Jeff and I spent some time in Spain over the spring and I am just getting around to sharing some of the images. We traveled to four cities sampling food and wine and visiting several art museums and just experiencing the culture. I can say that we had some great wine, saw some incredible art and architecture and I feel that we did get a really good sense of the culture. We stumbled our way through communicating with the locals and proudly made it through the whole trip with our best recollections of the spanish language. Spain wasn't exactly a vegetarian's paradise so I ate many a cheese sandwich and was more than happy to return to NYC's restaurant scene and even my teeny-tiny, local supermarket.
We began our trip in Barcelona and stayed at a cute little hotel right off Las Ramblas. We spent a lot of time just walking the city, eating and drinking. We also visited Park Guell, which was originally designed as a private housing development by Antonio Gaudi. Barcelona was brimming with his art and architecture and we also visited two apartment complexes which he designed. His work is unmistakably unique. From the park to the apartments to the church he designed, la Sagrada Familia, his work is unlike anything we had ever seen. It was quite overwhelming and the Barcelona art scene really seems centered around him and his work.
(The churros here were the best of the trip!)
Our next stop was Granada, which was obviously much smaller and different than Barcelona. The main attraction in Granada is the Alhambra, an enormous, ancient Moorish palace. We were not able to get into the Alhambra for a tour during the day. The demand for tickets is extremely high and if you want to visit the palace, it would be wise to buy your tickets months in advance. We did however tour the gardens in the evening so we got a very small glimpse of the palace from the outside. We also took a bit of a walk/hike to a vista point where we could see the whole palace over the city of Granada. Jeff had done a great job scoping out restaurants in Granada and a few of the places he found were really ecxellent (see menus below). Overall, Granada was a charming city and I really enjoyed the time we spent there.
Jeff and I were lucky enough to spend 3 weeks in Thailand after our wedding in March. While we know several people who have been to Thailand, we also had a lot of people who asked us how we chose Thailand. Because we got married "off-season" in March, we were limited in places we could go that would be warm. I knew I wanted to spend time at the beach and Jeff knew he wanted to explore more of whichever country we chose. Because of the timing of our honeymoon, we decided on South America or Asia for their ideal weather. Thailand seemed to offer the perfect balance of beautiful beaches and countryside and seemed like a great fit for us.
There were basically three segments to our trip. Koh Phi Phi Island was our first stop. I knew that once the wedding was over, I wanted to relax for awhile so we planned to go straight to the beach. We stayed at a beautiful resort called Phi Phi Island Village. We had our own private hut and an absolutely beautiful and surprisingly private beach! There were several other people in the village but every morning we seemed to be the only people on the beach. It was amazing and beautiful and romantic. The perfect location for the first week of married life.
We took a picture of just about every meal we ate, note the papaya salad below. Thailand food is, in a word, spicy. I think I was sweating after every meal I ate but it was so worth it. The curries were incredibly delicious. You can also see Jeff sitting on the porch of our hut and our first glimpse of the island as were coming in by boat.
There was a small village behind ours with a few restaurants and conveniences stores and lots of cute kids playing and riding their bikes all day.
This is the village of Tonsai which was on the other side of the island. We could get here by boat in about 30 minutes. It was crawling with tourists so didn't exactly offer the quiet getaway we had come for, but it was nice to go for the day and see what it had to offer and people watch. We had some great food here and really appreciated the tranquility of our little hut when we got back.
We spent one day on a private boat exploring the surrounding islands. We went to Maya Bay which is the beach where "The Beach" was filmed. It was the most stunning beach we had ever seen. The sand was like fine powder and because it has been turned into a national park, it is uninhabited and in pristine condition. We had the opportunity to snorkel here too which was pretty incredible (for the five minutes we lasted in the water). Neither Jeff nor I are big on water sports or, water in general so I think we both enjoyed the tour around the islands from the boat or the sand.
Next up, Koh Samui...
I celebrated my 27th birthday on Thursday and was gifted with this delicious cupcake by a dear friend who knows me too well. (Banana with butter cream icing mmmm). Really, the best thing about having a birthday is eating cake and ice cream (and in my opinion, PIZZA). My husband brought home a pint of my favorite, chunky monkey and unfortunately, we fell asleep before I even got the chance to taste it. I did however get the chance to eat this cupcake so my birthday was not cake-less.
My girls whisked me back to NYC after the beautiful shower in PA. This was a surprise so I was so excited to be going home and OUT with my best friends. Some of them haven't been to New York in over a decade so it was especially exciting to go out with them!
The night started off in the hotel room where the girls had "decorated nicely". My favorite cupcakes awaited me from Sugar Sweet Sunshine, the absolute best cupcake bakery in the city hands down. We had champagne there for awhile and then ventured out into the city for dinner at a place called Bhatti. Indian is by far my favorite cuisine and this was a new place in Curry Hill that I hadn't been to. Dinner was so much fun and after a few bottles of wine there, we went to a champagne bar which was my favorite spot of the night. I wish I could remember the name :( We ended the night with some dancing on the Lower East Side but there won't be many pictures from there :)
Thank you so much to my amazing friends for such a wonderful day and evening!
A few weeks ago, my bridesmaids and family threw me the most beautiful bridal shower I have ever experienced. I haven't been to many but I can safely say that no detail went unplanned for and the day could not have been more perfectly planned and executed. The girls did such a good job coordinating (some of them had never met until the day of) and keeping everything a surprise that by the time the day of the shower came, I was going crazy with anticipation. I had been trying to decode all of the secret phone calls my mom was taking and trying to get information out of my tight-lipped bridesmaids. In the end, I'm glad everything was a surprise. It made it that much more special.
First check out the CAKE. This was the most amazing cake I have ever seen. It was a big shoe box with a beautiful icing and rhinestone shoe on top. I couldn't get enough of it.
They chose to have the shower at the 1803 House which is actually a museum in our town. They rarely open it up for events and this was the very first bridal shower they ever hosted. As you can see from the photo, it is a beautiful old stone house and it was the perfect location for the occasion. The girls organized a brunch which I thought was a great and unique idea. Everyone made quiches and brought muffins, salads, fruit, potatoes, and LOTS of other stuff. There was SO much food (note the chocolate covered strawberries made by my Uncle Jim!). The favors were those adorable wedding cake shortbread cookies. They were not only beautiful but incredibly delicious. Thanks to Amylooz for supplying the favors! Check her out, she can ship anywhere! I had wanted to use these cookies for wedding favors, can I still do that? I thought we could do a New York taxi or something to bring a little taste of home to Pennsylvania.
The gold handbag above was a gift that my mom passed down to me to use for my wedding. She always carried it on special occasions and I've always loved it. It was a very special gift :)
Thanks to my girls for most of these pics! Bachelorette party pics to come...