Saturday, September 27, 2008

Day -1: Why Iceland?

In reaction to where we went went on our honeymoon we get one or a mixture of the following reactions?
  • Where's Iceland?
  • Huh... that's interesting.
  • I've never heard of anyone doing that.

It wasn't our intention, when we were planning the honeymoon, to go somewhere completely strange, but I think it's a nice side effect. When Brian and I sat down at the kitchen table to decide where we should go, we drew up a list of a bunch of places, and, through a series of rigorous criteria (not so much), we landed on Iceland and Alaska. We decided that, as West Coast residents, we could go to Alaska just about anytime, and that we should check this Iceland place out. As it turned out, there were some good and cheap flights there, and a friend of mine mentioned the Icelandic Farm Holiday program, which sounded like an awesome way to get things taken care of.

Before this, I knew the following things about Iceland: Bjork, Sigur Ros and volcanos exist there, Reykjavik is the capitol, Vikings are somehow associated. Sometime in the early spring, I purchased the Lonely Planet's guide to Iceland, and tried to learn some more. Some interesting facts:
  • Iceland only has a bit over 300,000 people, but is the size of Kentucky. About 60% of people live in the capitol of Reykjavik.
  • Icelandic is the language, and is the oldest European language. It is as close to what Vikings spoke as you can get. Most people speak English, though.
  • Icelanders still follow the patronymic naming convention that used to be common in much of Scandinavia, rather than having surnames. For example, Brian's name would be Brian Harveyson, and I would be Amy Markdotter. No one changes their name after they get married.
  • Hot dogs are the national snack food. Maybe not officially, but still. Icelanders enjoy their hot dogs with fresh chopped onions, fried onions, ketchup, a sweet mustard and remoulade sauce.
  • Sheep, puffins, Icelandic horses, whales, and cows are common sites around Iceland. People are not.
  • Most of their energy is supplied by geothermal power, as the island is a "hot zone", due to being a place where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates collide.
  • Summer mostly ends at the end of August - September is the start of lower tourist season.
  • Rain is common. Like Seattle, umbrellas are less common - people just wear raincoats.

We booked the South Explorer tour with the Iceland Farm Holidays company, which starts you in Southwest Iceland with a rental car, and then send you to different farms on the South Coast before a night in Reykjavik. Since we still had a few additional days to work with, we booked a few more nights in Reykjavik. I'll be honest - before we left, I had done only limited research on what we were doing. Wedding to plan and show up to, you know?

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Now a word from our sponsors...

Brian and I are back from the honeymoon, and yes, we had a great time. We will be posting pictures and blog entries about each of our days in Iceland so that you can hear, in excruciating detail about all of our funtimes! Happily, we had almost no travel snafus, and we arrived back in Seattle yesterday, greeted by flowers, decorations and treats from some awesome friends, and a pile of gifts that had been delivered while we were away. Yahoo!

In addition to all our great friends and family who helped make our day special, here is a list of the vendors and people we used for the wedding, in case you were wondering:
Also, a special thanks to Andrew for lending speakers, setting them up and helping us rock out, to Rachel and Emily for decorating and delegating decorating responsibilities, and to Matt for letting us crash his conveniently located condo before the wedding to eat pizza and escape the heat and for securing more chairs at Artspace.

We will have some wedding pictures up soon from our photographer, but if anyone is jonesin' for some pictures now, here are some lovely pictures from Joy & Lindel and from Michele.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The aftermath

Thanks to everyone who was able to come to our wedding last night! We had a great time, and we are so happy that so many of you were able to come. For those that weren't there, we missed you! I'm sure there will be pictures soon, but Brian and I will not be able to post any until we get back to Seattle, since we're not taking our computers to Iceland (I know, SHOCKER!). So, if anyone has links to some photos online that they want to share, put them in the comments!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wedding Cake

So my mom and I are making the wedding cake. Those of you who know me and my baking tendencies probably aren't too surprised. Those of you who don't should know that my mom has made a ton of wedding cakes in her life. She paid her way through college working as a caterer. I've always been partial to my mom's cakes, so when she asked if that could be her gift to me, I said yes. The catch is that I would be doing half the work.

As you may recall, Amy and I are going with coconut cake. We wanted something Southern, so we orginally pushed for red velvet. My mom balked at the thought of that much red food coloring, so coconut it is. Unfortunately, Amy has sworn off coconut cake forever after I made her try the fifteen different varieties, but hopefull the rest of you will enjoy it.

So we started with this:

Cake Mix

That's 9 boxes of Duncan Hines (don't go Betty Crocker!). Add in 27 eggs, 9 cans of light coconut milk, water, and oil, and you start to get some actual cakes:


At this point, we are going to fill them tomorrow morning, do a crumb coat of frosting and toss them in the freezer before we move on to later steps. If you're going to be at the wedding, you'll get to enjoy the results first hand.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

omg freakout

It's less than a week away. Brian and I are getting on the plane tomorrow. We're flying through Nashville - do you need any country music schwag? I think you do. We demand Bojangles and/or Waffle House treats as soon as we land. Who's the welcoming committee?

However - what's up with this rain in Raleigh? I love a good thunderstorm, but none of this drizzle, thank you! Also, why is it always beautiful weather whenever I leave Seattle? 72 and sunny all week! Also, for the record, Iceland is 50 degrees and raining. Who planned this honeymoon anyway?

For those around in Raleigh on Thursday night, I think there might be something going on. You know, Mitch's style.

I have no questions for you today, except to ask: are you ready? Brian has a kickin' dance mix.