Waking up the morning of the wedding, the surreal feeling from the day before stayed with me. Maybe I couldn’t believe that the day I had planned, reworked, and planned again was really happening, or maybe it was just the bizarre sensation of waking up in a huge, fancy hotel room by myself, like I was Princess Ann in Roman Holiday. It’s funny that the day started with something totally spontaneous—I woke up to a text from my parents to ask if I wanted to come with them to get breakfast at a pancake house!
I was so excited about the rehearsal dinner, since it was the start of the weekend I had been planning and looking forward to for months! The rehearsal dinner was at one of our favorite restaurants in Williamsburg, the Blue Talon, a French bistro a block away from the restored area with delicious food and an elegant, intimate atmosphere. (I realized while we were in Paris that the Blue Talon copied everything Parisian restaurants do, right down to the glassware.) H’s mom did a wonderful job planning the rehearsal dinner—she knows how to throw a party!
I have to start by admitting that I started shopping for my wedding dress before we started looking at wedding venues, which is evidently a cardinal sin in wedding planning. In my defense, I KNEW that I would want a huge ballgown no matter what venue we chose. There was just no scenario where I would wear anything less formal.
Our trip to Paris was the most spontaneous, romantic trip I’ve ever taken, and not just because H proposed in front of the Eiffel Tower! I had been talking to my parents about our plans for Thanksgiving, and they kept talking about going to Europe for the holiday week. I was skeptical, since my family never does anything like that, until they called three weeks before Thanksgiving, said they were booking flights and a four-night stay in Paris, and asked if H and I wanted to come. I consulted H, and a day later we booked our trip to the City of Light!
H and I just got back from our amazing summer vacation to the Azores (although I’m sure it seems like we’re still there based on pictures I’m still posting to Instagram!). We stayed on São Miguel Island, the largest of the nine islands that make up the Azores, and after we spent our first weekend relaxing at the Hotel Azor in the lovely port town of Ponta Delgada, we would hop in the car each day and drive on mountain roads, lined with the Azores’ signature blue hydrangeas, to spots around the island where we could hike along waterfalls, explore volcanic crater lakes, and swim in hot springs.
When I told my friends about the trip H and I had planned to the Azores in August, most of them were puzzled, asking questions like “Where is that? What are you going to do there? How did you even hear about this place?” Ever since H went to Cabo Verde for work two years ago, we’ve been talking about visiting the Azores, volcanic islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with amazing hiking; European culture; and gorgeous lakes, waterfalls, and beaches. I think the Azores are going to be the next Iceland, so I wanted to go before they become a big tourist destination.
We’ve been looking forward to my cousin’s wedding ever since she got engaged on New Year’s Eve 2018! Since she and her fiancé are living in Princeton, New Jersey while he finishes his doctorate, they decided to have the wedding at the Princeton Chapel. I haven’t been to Princeton before, but I knew it would have that historic, preppy, college town feel I love, so H and I went a day early for ample time to explore the city and enjoy the wedding festivities. Packing for this trip, I brought lots of preppy classics, like I did for the weekend last year when H and I attended a wedding in Charlottesville.
This July weekend H and I drove to Pittsburgh to visit family friends and surprise my parents, who were visiting that weekend as well. We were looking forward to quality time with family and friends and a chance to explore a new city, since neither of us have spent much time in Pittsburgh! Packing for the weekend, we knew Pittsburgh was due for a major heat wave, so I brought light clothing to stay cool and comfortable.
This weekend during the heat of summer was perfect one for one of my DC bucket list items, paddleboarding on the Potomac River! I didn’t want to go too early in the season, since I didn’t want to risk being damp and chilly all afternoon if we got wet, and H and I wouldn’t have another free weekend before our trip to the Azores. My original idea was to go to the boathouse in Georgetown, where rumor has it if you fall in the water they tell you to go straight to the hospital, but H did some research and found a great spot, Pohick Bay Regional Park.
This Fourth of July, I had a mini-reunion in Charlottesville over the four-day weekend with my college friends. I needed a variety of outfits, since we were going to hang out downtown and hike in Shenandoah National Park, and I knew I wouldn’t have a ton of time to get ready (hello, sharing a bathroom [...]