Thursday, March 17, 2016

My Best Friend's Wedding!

The first weekend of March was the start of "wedding season" for me, if you will. Before I left for Canada, I had a total of 4 weddings this year. April's in March in Florida, Heather's in June in New Mexico, Stephanie's in October in Miami, FL and Olivia's 6 days later after Stephanie's in NY (luckily local!) I got a postcard "Save the Date" for my friend Jeannette's wedding before I left for Canada and it's this year too! Holy cow. Her's is in December. Doesn't anyone get married on a SATURDAY anymore?! I guess I am finally at that age where it's all weddings. And soon it'll all be babies.

So April's wedding was the first. She has been my best friend since 6th grade when we were stand partners for flute in band. When she met Tim in Florida, I was so happy for her because she really didn't have that many friends our age at her job (she is a journalist) and they had a lot in common. When they got engaged, I was elated. And she asked me to be her maid of honor. I said yes without a doubt in my mind.

I flew out Thursday night, less than 48 hours after I got back from Canada. I am glad I made that decision because NY got some snow on Friday morning and one of the other bridesmaids sat on her plane at JFK Airport for 1.5 hours before it took off! #reasonswhyihatesnow

Friday morning, April, her mom and I went to get our nails done. This was the weather when we were leaving:
Y'all, I was in SNOW PANTS and 10 degree weather on MONDAY that week and on FRIDAY, I was in 75+ degree weather and SHORTS! What an extreme weather change!

After we got our nails done, we went back to the house to wait for April's cousin Abby who was a bridesmaid. Tim went to get Laura at the airport (the other bridesmaid) and would meet us at the Grand Floridian hotel. Why? Because Tim's sister-in-law and his brother let us use their guest passes to get into the Magic Kingdom for FREE! April and Tim are passholders so they don't need to buy a ticket but it would've been over $100 for each one of us to get a ticket. We only had a few hours at the Magic Kingdom but it was so much fun!

April made fast pass reservations for us so our three fast passes were for Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Pirates of the Caribbean. I know I didn't go on Pirates or Haunted Mansion when I was at Disney in July with my family so I was super excited! We were also able to throw in some other rides/stops like Mickey's Philharmagic and Carpets of Aladdin!

That darn crane!

Happy couple!

Laura ordered these shirts for us and I got one for Tim (and a matching one for April) to wear on their honeymoon in a few weeks! They're going on a Disney cruise

Love these girls!

Carpets of Aladdin

We also caught the castle projection show where they did all different scenes from Disney movies on the castle. So cool! It made me want to come home and watch all the Disney movies I have. I should get on that!

Maid of honor & Bride! 


We also caught the Main Street Electrical Parade. We got a spot in the front!

 Saturday was the rehearsal lunch at The Wave, a restaurant in The Contemporary Resort followed by the rehearsal. After the rehearsal, we checked into our room at The Grand Floridian!! Again, Tim's brother & sister-in-law gifted them a night at the Grand Floridian. Well, 2 nights. Tim stayed the night at another hotel and the girls stayed there together. What a luxurious hotel!

Love that sign! 

There was a lot of confusion about things on Saturday night when we were suppose to go see Bob Jackson at Port Orleans Riverside, another resort (I stayed there in July!). Laura and I ended up taking Tim and then Abby and April met us there later.

Side note: I was getting my French CST results this weekend I am made myself a promise that I wouldn't open them until Monday because I didn't want it to ruin my weekend. I was hoping I passed because it was the third time I took this freaking test and it was so hard. I was stupid and opened the email this weekend. Yup, did not pass again. So needless to say I drowned my sorrows. I am determined to pass it though!

Afterwards, we went back to the hotel and I gave April a gift I had been working on for MONTHS. I got this gift idea on Pinterest (what did we do before that site?!). It was a scrapbook called "Letters to the Bride." I had her parents write one, her bridal party, our friend Katie that she lived with and ended it with one from Tim. In it, I included pictures and her reaction was worth all the time and effort that was put into it!

We went to sleep but not before singing "Going to the chapel" and probably annoying the people next door to us. #weweretoexcited

We woke up at the ungodly hour of 5am. April was getting her hair done by Disney and the hair stylist was coming to our hotel room at 6am....or so we thought. She showed up at 6:45. I inhaled coffee until it was an appropriate time to start drinking mimosas.

April's beautiful dress hanging on the hanger I got her. 

Getting ready! The robe I am wearing was in our bridal bag from April. I got her the bride robe she is wearing not knowing she got us these! (She had a white one to match). 

 I took so many selfies this weekend/mirror pictures. #whoami

My best friend  for the last 17 years! <3

She's my person.

It was such beautiful weather outside that we took pictures outside! 
Me, Abby, Laura

April and her parents

Their first dance was to "Tale as Old as Time" from Beauty & The Beast but an instrumental version. So cute!

April and her dad danced to "Because You Loved Me" by Celine Dion. Towards the end, they invited her mom out on the floor and it was so touching.

The cake

 Then, Mickey and Minnie came! They came, danced, and helped cut the cake!

29 years old and I am the biggest Disney nerd! 

Friends since high school! 

Love this couple! <3 so honored to have been part of their day! 

One of my favorite pictures from that day. We were walking from our room to go take pictures and we were just so happy. 

I cannot wait to see their full length video. Their videographers, Trinity Wedding Cinema, did a FANTASTIC job with their sneak peek and you can see me crying (or trying not to cry any harder) in the dancing like a fool! 

Fantastic wedding for my best friend!....and I am done traveling until June!

Monday, March 14, 2016

O Canada!

Well hey there blog world! Long time no see! The past few weeks have been so hectic I neglected this blog. Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually still does read it. :-P

Two weeks ago, my friend Ronny (the other French teacher), myself and 2 male chaperones took 35 kids on a trip to Quebec Canada. Everyone kept asking me "Oh, are you flying there?!" and when I said no, they nearly choked when I said we were taking a coach bus. But we had a fancy bus! It had wifi, outlets to charge your phone and of course the bathroom (but I never use those because they freak me out).

We left Saturday, February 27 and spent most of the day traveling. We stopped once to change drivers (and score, there was a Starbucks to recaffeinate). I thought the kids would pass out since we were leaving at 6am. NOPE! They were super wired and coming out with the funniest comments. We stopped again for lunch, went through the border and then onward to our hotel. Once we got there and met our guide, Mary Grace Ho Ho. We used JumpStreet Educational Tours and they/Mary Grace were AWESOME! I cannot wait to go back in two years.

We settled into the hotel and then went for dinner. I had some type of chicken marsala dish but the chicken was a little dry. We had to ask for a bowl of gravy....just for the adults!

After dinner, we went tobogganing. What an experience! My friend Ronny (the other French teacher) has never done it in all her years of running the trip. And this year, I convinced her to do it! She is so glad she did!

This is what you sit on

Beautiful view when we got off the bus!

You go all the way up there (someone has to drag the sled thing) and then you slide down it. Essentially, it is 3-4 people per sled. You have to put your legs on the thighs of the person in front o you (except the first person) and then hold on for dear life! It's such a thrill!

We had hot chocolate after and then went back to the hotel. You would think the kids would be pooped from a 10+ hour bus ride and toboganning but no.............they took forever to calm down! Ha!

Sunday morning we started the day with breakfast at a nice cafe with croissant. They were so delicious! 

Guy making them and that's Ronny, my coworker, making a funny face taking a picture of him. #shecracksmeup

Afterwards we went on a tour of Old Quebec and did some shopping! 

That would be our tour guide, Mary Grace aka MG, in the yellow jacket. She was awesome! Our group was only her third group overall but she is an awesome tour guide. Fun fact: She is from Rwanda and learned English from movies & music. 

 Two brave French teachers with 35 kids in the cold!

 Headed to the Parliament building

We went to lunch at Chez Ashton and had poutine! It is French fries with gravy and cheese curds. Looks kind of gross when you look at it but it was delicious!

Looked at some street art.

Afterwards, we went to an ice hotel. They build it each year during the month of January and then demolish it. Every year has a different theme. This year's theme was rivers.

You can get married here! You can also stay here on an ice bed for $200 a night. No thanks!

We ended the night at a snowtubing park! It was all sorts of fun. One of our chaperones was the technology director so he got great videos of me screaming down the slopes. 

Monday was another jam packed day. We were in the midst of a snow storm that morning so we had to cut our visit to the falls out. We saw them while we were on a bus.

Went to a great crepe place for breakfast!

Followed by a visit to St.Anne's Bascilia. Here, (and pretty much everywhere we went during the trip), the kids pulled out their phones. Not only were they using them as their cameras but they checked to see if there was wifi. Here, one student asked "Anyone know the church's wifi password?" and some kid said "I put jesus1225 but it didn't work." #lordhelpme

Left our mark at the basilica! 

We then went on to a wood carving shop. This guy was the only English speaking person in that part of Quebec.

The falls we skipped out on because of the snow storm.

We went to an activity with the renactment of a day in the life of a British soldier. It was quite comical what they made the kids do. 

Later, we went to a mall. There was an indoor skating rink, ferris wheel, etc. The kids didn't use the vouchers because we didn't had as much time (we were suppose to have 2.5 hours and had to cut an hour out). 

After the mall, we went dog sledding! This was something I was looking forward to! 

Listening how to sit, brake, etc

 Ronny and I. Halfway through, you switch. It was absolutely freezing by the time we were done so we cut out snow shoeing but it was an amazing experience. So glad I can check this off my bucket list!

We ate dinner and there was some dancing plus making our own maple butter and maple taffy.

Overall, it was an incredible trip! The kids had a blast and I can't wait to go back in two years.