The Itchy Travel Bug

There’s been a slowdown at work today and I may have spent it perusing travel pins on Pinterest and travel blogs. In doing so, I realized I never really posted anything about our trip to Denver, CO last year, so I plan to share a post on that soon. This also got me wishing we could just pick up and go on a vacation! My job and bosses are super chill and allow me to have a lot of flexibility, especially when it’s our quieter seasons. Unfortunately, my hubby doesn’t have that luxury and has to ask for time off from his fairly new job way ahead of time. Sure, we could do weekend trips, except his new schedule has him with split weekends. Friday off, Saturday on, Sunday off. Woe is me.

It was about this time last year when I wrote another post about my wanderlust. We had a pretty great set of adventures planned in 2016 and luckily were able to add in a few extra trips: our belated honeymoon to Colorado was in February, Tokyo in April/May, Pennsylvania in October, and our bonus trip to Georgia for the PCOS Symposium was in September. My in-laws moved to Galveston at the end of 2015 so we spent several weekends with them during the warmer months.

This year we will probably spend some time in Galveston with my in-laws again. The only other real trip/vacation we have planned is for my husband’s cousin’s wedding. It’s a destination wedding so we’ll be traveling to Florida. I’ve seen photos of the white beaches and can’t wait to put up my feet and lay back with a mimosa or two in hand. It’ll probably be rum and coke but you get what I’m sayin’. Alas, that’s not until the end of JULY!! Until then I’ll satisfy my travel bug by reading more blogs and figuring out how to convince my husband that we NEED to get away. Perhaps on a cruise ship. 😉

Galveston

Exploring Downtown Galveston

 

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Japan Day 2 – The Wedding!

Day 2 of our Japan trip was a beautiful, but windy, Friday. Sis-in-law woke up super early and dropped her stuff off at our room since she’d be transferring rooms that night. She went on her own little adventure that day to see Mt. Fuji and the beautiful cherry blossoms. Hubby and I got up and grabbed breakfast at the hotel. I’m used to continental/American breakfasts full of cereals and breads, so walking into the dining area that morning was a shock to me. There was a huge rice cooker, different meats, jelly fish (that’s what hubby said anyway), hard boiled eggs, and other savory items. They also had a very small assortment of more breakfast-y items like fruit, yogurt, and a few pastries. I grabbed my plate and started loading up. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. It was time to try different things, and I’m glad I did because my meal was so delicious! On our way back up to our room we checked out the lobby’s vending machine and found out the canned coffee was hot! AMAZING! It was super cheap, too.

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Hot latte in a can from a vending machine!

We had a few hours before the wedding started that day so hubby and I decided to walk to the mall. Conveniently, it was within walking distance – only about 15 mins away. The neighborhood our hotel was located in was a very quiet area. It was also the beginning of Japan’s Golden Week which is when they tend to travel so that probably added to the emptiness. We arrived at the mall and started wandering around. Japanese people really love their clothing stores! We checked a few home goods stores, a music store, a department store (it had a grocery store on the first floor) and a bookstore. We walked to another part of the mall and ended up grabbing ice cream from a vending machine to eat on our way back to the hotel.

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I REALLY wanted to get this!

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Arcade machine at the mall

To our wonderful surprise, our friend was at the hotel running errands before the wedding. It had been a few years since we’d last seen him and we didn’t know if we’d see him before the wedding started. We didn’t have much to do so we gave him and his fiance a hand taking decorations to the wedding venue. Like I mentioned before, it was a very windy day so on our way to the venue we struggled against the wind. Boy, was it strong! One of the items we were carrying flew into a huge field and our friend and my husband had to run to get it as it kept rolling and flying away. Us girls had a good laugh at their dilemma. After dropping stuff off, we left the two lovebirds and went to get ready.

The wedding itself was short and sweet. It was outdoors so the wind kept messing with the bride’s veil but she looked beautiful nonetheless. I tried taking photos with my phone but it was a recent replacement (as in a day before we left for the trip) and apparently the camera was messed up. It would not focus on anything further than a couple feet away. I was so disappointed, but it also allowed me to be more in the moment and really reflecting and absorbing what was happening. The reception was quite fancy. If I remember correctly, it was a 7-course meal. We had a blast chatting with our friend’s new sister and brother-in-law. They  were a very impressive couple and very kind with super adorable children. The reception went on a bit longer than anticipated but still ended quite early.

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Camera wouldn’t focus on anything further away, so here are some pretty flowers!

 

Everyone headed out and we planned to meet up with our friend, his new wife, his family, and a few of their friends at a karaoke bar next to the hotel. My sis-in-law was supposed to meet us there on her way back from her excursion. Now, I’ve never been a huge karaoke fan because I know I sound terrible so I was hoping to get some liquid courage but that didn’t happen and I only did one song. It was a blast watching everyone else though! Hubby REALLY loves karaoke and he got really into it. He and our friend ended up doing a duet on Disney’s Let It Go from Frozen. That was fun to watch. I even got video of it so I we can enjoy that moment over and over again. HAHA!

The night was winding down, and we still had not heard anything from SIL. Last we had heard, the portable wi-fi unit was low on battery. We assumed since we weren’t getting any responses from her, that her phone was probably also dead. We were getting worried since it was pretty late so I jumped online and tried to find out if there were any problems on the trains. There was one line that was delayed but we didn’t know if that’s the one she’d be on. We headed back to the hotel and hoped to see her there or at least get in touch with her soon. My husband ended up falling asleep knowing I’d stay up and be the responsible one…men…right?? I had to fight off sleep and luckily got a call from SIL. Someone had misdirected her and she was stranded at the wrong station. Her only real option was to catch a cab back. Relieved that she was safe, I stayed up to wait for her to get there. We updated her boyfriend back home and let him know she was headed to the hotel. When she got there, I had lost all tiredness and we started chatting about our days. I think at one point we woke up my husband and he joined our conversation for a while. Slowly it died down and somehow we were all hit drifted off to sleep.

 

Wedding Wednesday

After looking at wedding boards on Pinterest all weekend, it’s all I can think of! I can hardly focus on my work, because I have too many thoughts. Maybe if I can write them down I’ll feel better?

I feel like I’m playing some sort of intense tennis match in my head. One version of myself wants the nicer, bigger (aka more expensive) wedding seen all over the place these days – on a WAY smaller budget. The other just wants a really small and casual event, with only the closest of friends and family – she’s winning, for the most part. I want to be realistic and practical, but every so often I start feeling a bit of guilt, because I want to be able to invite everyone who’s ever supported my fiance and I as a couple and celebrate with them. Of course, that’s not possible due to finances. Every so often, I also keep thinking about all the out-of-town people who will be flying in for our wedding. I would feel bad if we didn’t make this “worth” their time. I know I’m probably being crazy with that thought, because they’re family and they love us.

Weddings nowadays are bigger than they were over 20 years ago. They’re also more expensive. The “average” wedding cost is around $27 grand! Of course, that number is a misleading number due to incredibly rich people who can have elaborate events (*cough* Kim K. *cough*) for show. I have found it challenging to resist gawking over all the gorgeous dresses, centerpieces, and other wedding details with pretty pictures on Pinterest.

Since my fiance and I are footing the bill for our wedding, the pressure is on to be frugal and cut costs, but have a day that speaks of who we are. There are four things that are important for us to have: family, friends, food, and fun! Sounds like a normal family get-together and that’s what we have to keep in mind. Weddings aren’t just about the bride, nor is it just about the couple – it’s about two sets of families coming together as one to celebrate what is to come.

How did you plan your wedding? Did you have trouble keeping your budget?