28 November 2009

Our First Married Thanksgiving

We had a lovely Thanksgiving at the Bell's house this year. It was my first Thanksgiving away from my parents and my first with my new family! We made some pumpkin soup the night before to share with the Bells and Rufus reaped the benefits. Doggie-ball loves his pumpkin.


He loves pumpkin so much he danced for it. Literally. It was so funny to watch him that we had to shoot a video of it. He could be a circus dog!

On Thanksgiving day, Jason and I went for our annual Turkey Trot. Usually this is an outing for my family but this time it was just me and Jason so we decided to bring Rufus along too! Here are my main men as the race began.


We enjoyed our trot although it was a little sad without our family walking with us! It was super foggy but the weather was nice and the rain held out until we were done. Here we are after the trot. Our first family (non-wedding) photo!


It was a really great first Thanksgiving as a married couple - we have so much to be thankful for!!!

15 November 2009

Aruba Ariba!

For the honeymoon it was off to Aruba for two whole weeks, though for a time we thought I might be going to Argentina while she was going to Aruba, thanks to US Airways who don't even fly to Argentina yet! Our flight was an early one and we caught a cab to Dulles at 4:15 in the morning, first thing forgotten for our trip...my wedding ring, oh man did I feel bad, and didn't hear the end of it for a few days. A hop, skip, and a jump later we arrived to Aruba right about hotel check in time. Our taxi driver went about 100 mph down back streets and main roads, swerving through signs Kaitlyn and I couldn't even begin to figure out what they meant, I guess we both need to brush up on our "International Traffic Signs." I will say though that even I thought the drivers there were a bit nuts and I tend to not be very shocked by how people drive. In very short order we arrived at the lovely Divi Village, one of the hotels in the low rise area, and also at the area called Eagle Beach. Big thanks again to Aunt Rita and Jim :)


The beach here was pretty calm and empty, not a lot of shade, at least not close to the water where we wanted to be. We decided not to do the all-inclusive for our first week as we didn't want to eat/drink everything for two weeks or risk coming back 20 lbs heavier.


The one thing Aruba is missing from other tropical islands is fresh fruit. We went to the grocery store to take care of most of our breakfast, lunch, a few dinners, and possible snack needs. Most of the fruit we bought was from America, sad but hey it's a desert island. We went into town one day to shop around and try and find gifts to bring back, however being in town you really miss all the Aruba wind that is constant everywhere else and it's pretty dang hot. We ducked out of the sun to have lunch at a little Indian restaurant that was pretty good and brought home a good helping of leftovers for another meal.


One of the nights while we were at the Divi we went to have dinner at their nicest restaurant, Window's, they were boasting that they had the best steak and fish on the island. Kaitlyn didn't think about that until after she had ordered that she should have gotten the fish, but she was more than happy with her meal, just look at how excited she was over her left overs. I had a steak which was excellent, we should have taken pictures the presentation was great. All in all it was a great dinner and a decently good view as it sat on top of the golf club and had huge window walls, however we didn't get the best view which was towards the ocean and on the other side of the restuarant. They had some pretty neat artwork, and we had to capture a picture of this chandelier as we were heading out.


The first few days of being on our honeymoon we were so exhausted from everything we both napped, which we never do, but after a few days we had more energy and decided to do a full day jeep tour to see the island. Again crazy drivers in Aruba, this time with huge pot holes all over the north side of the island where it's all just dirt roads.

Our tour guide was great and he filled us in at all the stops we made, the ride was rough, I was popping about two feet out of my seat most of the time and that was buckled in! We toured the entire island, it's not super big so it can be done pretty easily. We went to the lighthouse which is named for a wreck right off of the point of the island. We also went to the old Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins.



We went to an ostrich farm and a natural bridge which had collapsed but there was another smaller one right near it. Here is a pretty picture of what a lot of the "wilderness" of Aruba looks like.


We went to a natural pool, which was filled with fish and snorkeled for a bit, it was basically a ring of rock with one small area that the waves actually made it over so it was protected from everything and filled with a number of fish and apparently an eel at some point but we didn't see him. We went to some bat caves and went under the windmills they are setting up. I never realized how big they were, pictures just don't do them justice.


Then we headed to baby beach which was a very nice snorkeling spot. At first when we got in the water was sooo cloudy and you could only see these silver kind of fish and all you could see was the outline of their fins and such, it was cool but kinda eerie as they would circle you. We got a bit further out and the water became crystal clear and about 100 fish greeted us. Kaitlyn screamed because they were so close she was touching them as she swam, you knew when ever a girl got to that point because you'd hear the muffled underwater scream. We stayed there for a bit and snorkeled then headed back tired and dirty from all the dust on the back roads to rest up before dinner. Here we are on the jeep.


Speaking of fish, all over the north part of the island there was stacked rocks. It started as the fishermen just marking a spot where they caught a lot, but soon tourists were doing it, and they are just hundreds of them everywhere. Nearby, we went to the Alto Vista Chapel, a small but beautiful place right off of the water.


The second week we stayed at the Occidental, which was was in the high rise hotel area of the island. Very different surroundings and beach but we still had a good time. This week was all-inclusive and we had our fill, we tried all the specialty restaurants and had a buffet for breakfast and lunch almost everyday, Kaitlyn had french toast every morning for a week lol. The beach was a good bit more crowded and we had to get up by 8 to get a spot/towels/rafts, but it was a nice time and we got a lot of relaxing in.


We didn't do a whole lot at the second place but lay on the beach, or get our rafts and lay in the water, but we both had a great time, read a good bit, and just plain relaxed which you just can't do back here and when you have to work everyday. We did a snorkeling trip the second day at the new place that was included in the package I got through Costco, Kaitlyn found a sea turtle at one of the German wrecks and swam around to watch it for most of the time. The rest of the week we spent on the beach soaking up the sun and the free drinks. I caught this cutie coming out of the water with her raft and she looked like she was having one heck of a good vacation.


Side note by Kaitlyn: Don't judge the bathing suit. I am fully aware that it's hideous and ill-fitting but it was only $12!

All in all we have a great time, neither of us wanted to come home that last day, we missed our dog a ton but at the same time we didn't want to come home and work, but who does? Heck we started planning our next trip while the second week was ending. Next stop...Alaska!


11 November 2009

Favorite Wedding Moments

Writing this entry is a little intimidating because I feel like I can't quite capture the awesomeness that was our wedding day. It was amazing. Absolutely amazing. The love that surrounded us was like nothing I've ever experienced before.

Some of my favorite moments were the most unexpected moments that were full of such emotion and love:

Waking up in the dark before the sun came up and walking out of my hotel room to see Allison and my dad had just left their room and were coming down the hall toward me. My parents, the ones that have supported me all my life, they were right there the second I began my day to support me again. The closeness I felt to my parents that whole weekend and since then has been incredible and I couldn't be more thankful for it.

Allison putting my earrings in my ears to relive memories of her wedding. Reading the note that Jason wrote to me to read before the ceremony. Knowing that he was reading mine and learning of my last gift to him before marriage - that I had decided to take his last name. The stories and jokes that my bridesmaids and parents told me to calm my nerves right before the ceremony. Laughing while walking down the aisle with my parents. Seeing Jason waiting at the end of the aisle, beaming. Freezing during the ceremony but feeling warmth from holding Jason's hands - enough warmth to keep me from shivering. Listening to Mr. Paul speak and seeing only Jason. The wall my uncle, dad, and grandpa made around me and Jason as we lit the unity candle so that the wind would be less of an issue. My dad's toast. The Corays gathering around me to sing "K-K-K-Kaity" - a song they sang to me while growing up. The bottom of my dress at the end of the day - brown and ripped - the only way it should have been. Anything other than that and I wouldn't have felt I lived the day to the fullest.

Seeing everyone out and being the absolute last ones to leave the venue after the wedding. Getting in the car and hearing the quiet of just the two of us together, alone. Recalling the day, our wedding day, in awe. Watching the sunset together as we drove away to the bed and breakfast we stayed at that night.

Laughing and smiling instead of crying the entire day.

Thank you to all of our friends and family. The love and support that surrounded us made our day so special to us. It means the world to us.

P.S. Jason and I (well, let's be serious, mostly me) will continue to write in this blog. I'm not letting it die now that the wedding is over! Next up: a honeymoon entry!