Thursday, July 24, 2008

Highlight Reel

Can't believe that it's already been almost a month since this whole thing went down. Married life is good... the transition has been easy since there wasn't much to transition between as a couple. Everything is as good as it always has been, except now I have this ring on my finger that I accidentally try to eat sometimes when I'm eating Cheez-its. We're definitely settling back into a life-as-usual routine, with Hannah back to work and me back to spending most of my waking hours in my special summer vacation underwear.

But even a month later, we're still sorting through a lot.
Thank-you cards went out earlier this week. The next big project for me has been assembling a wedding photo album (more details on that in a bit). We've also begun finding our favorite pictures, printing some of them off, and framing them. It's funny, I'm as wired, digital, and multimedia as they come (just check out our new computer!), so I found clicking through the pictures to be pretty satisfying. However, nothing has compared to actually printing the things off and looking at them. Seeing a physical representation of the wedding seems to confirm that it actually happened.

We're still pretty high on it. I bet that about a third of our conversations are still at least somewhat wedding-oriented.

Another thing we've been doing a lot is just swapping memories--some of which are shared, many of which aren't. With such a big production, both of us couldn't be there for everything awesome that happened throughout the weekend. Personally, I would have loved to have seen Ollie playing as a rather notorious character on the Wii, as well as one of my best friends showing up another one of my best friends on the dance floor with what was apparently the most awesome dance move ever. Also, as it's inevitable that we'll forget them over time, we've started committing these "remember whens" to paper, for the ages. So in 15 years, when our young son Boba Fett Belec asks what "Juan's confession" was, things are going to be nice and remembered.

Fortunately, though, many of our favorite moments were captured on camera, and this post is (ultimately) about one of them. Talk about your-collision-of-worlds moments. This one featured Matt, whom I have known since high school, doing an awesometastic disco dance with my new sister-in-law, Rachel, to the tune of "Canned Heat," by Jamiroquai (one of the most underrated bands in the bast 15 years)--the song featured in the dance scene in the movie "Napoleon Dynamite." Surreal, hilarious, and too awesome for words. I was really happy to be there for this one, and was even happier to find out that longtime friend/musical cohort Phil caught the moment on video. Thus it shall be preserved for the ages... or at least until this computer's hard drive does what my old one did.

Soooo ladies and gentleman, without any further delay... Rachel and Matt!!!!

Video courtesy of Phil.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

East meets West

This is a post all about our party favors: maple syrup and hot sauce. We wanted to pick gifts that represented both of our backgrounds. So we needed something southwestern and something northeastern.

Mine was a more last-minute decision - on a tip from my Mom, I got in touch with a Mesa, Ariz. based company for locally-made hot sauce and salsas. We ordered several cases from the site. They gave us free shipping since it was a big order, and the customer service was great.

But Eric's favors were the big hit of the day. His cousin Lyles taps trees and makes maple syrup himself on their family's dairy farm in West Chazy, N.Y. Especially considering our newfound locavore tendencies, I was really excited by the prospect of nabbing some homemade syrup. Mel got in touch with Lyles and figured everything out. In the spring, we heard from Mel and Rick that Lyles had put aside the best of the best for us. As of breakfast this morning, I can vouch that the syrup is de-licious. Especially on chocolate chip pancakes.

But typical of my peeps, the fun doesn't stop at good-tasting syrup. Here's a small sampling of the fun everyone had with syrup at the wedding. Photos courtesy of Lara Swanson, KB and Sally.

Amanda hoarded about 20 bottles.

My college roommates Kelly and Leah getting a crazy sugar high.

Kelly surreptitiously bags an extra bottle.

Ali, who I've babysat since she was four, marvels at the viscosity.

Even Eric and I couldn't help but get in on the fun. We took one bottle with us to share in our North Carolina adventures.

Hanging out at Jockey Ridge State Park.

Biking without a helmet, very dangerous.

Chillin at the beach.

Uh oh. Looks like he fell in with the wrong crowd.

Back at home, this bottle met its end on my chocolate chip pancakes.

So good. I highly recommend you all break out your West Chazy syrup and enjoy it on some pancakes or waffles as soon as possible. Many thanks go out to Lyles Trombly, who made the awesome syrup for us, and Mel, who helped coordinate.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Merci Beaucoup

We owe a whole lot of "thank yous" to a whole lot of people. To start, I'll announce the roll-up donations of our guests to DC's Levine School of Music: $225

To, our friends and family donated $200 in our names. Our first loans have already started to be paid back. Right now we're focusing on women in Central America. Check out our lender page and read some stories about our chosen entrepreneurs here.

Lots of pictures to come. Love to all.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Luckiest

Click the little blue play button above to listen back to the "The Luckiest," from our wedding ceremony. The performance featured Hannah's sister McKay and the St. Charles String Quartet, and was recorded courtesy of Lucky Day drummer Dave Ray. It might take a second for the play button to appear, especially if you're on a slow-ish connection.

Also, click here and press the "Download mp3 file" button to download the song to your hard drive. This will let you put the song on your iPod, burn it to a CD, convert it to an 8-track tape, or whatever your preference may be.

There's lots Hannah and I could say about the music for both the ceremony and the reception, but the simplest way to put it is that it was something that we both put a lot of thought and effort into. Every song you heard that day was either hand-picked by us or requested. "The Luckiest" was such an obvious choice for the ceremony that we put off making a final decisions about the reception playlist for months. Sometimes it seemed like too much of a time-eater; I spent about 2 hours searching for a good techno remix of Led Zepplin's "Immigrant Song" that could have been spent, oh, I don't know, doing something important.

However, we have gotten a lot of compliments about the music (even from the photographers!), and since music is such a big part of both of our identities, it wouldn't have been right to have our wedding without our friends Ben Folds, Radiohead, Nickel Creek, the Weakerthans, the Beatles, Umphrey's McGee, Mark O'Connor, Andrew Bird, Porcupine Tree, Wesley Willis, Rufus Wainwright, Kanye West, Social D, Johnny Cash, Jamiroquai, etc etc etc there as well. We could have had the most unique, off the wall, utterly insane wedding ceremony imaginable, but the second that obnoxious Lonestar song started playing, it wouldn't have been us anymore. The fact that we were true to ourselves but everyone still enjoyed it is another example of how awesome and supportive everyone has been through this whole experience.

I'm hoping to have a recording of the rest of the music (and hopefully the ceremony itself) soon, and will hopefully be cooking up many delicious audiogoodies with them. Stay tuned.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

How high is 1200 feet??

This high.

Since the honeymoon seemed like an ideal time to do a bunch of cool things that we don't normally do, I jumped on parasailing the second I saw that it was an option.
I'm one of those people that's really really good on rollercoasters, so of the three options--600, 900, and 1200 feet--I went ahead and booked the highest-altitude option. It was kind of a no-brainer. Especially after the less-than-complete success I experienced as a very large hang glider, I was excited to do some legitimate flying. Better yet, Hannah and I could go together, on a side-by-side duo flight.

We made our appointment, waited for a few minutes at the dock in Manteo, NC, and got on the boat. The first "oh boy" moment was when I saw what would be supporting us as we dangled hundreds of feet above the ocean: two straps around each leg, held in place by one plastic buckle. Hannah captured this moment of realization on camera

"Ohhhhh boy...."

However, we did not get very long to dwell on this idea. In the next minute, the chute was out...


and we were airborne.
"Oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh cra..."

Immediately after our knees left the boat deck, Hannah and I knew that this would be our last time doing this. The winds tipped us to and fro as we rose into the air, ever so conscious of the fact that the full weight of each our lives rested one plastic buckle and two caribiner clips. Hannah and I have since determined that, throughout both of our lives, there is only one moment in which one of us was more scared than we were right then. Needless to say, we lived to tell the tale, and after a few minutes of... let's call it "settling," we did manage to relax and enjoy it.

This is what "enjoying it" looks like.

We got to snap some cool pictures and do something we'd never done before. In retrospect, I'm actually very glad we did it... personally, it's the kind of thing where if I hadn't done it, I'd still be wanting to right now. Instead, we've been there, done that, and won't need to ever do it again. But since it was something really different and since being scared absolutely shitless makes a good story, I'm glad we did it and rather enjoyed the experience--just in a different way than I thought I would.

Anyway, in other news, we got home late last night. We ended up cutting our trip a couple of days short, as a result of several factors: anticipating bad traffic for the weekend because of July 4th, feeling sunburned and dirty after spending the whole week in the sun, lacking a sufficient place to clean/cool off because of our relocation to a remote and remarkably Jeff Foxworthy-inspired campground, and just general exhaustion after such a busy and awesome week.

Ultimately, objective #1-A-prime for our honeymoon was to recover and relax following the stress and insanity of putting the wedding together, and when it appeared that we were getting more stressed, we figured it was time to just come back home, where we can relax and decompress further. As I recall, the amount of time from "Maybe we should just go home" to being in the car and on the road was about 40 minutes.

It was an awesome time and we're hoping to make it back this fall. For now, we're spending our time cleaning a little bit, sorting through pictures, relaxing, and reminiscing about how utterly incredible these past couple of weeks have been.

We'll keep you posted. Talk soon!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"There's something about flying a kite at night that's so unwholesome..."

-- Marge Simpson

These were taken yesterday, following a day at the Wright Brothers Memorial, followed by swimming. Today began with some hiking, followed by even MORE swimming. Tomorrow is a doozy: "Lost Colony" tour followed by parasailing followed by dolphin watching. Oy gevalt!!

Tomorrow is also our first night at Hatteras Sands Resort, and since we're not really sure what their story is as far as internet access, this might be the last post until we get back. If so, talk to you all soon!

Science Experiment

Question: Can 250+ pound male Homo Sapiens fly?


Question #2: Can much smaller female Homo Sapiens also fly?


Honeymoon is going AWESOME so far, we both love this place. More updates on all fronts as things progress and we get time to write about them.