Thursday, August 27, 2009

One day more

Day three of the honeymoon was our last day in London and again, Jeff wanted to make the most of it. He was adamant about going down to Abbey Road, even though I wasn't crazy about it. It wasn't that I didn't want to go, it just seemed like it would be out of the way, and on top of that, Jeff didn't seem entirely sure where we were going. My feet, at this point, had about a 40 minute life span, seriously, I felt like I was walking on glass, so I didn't want to spend the whole morning walking around.

But I digress. After all, it was Jeff's honeymoon too. As it turns out, it wasn't hard to find at all. Right off the Tube, about a half a mile down the road. We knew we were there because there was a young Spanish couple and an older American man there with cameras. We had to wait our turn and unfortunately, the results weren't that great. Observe.

This second one was taken on our behalf by the young Spanish man. I should have known not to trust him since he had a Yankees shirt on! Oh well, we were there. I swear those two blurry figures are us.

From there we headed down to Buckingham Palace where we realized the changing of the guard would happen soon, so we decided to stick around. It is, apparently, a popular thing to witness.
But I gotta say, not that interesting. They basically have a live band, and I'm sure there's a lot more pageantry that we couldn't see because we were in a bad spot. But the palace itself was awesome.
As you can see, the weather continued to hold out for us! I love this picture of Jeff. From there we walked down the road to Westminster Abbey/Parliament/Big Ben.

These were all definitely must-sees. The architecture is amazing. We had a lot of fun admiring them and taking pictures.

Isn't Parliament amazing? You have to see this before you die. Despite my aching dogs, I took quite a few minutes to admire it, trying to keep the image in my head.

After lunch, Jeff and I were torn on what to do to finish out the day. I mean, we had seen all those huge landmarks before 1 p.m. and we were going that night to see Les Mis. There weren't any more must-sees on our list. But on our way to lunch we passed something called the London Movieum and figured, what the heck? We can kill some time here.

The place was basically set pieces and replicas and costumes from all sorts of movies. We had some fun with pictures.

We went back to the hotel after this to relax for a while. We ordered room service pizza (YUCK YUCK YUCK) for dinner. Don't get pizza in England. It's not a good idea. Then it was off to Les Mis!

I saw the show when I was younger, maybe 12? I remember BAWLING at the end, after we left the building and as we walked back to the car. My mother and I used to go to all the big musicals at PPAC and this one was definitely my favorite. The show originated in London and is the only place that still shows it.

When I first pitched the idea to Jeff, he was less than thrilled. I tried to get him to listen to the music before we left, and he was having none of it.

We got to the Queen's Theater a little before show time and settled into some very good seats for the musical.

What can I say? It was great. I loved it. At intermission, Jeff told me how impressed he was at the production saying, "This is better than when my high school put on 'The Music Man.'" I guess I should have cut him some slack on not being that excited because he had never seen a real professional production of a musical.

I managed to keep back my tears this time and I was surprised how much Jeff enjoyed it.

He still calls it the highlight of the trip. A few days after we got home he IMed me this:

Jeff: im not gonna lie to you... i AM listening to the les miserables soundtrack and i DID want to invade my neighbor's cubicle when One Day More came on
Love it. :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Oompa, loompa

Since Day 1 of the honeymoon was a semi-bust, you know Jeff had me up at the crack of dawn for Day 2.

The plan was to go to London Tower. Sounded like a good plan to me, though I had no idea what London Tower was. I should point out here that I've never been out of the country, not even to Canada or Mexico, so the idea that you could roll out of a train station, go down a busy metropolitan street and then, oh 'ello, there's a castle was pretty striking to me.

We got there right as the place was opening, which turned out to be pretty smart as the attraction was bombed as we were leaving. We went to see a lot of castles/palaces on our trip and London Tower definitely had that "first-ever" appeal. What's sort of disappointing about places like this though is that it looks absolutely brilliant from the outside. But on the inside they put up wood paneling in every room and paint the walls white or install modern video screens and it sort of takes you out of it. I don't know what I'm expecting? Actual artifacts, furniture, people? I don't know. But the Tower had a great view of the... Tower Bridge. (This may be well known, but Tower Bridge kicks London Bridge's butt. London Bridge is literally a bridge you could see just about anywhere. Just FYI if you ever go there and never knew that.)

For some reason they had all these metal soldier thingies around the castle, so Jeff and I made use of our fondness for taking silly pictures. 

Shakespeare in two acts, wouldn't you say?

They also had some costume stuff you could play with. Of course I included this picture because of how cute Jeff is.

White Tower, circa 1080 was filled with a three-floor exhibit circa 2020. It was cool, all about King Henry VIII. Of all the history we learned in our tour of the UK, King Henry was definitely the historical figure mentioned the most.

London Tower was the first stop on something we found in our London guidebook (thanks Katie!) called the "Millennium Mile" (I think). Of course, I had already walked what felt like several miles already in the morning and my feet were killing me. Is there anything worse than sightseeing for your feet? Ugh, I wish to God I had bought some insoles, I was dying.

Anywhoo... we walked across London Bridge and found a place to eat lunch. 

UK honeymoon discovery #4: At most restaurants in the UK that we ate at, you ordered from the bar. These were regular restaurants, not pubs. Also, every table in London had hooks underneath where signs on the table recommended you hang your purse there, lest it get stolen. Also, the UK is a nightmare for soda lovers. They give you half a can's worth with every order .... and no free refills. Poor Jeff.

After lunch we walked over to Shakespeare's Globe. Now, I'll throw this out there for the sake of the story, despite the fact it makes me sound silly, but I had no idea this wasn't the real deal. No idea it was torn down like 300 years ago. Otherwise I would not have paid an admission fee to tour a replica.

After we were done there, we walked across the Millennium bridge back to the Tube and went back to the hotel. We had dinner at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay at 6:30 p.m.

We arrived at Ramsay's at about 5:45. It's weird, it's so small, in a regular neighborhood. We walked right past it and didn't realize it was there. Jeff was too embarrassed to go in early, but I finally convinced him to make a break for the door around 6, thinking they'd let us sit in the bar. Well, no. They didn't actually open until 6:30 and the waiter at the door sheepishly told us we'd have to come back. Jeff was mortified, of course I didn't really care. We walked around the block a few times, saw two women come around the corner, stop, take off their shoes, pull new shoes out of their bags, put those on and walk towards Ramsays. I tell you this because I did the exact same thing. Too funny!

(Outside the restaurant)

We got inside, they took my jacket and we got a look at the place. It was not what I was expecting at all. The dining room was intimate, there were maybe 10 tables? There were some other patrons inside already, so we felt a little more at ease. 

Now at Ramsay's, they had a waiter for everything. A waiter for bread, a waiter for water, a waiter for wine, a waiter who brought out the tray so the other waiter could explain to you what was on it. There was more wait staff than there were people in the restaurant. And they were all so friendly and understanding of our questions, confusions and general out-of-placements. I love when people in upscale places are nice to you when you clearly are out of your league -- makes me feel like Pretty Woman. (Big mistake! HUGE!)

I digress.

First came the canapes. One was a sweet potato crisp sandwich stuffed with mozzarella and pesto. The other was a pastry cone filled with avocado and lobster. The second was delicious, Jeff loved it! (I should mention at this point three things, not related. 1. I had intended to take pictures of the food, but once I got in, that clearly would have been too embarrassing to handle. 2. Jeff is picky. 3. This was an absolute splurge for us and in no way could we actually afford it. C'est la vie!)

Then came the amouse bouche. Cold tomato consumme soup with a baby shrimp and caviar. Not my favorite. Probably because I love my soups hot.

Finally we got to, you know, order something. We decided we'd each have the three course menu. I had the lobster ravioli and beef filet and Jeff had the scallops and duck. Here are the food descriptions for these items.

Ravioli of lobster, 
langoustine and salmon poached in a light bisque 
with a lemongrass and chervil velouté

Pan-fried sea scallops from the Isle of Skye 
with peas, crispy bacon, 
quail’s eggs and baby gem lettuce

Aged Casterbridge beef fillet 
with fondant potato, fricassée of broad beans, 
courgettes and confit cherry vine tomatoes

Roasted Barbary duck breast 
with creamed savoy cabbage, beetroot, 
caramelised shallots and Madeira jus 

Ohmygod. The lobster ravioli was amazing. It was actually just one large ravioli, STUFFED with just delicate lobster chunks. The sauce it came with was unreal, I feel like I can still taste it, it was that good. I sopped it up with one of the FOUR pieces of bread I had.

Jeff's sea scallops were just as good. Jeff doesn't like fish, so the scallop was actually a compromise for him, as the appetizers only revolved around fish or fois gras, so I guess fish was the lesser of two evils. For him, it was just OK. For me, his scallops were the best scallops I've ever had. Yum yum yum!!!

Next came our entrees. I have to say my beef filet was not the best steak I've ever had, still very good though. However, it came with a chunk of potato that I can't even describe. It tasted like a roasted potato, as in, one that would be in a pot, infused with gravy. That sounds pedestrian, but it was just sooooo good! It came with a bit of bone marrow -- interesting! and slimy. The two tomatoes came with it ruined me for the rest of my life on tomatoes. They were that good.

I didn't get much of a taste of Jeff's duck but he was pleased with it.

Not as pleased as he was with the pre-dessert though. Or should I say, dessert 1 of 12. 

First up was the freebie "pre-dessert." It was a champagne and strawberry smoothie, topped with vanilla creme, served in a champagne glass with a glass straw. Oh, and it had pop rocks in it. I kid you not. It was amazing.

(I'll interject here and say I had two glasses of wine and Jeff had two beers for our drinks. We also had two bottles of water. I made myself drink both bottles because we had to pay for them, natch.)

Then came our ordered dessert. Now, with the three course menu you ordered an appetizer, entree and dessert, obviously. The dessert, for most, was one item. But Jeff and I went with the "dessert for two" which was no more expensive but contained the following items.

Fruit bowl with pineapple ravioli.
Apple fritter.
Chocolate mousse in chocolate casing.
Some sort of lime sorbet with a crispy pastry shell.
Vanilla creme brulee.

The waiter came out and laid this all on the table. Then he said, "When you're finished with this, I'll bring out the rest of it."

Our mouths dropped. We snickered "Suckers!" to those who had not ordered the dessert for two.

 Ooook, let's get to work then.

Clearly, we demolished it all. Jeff loved the lime sorbet, and I was of course partial to the chocolate mouse. The creme brulee was good and the apple fritter was OK. The fruit bowl was a nice fresh treat.

OK done with that. What could possibly still be to come? Mind you, we had no idea what the "dessert for two" included, there was no description on the menu, so we were sort of in the hands of the chef.

Out came a cherry souffle and two spoonfuls of chocolate ice cream. Oh my. Definitely the highlight, for me, of dessert. The souffle was amazing, not overly fruity and Jeff said the ice cream tasted like pure chocolate -- it was his favorite part.

At this point, clearly, I was absolutely stuffed. 

But it wasn't over. Out came the freebie "post desserts." Chocolate truffles dusted with silver powder and presented on a tree-like wire thing, turkish delight (which I don't care for) and a container of white chocolate strawberry ice cream, on dry ice, which made quite the specticle when it came out. 

We somehow finished it. Then I couldn't help but think of the fuss I'd been making all night to the waiters, how it was our HONEYMOON, how we had gotten ENGAGED at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant in NYC. So I knew there'd be something still to come.

There was. A tiny scoop of strawberry sorbet with a candle. I could barely eat it but Jeff LOVED it. 

It was at this point I felt comfortable enough with our friendly French waiter to ask him for a picture. He kindly obliged.

Overall, a truly amazing dining experience and one of the most memorable nights of my life. Dinner lasted a leisurely but packed two and a half hours and I'll be real with you: it cost us just a shade under $400. But it was our honeymoon right??

We left the restaurant full, but not sick and took a slow walk back to the Tube on an absolutely beautiful night. 

Saturday, August 22, 2009


The plane ride over to London was somewhat significant if for no other reason than I'd obsessed over it for months. Nevermind my fear of flying, although that was part of it. Since it was a 7 p.m. flight that was six hours long and landed at 7 a.m., I knew I had to, had to sleep on the plane ride over or risk being sleep deprived, groggy and grumpy the whole trip. And no one wanted that.

But despite taking enough Lorazapem and dramamine to take down a small horse, our seats were so uncomfortable that neither Jeff or I slept a wink. We had a two-seat row, which normally would be great -- but for some reason the window seat was about a foot and a half away from the wall of the plane, meaning there was nothing for us to lean on but each other. I found momentary comfort by putting my legs on top of Jeff until my leg fell so fast asleep I limped around the plane for 15 minutes like Leapin' Larry.

The flight was otherwise uneventful and we landed on time at London's Heathrow airport. We managed to find the Tube and get an Oyster card with relative ease and settled in for an hour ride to the hotel. (I actually fell asleep on the train, which has to be a first.)

When we got to the hotel I was hoping and praying that we would be allowed to check in and we could get a few hours of sleep. No dice. They let us stow our bags but, being that it was about 10 a.m., we'd have to wander around London like zombies and come back at two. Which is basically what we did.

We found a place called Pret A Manger which is a chain along the lines of a Panera and was where we ate breakfast every day we were in London. The food I got was just OK, but Jeff found some tomato mozzarella croissant thing that he couldn't get enough of.

UK honeymoon discovery #1: In England, you only get charged VAT (value added tax) if you eat in at a restaurant. If you take it to go, you don't get charged. Thusly, on every item of food there were two prices listed. Took me until day 3 to figure it out though.

UK honeymoon discovery #2: The British are world's better for asking for your ID when you use a debit card with no signature than Americans. 

After breakfast, we sort of wandered around for a bit. For me, a trip to London was a chance to experience another culture (I know, vastly different). For Jeff, it was a chance to see a bunch of specific "sights." So the wandering wasn't working for him. In walking distance of our hotel wasn't much, but we walked down to Madame Tussaud's only to see a line about 3 blocks long. No thanks. 

Feeling frustrated, we jumped on the Tube and made our way down to Piccadilly Circus, which is sort of like the Times Square of London, but not as big as NY. Close to Piccadilly Circus is Trafalgar Square, which I recognized, so we wandered down there. It is, in fact, not a particularly interesting place to be. We walked down a little more, into a public garden, and determined we could PROBABLY walk down to Big Ben but at that point it was close to 2 and I had had enough. I couldn't walk anymore. 

Trafalgar square.

We still managed to smile cute on no sleep.

We got back to the hotel a little after 1 and thankfully they let us check in. We dropped dead from about 2 to 5 p.m. and I felt positively refreshed when I woke up, despite the lack of sleep. Bummed that we sort of wasted so much of our day, I suggested we hit up Harrod's, giving us a chance to hit a landmark that can be appreciated at night.

Jeff had never heard of Harrod's and me selling it as a "big department store" didn't really elicit excitement from my husband who hates to shop. But that's such a mellow way to describe it. It's absolutely amazing and completely overwhelming. It's five floors, each floor separated into wings or rooms selling one specific thing. For example, there's a fine china room, there's a room just for clothing for pets, there's a toy section and in it there's a soft toy room, a hard toy room, an electronics room, etc. etc. And it's all high end stuff that we could never afford but was fun to look at. 

Also inside they had a marketplace that was like the world's nicest foodcourt. They had a whole room for chocolates. They had several restaurants. We chose a tapas place on the ground floor. The food was OK. Definitely not our best meal.

After dinner we wandered around a little bit longer. We found a Bob Dylan art exhibit, which Jeff was pretty stoked about.

He was also pretty stoked about the giant gorilla in the soft toy room.

Harrod's is owned by the Fayed family, as in the Dodi Fayed who died with Princess Diana. We found this totally tasteful tribute to the fallen stars.

We got some gelato at the 'food court' and sat outside to eat it. It was a beautiful night, perfect temperature. The weather in London was not as bad as advertised. We headed back to the hotel to get a much needed night of sleep.

UK honeymoon discovery No. 3: Every single night in the UK, a new episode of Big Brother was on in primetime. They have news shows entirely dedicated to the show. It's sort of unreal how much primetime airtime is devoted to the show which is actually pretty boring. Jeff got sick of it pretty fast, but it was really the only thing on....

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Epic nights and days

Later that night at the hotel....

Uh, no, not that. You think I'm going to blog about that?!?

I will tell you that when Jeff and I got back to the hotel, we were exhausted, sweaty and very, very happy. Since we hadn't really had any alone time all day, we talked about everything that happened. Well, I talked, Jeff whispered -- his voice was beyond shot. I had him recite his vows again, and it was awesome to hear them. 

Then came the thing every couple does on their wedding night... opens up all their gifts!

Of course, you don't get married to get gifts. But it is an overwhelmingly happy feeling when you open cards and gifts from your loved ones that are beyond generous and we are so so appreciative (Thank you cards coming -- we special ordered them, but as soon as we get them, we'll be writing like maniacs!)

Most things were monetary or off our registry but we got two "different" gifts that we loved: First, a handmade cutting board from my college friend Stephanie and her husband Adam. Very awesome and sweet. 

Second ... a little backstory here: My best friend Andrew called me a few weeks before the wedding to ask me what he should get us. Oh, Drew. He was as much asking because he didn't know I couldn't TELL HIM what to buy me and because he didn't really know what a person is supposed to buy for a wedding. Knowing his struggling artist status (not for long -- check out for a new song!!) I of course told him not to worry about it, his presence, and performance at our ceremony was truly enough.

Naturally I wasn't surprised when we opened his gift that night and saw what he got us: movie tickets. How perfect! Jeff and I love movies, it's our favorite date night. It's as good as cash, or better for us. That wasn't all. Andrew and I have a history of writing epic cards/letters/e-mails/IM conversations/phone calls/yearbook entries to each other. Of course, he didn't let me down on his wedding card, which was about five pages long. I read it outloud to Jeff, and was bawling by the end. I hope he doesn't mind if I share a little bit of it here!!

He basically had written out what he would have said had he given a speech at the wedding, but ended the letter with this:

And just earlier that day, when Emily told me about being involved in the wedding, she was on the phone with my girlfriend trying to convince her to ditch her friends and come celebrate the 4th of July with our friends. We weren't sure if we could make it, but Em wouldn't take no for an answer. After I got off the phone I asked Jackie is Emily was pushy, because she can kind of be demanding sometimes. She always makes plans ahead of time and sticks to them. Which is the complete opposite of Jackie and I. So Jackie asks me, "If you guys are so different, how are you friends?" Ya know, that's a good question.

I don't have the answer. I just know that I'm thankful for our friendship and I'm confident it will stand strong for many years to come, as I know your marriage will, and your commitment to each other. As someone who cares deeply about your happiness, Emily, I'm thankful you and Jeff found each other. Congratulations. May you have a lifetime of love together. You deserve each other.
I'm sure it wasn't Andrew's intention to leave me crying on my wedding night, but what can I say? I'm so thankful for his friendship, for all my friends, for the intense network of support I have that only grew stronger on my wedding day.

The morning after our wedding, my mother hosted a brunch across the street from the hotel for her family, the wedding party and anyone who came from out of town and stayed in Newport. I was thankful for the extra few moments with those who came to see me. And the breakfast was great too!

It was especially awesome as we were able to snap a few epic pictures. You see, it was the first time in seven or so years that my entire mother's side of the family was together. 

Here we are. My grandfather is in the middle... his three children to your left, and his grandchildren (5 of us) and his great grandchildren (three... with one on the way via my cousin Lisa) and all the spouses! I definitely treasure this picture and was happy my wedding could be the setting for it.

After the brunch we all said goodbye and my friend Meg and her husband Troy drove us back up to Boston. It was fun to be with them the day after because they too were recently married and knew the ins and outs and stresses and everything so it was great to talk to them. When we got to their apartment, Troy showed me some of the fabulous photos he snapped of our day, our first real pictures, which were amazing and you can see them here. Thanks Troy!

Meg drove us to the airport a few hours later where we were going to catch our flight to London. 

Are you ready to hear about the honeymoon?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Just dance

(Outside our venue)

The truth is, if I didn't have so many fabulous pictures to tell this story, I would have probably said less. 

So I'll let the pictures tell the story about my reception, and I'll pop in to tell you my memories. The fact is my reception was like most, I'm sure. Dinner, dancing, etc. etc. Some things went wrong (my entire reception rushed the ice cream bar, thusly not dancing for over an hour), but these pictures don't tell that story. In fact, these pictures show me that people WERE having fun -- something I needed to be convinced of after the fact.

Without further ado...

I love this candid shot of Jeff. His redness exacerbated by the pink walls, he just looks so happy no?

These seven friends, and one husband, are the non-family people who know me better than anyone in the world. Everything you need to know about me, you could learn from one of these people. Three of them I've known since elementary school, one from middle, two from high school and my college roommate. I'm beyond lucky.

I'm not sure if this shot was candid, or staged, but I like to think it was spontaneous. These are Jeff's parents, married for 37 years. They are truly a perfect pair, one of those "I know what you're thinking without you having to say a word" couples who work in such harmony with each other it's so comforting to watch. They're like peanut butter and jelly. :)

My cousins Sarah and Katie, with their dad. These three really got the party started!

This is my cousin Tracie and her husband Kevin, who flew all the way from Hawaii to be with us on our wedding day. Obviously, that meant a tremendous amount to me. I remember when these two got married -- in fact, I was their flower girl. They are also a huge inspiration to me -- married for 16 or 17 years they still have the same dynamic with each other that they did when I was hiding under a picnic table watching them canoodle when I was nine. They have such a great sense of humor and while in many ways I'd consider them opposites -- she was a little bit of a wild child (it's true!) and he's in the Navy -- they work perfect together. And I love this picture.
I don't think I need to tell you why I love this pic :)

Jeff and I have no recollection of what song was playing during this pic. But this is one of Jeff's classic dance faces, and I luvs.

And, to be fair, here's one of mine.

My friend Grimey said he'd never seen a dance circle in real life before our wedding, he thought they were for "Britney Spears videos and dance movies." Oh no, my friends and I have a long-standing relationship with the dance circle. Exhibit A (above): Andrew.

Exhibit B: Pat. 

Ohmygosh, how I wish you could see this picture bigger. This is probably my favorite picture in the whole bunch. This is such a classic. Ryan and Sarah. You guys are awesome.

At the end of the night, my best guy friends gathered up all the rose petals off the tables and threw them over me. Apparently they looped the photog in so she could get this picture.

We don't stop at dance circles. We also conga.

And then it was the last song and last kiss of the night. We said our goodbyes and everyone went home. 

And it was over. And it was just beginning.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Party time

I know, I have not been brief, but I'll try to be now.

So, we're married.

After walking down the aisle as husband and wife,  Jeff and I take a minute to ourselves behind the bumper boat tent (don't ask.) I thought we were alone, but we weren't, and it's a good thing as this is my favorite series of photos in the whole bunch.

Happy and relieved, that pretty much sums it up right?

After we had a couple of hugs of congratulations, the wedding party headed down to the beach to take some pictures. It's funny that it appears like the pictures were effortless and caught in the moment, but in reality they took several minutes to set up, and were held for several minutes on top of that. Especially this one:

The result is funny and cool, and I'll always remember how we laughed trying to set this up. I don't want to load up this blog with a bunch of pro pics which you can all see here and here. Needless to say I'm thrilled with them, although at the time I was ready to hurry up to see everyone at the party!

We finally made it up there at the tail end of the cocktail hour, in time to snap a few pics on the carousel. Finally it was time for introductions and our first dance.

Our bridal party planned on doing fun introductions, but I guess they were rushed because the dance floor was all the way around the room, but I would have missed them anyway.

Our first dance was to Joshua Radin's acoustic version of "Only You."

It was great.

Then came the speeches, probably my favorite part of the reception. The order was my maid of honor, Katie, our best man Steve and my best friend Justin. I plan to try and post the video of the speeches when I get back our DVD, if that's possible, because I hardly remember then except to remember they were awesome. 

Katie actually left her speech at my table, so I can give you a little excerpt here:

She started by introducing herself and then said:

I met Emily in September of 1995. In June 1997, Emily wrote the following in my Hugh B. Bain middle school yearbook:

"Katie, well, we've had some difficult times. We've had a lot of fun but we've also annoyed each other a lot. But, we have all next year to make up for the fights. All best friends fight. You are my best friend and will be for a long time. Can't wait for Emerald Encore! Love, Emily."

--skipping ahead--

Emster, Emmy, Em, my homie made of foamie... I am completely happy for you and Jeff. I have been continually impressed with the way Jeff treats you and how committed you are to creating a life together. You are both very deserving of each other's companionship, care, commitment, honesty, humor and love. 

When we were on one our bridesmaids planning adventures, Emily said about Jeff, "He's all I need."

I hope you continue needing each other for as long as you both live.
Isn't that so sweet? I loved it, especially her grabbing out of our yearbook. That totally sounds like something I'd have said back then. I clearly hadn't grasped what it meant to be a good friend to someone. I'm glad Katie stuck by me while I figured it out.

Steve and Justin's speeches were both great, teasing us for our sports loving ways, Jeff's Yankee love, my bad haircuts and dorky band geek ways, and loads of other things I can't wait to listen to again. 

This was pretty much my face during all of the speeches. It's sort of an "awwww, shucks" face.

What truly great friends I have. 

OK, tomorrow, I'll wrap up the reception!!