Oct 132014
 

(You can read Part 1 and Part 2 here.)

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Again I want to commend Grand Cru Catering. The food was absolutely amazing. I got nothing but compliments from everyone. Dinner:

Slow Roasted Beef Shoulder Tender with Chimichurri Sauce

Cedar Planked Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon with Walla Walla Sweet Onion and Tomato Relish

Basmati Rice Pilaf with Orange, Saffron and Pistachios

Grilled and Marinated Vegetable Display (grilled, raw and pickled veggies)

Romaine, Baby Spinach and Rogue River Blue Salad, Toasted Hazelnuts, Apple and Honey-Sherry Vinaigrette

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The salad was so amazing! My favorite thing I think. Everything was so good too.

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I should have eaten a little bit more than I did because one thing I realized later…I was going to drink a lot! It’s not like it was a conscious thing, it’s just that someone was always handing me a glass or bottle of beer. I never actually went to the bar or asked for it. Maybe it was the wait staff keeping tabs to make sure Michael and I always had a drink, but it was all a blur so I don’t really know where my drinks appeared from. LOL Definitely drank more than I normally do and so I should have eaten a little more.

Before the cake cutting, we had the speeches. I think this is the part of the wedding that had me choked up the most (besides our first dance). It was so touching and amazing what our best friends said about us. I was particularly impressed with the best man’s speech. He did a fabulous job. I wanted to share my dad’s speech because it was amazing and touching and I got so many compliments from friends later on his speech.

“Good evening and welcome Ladies and Gentlemen,

For those of you who don’t know me I’m Don, Lisa’s Dad and on behalf of my wife Marsha and I, Judy and Denny and Geoff and Gayle, I would like to welcome all of you here today to celebrate the marriage of our daughter Lisa to Michael.   I know that many of you have traveled along way to be here. Thank you all for coming to help celebrate this special day.

I must admit that I am the proudest dad in the world to have accompanied Lisa today. I think that you will all agree with me when I say she looked beautiful.

When I first thought about organizing all of this I was quite worried about getting everything right……actually I have found it all very easy……You sit back and everything just happens….. It was just like my own wedding in 1971!   I really don’t know what all the fuss is about.

Today, I look at my daughter and I see an independent, attractive, elegant, stunning young woman……. She obviously takes after her mother. Of course she inherits other traits from me…… We’re both short.

In Michael I believe that Lisa has met her perfect partner and I think he is everything one could hope for in a son in law. Michael has many good qualities, not least of which is an ability to get a tee time set up for us when we visit Portland. 

Marriage is the meeting of two minds, of two hearts and of two souls. It is clear that Michael and Lisa are a perfect example of this. I wish them enjoyment for today, the fulfillment of all their hopes and dreams for tomorrow and love and happiness always. Finally, I would like all of you to raise a glass for the health and happiness of the bride and groom…Lisa & Michael.”

The speech meant so much to me. After the speeches was the cake. It was nothing special–I didn’t really care about getting some fancy wedding cake that cost hundreds of dollars. Here is the cake and topper:

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During the cake cutting, we had the song “This Guy’s In Love With You” (Faith No More version). Michael picked it. :) After the cake cutting my dad and I had our dance. He picked it. I went back and forth for like a year between five different songs and couldn’t decide. And don’t try and google “Father/Daughter Dance” it is the same 10 songs on every single website. There was nothing original or creative. I didn’t want something cheesy or sappy or overdone. The song I finally decided on was “Sweet Child O’ Mine” – New Orleans Style Guns N’ Roses Cover ft. Miche Braden. I thought for SURE my dad would love it. I mean it’s a cool blues-y version! But he said it sounded like stripper music. ;) That’s when he suggested Skipping by Eddie Vedder. I wasn’t familiar with the song but when I listened to it and read the lyrics I was sold. Immediate tears to my eyes and the fact that my dad picked it was even better.

Michael and is mom danced to Hey Jude by the Beatles. Michael kept it a secret from his mom to surprise her. It’s her favorite song and Michael said she cried when they danced. Awww!

We had a photo booth for about 3 hours of the event. I’m glad we did it because it was fun but I’m disappointed that Michael and I never made it over there! I wanted to get some good funny pictures and was just too busy trying to say hello to everyone (and failing). But here are a few of my favorites (yes we got copies of the pictures!!!):

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And probably my favorite one of them all…yes, that is my 93 year old grandmother in the photo booth!! I’m getting this one framed! Apparently she thought it was a Queen Elizabeth hat…little did she know she was wearing a pimp hat. ;) Doesn’t she look great?

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Seeing how much fun everyone had I wish I had made my way to the photo booth. BUMMER. :( Anyways, it was so difficult trying to see and talk to everyone! Michael and I ate our dinner fairly quickly and then got up to mingle. We started working around the room from one side, visiting each table. But then we would get interrupted for things like the cake, the speeches, the dances, etc. And before you knew it, the evening was almost over and we’d only made it about half way around the room!

I truly wish I had been able to talk to everyone that came and thank them. There were so many people that traveled a long ways to celebrate with us. One of my very old friends my Seattle came down and I barely got a chance to chat with him! I did get to dance with him though!

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Then dancing! I danced A LOT. I probably should have bowed out on some of the songs in order to see and talk to everyone but it was hard…I just got sucked into the dance floor. My family definitely likes to party and they were dominating the dance floor most of the evening. I think this picture was of us doing the YMCA–a very special request for my cousin Peter. :D And there may or may not have been a performance of the Time Warp…like I said, it was a blur. ;)

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There were large chunks of the evening where I never even saw Michael. We were both so busy trying to talk to people! I didn’t toss my bouquet. There wasn’t an official “send off”. We stayed for most of it and my parents and brother packed up our car with all the stuff to take back to our house. Then my dad drove Michael and I to our hotel!

That’s it, that’s our wedding. :)

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Aug 262014
 

My besties planned my bachelorette party. I had no idea what they were planning. My maid of honor, Rachel, set up a private Facebook account for her and the other ladies involved to discuss and plan in secret. Even when the day finally came, I had NO idea what was planned other than it wasn’t going to be your typical party–doing shots, staying out all night, going to clubs, etc etc. I was a-okay with that. I am getting older and the idea of doing shots sounds awful and even more awful? Trying to stay awake until 2am! Gawd I’m old. I’m not a huge fan of surprises because I am such a control freak, but it was kind of nice not being involved in any of the planning and just anticipating the event. Rachel said it was going to be a “day of shit Lisa loves”.

I did a quick mini workout at the gym Saturday morning, had a small breakfast and Michael drove me downtown to meet up with friends. It was Rachel (maid of honor), the bridesmaids: Erika, Robyn and my cousin Anna, as well my friend Samantha who is doing a reading at the wedding. We all arrived and we got in the tour van for EverGreen Escapes. It was driven by Dylan, who was very fun and nice and a great tour guide! He asked if I wanted to know what the day itinerary was and I said no. It was kind of fun being surprised! We drove towards the Gorge and he told us some historical and ecological things about the area that I hadn’t known before, as well as some of the Native American legends surrounding the “origins” of landmarks. Then we came to our first stop.

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It was a view point up by Vista House that I’ver never been to. We all hopped out and he took a few pictures for us then the girls decided it was time to deck me out with my outfit for the day. :)

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Then we got back in the van and went by Vista House and then down the old highway to the Bridal Veil post office! Remember, the one I was going to mail my invitations from? It was so cute in person!

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After seeing that Dylan drove us down a hidden road and we all got out in the middle of nowhere. It was weird and then he said that Sam had brought a bottle of champagne so she opened that up and he poured glasses for all of us and there were cookies too! Little macaroons. They were so tasty.

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We hiked a little ways up a hidden path and then we were at the Bridal Veil Falls. I’m surprised Michael and I haven’t hiked this one before. It was really pretty and quiet.

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After that we stopped by another waterfall along the highway and he said the next one was usually Multnomah Falls but we all said to skip it. We’ve all been there and done that and on a weekend in the summer? It’s a nightmare with no parking and too many people. As it was we sat in traffic for a bit trying to get through it all to get past the Falls! So instead he took us to Starvation Creek. Another hike I hadn’t known about!

It was lunch time so we drove to Hood River and stopped at this restaurant/deli. I don’t remember the name of it now but we got everything to go because it was so crowded and loud and Dylan drove us up to a viewpoint in the Fruit Loop. That was a much better idea! We sat outside in the sunshine and had like a picnic lunch, complete with a bottle of Pinot Grigio. There was a gorgeous view of Mount Hood behind us.

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When we finished up lunch they asked me if I knew what were doing yet. I said it was probably wine tasting. :) I was right! Dylan drove us to the first winery, Wy’East. It’s in the “Fruit Loop” in Hood River and they have really nice wines. Michael and I have been there once before.

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It turned out we had a private tasting and were seated on the patio underneath a big umbrella and vines of wine grapes. They brought out a snack plate of gouda cheese, crackers, toasted hazelnuts and salamis. We did the wine tasting and I really enjoyed all the wines we tried, even the Chardonnay (which I’m not really a fan of normally). I ended up buying a bottle of their Pinot Gris.

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I was not a fan of the Port so I poured that into Robyn’s glass. :) We made it work sharing stuff we didn’t like. The patio was so nice and there was a cool breeze. The day was warming up but it was just wonderful drinking wine outside in the sunshine. There were even a few cute winery puppies! Here was one that apparently loved cheese and salami. :)

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After Wy’East we went over to Cathedral Ridge, one of my favorites in the Gorge. I was a little worried because the weekends in the summer time are kind of a nightmare for wine tasting. Too crowded, too busy. But we were ushered to a back patio, shaded, for a private tasting!

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There was one white wine, that I loved and almost bought a bottle of. The rest of the flight was red wines. This is what happens when you go wine tasting with my cousin Anna:

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Usually when Michael and I go wine tasting together we split tastings. It’s more affordable AND I’m a lightweight so I don’t totally sloshed by sharing a tasting. But yeah, this day? I definitely got drunk!

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After the wine tasting we had some time before we had to head back to Portland (I am glad we only went to two wineries). Some of the girls pitched in for a bottle of red and we all shared it while we sat on a couch near the gorgeous view.

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It was such a gorgeous day! The weather was perfect, the wineries were gorgeous, the food was good. I had so much fun with my ladies and it was definitely something I needed after some of the UBER STRESS I’ve been dealing with lately. There was so much drama and stress and disappointment with a wedding vendor but I was able to completely forget about all that stuff and just enjoy my day. I was grateful I had such wonderful friends to help with that.

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And I was grateful that my friends chose the PERFECT day for my bachelorette party. They know me so well. This was a memorable trip and something that I probably wouldn’t have thought of myself. It was out of the ordinary for a bachelorette party and I loved it! Our tour guide, Dylan, was also a rockstar. Great sense of humor, wasn’t freaked out about a bunch of cackling hens drinking a lot of wine. ;) He drove us back to Portland and dropped us off at Rachel’s hotel downtown and gave us each a big hug and me a congratulations. What a great tour!

Sam had to take off and the rest of us ladies went up to Rachel’s room to freshen up before dinner. We walked a few blocks to Henry’s Tavern where we had reservations. It’s funny, we ran into two other bachelorette party groups. One of them asked to take a picture with me because part of their bachelorette scavenger hunt was to get a pic with another bride to be. ;) Thank god I didn’t have to do any of that stuff!!! Hahaha!

I definitely did not need any more alcohol but I ended up getting a beer with dinner–Boneyard RPM. I saw my beloved Boneyard on the menu and just HAD to…! Thankfully we’d all been drinking a lot of water all day and I drank like 8 pints with dinner, too!

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We all shared an order of Henry’s famous onion rings and I ordered their small burger with a side of Caesar Salad. LOVED their Caesar. It was just a bunch of romaine lettuce that they grilled, drizzled Caesar dressing on and then salted. It had a wonderful salty, smoky flavor.

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Dessert was on the house! That was very nice of Henry’s Tavern. Even though I was SO STUFFED I couldn’t think about eating anything more, I ordered the chocolate brownie sundae. It had ice cream, whipped cream and salted caramel. Thankfully everyone helped me eat it!

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After that we made a quick trip to the Spartacus store and then back to the hotel. Thankfully I was home and in bed by 10:30. No 3am here! I am really glad we didn’t do something traditional. It was a very long, very wonderful day and I could not wait to go to sleep. :)

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