Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Our Honeymoon. A Pictorial.

We had a great time in Maui! And came back with lots of pictures (we would have come back with even more, but one of our cameras decided to stay and enjoy the "Aloha Spirit" indefinitely...)


We stayed at the Sheraton at Black Rock, located on Ka'anapali Beach, a resort area near Lahaina on the west coast of Maui. The grounds are really lovely.


And our room had a great view!


Our first full day in Maui, we decided to do the crazy thing and get up before dawn to go watch the sunrise on the top of Haleakala, the volcano that makes up East Maui. We had fun with the tripod, as evidenced by our silly poses.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Later, after a rest, we went to a beach with mild surf to practice our snorkeling. Raj was not a big fan of our cheap-o snorkel gear.


But I had a great time doing a little bit of snorkeling there.


Later, we watched the sunset from the beach at our hotel.


The Sheraton does a little show every night at sunset: a torch lighting and cliff dive ceremony. (Move the speed slider to the left on the slideshow and it could be a slow stop-action movie.)

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

The next day, we drove the Road to Hana. It was nice to see the lush, tropical side of Maui. We were both a bit surprised by the desert area around our resort--not what you expect in Hawaii. The Road to Hana showed us what we'd expected to see--forests, gullies, waterfalls. We made many stops along the way and didn't get back to our hotel until after dark.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

My favorite picture from the day:


The following day was our snorkel trip, followed by a couples massage at the hotel spa. For the snorkel trip, we were thrilled to be upgraded to the fancier boat (hot lunch, sail past stars' homes). It made two stops: Molokini and Turtle Town. We had this nifty little waterproof digital camera bag that I bought before we left--it took a little finagling to get the lens centered in the bag, but we got it to work pretty well. All these pictures from the snorkel trip were taken by the camera in the little waterproof bag.



We did see a couple of giant turtles--that was pretty awesome!



Wednesday we went off to the Maui Ocean Center, an aquarium in Ma'alaea.



After the Maui Ocean Center we did some roving around the island, including a stop Fabric Mart in Kahului. This fabric store is practically overflowing with Hawaiian print fabric.

Our last full day in Maui, Friday, we took a drive heading northward from our hotel, experiencing another type of Maui landscape--craggy cliffs.


Then we took a stroll on the beach walk.


Later that night we got "dressed up" for the luau.


We went to the Royal Lahaina Luau, at the Royal Lahaina Resort, just up the beach from us. It was super cheesy but fun nonetheless. And the sunset that night was another beauty.



You can see all the pictures from the trip here.

I could do an entire post about the food we ate. We took pains to find interesting and unique, not-super-touristy places to eat. None of these places were fancy (in fact, Ba-Le is in food courts) but the food was the best value for money we could find.
Aloha Mixed Plate (hawaiian)
Paia Fish Market (great sea food)
Four Sisters Kitchen (filipino-hawaiian)
Ba-Le (best Bahn Mi ever?)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ceremony details

Our ceremony is going to be officiated by Reverend James Kubal-Komoto, a Unitarian Universalist minister at Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church in South King County.

I hadn't given any thought to ceremony music until recently. I just booked this guy to play classical guitar during the ceremony. He says he'll play whatever we want--suggestions? I found him on Yelp, but if you're ever in the position of needing musicians, might I recommend the Musicians' Association of Seattle. You submit your request on their website and then musicians flood your email and voicemail with samples of their services. Really, the response has been quite something.

Things to do! Seattle edition

A brief list of fun things to do in Seattle:

The Underground Walking Tour in Pioneer Square is a humorous primer on early Seattle History, complete with traipsing through dank underground passageways.

Every visitor to Seattle must make a stop at Pike Street Market. Check out the vendors and watch the flying fish.

For a bit of peace, head to the Olympic Sculpture Park, a free branch of the Seattle Art Museum (also a good place to go).

For views on a clear day, you could go to the top of the Space Needle, OR you could save your $$ and head up to Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill. Alternately, you can head to the top of the Columbia Tower, the tallest building in Washington State--significantly cheaper and taller than the Space Needle.

Like some other big cities, Seattle has it's own version of a duck tour. Ride the Ducks leaves from right across from Seattle Center. After you get your fill of cheesy jokes on your amphibious truck tour, you can head across and check out the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum--one ticket gets you into both venues.

For beach fun, head to Alki Point in West Seattle (take the Water Taxi there from Downtown Seattle!) or Golden Gardens Park in the Ballard neighborhood.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Registries (now with links!)

Our big event approaches! We are registered at Amazon and Macys. Our photographers also have a registry feature. (I'm not sure how it works, though. So check back for info on that later).

Gifts are great, but mostly we're excited to see you all! :D

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Things to do! Tacoma edition

Whether you have a day or a week in the area, there are lots of great things to do in Tacoma and the surrounding area.

Just a short drive from Tacoma is Wild Waves and Enchanted Village, a theme park/water park, fun for the whole family on a hot August day. Pack your sunblock and get ready for some great water slides.

The Tacoma Rainiers are the AAA feeder team for the Mariners. If you want an evening of seemingly-small town baseball, head over the Cheney Stadium for a game. The Rainiers will be playing the Albuquerque Isotopes on Wednesday and Thursday before the wedding, then they head out of town.

The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is located the same park where the wedding is taking place. This zoo is little in a good way--as in, it's possible to see everything without getting overwhelmed. The zoo specializes in animals from the Pacific Rim. (Also, you can visit sister Tracie who works in the gift shop!)

The Museum of Glass in Downtown Tacoma has a gallery with rotating exhibits of glass art, and the hot shop (that silver cone you'll see in pretty much every picture of downtown) is great--people blowing glass all day long! If going into the museum isn't your thing, you can still check out the Bridge of Glass, a foot bridge with lots of glass art on display to the public, and the outdoor plazas of the museum for free.

The Washington State History Museum. It's about the history of Washington. Fun for kids.

The Tacoma Art Museum specializes in showcasing Northwest art. Located within walking distance from the other two museums.

Important note: All three museums have free entry on the third Thursday of every month, which happens to be day before our wedding.

That's our short list. TripAdvisor has lots of other ideas.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Where to stay

If you're traveling to our event, there are lots of options for where to stay. Our recommendations are divided in 3 categories--Tacoma, Seattle, and Airport hotels. If you choose to stay in Tacoma, you'll be closer to the wedding venue (and less likely to deal with traffic); however, there are fewer attractions in Tacoma than Seattle. If you opt to stay near the airport, you'll have the convenience of being about equidistant from Seattle and Tacoma. If you stay in Seattle, you'll have no lack of things to do, but it's bit farther from the wedding. You'll probably get the best deal on an airport place.

Tacoma hotels:
SilverCloud Inn Ruston Way
Hotel Murano Downtown Tacoma
Best Western Tacoma Dome

Airport hotels:
Cedarbrook Lodge
Fairfield Inn by Marriott
Radisson Hotel Gateway

Seattle hotels:
Hotel Vintage Park
Sheraton Seattle
Warwick Seattle

This is a really brief list and I would encourage you to check out hotels.com to find other hotels that better meet your needs for price and location.

Friday, March 5, 2010


We've chosen to register at Macy's and Amazon. I think I could probably find everything I could ever desire on Amazon, but Macy's is more convenient for some people, and we found some dishes we really love there, so there will be a few things on the Macy's list. With my love of cooking, I'm really excited to research and select awesome kitchen stuff. The registry is still very much a work in progress.

As noted in the previous post, there will also be a registry option through the photographers.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


We've booked Wallflower Photography to do the photography for the wedding and reception. I'm thrilled to have them taking our pictures. Go check out their work--it's beautiful! (Their webiste) (Their blog)

I contacted these folks after they were featured in the UPS alumni magazine, Arches. We met with them in their house/office and I was impressed with their work. I like that they do the modern style of wedding album (where the entire page is composed collage-style and printed), but I'm not sure if we'll order one right away.

One of the neat things about this company is that they have a registry where guests can choose to put money toward a couple's photography costs if they wish. I think this is a great idea for people who aren't sure what to give as a gift.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Venue: The Pagoda at Point Defiance Park

We'll be celebrating our wedding at the Pagoda in Point Defiance Park in Tacoma. ( Look at this pretty picture! ) Odds are good that it will be a nice day and the plan is to exchange vows outside, either on the lawn or at the base of a large staircase on the back side of the Pagoda (like these people did). And if it rains, we can push all the tables to one side of the Pagoda and hold the ceremony inside.

In our venue search, we considered wineries, converted barns, and other non-church locations. I thought it would be nice to get married at the Golden Gardens Bathhouse, located on the beach in Ballard, but when we went to visit, Raj was turned off by the public-ness of it (namely, the public restrooms within spitting distance of the doors leading from the bathhouse to the beach). The Pagoda is also in a public park, but the layout of the area and surrounding gardens make it a bit more private. And it's only a short trip down to Owen Beach so we can still have beach pictures.

An important factor in our venue search was being able to do the whole shebang all in one location. In the interest of keeping our carbon footprint as small as possible, I didn't want guests to drive from one place to another between the ceremony and reception. And, as this venue is in a city park, it is conveniently budget conscious, as well.