spiritual."

The thing is, he wasn't being funny. He was being serious.

Thank you, Bret. That's fantastic.



When we went to Volcanoes National Park, we stayed in a "cabin" a few miles out from the main hotel building (the park only has one hotel on the property). The "cabin" basically consisted of 4 walls, a ceiling, and several large, fat resident spiders. About 60 feet away was both a men's and women's bathroom complete with running water, real toilets, and one very creepy shower stall. The bathroom was also home to several over sized, hairy arachnids. But more on that in a minute.

You might wonder how we came to stay at the cabins and not the main hotel. Here's the story. While we were planning the honeymoon, I did a lot of research over my lunch hour at work. As I was narrowing down a place for us to stay in Volcanoes National Park, I perused the Volcano House website and was stuck: should we reserve a crater-view room for $225 a night, or a garden-view room for $200 a night? I couldn't decide, so later that evening I pulled up the website to show Husband our room options so he could decide if viewing the crater was worth the extra money. He scrolled around on the website for a minute and then said, "What's this room for $50?" I came over behind him. I purposely hadn't listed that among the options. "Uh... that's not a room, it's a cabin," I told him quickly. And he replied, "That sounds fun!" I think at that very moment I regretted showing him that website more than almost any other mistake I'd made in my life up until that point. But, a plan was born. And it involved roughing it on our honeymoon.

I have to admit the idea grew on me, and by the time we left for our trip I was a little bit excited about it. I mean, we'd essentially be camping on a volcano. Even I can see that's pretty cool.

And it was! Except for the spiders.

The first place I noticed them was in the bathroom. Up in the peaks in the white wood vaulted ceilings, just hangin' out above the sinks and the toilets. Seriously, I'm supposed to wash my face (which requires closing my eyes and turning my back on them) while they're lurking above? I don't think so. I chose the one crappy sink in the whole bathroom (the other two had adjustable water temps and knobs that turned the water on so that it actually stayed on). The crappy sink had only cold water and turned off the minute you weren't cranking the handle, but it didn't have a spider directly above it. As for toilet choices, there weren't any decent options. Let's just say I peed REALLY fast the whole time we were there.

But, the first night we spent in the cabin, I was under the soothing (but false) impression that our cabin, at least, was spider free. See how calm I look in our bare bones double bed? Husband is up on top of the bunk beds taking this picture.

The next day we toured Volcanoes National Park pretty much in its entirety, which was SO AMAZING. But exhausting. By that night our lungs and eyes burned from sulfur, we were achingly tired from hiking, and it had been a long, full day. As we headed back to the cabins, I was ready to relax. After we walked in the door and turned on the (one) light, I made the dire error of looking up. And then I saw it. Holy f*ck.


There was a fat, black spider with thick legs curled up in the corner of the ceiling. Not directly above the bed, but close enough. And then I flipped out. I demanded and pleaded that we drive up to the hotel and get a room there. I was already so tense because of those damn spiders in the bathroom. And now there was one in our cabin? I was adamant that I could not sleep with that spider there.

It was about 8pm and we hadn't even eaten dinner yet. Time was not on our side. Husband offered to pack up our stuff, but wanted to know how much I was willing to pay for a last minute room at the much pricier (but not all that much nicer) hotel. That paused me for a second, seeing as how we were dropping major cash on this trip as it was. I looked at the price list pinned up on the cabin wall, then at Husband, then at the spider. Then back again. "Can't you just kill it?" I asked him. Husband believed that the spider would not move the entire night, and didn't feel right killing it since we were, after all, in the out of doors. I saw his point. It was more the spider's turf than ours. Reluctantly, I agreed to shower and eat before making any hasty decisions.

So I grabbed my shower stuff and headed to the bathroom. At this point, all the other cabin campers that had been around the previous evening seemed to have vacated the premises, which made it eerily quiet and dark. I opened the bathroom door, walked to the very back of the room to the shower stall, and turned around and walked back out, not stopping until I was outside. I stood outside the door to the men's room with my fist raised, ready to bang on the door and have another temper tantrum. But I didn't. I thought of Husband in there, getting ready to take a shower, desperate for a little bit of peace from me. So I turned around and went back into the women's room and marched to the changing stall. I got undressed and stepped into the shower. And looked up to see a spider lurking in the corner. Oh, come ON. I was pushed to my limit. Well, I figured, this spider IS on my turf. The damn shower gets to be my turf. I grabbed my flip flop and whacked the sh*t out of that thing. It was cathartic.

But it wasn't my only worry in the shower. In the back of my mind I was also keenly aware that this was a horror movie waiting, dying (no pun intended), to happen. So every hair on my body stood on end.

When I finished showering I felt a little bit better. As I exited the bathroom I noticed with annoyance that the same spiders were over the same good sinks as had been the night before. I was once again going to be forced to brush my teeth after dinner in the crappy sink, but at least it seemed to prove Husband's point that they really don't ever move.

But then I started to think about that. Why don't they ever move? I trudged back to the cabin and asked Husband. He told me that they never move because they just sit and wait for their prey to come to them. EWWWWWW! "And then what?" I was stupid, or determined, enough to ask. "Then," Husband told me, "they paralyze them with venom, tie them up in their webs, and leave them alive while they suck their blood out." EWWWWWW!!!! That's GROSS. I mean, seriously. Something's not right there.

Naturally, I was now all creeped out about that. I told Husband I'd thought about it and decided I wanted to go get a room at the hotel. He suggested we find someplace to eat dinner first, and then reevaluate.

We went to a cute Italian place about 10 miles outside the park. I had copious amounts of wine. Okay, I only had one glass, but I was feeling *way* more relaxed by the time we got back to the cabin. Malleable as I was, I agreed to stay put for the night. Husband praised me for being so tough, and promised we could take a picture of me looking tough in front of the cabin if I survived the night.

The next morning, the minute my eyes fluttered open I was out of bed like a shot. I had my bags packed before Husband's feet even hit the ground. I was loading up the SUV while he was still looking around sleepily. "Let's go!!!!" I encouraged him, all smiles and energy as I grabbed the sheets and blankets off the bed and stowed them back in their original hotel duffel. I was SO happy to be leaving, you couldn't have gotten me out of there any faster. "Do you want to go get breakfast before we check out?" he asked me. "Nope," I said, "Time to hit the road. We'll get breakfast on the way. The Hilton awaits!"

Ah, the Hilton. Where the only thing that comes in eights are SPF levels and # of poolside drinks ordered in one day.


We meet again

After much deliberation, I've decided to take one more course in Worcester this spring as a final prep for my upcoming exam.



Hawaii: some unexpected friends along the way

The day we flew out of Kauai and over to the Big Island, we did some waterfall sight seeing before we left. The waterfalls in Kauai are beautiful and there are quite a lot of them. We went to three, I think, before we decided we were done with that.

These guys were riding around with no helmets (although they did have very funny hats) on a road that often narrowed down to just one lane for both directions of traffic.

This was our jeep! Surprisingly, despite the weather we managed to get the roof off a couple of times while we were on Kauai.

Waterfall #2 or #3, I can't remember which. I didn't care, I was just happy to have my Starbucks.

This sign was pretty clear - danger. Check out the feathery daredevil in the background.


Throughout our trip I definitely got braver and overcame some of my fears. (Although, as I mentioned earlier, I picked up a replacement here and there). But I also developed an appreciation for several animals or sea creatures that I hadn't ever had before. Not that I'd hated them (except maybe the birds), but that I never saw the big deal about them. One of those animals is the horse. I never disliked them, but I also never really got the appeal. After spending a few minutes with this guy, though, I had a change of heart. We found him on some land near the road as we were driving back from the waterfall. I think he was lonely.


Hawaii: across the pond

Oh, wait, that's England.

The resort we stayed at in Kauai had a great pond. Ordinarily one might just walk over the bridge on the resort property without even noticing the pond, but when you're stuck close to home because of flash flood warnings you tend to take in your environment a little more thoroughly.

They had a fish food dispense nearby, and for a quarter you could buy a cup of fish food. We used the fish food to lure the gigantic, ugly fish to the surface so we could make fun of how ugly they were. The pond became one of our favorite places. Usually fish don't interest me very much. But these fish were like freakishly overgrown gold fish. It's like they were caught somewhere between ocean fish and fishbowl fish.

I've never really been into birds either. Not that I don't like them, I just don't find them intriguing. Yeah, okay, I don't like them. But these birds were kind of cute. And not so skittish, like most normal birds are. These birds would eat right out of our hands!


Hawaii: catamarans and sea creatures

We decided to take a catamaran tour of the Na Pali coast since it's so beautiful and we knew we wouldn't have time to hike in to see it. It rained most of our time on the boat, but it was still worth it.

I felt a little sick as we pulled away from the dock, so hanging out in the open air part of the catamaran was my best option. Sailing doesn't make me nervous, but it does make me nauseous.

The stormy seas didn't help much with that.

But where there's rain, there are rainbows. At least in Hawaii. Maybe not in Detroit.

This alone was worth the price of our plane tickets. How COOL is that? Husband and I also had a dolphin adventure at the last resort we stayed at on the Big Island.

I really like dolphins. I recently watched an episode of Myth Busters where they tested the theory that dolphins keep sharks from attacking people or other creatures just by showing up and hanging around when there's peril. For their experiment, the Myth Buster guys tied chunks of meat and a fake seal to the back of a boat in South African waters and watched as great whites tore after them within seconds. Then they put a fake (by realistic) dolphin in the water behind a new fake seal and new chunks of meat and the sharks nosed around a bit but were remarkably shy when it came to chowing down. The guys on Myth Busters rated that myth as "plausible". They got the idea for this particular experiment from several stories they had heard of people being saved from shark attacks by dolphins. They said that a dolphins might actually intervene in such cases since they are smart enough to be altruistic. How neat! I call them water dogs, because they're so sweet, good-natured, and silly.

Some of the dolphins we saw that day were spinner dolphins. They jump out of the water at random times to spin around like mad, just to be goofy (at least, they can't find any other scientific explanation for the behavior).

Despite the fact that the dolphins stole the show, the Na Pali caves were pretty cool, too.

The coastline really is magnificent. The cliffs don't even look that big until you see something else (in our case, another boat) beside them. We just stood on the deck of the catamaran and day dreamed as we sailed along.


Hawaii: never say never

I said I wouldn't ever, but I did.

Since we had such bad weather, a helicopter was pretty much our only option for seeing the entire island of Kauai. The rain often kept us from sight seeing by foot (although we did end up doing our fair share of sight seeing on the ground).

Still, the helicopter was quite an experience - the scenery was SO beautiful from above.

Naturally I looked into the safety reports on the company we flew with. And double checked the accuracy of those reports with everyone I encountered prior to hopping aboard: the woman who weighed us in, the shuttle guy who drove us to the launchpad, and the pilot himself. Thankfully, they all had the same story. Hopefully it was true.

We got to use the Bose noise canceling headphones (I seriously heart those things) so it was a quiet ride. The pilot spoke through the headphones to guide us through the tour. And apparently our helicopter was particularly eco-friendly, though I can't remember why exactly...

This is a shot of the Na Pali coast. We later toured this coastline on a catamaran (photos of that adventure to follow) - it's breathtaking. Sadly, we weren't able to hike in due to weather and time constraints.

It really was amazing being in the helicopter - I was shocked by how calm and peaceful it was - sort of like we were floating above the island in a giant bubble. I expected the ride to be rough and choppy, but it was the opposite. I think because we weighed in as the lightest of the three couples on the tour, Husband and I got to sit up front next to the pilot, so we had prime viewing through the front windshield (or whatever you call the big front window in a helicopter). I didn't want the tour to end.

After we landed I felt very brave and as you can see, proud (once I'd cleared the blades of the propeller - hey, I saw that ER episode where the guy lost his arm). I found out later that that yellow thing buckled around my waist was my emergency parachute SHOULD WE CRASH. Ahhh, ignorance. It's true what they say about it being better than Valium. Wait, am I the only person who says that? Well, either way, it's still true.


There's no business like snow business

The whole city is closed down!!!!!!!!!!!! Awesome!

And now I must go back to bed. YAY!


Hawaii: the huki, huki, huki, huki, hukilau ...

During one of the rainy evenings we spent on Kauai we decided to go to a luau. It wasn't at the top of my list of things to do, but the more limited we became by weather the more open I became to doing just about anything that was still possible/open.

This was one of the Polynesian dances. The costumes were really colorful. For a few hours I entertained the idea of getting my own coconut bra (and getting Husband a loin cloth made out of leaves). As with most purchases, I decided to wait a day, sleep on it, and see if it still seemed like a good idea in the morning. It didn't.

This guy juggled (and might have even eaten, I can't remember?) fire. It was pretty intense.

During the luau, both husband and I were chosen to get up on stage and learn the hula. Apparently hula dance was a way of acting out stories. So I acted out fishing, eating fish, not liking fish, and throwing it back. Good times.

It's a very interesting culture. But I wondered what it was like for the dancers. Their job is to humor tourists every night. Which is kind of like my high school summer job at TCBY when all the New Yorkers would come down to vacation on the Jersey shore. Although my beef with the New Yorkers wasn't their curiosity, enthusiasm or carefree attitude. What bothered me most was the fact that even when they were getting ice cream they still seemed grumpy, impatient, and rude. Maybe because I only served low fat ice cream. Fat makes people nicer.


Hawaii: the Fern Grotto

Our first full day in Kauai, while driving around looking for the local Starbucks (yes, there was one - don't blame me I didn't build it), we took a detour and decided to check out the Fern Grotto.

We took this boat on an adventure up the Wailua River.

Welcome to Fern Grotto.

The Grotto was destroyed by hurricanes a few years ago and it is slowly growing back to its previous glory.

Brightly colored flowering plants were everywhere - the scenery around the Grotto was more impressive than the Grotto itself.

This cat had two different colored eyes, and was a little bit creepy looking. We ran into some weird feral cats in Kauai.

Hello, pretty.


Intruder alert!

Down with intruders! Kick them to the curb and slam the door in their faces, this is a CLOSED circle! Chase them away! Throw stones at them! We're a fortress of exclusion! Out, out, damn intru... what's that? I'm sorry, there must be some mistake. Me???

Today I went to post a message to one of my college health list serves to get feedback on a program proposal. After sending off my posting, I immediately got this in response:

"You are not authorized to post to this list serve." And then a weird string of numbers and characters, like someone's automated message threw up on my inbox.

I got rejected? What? Why? I always post to this group. I belong in this group.

Ohhhhh, I know what's going on here. LC belonged in this group. LM is not recognized as a member. I am unrecognizable.

I was excited to change my name because my new name makes Husband and I family. But it's a little bit odd to spend so many years creating yourself, building your professional identity, only to become unrecognizable to the world overnight.


Look alive, people!

Today at work I said to a committee I chair "Boy, that Erica - there are no flies on her!" I was talking about a colleague who was not in the room. I had been impressed with her follow through on something. The group burst out laughing at my choice of phrase.

I can tell that I'm getting older by my willingness to use expressions I would never have used in my twenties. Like the above mentioned. Some of them are so appropriate though! I guess at this point in my life I'm just willing to be the dork. In fact, I often can't stop myself.

My students mercilessly make fun of me when I toss out a phrase they've never heard before or one that reminds them of their grandmother. But this committee is made up of my peers. A few of the people are older than me. I thought they'd expect a little variety in my remarks. A mental picture to help them really understand my point. The image of Erica moving SO FAST that not even flies can keep up with her!

But whatever. Laugh if you will.

As the meeting continued, the co-chair of the committee, J, was talking about the reaction of a faculty member to something. She told the group "He poo-pooed that idea, so I guess that's the end of that."

YESSSSSSSS! That's my girl. Poo-pooed? Even I don't say that.

But to my surprise, none of the other people in the room seemed to latch onto that odd bit of phraseology. I waited, but as J kept on talking I looked around the room in shock at the blank faces around me. Did that not register with anyone but me? "Helloooooooooo?" I interruped, not quite able to let it go. "Poo-pooed? She just said poo-pooed. Didn't you all hear that?" Groggy nods. "No one's going to give her a hard time about it? She said POO POOED! That's funny, right?" Come on folks. You have got to find THAT funny.

Some people in the group agreed with me and offered a little halfhearted mockery. But it's not the same when you have to point it out to everyone.


Hawaii: the beginning

In the spirit of rewinding, I've finally got my hands on our honeymoon pictures. Husband is a GREAT family historian, and I appreciate that about him. But it often takes me a while to get the pictures from his camera onto my computer. Hence the delays.

We took a million pictures throughout our time in Hawaii, so I'll break it down by general location/activity and I'll try to start at the beginning. This group is from our condo in Kauai. It's where we spent the first 5 days of our honeymoon.

Just to give you a little background, it rained every day that we were in Kauai. Often times the rain (you could accurately call it a downpour) didn't start until the mid afternoon, so we were able to have a few adventures in the mornings. It was our honeymoon, so of course we still did lots of stuff and had a great time.

But the people in Kauai kept saying, "This is SO unusual," whenever we'd ask them if this type of (crappy) weather was typical. After about the fifth time we heard this response (perhaps after we'd run through the massive puddles to arrive, soaking wet, at the concierge desk to check out a bad movie on dvd while in Hawaii on our honeymoon), my cabin fever started to make me a little pissy. "Sorry the weather is abysmal, it's so unusual, aloha!" Aloha my *ss. Show us some goddamn sunshine and I'll toss you a "mahalo!"

After about 16 hours of travel we arrived at our condo/resort on Kauai at around 8pm. We couldn't decide if we should just go straight to bed or go out to get something to eat (since it'd been hours since we'd eaten lunch). Our hunger won out, and we went to a cute outdoor restaurant and ordered some appetizers for a light meal. We chose calamari to start. I love calamari, but I've only ever had calamari rings. I can't handle the calamari that's shaped like little tentacles, so I never eat those (especially because Husband is usually wiggling his fingers at me in imitation of a squid). Sadly for me, our calamari came to the table in the form of calamari strips. Broadening your horizons is a tiring business. I was trying to be a trooper, but as you may be able to tell from the look on my face it's debatable how successful I was.

This funny little statue was beside us while we ate! It had friends, but I won't post all of those pictures.

You can see our condo nestled in the trees on the shore.

This was our view - we had a balcony overlooking the beach. If the weather had been better I'm sure we would have spent hours here enjoying the sand and sun.

A view of the ocean from the rockier part of the shore.

Little did we know we would go on to see many totems like this one throughout our time on both islands. I'm not sure the story behind them... but they always look a little, how to describe it... grrrrrrrrrrr. Or maybe even more like GRRRRRRRRRR.



For New Year's Eve, Husband and I were unprepared. We had just gotten through a very hectic season. We'd organized Thanksgiving, our wedding, our honeymoon, Husband's birthday, and Christmas. We were organized out. So we celebrated with a few low key activities.

We headed to First Night on the Boston Common to walk around and see what the city had to offer us. We didn't want to move away from Boston (we don't know that we will, but we could) never having experienced it, and every New Year's prior we'd been someplace else.

Turns out we weren't missing much. The displays were odd, the entertainment was crap, and the weather was cold. We walked around mocking the event for a while, and then headed back upstairs once we ran out of clever criticisms. Below is some of what we stumbled across:

Wait a minute, I know I know! A Christmas tree! The only easily identifiable piece of the First Night display.

Ice sculpture. Beyond that, you got me.

I think this display was about recycling. I can't say for sure.

What the? Weird alien egg farm? Every once in a while a guy would come by and spray them with something that made them ooze white smoke.

The statue that changes colors one night of the year. Fun.

The band. They were really weird (which totally didn't fit in with the theme of First Night) and dressed in bizarre, slightly scary costumes (like giant birds, or something) and at one point in the show one of the guys dropped the f bomb in front of an audience filled with kids.

The view from the living room window in our apartment, where we were able to watch the fireworks with mugs of hot chocolate. Away from the freakiness outside below us.


My thoughts on Worcester in rhyme

Oh Worcester how I hate thee,
You suck the life out of my car battery,
Which makes me have to call AAA,
Twice, yes TWICE, in just one day.

Hope everyone's weekend was better than mine. If you're wondering how my intensive course went, I'll give you a hint: not good. It was held in Worcester Massachusetts. So just refer to the above poem and that should pretty much fill you in on how I spent Saturday night after my 8 hour class adjourned.


Whiskey foxtrot tango

Today I set about calling my credit card companies to change my name and mailing address in their systems. (I also canceled all my store credit cards, go budget go!) I'd called several credit card companies by the time I got to my American Express card. I told the customer service representative that my new street was Tremont. She said, "Tremont, T as in train, R as in riddle, A as in apple, Y as in yarn, M as in monkey, O as in ostrich, T as in train?"


"Um, that's not quite right," I began.

"Could you spell it for me?" she asked.

That's what I was afraid of. "Uh, sure. It's, ummmm, T as in..." Pause. Think think think. "Um, T as in..." Longer pause. Think harder think harder think harder...


"I can't think of a word," I admitted, feeling sort of mentally uncoordinated. "I'm sorry. It's just really hard to think of words that start with those letters on the spot. How do you do that? Is there, like, a special code?"

She laughed. In a kind way, not a really mean and crappy way. "It just takes practice. That's alright. Spell it out normally and we'll get it this time."

Whew. "Okay, great. Because I can't think of an R word either. Do you get a cheat sheet?"


Oh bother

I alluded earlier to our new budget. Things for me are looking BAD. My discretionary funds (the allowance Husband and I are each alloted per month for personal spending) is liiiiiiiiiiiiiiittle.

When I originally made out our budget, I had incorporated into our monthly spending things like Starbucks, my swanky gym, my highlights, etc. You know, routine maintenance expenses. Upon closer inspection, Husband pointed out his concern with my proposal: I had included all my personal spending into our joint budget, rather than using my discretionary funds for those things which are not necessary to our household. I stuck out my lower lip and did the math in my head. (Yeah, that took a while.) Then I looked over at him piteously and whined, "But my discretionary funds aren't big enough to cover all of that stuff, let alone have money left over for unnecessary FUN stuff!"

"It's all about choices," Husband calmly pointed out. "Do you need all those things? The gym and the Starbucks?"

I knew the correct answer was no, but I couldn't say it like I meant it. Instead I said it more like, "No?" which wasn't an answer. I know I don't need those things. But when I try to cut one of them out, my world goes all wonky.


What kind of operation are you running?

So I have to take that class for my credentialing exam during the winter session at WSC. I received a letter from them a while ago, confirming my registration in the course and providing me with my login and pin for the college online system. I've logged in periodically, but haven't found any information posted about the course. I've been waiting for another letter telling me where to go, where to park, confirming the dates/times, etc. and what text to buy.

The class starts Saturday. Realizing that it's Wednesday and no such letter is likely in the mail, I called the grad studies office to make sure I wasn't missing out on anything. The woman who answered the phone seemed annoyed that I was calling at all. When I explained to her that I hadn't received any information about textbooks, she said snidely, "There are no textbooks for online courses." Okaaaaaay. A, if there are no textbook for online courses what kind of instruction are you left with? Of course there are texts, so you can learn without the presence of a professor. Duh. B, this isn't an online course. When I pointed that last part out to her, she snapped, "You go to the college bookstore. You tell them your class and they tell you what books you need." Say wha?

Well, fair enough, that makes sense now that I think about it. And I'll even admit that I, as someone working in college administration, could have put it together. But this is a continuing education course! Most people taking continuing education courses have been out of the loop a little while, hence the continuing part. How were we all supposed to know how the textbook system at WSC works? Is WSC so beleaguered that they can't send out a letter? Or post relevant information online? Put it somewhere, for crying out loud.

I ordered the book but it won't get here in time for my class on Saturday. I hate not being prepared. I would probably try to blame someone else regardless, but in this instance I think I actually have a legitimate case for it not being my fault.


Ringing in the New Year

Here are some pictures from our wedding! Yay!

The Old North Church sign. I tried to insert a picture of the steeple but it keeps going sideways.

I get to put my tux on in the Sunday School room!

I get to put my dress on in the room we usually have coffee and snacks in after services.

The boys.

You may kiss the bride.

The church was candle lit (you can see the candelabra but not the candles) - it was really beautiful.

More kisses! Hey, we're newlyweds, we can't help it!

Whew, I need a minute to catch my breath! Luckily, there are photographers around to shoot a picture of my odd posture.

My bouquet, which I unceremoniously handed off to my sister and never held again. Flowers have never been a big thing for me. It's pretty though.

Dude, we got hitched. It's freezing in this church!

After the ceremony, guests walked through the cobblestone courtyard (past the statue of Paul Revere's ride) to the trolleys.

The trolleys that transported guests to the church and then to the reception.

The reception site (except this picture is of the Exchange Conference Center during the day, and our reception was, of course, at night). Our photographers didn't get a good picture of the outside of the building though, probably because it was so cold they weren't willing to stay out there very long to try!

We labeled all of the seating cards with stamps that had to do with wedding themes (hearts, champagne glasses, flowers, party hats) and gave each table a corresponding name.

Mr. and Mrs. Mac.

Our first dance.

Our cake. I tasted it only during the cake cutting, and tried to convince Husband to let me eat the top layer before we left for Hawaii but we ended up putting it in the freezer. People said the cake was good. I guess I'll find out in November 2008.

Many beautiful toasts.

Lots more dancing.

Sisters take a time out to survey the scene. Me, trying to drink some water even though my corset was so tight I could barely breathe.

I told my mother over Christmas, when she joked that she had handed me over to Husband, that she is not getting rid of me that easily... and I meant it. I'm a mama's girl through and through.

Yes, those are glow sticks. I'm telling you, this was one classy party :) The glow sticks were inspired by the menehune, who LOVE glow sticks and play with them all the time. We decided we love them too, and wanted to have them at our wedding reception.

End of the night. Tired bride. Glow stick zapped. Let's go back to the hotel.

Our dream wedding? You bet. Wouldn't trade it for the world.