Thursday, 29 October 2009

The Honeymooners!

All right, I have been promising to blog about our honeymoon, and I can tell you that I've been trying to get to it for weeks but it's taken me forever with all the pictures! Anyway, here is our New England adventure, I hope you enjoy it!

We left for our honeymoon the day after the wedding. At first I was dreading it because we were so tired, and the thought of a 12 hour drive to start our honeymoon seemed daunting, but we ended up having a great day for travel. The weather was awesome and on our way we stopped to buy a GPS to help us along the trip. We named her Denise and the trip just wouldn't have been the same without her. We didn't get to the resort until about 1:30 a.m., and on the drive there it was so scary! Denise kept taking us through these crazy back roads to get to our final destination and as we got closer to our resort we could just feel the mountains all around us. It was insanely dark and the woods seemed to creep right up to the narrow highway. Jagger was very helpful by making comments like "These are Blair Witch woods" and "Any minute now a civil war soldier is going to come limping out onto the road in front of us." This became a theme for the weekend - scaring Ashlie. Anyway, we finally to the resort and got checked in. We could only imagine what the scenery around us looked like, and in the morning we finally got to see it.

There's honey on our resort. There were train tracks that ran right through the middle of the resort - very strange.

We of course started the vacation with food. Our first New England meal was at the restaurant on the resort and it was amazing! I had the lobster roll - which is now my new favourite thing!

Yes, it was served with a side order of chips. When I saw it on the menu, I figured it meant chips like the British call fries "chips", but no, they meant really Humpty Dumpty chips. Anyway, the lobster roll was amazing. It's lobster meat dressed very lightly with mayo and salt and pepper, and in this case it was also seasoned with lime and cilantro, then stuffed onto a warm toasted roll. Genius.

Jagger got bourbon steak tips, which were also yummy, but not as good as my lobster!

His actually did come with fries.

The rest of our first day was spent driving around checking out the area. It was so pretty, everything is so old and quaint, we just loved it.

This was at nearby Crawford Notch, just before things started to get dark. The light was so pretty in the mountains, we got some great pictures.

We saw a young bull moose too, just casually crossing the highway. It was awesome to see a moose, we were pretty excited. Jagger's used to moose from when he lived in Northern Ontario, but they're still a big deal to me. We really wanted to see a bear, but no such luck.

For dinner that night we went to the local Red Parka Pub in nearby Glen. It was awesome, just great food and a really nice atmosphere. Prepare yourself for more food pictures.

We tried some local Tuckerman's Pumpkinhead beer. Jagger wasn't crazy about it, but I liked it. It was served in Mason jars, which I thought was fun. (It doesn't take much to impress me.)

Jagger had the filet mignon, and I had a barbeque chicken sandwich. We both got a cheese potato as a side, it still counted as a vegetable even though it was loaded with cheese.

For dessert we had this monstrous mud pie. Yes, we were definitely on vacation.

The next day we had planned on going to Maine for the day, but we woke up to crappy snowy-slushy weather, so we went back to bed instead. We decided to save Maine for the next day and spend some time exploring and shopping in the area close to the resort. We spent a lot of time in Jackson, which was a beautiful town with a covered bridge and everything.

See? How New England is that? I've decided that I love covered bridges.
We kept a low profile that night, cooked our own dinner and decided to head out early the next morning for Maine with one goal in mind - find Stephen King's house!
The drive into Maine was lovely, the scenery was so nice with the leaves and everything.

The picture's a little wonky because I took it while we were driving, but you get the idea.
We made it into Bangor, Maine pretty easily and had no problems finding Mr. King's house.

Boom. How awesome is that? Just another house on the street. How could that place not belong to Stephen King? It was so awesome, I was so excited. I like to think that he was inside at the time, and saw us taking pictures outside of his house and was deeply flattered rather than creeped out. People always mention the bats on the gates, which were definitely cool, but I was more taken with this lovely three-headed dragon a bit further down the gate by his driveway...

Awesomeness capacity reached.
Just as we were about to leave his house and head into the Stephen King specialty bookstore down the street, this little black cat came wandering out of his yard.
We reacted appropriately by freaking out. "This is totally his cat!" "What do we do?" I'm sure his neighbours were hating us by this time. She was just the friendliest little cat, we hung out on the sidewalk for a while and petted her until she found something she wanted to chase and we started feeling like complete creepers. We asked the man at the bookstore in town if he had a cat and he told us that "Steve" has dogs, but that that little kitty belongs to a neighbour. Apparently the cat just loves hanging out at his house though and is there all the time, so "Steve" probably feeds it. Close enough for me, we met Stephen King's cat! I was pretty amazed at how the bookstore owner kept calling him Steve too, I really felt like he might walk into the store any minute.
I left the bookstore with my prize, honey bought me a copy of "Danse Macabre" which I've been looking for for years - thanks, babe!
I love being spoiled!
After we left Bangor, we decided to head into Freeport, Maine for some dinner before going back to New Hampshire to our resort for the night. Freeport was a very interesting little town, the home of L.L. Bean! They have super strict zoning bylaws, so nothing is as it seems. For example, here is the local McDonalds...

Awesome. What's better than Colonial-style McDonalds?
For dinner, we went to The Lobster Cooker, just a little place we found in our travel guide. We thought it was a full-on restaurant, but it turned out it was more like a fast-food lobster joint, very weird. Jagger was happy though, because he got his fresh Maine lobster.

Some women like a man in uniform, I like a man in a bib.

I tried a second lobster roll, which wasn't as good as the first, but was still pretty darn awesome!


The next day we decided to try and see as many states as we could. We started off by going into Massachusetts to check out Salem. Our travel guide said that most of the Salem Witch Trial Museums were a little hokey and just wax museum kind of things, so instead we went for a tour of the House of Seven Gables.

This was the inspiration for Nathaniel Hawthorne's "House of Seven Gables". I've never read it, but I picked it up in the gift shop! The tour was fun, but we weren't allowed to take pictures inside the house. It's too bad, because there was an awesome little hidden staircase that we had to take upstairs that was super narrow and scary. One woman totally freaked out and refused to go up it, it was awesome.

The house is right on the Salem harbour, so we were provided with our first view of the Atlantic Ocean...

Prithee do not lean though! It's a good thing they warned us in such an old-timey way!

All in all, Salem was very weird. It's just a super old town with very strange narrow little streets. We saw all we could see and decided we would head into Rhode Island. Denise took us for a drive through Boston, which I thought was mildly harrowing. Instead of taking a normal highway to get from Salem to Boston, she decided to take us through all these crazy suburbs where people make their own rules for driving. Thanks, Denise.

Providence was really, really pretty. I really enjoyed it. It was raining when we got there though, so we mostly just drove around and checked things out a bit before settling in for some dinner at the Providence Oyster Bar.

Jagger had the sockeye salmon...

And I had grilled halibut.

Both meals were amazing. I was so full after, I could swear I could feel my stomach jiggling as we walked down the street. It was a bad day to be wearing my skinny jeans.

On our last fully day in New Hampshire, we decided to ride the Cog Railway up Mount Washington.

That's the Mount Washington Resort, with snowy Mount Washington looming in the background. I took this picture while Denise was directing us to the Cog Railway. Instead, she decided to tell us it was in the middle of nowhere and almost made us miss the train. Funny, Denise.

Happily though, we did make a train and headed up the 140 year old tracks to the summit...

It was a steep trip. It took about an hour to get to the top, but it was totally worth it for the view!

That's my kind of mountain climbing!

The ride back down was just as lovely, but in reverse.

It was a bit of a splurge, but I would definitely recommend taking the train up to the top if you're ever in the area. It was an awesome way to see it. Fun Fact - Mount Washington is home to some of the world's worst weather. The highest wind speeds ever recorded were taken at its summit - 231 mph!
After we left Mount Washington, we decided to just tour around and take in the scenery before we lost the light. While we were there, it would be pitch black by 7:00 p.m., so we figured we would make the most of our time.

It was a really nice way to end the day, just the two of us touring around, stopping to take pictures and just enjoy ourselves.
We figured we had might as well have one last good New England meal, so we went into Conway and had dinner at the 1790 Homestead.

Jagger found another lobster...

And I had the seafood au gratin. Just awesome.
We made the long drive back the next day and came back through Montreal, just for a change. It was an awesome trip, we had such a great time. I definitely recommend honeymoons, it was so nice to have that week to just hang out and relax after all the stress of the wedding.
I hope you've enjoyed our trip! There's lots of pictures from the trip up on my facebook if you're interested!

A Birthday Gift For You!

Hello all, today is my birthday, so in honour of that, I'm giving you all a gift! Here at long last are some wedding pictures and the story of our wedding day.

The day was perfect, we couldn't have asked for better weather. Jagger texted me first thing in the morning to say it was a beautiful day and that he couldn't wait to see me. I was in the unusual predicament of being quite bored on our wedding day - I'd managed to finish everything the day before, so I had no projects, no errands, nothing to do but get ready that day. So, I slept in until 9:30 (prompting my mom to think I'd climbed out the window) which was a huge relief since I hadn't been sleeping the whole week leading up to the wedding - the fact that I was coming down with a cold and had taken a bunch of Nyquil the night before definitely helped! I didn't have bridesmaids, just my sister as my maid of honour, so I didn't have to deal with a bunch of people running around trying to get ready. When my makeup artist arrived at 12:30, she marvelled at how calm things were at my mom's.

Then things started to change.

Around 2:00 p.m., I started getting anxious. I didn't have anything to keep me occupied, and I was starting to sweat a little. Mom set me to work folding laundry to keep my hands busy and I put on my iPod with my running playlist to get my mind focused. Guess what - if you're folding static-y laundry and it touches the cord of your headphones, you get a shock IN YOUR EAR.

Not the best way to get ready for a wedding.

The photographer was supposed to be at my mom's at 3:00, but they hit construction and didn't get there until about 3:30. That's when I really started to lose it.

I put a ban on "The B Word". My sister kept looking at me and saying "Awww, you're such a beautiful bride" and I couldn't handle it. "Please, don't say 'bride'," I begged. The big joke was that they could come up with a different "B Word" to call me.

It started to be a whirlwind when the photographer got there, we got my hair done and she started snapping pictures. That's when I started gagging.

I never thought that would be how I would react to the wedding. My guess was that I would faint, because I have a history of fainting. Instead, as I sat there with my hair in hot rollers, I started getting an uncontrollable urge to gag. My mom made me some ginger tea and I clutched my box of mints like they were going to save my life. As long as I kept sucking my mints, I would be okay.

Then it was 4:00. The ceremony was an hour away. "Do you want to put on your dress now?" My mom asked "No, not yet. Everyone else get dressed first." I didn't end up in my dress until about 4:30. I realized later that I never even looked in a mirror of myself all decked out. I couldn't handle that. We did a few pictures in the yard and got loaded into my mom's van to head to the golf course. She turned the key and somehow the knob for the volume had gotten cranked to 11 and Guns N' Roses started blaring loud enough to make me jump and nearly choke on my mint.

We got to the golf course about 10 minutes late - I was so embarrassed! But, it all went off without a hitch. I started choking up in my vows, but I never spilled a tear - couldn't wreck that makeup!

The party was great, I think everyone had an awesome time, at least I did. I didn't get a chance to eat much of anything and I only had one glass of wine (I'm sure there are lots of people who think I'm pregnant now because of that) but I danced the night away and couldn't have been happier.

My advice for future brides? Freak out when you want to freak out. Everyone tells you how on the day of, the details won't matter any more and that's true. On the day of, the details didn't matter to me - but in the weeks leading up to the wedding, they mattered a lot. My advice is to freak out and get it out when you need to. Also, be a control freak if you are a control freak. I read that advice in a book and it's so true. If you're a control freak, why would you hand over controls to someone else on the biggest planning event of your life? Do what makes you feel comfortable. Also, get someone to make you a plate of food. When we got back to the hotel after, we would have killed for a full meal like the awesome breakfast buffet we missed out on. It's a great idea to put someone in charge of making you a little care package to take with you.

And now, here's some pictures of the big day. Hope you enjoy them!