Wanderlust and My 2014 Travel Plans

Do you know what happens after living in the United States for 7 months straight?

Restlessness. Wanderlust. Crazy travel plans.

Yup. This is going to be another big year for travel. And you know why? Because why not? And with our impending wedding in April 2015, I am trying to shove as much travel in before life gets in the way. Hopefully our lives will not change too drastically as a married couple, but why not take advantage of the opportunity now?

Here are my tentative travel plans for 2014!

April- China and Thailand

Shanghai

Yes everybody. I am headed back to Shanghai! Peter has been working there for a month now and I have been patiently waiting for him to get a residency permit so I could apply for a visa! Well he still doesn’t have his permit so I applied for my visa this week using our Malaysian friend’s work visa information to apply. This has been a month-long nightmare that for now I must sit and wait out. My plane to Shanghai leaves Friday, April 4th so we shall see if I am on board or not!

chiang mai

We are also taking a weekend trip to Chiang Mai! Peter and I are meeting up with some of our friends from Singapore for the Songkran Festival on April 13-15th. It is their new year celebration also known as a huge water fight with people chucking buckets of water at one another or with water guns. A chance to return to one of my favorite cities in the world for a huge water festival? Count me in!

May- Florida and Maine

In early May, I fly back to Florida for some wedding planning and to get my wedding dress fitted! Peter and I also plan on registering and finalizing major vendors. Oh boy.

For my birthday weekend I am flying up to Maine for a college roomie reunion! I haven’t been back to Maine in probably 4 years (wow). Two of my bridesmaids and I are staying in a cabin on a lake and I am so excited! We also might do some bridesmaid dress shopping. It is going to be marvelous!

Then I am back in Florida for a Memorial Day weekend wedding that Peter is in. My friend and I are singing the song for the bride and groom’s First Dance so I need to start practicing! Yikes.

June- Ireland, London and France

green pastures, county kerry, ireland

Carina and I had so much fun on our Southeast Asia adventure that we are planning another big trip! Our plan is to fly to Dublin and spend time in Ireland (one of my dream locations!), make our way to London to explore the city and surrounding areas, and then fly to Brest, France where her sister is living. We are then going to spend a few days driving around France. No big deal.

Omg!!! So excited! Planning this will definitely take some time but we are up for the challenge.

July- Florida and Utah

park city utah

After Europe, I will return to Florida and finish up more wedding planning and possibly go to Park City, Utah with my family. My parents are renting a place there for a month and there is no reason why I should not go!

August-December- China, New Zealand, Florida and Canada (Hawaii and Italy?)

middle earth

Source

In August, I will head back to Shanghai to be with Peter. We are planning a trip to New Zealand which is at the top of my travel dream list. Peter will be working in Auckland but I hope to explore the surrounding areas. We are going before he meets up with his guy friends for a 2 week bachelor party trip. They will be driving through New Zealand and hitting up the major Lord of the Rings locations. I am very jealous.

For the holidays we will most likely be home in Florida. However, Peter’s parents live in Hawaii and Italy so we might go visit one of them. Also, Peter won a weekend trip to Vancouver so we will either go at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year. I have never been to British Columbia and am really excited.

Like I said, 2014 is a big year for travel. 

It is also a big year for wedding planning and preparing for my life together with Peter as man and wife.

It’s going to be a great prelude to an even greater 2015. Let’s do this!

Tana and Mike’s Wedding: Pt. 3

The wedding ceremony took place in Camden’s outdoor amphitheater which had a wonderful view of the harbor. The weather was perfect, although it did get a little steamy sitting directly in the sun which for Maine was a lovely surprise!

The guests all sat before the groom took his place at the end of the aisle to wait for his bride. He was very calm and collected but you could tell that he was nervous. It was very sweet.

Let the procession begin!

As Tana walked down the stone steps of the amphitheater, she radiated happiness in the bright sunshine that illuminated her veil. She looked like an angel. I have never seen my friend so full of joy and excitement.

Mike arranged “God gave me you” which the Meddies performed during the ceremony. It was such a special moment and a perfect a cappella blessing for the couple. It was definitely my favorite part of the entire ceremony.

They wrote their own vows and pretty much everybody was in tears. 

Husband and wife! We showered them with bubbles down the aisle and Mike somehow found an awesome top hat. So much joy!

It was great to reunite with old friends who live so far away. Here we have a Californian, Floridian, and  a couple Alaskans! We are a diverse bunch and I love it.

After the ceremony the Meddies began to spontaneously sing again and it was a glorious moment. Mike even sang a song to Tana and it was perfect.
The crowd then dispersed back to Whitehall Inn for some cocktails and appetizers while the bridal party took a a cruise on a sailboat. We then sat down to a lovely dinner and listened to heart-felt speeches by members of the bridal party. Afterwards everybody danced the night away. Unfortunately I did not take pictures, I was too busy dancing! Once the Inn kicked us out, the younger guests walked across the street to an after party hosted by Mike’s mom. There was more Meddie singing which was epic.
We went to bed in our adorable room at Whitehall and woke up exhausted but happy from the festivities the night before. Caitlin, Dave, Emily and I enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the Inn including the most incredible pancakes of my life. Tana and Mike then made an appearance to say goodbye before departing for their honeymoon in Austria.
I remember being driven in Mike’s red mustang for my birthday sophomore year when my amazing roommates took me to a high school production of High School Musical. Hahaha! Well the mustang was put to good use once again to whisk the new couple away.
Congratulations Tana and Mike! I love you both and wish you all the happiness in the world.

Tana and Mike’s Wedding: Pt. 2

After making the beautiful bouquets we whisked the bride-to-be away for her hair and make-up. Carina is a make-up expert so we put her artist skills to work. Although, honestly she didn’t have to do much!

Such a beautiful engagement ring!

Then it was off to the hair salon! This took longer than expected so we fell a little behind schedule which was stressful. However, her hair looked beautiful in the end.

Done and done!

Running late, we rushed home and Tana immediately stepped into her wedding dress while her mom carefully laced her up. It was such a beautiful moment between mother and daughter and you could tell that it meant a lot to both of them. 

Meanwhile the groom waited at the front of the house to give Tana’s mother a corsage before the first look. So handsome!

I have never seen a happier bride and groom to be. I was especially grateful to be with Tana during her hair appointment. It was so special to spend a calm moment alone with my roomie of 4 years, before she took a leap of faith and love in marriage. We have been through so much together, and apart, and it was incredible to support her on her special day. I trust Mike with all my heart to take care of her and to love her just like she loves and cares for him.

The professional photographer took over from here so I quickly got ready and headed over to the ceremony. The ceremony and reception… coming up next!

Tana and Mike’s Wedding: Pt. 1

So I need to post Tana’s wedding pictures BEFORE China pictures. Why? I don’t want to get too far behind on posting and I want to spend ample time recapping my China adventures. Plus, the wedding pictures all came out perfectly with no editing needed. However, my China pictures all require some editing and brightening because there was little natural sunlight and I was using a crappy lens. Hello macro-lens, you are my new fav!

As you probably know already, the wedding was BEAUTIFUL and I enjoyed the celebration so much. Since the professional photographer did not arrive till the afternoon of the wedding, I became the unofficial photographer the morning before the ceremony. Yay! It was SO. MUCH. FUN. New profession maybe?

After a wonderful Rehearsal dinner Friday night, Caitlin and I ate some delicious breakfast at Whitehall Inn and headed over to the Scott’s house to help make the bridal bouquets. The flowers came from her mother’s garden and they were absolutely beautiful. The girls did a great job of assorting the flowers into beautiful bouquets, although it was hard and took a long time!

The bride’s bouquet consisted of white flowers interspersed with little blue flowers.

The bride’s bouquet turned out beautifully, thanks to the maid-of-honor!

The bouquets turned out perfectly with little time to spare. Next up… hair and makeup!