July 15, 2009

Sur la route encore*

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We're off -- and so far, thanks to family, friends and barbecue, we've had a pretty damn good start to the cross-country jaunt.

You can see the route we're taking up top -- after an overnighter in D.C. for some delicious beer (and peripheral UFC viewing) with a number of good people, we stopped at my mom's in Ohio, and Lisa's folks came down from Milwaukee. I had to work; they all got to take in the Air Force Museum and Carillon Park and other good stuff. (Upside: Milano's at lunch for me Tuesday.)

We are sticking to the past trip's effort to eat locally wherever we stop along the way, and so far so good. Wednesday we got to Louisville around lunchtime, so we stopped at the birthplace of the Hot Brown and each had one. We got to Memphis Wednesday evening and celebrated with the sampler platter from Neely's (Pat and Gina were not in the house at the East Memphis location, alas).

Graceland is on the agenda for Thursday. So is more barbecue.

(*In case you're wondering why the foreign-language headline, I thought it approproiate to borrow an album title from Lisa's fictional French country-western band, Chapeau Fou. You might also enjoy their other efforts, "Qu'est-ce que c'est Chapeau Fou?" and "Ne fence me in pas.")

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Packed Up

So it goes without saying that we've been bad bloggers of late. But we totally have a good excuse: We've been packing.

Not this whole time, although sometimes it felt like that. We've spent much of the last two-plus months preparing to move -- and it still felt really sudden when the day actually came. But it did, on Saturday, and our two-year stint together in Charlottesville is now officially over.

For a temporary home, we sure did a hell of a lot there, what with the cross-country move to get there and the getting engaged and married and all of that. And we'll miss our free Friday wine and Christian's pizza and gelato (although going there four times in our last week softened the blow).

But we're also ridiculously excited to get to our new home in L.A. and start our life there. We may even post more than once a quarter. Stay tuned.

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April 28, 2009

And now, spring

So, a few things have changed outside since the last post. (I remain a lazy blogger, however.) Some shots from a couple of recent weekends, at Monticello, Keswick and around our neighborhood. The rest are on Picasa.

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March 2, 2009

Snow day

We didn't get the full blast of the snowstorm that hit this part of the world last night and tonight. But it did dump a couple inches, which was enough to make things look right purty when the sun came out this afternoon. A few shots follow; the rest are on my Picasa page.

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February 15, 2009

Three months and 15 years

As of today, we've been married for three months. We celebrated by ... doing laundry and generally lazing about the house, because we decided not to be one of those couples that celebrated every single milestone in our marriage with some overly shmoopy public display. Plus we made a really nice dinner last night.

As the calendar would have it, though, today is also the 15-year anniversary of the day we met. And that deserves its own story.

Feb. 15, 1994, was a Wednesday, I'm pretty sure. I know that the previous night, my roommates and I, none of us having girlfriends and all of us possessing a soon-to-expire rain check from a couple weeks earlier when there was a power outage at the theater, had seen Schindler's List in Wilmette (there's a nice Valentine's Day -- four dudes and a Holocaust movie). My friend Chris had extended his usual invitation to Evanston's only real student-friendly bar, The Keg, and it must have been a fairly light week for me at The Daily Northwestern, 'cause I went.

I sat down in a booth with Chris and a few other folks, some of whom I knew, some of whom I didn't. One of the latter was Lisa, so by way of introduction Chris said to her, "Do you know Rick?" Her response: "No, but I have seen you naked."*

(*In the previous week's issue of tgif, the Friday entertainment section of The Daily, had aped a Jimmy John's ad by posing naked, with only cardboard Valentine hearts covering our business, for a staff photo -- which, by the way, was taken by a future Pulitzer Prize-winning shooter. When we tell this story, people always seem to raise their eyebrows at Lisa, but as she rightfully points out, I was the one posing naked. So lay off her.)

Ice thus broken, we hit it off pretty well, and enjoyed a good night of cheap pitchers with our friends. She was wearing a green sweater, as I recall. I don't remember what I was wearing, though chances are it was my (still) standard uniform of jeans, T-shirt and untucked button-down shirt. I gave her, and a couple other people, a ride home, with no ulterior motive beyond not making people walk if they didn't have to.

Chris and his roommates had a party about a week and a half later. I don't entirely remember if I'd heard Lisa was going to be there beforehand or if we just saw each other there, but anyway, I kind of made sure we ended up sitting next to each other for a good portion of the time. We kissed for the first time that night, and dated until graduation, pictured above, before having to go our separate ways -- Lisa to New York for an internship, me home to Kettering for a few months and then to California for my first newspaper job.

We stayed in touch on and off in the intervening time, seeing each other a couple of times. Chris, the guy who invited me to The Keg that night, got us back in touch in the summer of 2006. First we e-mailed, then we talked, then we talked a lot, then Lisa came to Santa Monica for Thanksgiving that year, and then that was it. By an extreme stroke of luck my bosses let me move to Virginia in the summer of '07, and 15 months after that we got married.

And now here we are. It took us a while, but here we are.

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December 22, 2008

So, we took a trip...

Not that you'd know it from reading this blog -- we've been our usual lax selves in updating this thing post-wedding -- but we actually went on a honeymoon. To Argentina.

And look -- there's photographic proof.

Chances are we'll expand on our wine-soaked, beef-eating, leather-clad, heat-wave-suffering, completely wonderful and-did-I-mention-the-wine trip in the coming days. (We'll actually have a touch of free time post-Christmas.) For now, though, we invite you to check out some of our photos. I have a smallish album of my favorite shots on Picasa, and Lisa -- both a more prolific shooter and more diligent editor than me -- has a great big set up on her Flickr. Enjoy.

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November 29, 2008

A bit of housekeeping

Seeing as how we've made it legal and all, Lisa and I figured a name change for the blog was in order. We are still, indeed, shacked up, but more important now, we're, you know, married. So welcome to Hitched Up.

Please also note the link to the lovely and talented Billy Hunt's site over there on the right. We are deeply indebted to him and Jeremy Mullis for making us look so good on our wedding day.

Coming soon: Thank you notes (in the actual mail) and large numbers of pictures, descriptions and accounts of Argentina.

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November 17, 2008

An Amazing Day

As a rule, I think the word "amazing" is overused. "The risotto was amazing." "That America's Next Top Model contestant had an amazing photo shoot." "Did you see that amazing camera sequence in Quantum of Solace." (That last one actually is probably true.)

But Saturday really WAS amazing. We really could not have been more thrilled to see so many people who are so dear to us. And to stand in front of all of them in such a beautiful place and marry Rick was absolutely the most incredible thing I've ever experienced.

After days of looking at increasingly ominous forecasts, we ended up with a gorgeous, blustery, partly cloudy, 70-degree day -- perfect. Our fabulous caterer agreed to create chicken and waffle canapes for us. The flowers were gorgeous. We managed not to screw up the first dance, even if we didn't exactly reinact a scene from Strictly Ballroom. Our families got along wonderfully. We were so blessed that our wonderful friends came from far and wide to share the day with us.

All of those things added together made me convinced that somebody somewhere is looking out for us. A good omen if I've ever seen one -- and something for which I am eternally grateful.

Even funnier: Photos of the day started showing up on Facebook even before the next morning -- and I have stolen liberally from everyone else's photo albums. Our photographers totally rocked -- Billy and Jeremy helped make the day, and we can't wait to see the pics. For now, here's the preview.

Thanks, everyone -- we hope you had a great day. It was without question the best one of our lives.

Coming soon: pics and many red wine stories from Argentina!

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November 12, 2008

A few wedding details

Locations and times and whatnot for Saturday:

The ceremony is at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Italian Garden at Maymont (that's it up above, in the spring; we'll be standing under the gazebo at the far left). You'll be going to the Hampton Street entrance and walking a couple hundred yards to the garden. There are also some steps from the main park road down to the garden, and a cobblestone path leading from the garden to the reception site (another short walk), so shod yourself appropriately. Here's a PDF map of the grounds.

The ceremony is outside. Saturday's weather should be in the low to mid-60s, and there's a chance of rain (dry thoughts are appreciated). We promise the ceremony will be short, to allow more time for...

The reception, which will start right after the ceremony at the Garden Hall at Maymont. It's inside, but we hope to be using the adjacent patio too. We'll be serving you some very tasty heavy hors d'oeuvres, along with some lovely beverages and cake.

Saturday is also the Richmond Marathon. Unless you're staying downtown, you shouldn't be affected by street closures. This page at the Maymont site has directions to the Hampton Street entrance (about halfway down the page). If you're staying at the Marriott West (or daytripping from D.C.), follow the Interstate 64/95 directions. If you're at the Hyatt Place, you'll want the Powhite Parkway (Route 76) directions. Paper copies of the directions will also be in your hotel rooms.

Can't wait to see you all! Cheers!

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November 9, 2008

Things to do in Richmond when you're wed (or single, for that matter)

Man does not live by butlered hors d'oeuvres alone, so while you're in town for the wedding, here's a few other things you might enjoy.

Carytown. Mile-long strip of West Cary Street with several good restaurants and cool shops -- antiques, funky clothing, tchotchkes and the like. We particularly enjoy For the Love of Chocolate (everything from Mo's Bacon Bar to Chick-o-Sticks) and Anthill Antiques.

Monument Avenue. Several, uh, interesting monuments to heroes of the Confederacy (as well as one to hometown tennis great Arthur Ashe), as well as a lot of gorgeous old homes on either side. The Virginia Center for Architecture, housed in an enormous Tudor-revival mansion, is worth a look too.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. We really enjoyed the Faberge exhibit.

Shockoe Slip. Historic neighborhood near the James River and Richmond's canal system, with lots of places to eat and drink. Just east is Shockoe Bottom, with more good food. Impressive architecture in he old (but still in-use) Main Street Station.

The Poe Museum. Housed a few blocks from where Edgar Allan Poe lived and worked in Richmond, and celebrating his freaky life.

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