This blog follows a bit of our personal and professional life, and features images from weddings and portrait sessions we've done, the places we traveled, and the adventures of our combined family-life. It's basically an ever-changing photo album combined with an information source for current and potential clients. Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Our Elopement Countdown

Hey friends! We can't believe in a month we'll be jetting away to sunny California to get married! We expect we'll have lots of great photos to share with you here, so stay tuned. I've never been to California but Chris has, due to his many years of N.H.R.A. spectating. After grabbing our car in San Francisco, we'll head to Sonoma's Infineon Raceway for three days to (hopefully) meet some of our favorite racers. WHY you ask, would a woman like me wanna watch souped-up cars go over 300 mph down a straight 1,000 ft. track and breathe in all those stinky nitro fuel fumes??? Because it's fun! With Chris, most things I never would have tried are, because he's a great teacher and never makes me feel like I'm asking a dumb question. Not to mention, those drivers aren't so hard on the eyes either, and the cars I consider to be like pieces of colorful art. If you don't think that's enticing enough, I could go just to watch the other spectators -- as my dad always said, "It takes all kinds!" Visit NHRA here. The downside of all that racing for me -- the noise. I've been to Epping, NH for one-day of nostalgia funny car racing, but this will be three days of "the big time"... so we'll see. Equipped with several sets of earplugs, I'm sure I'll be eager for the peaceful nature of Napa Valley wineries. We plan to end our Sonoma stay with a beautiful dinner at La Salette, a Portugese cuisine restaurant.

Then it’s on to Napa on Monday morning, to the famed Beazley House, a bed & breakfast inn. Recommended by my brother Arthur and his wife Julie, the Beazley House is owned by a congenial couple who were quick to call me at home right after I booked the stay to ask if we had any food allergies or special dietary requirements – impressive! They recently won the 18th annual BEST OF NAPA AND SONOMA VALLEYS award!
After settling in we’ll experience our first winery tours at Domaine Chandon in Yountville and/or Black Stallion winery in Napa. Dinner will be at another award winning restaurant – Cole’s Chop House, reported by Art & Julie to have THE BEST shrimp cocktail appetizer on the planet!

We’re getting married on Tuesday!!!! Yes, as second-time-around-ers, we like to do things a bit unconventionally. There’ll be much to do in the morning, meeting with Reverend Ellsworth at his home, arranging for our CA marriage license, picking up a bouquet for Vic and perhaps a manicure/hair appointment too. Our Bay-area photographer, Nadine O’Hara, will be joining up with us for a private photo shoot (sooooo excited!) As moderator of the http://www.photo.net/ wedding forum, we have no doubt she’ll come up with some creative and artistic shots, and it will be so fun for Chris to talk shop with another photog. Our exchange of vows will take place on a hill overlooking the Hans Fahden winery in Calistoga … just us, the minister, Nadine … and the Lord. [at this point, Vic will be wishing that time could stand still]. We pray for good weather, but regardless, it will be beautiful. We’ll celebrate with dinner at Brix Restaurant in Napa … another “Best Of” winner. The gardens here are apparently another great spot for photos.

Plans for Wednesday include trips to more wineries … yes, in wine country it’s mandated that you imbibe the wine at nine! Hope you can keep up, Chris, I don’t think they serve beer at these venues! Interests today include either Sawyer Cellars or Peju Winery in Rutherford, Merryvale Vineyards in St. Helena, and, la pièce de résistance, or rather, il pezzo di resistenza -- a Tuscan-style castle called Castello di Amorosa! Don’t plan on phoning us come Wednesday afternoon … we may not be too comprehensible! We’ll arrive late day in San Francisco (God-willing) and check in to the Best Western Tuscan Inn, within walking distance to Fisherman’s Wharf. Don’t think we’ll need to take advantage though of the free wine reception there at 4 p.m…

What to do in San Fran??? Put on our walking shoes for #1! It’s off to hop the cable cars, walk up (or down) Lombard Street, trek to Union Square, visit Ghirardelli’s for a chocolate pick-me-up! Oooh, a nice Starbucks café would hit the spot! We’d better save room for a late lunch, perhaps a lobster roll or fish ‘n chips. We’ve got a 3:55 reservation for the ferry to Alcatraz… it’s going to be a full day for certain. On our return to the mainland we’ll seek out the hot spots for some live music for tomorrow night.

For Friday, I imagine we’ll sleep in! [I said sleep.] We’ll have lunch at the Café Pescatore and this time we’ll be ready for that 4 p.m. free wine reception back at the hotel. Hopefully we’ll wine, dine and dance to some live music that evening … I wonder, is it wise to marry a guy before you’ve even seen him dance??? Eh, it is what it is … even if he dances like Elaine Benes on Seinfeld! As is promised, for better or for worse …

And Saturday, who knows, after the previous evening’s wining/dining/dancing(?) we may need to sleep in yet again. But we’ll reluctantly check out of our hotel to hang out in Chinatown. We’ll have lunch at the Hang Ah Tea Room. Cool name …I wonder what it means. Knowing Chris, we’ll be scouting out the local pawn shops, “to help pay for the trip”, is usually his justification. Personally, I’d rather peruse antique shops, but he has a real nose for previously-owned lenses he can buy and sell at a profit.

We’re taking the red-eye flight back to Boston so we’ll have a nice long evening and perhaps one more romantic dinner in San Francisco before returning to “reality”. I do have the feeling that this trip will be one we’ll want to replicate in years to come, a great place to come back for an anniversary or two. I won’t be leaving my heart there though … I’ll need it with me to share with my new hubby, wherever we may be! Hope you enjoyed this preview of our elopement experience!

With love ~ Vickie and Chris

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