A Slight Change in Plans …

Hi friends,

So it’s been a while–how are ya?! Things here have been moving along at a crazy pace this year–jobs and wedding planning and pets and travel … you know how it goes.

Speaking of wedding planning, there’s been a slight change in ours. And now that we’ve updated all of our friends and family, I can go ahead and share here, as well. So the deal is this–Chris and I have decided to get married, just the two of us, by ourselves. Most likely here in New York City, the place where it all began.

Then, we’ll go ahead and have some parties with our individual families. The way we see it, it just gives us more chances to celebrate. (And more chances for me to wear my dress. And less stress. So basically good things all around.)

Now that our plans have changed, though, I feel the need to share the information I have about the place we visited back in Palm Springs. The cancellation of this wedding had absolutely nothing to do with our visit to this place because, let me tell you, we adored this place. We loved this place. If we were going to have a fancy, full-on wedding, this would have been the place.

So here’s the deal. The place that I found was called The O’Donnell House (even looking at this site brings a pang to my heart…how beautiful!).

There are so many reasons that I loved this place. Let me see: It’s on the smaller side, so our guest list would have had to have been capped at 125 (which, as amazing as a smaller wedding sounded to us, it turned out to be stressful when it came to actually planning the guest list); it’s outdoors, surrounded by mountains and cacti and natural beauty; The O’Donnell House itself is this old, quaint hotel, with tons of charm and old-world feel; Laurie, the event planner for The O’Donnell House, is an angel. Honestly. When I wrote her to tell her that we actually would not be signing the contract, on the day it was due, after I had asked her to keep that date open for me (yup, I was that nightmare bride), she was nothing but professional. And when I told her that I was so sorry, and that I felt so conflicted about it, she proceeded to share a very personal, very lovely story with me about her daughter, which really did make me feel better.

I thought I’d share a few more photos of our weekend here now, in case they might be inspirational for any of you brides (or soon-to-be-brides!) looking for a destination wedding location. Check it out:

These are the adorable golf carts that our guests would have ridden up to the venue in. Too fun.
Wrought iron gates lead to the area where the tables and dance floor would be set up.
Imagine this area filled with friends, family, food and dancing. Love it.
Another view
Little touches like these cute lanterns really help make the venue shine.
This porch off the bride’s prep rooms on the top floor provides an amazing view of the valley. I envisioned me and my maids drinking coffee out here in the morning before getting ready, talking about how my whole life was about to change …

Chris and I would have been getting married right at that teeny, tiny tip of the grass area.

The stairs I would be walking down to get married.

We were thinking Mexican food for our rehearsal dinner…I mean who doesn’t want to eat that, right now?
Oh yeah, and this was going to be our wedding cake. Yummmmmm
Tasting different wedding cake options is, I believe, one of the best things in life.

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway rises 8,500 feet above the desert floor. A ride on it was going to be our gift to our guests as a thanks for celebrating in Palm Springs with us.

Oh, and we ended the trip with Mexican food and margaritas. Not too shabby!

So that, my friends, was our trip (and our wedding!) in a nutshell. Like I said, if you’re looking for a place for a potential destination wedding, I’d highly suggest checking out Palm Springs and the O’Donnell House. It’s the stuff that wedding dreams are made of.

On another travel note, I have some very exciting trips coming up. Something came up last minute for the end of August and, despite the expense of it!, I just had to do it. Now I can’t share all the details of that here just yet, because part of it is a surprise, but let’s just say it’s a trip of a lifetime, and I am so, so blessed to be able to be a part of it. I can’t wait to share more about it here!

Then, Chris and I have finally finalized everything for our Europe trip in September. While we originally thought we’d have time to head to Cinque Terra, unfortunately that just wasn’t in the cards, so instead we’ll be doing Berlin (for the marathon), Munich (for Oktoberfest), renting a car and dropping Chris’s parents off in Salzburg before heading to Venice for a night, then it’s off to Rome for three days.

I can’t wait!! Having travel to look forward to really does make everything in life worth it, doesn’t it?

Bis bald, friends! Hope your summer’s are going swimmingly!

Mission Accomplished

Well friends, I’m wary of sharing too much information here, or too many photos, but I just have to say–Chris and I both LOVED Palm Springs. It was absolutely everything I had hoped it would be, and I am beyond excited to get married there!

It’s beautiful. The people are so nice. There is so much to do.

It’s exactly the type of place we were looking for. Here’s a little bit of what we saw this past weekend:

Well folks–what do you think? It’s pretty … pretty, right?!

By the way, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the havoc that was our trip on Thursday. After barely making it back to the apartment by 1 to meet Chris at our appointed time (this, my friends, is because it took me AN HOUR to arrive by bus to my apartment, all of 80 blocks from my point of origin), we made it to LaGuardia. After loading our plane to Dallas for our connecting flight (and being placed in AWESOME seats in the first row behind first class), we were quickly de-planed after it was announced to us that the air conditioning wasn’t working on the plane, and they needed to fix it with us off the plane.

Once back in the terminal, we realized that, with the delay, we would never catch our connecting flight in Dallas to Palm Springs, and that flight turned out to be the last out of Dallas to Palm Springs for the night.

Also, the earliest flight on Friday morning would not allow us to get in with enough time to make our first two appointments–meeting the wedding planner, seeing the destination venue and meeting the DJ.

All very important things.

To make a long story short (sort of), we ended up getting a car service (thank you American Airlines) from LaGuardia to JFK, where a flight was leaving at 7 directly to Los Angeles. Then, in LA, we had to rent a car and drive the 2 1/2 hours to Palm Springs.

Needless to say, we arrived–tired and starving and not a little cranky–at our hotel in Palm Springs at around 3 a.m. on Friday morning.

At least our stewardess has been amazing. She loved the fact that Chris and I were engaged, and gave us champagne before the flight took off, then a full bottle before we got off the plane.

That nearly made it all worth it 😉

Bis bald, friends!

Holy Cow I’m Excited!

Hi guys!

So, this weekend … it’s a BIG weekend for me and Chris.

This weekend Chris and I will be jetting off to Palm Springs, California, to visit the place where we will be–drum roll please–potentially getting married.

Insane, I know.

But I’m so, so excited! We’ll be checking out flowers, meeting a DJ, seeing the venue, tasting the food and the cake (ummm..my favorite thing, thank you very much)!

So wish us luck! I’ll be back next week with an update!

Where in the World: Alpine Meadows, North Lake Tahoe

Looking for a new ski spot? Why not try North Lake Tahoe?

It was exciting to see one of Chris’s clients listed on the Frommer’s homepage today—Alpine Meadows. According to the write-up, Alpine Meadows is known for its low-key atmosphere and one of the best backsides in the Sierra, with 25% of its runs designated as easy, 40% as more difficult, and the remainder as black or double-black. Click the above link to see some of the great deals they have going on right now.

Bis bald!