Vegas Honeymoon

We drove up to Vegas for a couple days for a honeymoon! Pretty fun trip that allowed us to still have a few relaxing days at home before we both have to go back to work. Headed out Wednesday morning in Amy’s car, stopped at Hoover dam on the way up. Quick overview: got upgraded to a sweet suite at the Palazzo, went to Fremont St, got numerous drinks bought for us because we were on our honeymoon, saw dolphins, lions, and tigers, had dinner at Zeffirino at the Venetian, went to the Cirque du Soleil show “Love”(totally awesome), didn’t win a dime, and had a great time with each other!

A few pics in no particular order:

Amy after the “Love” show

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Enjoying a Vodka Redbull looking out our 43rd floor window

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Room view #1

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The Palazzo Tower

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Room View #2

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Standing on the Hoover Dam

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Some Dolphin and Tiger Footage

and we’re married!

After months of planning, a few days of some serious errand running and some weather worries, Amy and I were married in a perfect, beautiful ceremony in my parent’s backyard!   It was definitely a sprint getting the backyard all set-up but it really came together well.  The best decision we made in the few days prior was the renting of patio heaters and having a fire, it got pretty chilly for we Arizonans.

While there were some stressful times as we navigated the problems that come up as an event comes together, it was cool as family and friends from out of town started to arrive.  My parents had a small get together on Friday night, everyone seemed to have a good time even though a pretty substantial dust storm blew through that day and evening. It would have been a serious challenge if  the storm had of come through on Sunday, we dodged a bullet there!  On Saturday we got the rental items delivered and set-up and had the rehearsal. While there was some good natured ribbing of Amy for her information folders that everyone got, these proved to be infinitely valuable as the event approached so everyone knew the tasks they had been assigned.

The rehearsal went smoothly and afterwards we adjourned ourselves to The Living Room for the rehearsal dinner.  This place did a great job and we had a really fun night. We wanted to have a nice relaxed atmosphere and be able to just hang out with our wedding party, the two sitting areas with couches worked perfectly!  It was some great noshing on bruschetta, cheese trays, cheese fondues, spinach dip and a chocolate fondue to finish things off.  We all had some wine and great conversations! After that party broke up Amy and her bridesmaids headed to the hotel and I went home looking forward to the big day ahead.

The day of was a whirlwind of activity! We started putting the finishing touches on the yard around 8:30 am, since some tables had to be set up after the ceremony we organized boxes for each table’s items to make it easier for the caterer to set them up.  This was key in making it a smooth transition and Amy’s bridesmaids and the caterer did a great job making it happen.  After we got most of the things set up I was off to run my final errands, this took much longer than planned.  Had to pick up tables from the restaurant, stock the coolers for the bar and get ice, pick up the keg, and get the tables set-up for the buffet. Then get cleaned up at the barber, take shower and make it back to my parents house to get dressed and be ready for our guests to arrive.

The cocktail hour started at 3:30 and we had a great showing! It was a nice way to start things out, seeing everyone and people catching up and enjoying some tasty beverages. The specialty drink, The Kentucky Classic (Maker’s Mark and Ale-8-One) was very popular, so much that the bartender had to run out and get more Maker’s during the ceremony!   That hour flew by and all of a sudden it was time to start the ceremony.  Everyone took their seats or found a spot to stand and we were ready to go!

Sage Gentle-Wing, our musician played a nice guitar rift during the first part of the processional, after our wedding party was set he busted into The Beatles song “Here Comes the Sun” and Amy and her dad walked out, she looked amazing in her dress! Our minister, Phil Waring, did a great job, the ceremony was perfect and not too long. We were announced and Sage busted into “When I’m Sixty Four” as we walked away finally married.

We headed out for some pictures and the guests got to enjoy some appetizers and drinks for a bit. I have really enjoyed working with our photographer, David Orr.  He and his wife have been super easy to work with and we’re excited to see the the pictures they captured!  After that we all enjoyed some great food prepared by Creative Hands Cuisine, Chef Doug and his team did a fantastic job, from the quick table transition to the seamless service it was top notch! Highly recommend these guys!

After we ate we began the rounds to hobnob with everyone, it was so nice to see all of the people who came out to help us celebrate. There were some nice toasts and then some great hanging out, the fire pit has a bench and was a great place for people to talk and stay warm and the patio heaters worked perfectly!

A few other vendors of note: Bloom Events provided some beautiful flowers, and Sugar Lips Cakery cupcakes were amazing!

All and all it was great day, here’s a few pics from family and friends (David Orr photos still to come):

Chair set up for the ceremony                                     Tables and the fire pit

We’re married                                                    Here we are!

The Toasts

1 Week to go!

Only one week to go until we get hitched! Fortunately, we’ve gotten a lot accomplished in the past few weeks. While we definitely had some stressful times it’s nice to see it all come together, I really think its going to look nice.
Yesterday we went to my parents to start the backyard decorating and haul somethings over. We got a lot done and my parents have really done a great job getting their house ready. So nice of them to let us take over their house, really allows us to create the intimate feel we want.
Our earlier planning (mainly Amy) has really allowed us to start to relax as things come together. Guests start arriving Thursday, so it’ll really start up then!

Some of the lighting we did last night:

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Nice Day on the Bike

Pretty nice day to ride, my friend Len and I did the ride to Maricopa today, it’s a flat forty mile round trip to a town a little south of the house.  Felt much better on the bike today than the last ride, really enjoyed just cruising down the road and being on the bike.  For so long I was addicted to riding with my Ipod, after some time riding without it I kinda of miss the silence and sounds of the bike and tires rolling down the road.  I rode with it today, mainly I just had to put the ear buds back in numerous times, for some reason those things hate staying in my ears.  Anyway here’s the ride, still have a ways to go to get back to proper form but felt pretty good and had fun…

So far in August

So far August has flown by, I can’t believe my birthday is tomorrow!  It’s been a pretty chill month so far, got in some quality workouts but I have been slacking a little!  Overall I have kept up my treadmill running and that is the main goal, everything else will come around once it cools off a little.

Wedding Plans:

We’re making good progress in the wedding planning: Invitations ordered, got a quote on tables and chairs from Classic Party Rentals (very nice to work with),  Amy designed a great backyard layout and we found and purchased my suit for the wedding.  Pretty happy with the way things are coming together, hopefully we’ll get everything pretty much finalized by the end of the month!

Wedding Specialty Beverage and a fun afternoon:

A few weeks ago I had heard that a restaurant downtown was carrying my favorite Ginger-Ale like soda from Kentucky, Ale-8-One.  Usually I only get to enjoy it back in Kentucky so when I heard it was available here in Phoenix the thought of a Maker’s Mark and Ale-8-One was in my head!  Amy needed help setting up the booth for her work at the Phoenix Convention Center and the restaurant, District Kitchen is right around the corner.  Unfortunately we arrived downtown right as the Diamondbacks game was starting, parking and navigating down there was a challenge.  After finding the correct place to park and unload and a quick but sweaty booth set up we adjourned ourselves to the comfy bar area of the restaurant.  Besides getting a drink I rarely get to have we had a fantastic lunch!  I had the Grilled Short Rib Sandwich on a nice Brioche with some excellent Tater Tots.

The whole experience was very nice, downtown Phoenix has some cool places and we just don’t get down there enough.  Since I now know Ale-8-One is available here we decided to make Maker’s and Ale-8-One our Specialty Drink for the wedding. I thought it would be cool for the Kentuckians that are traveling here for the wedding as well as introducing our friends here to a part of Kentucky.  Twitter was very useful in interacting with the District Kitchen folks and they got me the name of the company they get the soda from, a few phone calls later we’re all set to get in a few cases for the wedding.  Maybe I’ll order some sooner than that just to have…

The coming weekend:

As I mentioned earlier my birthday is this weekend so we’re taking advantage of some nice summer rates at The Boulders up in Cave Creek.  We head up there tomorrow and come back on Monday, should be a nice relaxing time – pics to follow!

And finally: I’m all for this log-in screen for the internet!

The weekend and Must Go Running!

Pretty much slacked off in the training department this weekend.  On the upside, Amy and I had a pretty relaxing weekend together!  On Saturday night we were at a house warming party for one of Amy’s friends.  Amy’s friend and her husband are from Alaska and there were some other Alaskans there, they were discussing how you seem run into others from Alaska all over the place even though the state has a relatively small population.  I told them about a guy who I went to Western Kentucky University with, who is a triplet from Ketchikan, Alaska.  One of the girls from Alaska asked “Was his name Brad?”, he had been her high school swim coach in Valdez.  Sometimes the world is pretty small!

Running:

I’m going to make this week a run focused week.  I feel like I’ve done a good job easing my way back into running but now it’s time to get in some distance!  Most of the runs will probably be treadmill runs but I would like to get in at least one decent outdoor run.  Feeling the need to do a running race sometime soon, maybe one of the ARR 5Ks, that always helps with the motivation!

Also, my friends  Len and Bill and I got registered to volunteer for IMAZ coming up in November.  This will guarantee us a spot for 2012 (sub 12 hours will be the goal)!

Someday this man will lose a limb!

Getting back to the Habit

So far so good this week with the training.   Took Monday and Tuesday off as planned and got in a good ride Wednesday morning, wasn’t even that hot for the first 1/2 of the ride!  We added a second hill loop to what we’ve been riding lately. here’s the ride elevation graph:

The hills aren’t very long, but it’s a close to home ride that I like!  Thursday morning I relaxed at the house before work while watching the first High Mountain stage in the Tour de France.  It’s been an interesting tour so far with some unfortunate crashes. I can’t imagine how much it must suck to get taken out in the first week in the TdF from a huge crash that is impossible to avoid.  The guys below  had a right to be the most upset!

Thursday Run/Swim

I was able to skate out between lunch and dinner and get to the gym, this makes the long days so much better.  Got in 30 minutes on the much hated treadmill, starting to incorporate that into the regimen.  Some of the treadmills at Lifetime have a option to download your run to a flash drive, I’ll have to check this out and see if there’s any useful info I can get out of this.  I have to admit I love the amount of info that is easily accessible from a workout nowadays.  Between my Garmin and things like this it pretty cool what you get!   After the run got in a 1000 meters in the indoor pool, just too hot after running to swim outside.  My swim didn’t end up being that fast but I felt like was trying to dig in pretty good,  definitely felt the effort later at work.

Friday

Did some shoulder – leg extension – core work.  Might get in a swim later if I’m lucky! 

Final Thought:

This Ostrich freaking rips!

Fail Blog

Epic Fail Funny Videos and Funny Pictures.

This is by far my favorite website for wasting time on the internet. People falling down and doing idiotic things in general amuses me to no end and you will find no greater collection of fools than failblog.org! Have some free time on your hands? Wander around these sites and you’ll have many a laugh and perhaps find a few things to post as well. Just as an example (as if my description wasn’t enough to get you to check it out)!

epic fail photos - Homemade Catapult FAIL gif

The Haboob

As pretty much everyone who lives in Phoenix noticed, we had a huge dust storm (or Haboob) last night (7.5.11).  People got some amazing pictures of a huge wall of dust overtaking the city, and at the restaurant we fought a battle to keep the dust out! Twitter blew up with super cool pics and updates from around the valley, part of me feels that people just wanted to type #Haboob.  It was totally surreal outside (if you could stand it), the dust was so thick in the air. Here’s a few pics:

The picture below was taken by my friend Tom Phillips Jr. in Ahwatukee. It was taken just a few miles from my house as the wall of dirt overtook the city!