Monthly archives of “September 2010

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Chicken, egg…venue, date…cart, horse…

I may have months of wedding research under my belt, but I don’t have a date. (Or a general concept, but that’s a story for a different day.)

We thought picking a venue first would make things easier, and might even save a little cash. Apparently this is soo not the case.

The WIC may have assimilated photobooths, and cupcakes and ipod weddings, but picking a venue before picking a date?


One of my awesome-est friends, and fellow brides, bitched best:

a: I’m just not the person to pick a place because we want to get married now
It really doesn’t matter.
I’m more into the place than the date.
I can’t stand when the first thing a place asks you is what date.
a: I feel like saying, it doesn’t matter, if I like your place I’ll find a date you have available.
me: And then they look at you like you’re not serious abt getting married!
You should say that!
I’m going to straight out say that from now on.
a: haha
People seriously look at us like we have two heads.
I can’t believe it when people that are like, I must get married on this date and only this date so if the place I love doesn’t have it available, ohh well…
We joke about it all the time and we pick really obscure dates, and laugh about just walking out on meetings if they don’t have the date available.
me: hahaha
a: But we actually just tell people no, we don’t have a date.
And we are then treated like we are faking our engagement.
me: yep
Cause we all just LOVE trolling around to wedding venues to plan a fake wedding.

Now we’re not saying you shouldn’t pick your date first–if that’s what matters to you, than go for it. But what exactly are we dateless girls doing that so offensive or so difficult for all the venues out there?

What came/will come first for you: the venue or the date?

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Costa Rica : Tamarindo


pc: sej


Tamarindo was muy caliente. Physically. I thought I just couldn’t hack it in CR’s Pacific Northwest/Guanacaste region. Then a local told us no, this isn’t normal, it’s awful. So I decided to amuse myself by looking at the weather report. The day we arrived in Tamarindo it was 98 degrees F, with a humidity of 100%.


I kid you not.

DSCF0313 DSCF0272  DSCF0303
DSC_0945-1 DSCF0314 DSC_0918


Our hotel, Capitan Suizo was decidedly more rustic than Arenal’s Hotel Mountain Paradise, which attempted to be sort of plush even if it didn’t quite succeed. Capitan Suizo’s no fuss European sensibility dictated the decor (and lack of TV). I was prepared for this, but in that weather? I just wanted to feel pampered.

"Ants" and mosquitoes do not = pampered. The "ants" that flooded our room about 2 hours after checking in, were later revealed by our helpful travel agent to be termites, err, "exploding" during the annual termite "explosion". The staff were really great about coming right over with a can of Off, and spraying away, but you can only call them so many times in one evening before taking things into your own hands—or flip flop, as the case may be. AND, as there were LESS termites outdoors than in our room, it might’ve been nice to sit on the patio, but that’s where the mosquitoes came in. Mosquitoes had not yet been an issue on our trip (possibly due to my rampant use of 100% DEET—one week of DEET won’t kill me, but Dengue fever might…), but they really flourished in the 100% humidity. 


pc: sej


The lesson learned? May in CR is the rainy season. If the rain doesn’t bother you (it didn’t last longer than a few hours at a time until our last day), the termites and mosquitoes and humidity will. (For us other stressors included the boy’s camera battery charger breaking, and him leaving his debit card in an ATM and not noticing for a day. Banks in CR, much like the States, are not open on Sundays… I promise he’s usually [more] together.)

I learned something else on our Costa Rica adventure. If you don’t look at traveling as an adventure, if you lose sight of the "disasters make the best stories" mentality, if you forget to laugh—you have a shitty time. It wasn’t all bad. We had fun. I could see this as it was happening but sometimes…it’s just so hot.  


pc: sej

Though it nearly broke my budding love of Costa Rica, we survived. The heat broke, we enjoyed a nice day by the pool and exploring the beach, a great dinner (Dragonfly Grill – fun menu, beautiful, secluded and relaxed), and less termites.



pc: sej

And again, monkeys running rampant are cool on paper, but surprisingly normal sitting on your patio. I was more enchanted by the cats—especially the one that hung out with us on a late night walk on the beach (chasing bats up a tree!) and then tried to come in and sleep in our room. And the squirrels! Now they I wanted to take home with me.


pc: sej

After Tamarindo came a quick detour to our potential wedding venue. I don’t want to spoil any surprises, but I will say it = pampered. The few hours we spent there were HEAVENLY.


For more deets on Capitan Suizo—which was a cute place—it totally reminded me of the kind of place my mom would’ve taken me as a kid, and I would have died of happiness with the animals, and great stuff and places to run around, and the our Tamarindo experience, find me on TripAdvisor.

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The discerning dilettante gets engaged…


sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico
right before (after?) ‘his’ proposal

Ok, so this is not really news, I’ve been engaged since December 2008 or September 2009 depending on what you’re counting from. But knowing I don’t want this to turn into yet another wedding blog, I’ve been avoiding mentioning it.


Well in the last month or so, I’ve knuckled down to planning, and it has quickly taken my to-do list hostage. It’s been growing increasingly difficult to write a blog about a lil bit of everything, and not include the one thing that’s taking up most of my time and mental capacities. 

So let me do this properly and start at the beginning… 


An Unconventional Proposal

The boy and I fell in love during a holiday season, complete with tearful Christmas Eve separation. So it seemed fitting to get engaged then, and I just generally love Christmas. Oh crap, ok, back up further…


The boy has been proposing to me since about 3 weeks after we first starting hanging out. Since looong before we were in any kind of monogamous relationship. Oddly, my commitment-phobic self was not scared shitless by this, my reaction was closer to "how long can I delay the inevitable?" Not long, apparently.


At one point while talking about engagement and marriage and logistics, I pointed out that I had a perfectly good engagement ring sitting in a jewelry box from my grandparent’s 30th anniversary. I thought it was beautiful and meaningful and it was more than good enough for me. So, cash saved, no excuses from either of us, right?


So here comes the part were I decided one happy Christmas that the next year I was going to give him the ring to give to me. I’m a long-range planner, and I figured a year was plenty of time to chicken out if need be.


Well I didn’t need it, and the year was agonizing. I watched friends get engaged, get married, I secretly read weddingbee. I also hadn’t told anyone what I was planning. For me, who needs a survey of no less than 3 opinions to buy a pair of shoes, there was something oddly freeing about doing this on my own. Until the nerves kicked in about a week out.

It’s funny, I never got why proposing was considered a hard thing to do. I mean, you’re talking about the person you’re closer to than anyone else in the world. How hard can it be to say something to them, right? Wrong!


I swear to god, I was so nervous I went blind. I literally couldn’t see anything. And I had to open all these presents and pretend like I cared. It was excruciating.


I had every right to be nervous, because it didn’t exactly go to plan:

me: so he pulls out the little bag with note card and ring box out of his stocking

and he opens it and is like "are you serious?" all like stone cold serious

and then, "but all i got you was this book"

and im laughing maniacally because i think im dying…but trying to assure him im serious

friend: aw

me: so we’re laughing and kissy and he says he doesnt know what finger it goes on and now i think HE’S kidding. and im like, well it doesnt fit anyway

friend: lol

me: and then i think it was just sort of implied that he should ask me properly later…or maybe i actually said it?

it was all downhill


Not all engagements are easy…

So uh yea, way to backfire.


The next few months were peppered with awkward discussions and analyzing with friends via IM. It was almost like life pre-monogamy…

friend: hand, fair enough, but FINGER?

it’s called a ring finger for a reason

i feel like i’m in a CW show and should be like rolling my eyes and holding a cosmo and saying "men!"

me: hahahaha

this is my life

friend: i wonder if he’s just been secretively kicking himself like "i’m such an idiot! i should’ve done it then!" because seriously, HELLO! DUH!

me: oh totally…i would put money on that

friend: what most guys agonize over you put right in his lap, literally, wrapped up with a bow

me: all i want is for him to ask me (yet again) seriously, so i can respond seriously

friend: if i were you i probably would’ve started crying and been like forget this! the engagement is off you moron! and ran away

hahah well not really, but i would’ve felt like it

me: yea, i had that moment, but i know what it comes down to, is that i had a plan, didnt tell him the plan, and then expected him to know what to do. which is crap.

friend: well to be fair to you, you set it up pretty damn clearly. he was probably just taken aback and everything in his brain slowed down and he blew the moment without realizing he’d blown the moment until after the fact

me: exactly. so now, i basically have to forward him this IM and hope he acts accordingly

friend: precisely

my question is when he said he didn’t know what finger it went on… was he trying to propose then? or was he trying to put it on your finger to seal the deal?

me: probably…and i probably totally blew it, because i said it didnt fit

the only thing i cling to, is that the whole thing is so "us"


Textbook Proposal

After several (months and months) missed opportunities (romantic Valentine’s Day dinner/long weekend!? I didn’t plan that shit because I’m sappy!), a little green box accompanied us on a long weekend to Mexico. I know this because I checked before we left, and quite frankly if it hadn’t moved from where it mocked me on the nightstand I would’ve packed it myself.


Funnily, after checking that he had brought it I managed to promptly forgot all about it for our entire trip. (Thank god, could you imagine if I’d spent the whole time looking out for romantic proposal moments?!) It wasn’t until suddenly someone was acting bizarrely (it doesn’t take that long to pick out a pair of socks) before our last nite’s dinner, that I remembered. And I was suddenly very glad that I had made him do this. Because watching him be nervous was so cute. And I felt wonderfully smug in enjoying his nervousness, having gone through it myself.

That is, until he told me he was nervous to fly the next day. And I fell for it hook, line and sinker. And nothing happened, and I was grumpy, and yet somehow managed to forget all about it again as we got up for sunrise on the beach (something I’d been too lazy for every other day). So yea, totally shocked when he busted it out then. Which was miraculous. And fitting. And oddly perfect.


And now what.

In the time it took for us to get ourselves engaged, I’ve literally watched as entire engagements and weddings took place. I’ve fought against feeling like a turtle in a race of hares. Because I know it’s not a race. Or a contest. That would be a ridiculous.

I’m starting to see the engagement debacle as a sneak preview for the circular reasoning and indecisiveness I should know by now will characterize any large-scale planning process with myself involved…

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Tequila & me…

…go way back.


my mango-passionfruit-pineapple-guava margarita,

I’d forgotten how happy a lovely tequila can make me, until we were reunited this weekend.

A bottle of the stunning and delicious Espolon, and I got acquainted over fresh pineapple, papaya, mango, with a splash of triple sec, lime, lemon, and guava juice.

My rusty mixology skills were jogged by this recipe from Bobby Flay, and I would recommend skipping the simple syrup (unless you really love sugar in an unhealthy way). Frozen fruit is a good way to skip the ice cubes if you’re as lazy as I am and can’t maintain ice cube trays.

Excited to try this excellent tequila on the rocks with just a tropical juice, and maybe some seltzer…

Cheers to milking the end of summer, and drinking in the afternoon.

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