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You Don’t Have to Live Like a Refugee

1 Nov

Hey everyone with Internet, guess what? We’re alive!

And not only that, not even Hurricane Sandy can stop the historic wedding of db and db-to-be. Miraculously, our wedding venue is in tact and with full power. Busses and cars are now running from NYC to Newark, meaning that the event will go on. It is simply a miracle.

Now this doesn’t mean that life has been good for the past week. In fact, it has sucked. We lost power and water in our apartment on Monday night and still haven’t gotten it back. This means that we’ve been refugees in our own city all week. What have we been doing? I am glad you asked …

Monday

We started the night with leftovers of a delicious meal of Spicy Stewed Beef with Creamy Cheddar Grits that Danielle prepared the night before.  Power went out at around 8:45 PM. After we lost power, Danielle and I played Boggle by candlelight and drank. This was fun for about an hour, but we obviously would have preferred our weekly Monday tradition of watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Then we went to sleep, hoping that all would be okay in the morning.

Tuesday

All was not okay. We had no power or water. Luckily, we had a few lifelines to the outside world – Twitter on our phones and an FM radio on Danielle’s iPod. It became clear that there was absolute devastation in our area and that we would be affected for quite some time. So we packed some bags full of clothes, food and chargers and decided to head north, where we heard there was power.

The Great Northern Migration, as I have now called it, was really bizarre. There were tons of New Yorkers with bags and suitcases walking uptown in search of power and shelter. Anyone in NYC this week will tell you that the signature visual of this storm is people sitting around in drug stores and banks just charging their phones and computers.

Our first stop was the Marriott in midtown, where we met up with my friend Drugs (aka Andy) and his sister Alanna. Our pack of now 4 refugees played a rousing game of salad bowl (a favorite of Danielle’s friends).

After that we ventured to lunch at Wolfgang’s. Was it pricey? Yes. Was it amazing? Yes. Was it open? Yes! The big highlight of the meal, however, was that we got to witness what we’re pretty sure were two high-class prostitutes being wined and dined by a couple of patrons.

In the afternoon, Danielle and I were fortunate enough to find a hotel. It had no Internet (I know, the horror), but it did have power, heat and water, which was a huge step up. We ended the night with a dinner with Drugs, Alanna and Kalen at a place called Connolly’s, which was actually pretty good.

Oh, and we got the highlight of the night, a text message from my sister, Lauren, that said that Newark had gotten much of its power back. It seemed that the wedding might be on after all!

Wednesday

On Wednesday AM, we started to hear from our venue and various vendors that they were okay – another encouraging sign that the wedding was indeed on.

Generously, my parents came in to help do some final emergency wedding planning. Danielle, my mother and I ventured up the 30 flights of stairs to our apartment, where we cleaned out our fridge and gathered all the items for our wedding. We then schlepped all the items down the 30 flights of stairs.

In the afternoon, we did some more tidying up of these last-minute wedding plans – coordinating transportation for our guests, checking in with vendors and letting everyone know that the wedding was still on.

How did we celebrate the night of Halloween? At the Guy Fieri’s new restaurant in Time Square. You’ll remember from before that Danielle and I LOVE Guy’s TV show – affectionately known as “Triple D.” Yet despite our love for Guy’s show, Danielle was not excited to go to this culinary Mecca. Luckily, Kalen, Drugs, Alanna, Jeff Shafer and I made up for Danielle’s lack of excitement.

We scarfed down on Awesome Chicken Fingers, Huli Huli Chicken and Funkin’ Pumpkin Beer (these are all real menu items). Guess what? It was terrible. The food was anything but “out of bounds.”

We all returned safely to our homes to hopefully rid ourselves of this terrible meal.

Thursday

And that brings us to today. Today was the first day all week that I actually cried. This was not because I was afraid that the wedding was going to be cancelled. In fact, the wedding is 100% on. No, I cried because Danielle dragged me to get my eyebrows threaded today.

If you are a man and you don’t know what threading is, basically somebody rubs strings on your face and pulls out your hair. It is terrible. I cried multiple times, which, I will note, I was told is perfectly normal. So when you see me this weekend, please comment on my amazing eyebrows. They look 99% the same, but Danielle seems to think they look amazing.

After another trip up the 30 stories to get some last minute items, Danielle and I took the NJ Transit bus to Newark. We are now here and ready to go for our wedding day!

Thanks again to everyone who has been checking in with us all week and we cannot wait to celebrate on Saturday night. See you all soon!

-db

P.S. The title of this post comes from this great Tom Petty song:

Guess Who’s [not] Coming to Dinner

25 Oct

The POTUS and FLOTUS, Barack and Michelle Obama, can’t make it on November 3.   I guess they will be a little busy three days before Election Day.  Bummer – they are great dancers.

Oh and by the way, we are now on the ten-day forcast.  59 and sunny with 0% chance of rain.  I’ll take it.  xoxo db2be

My Ragin’ Cajun Bachelorette Recap

11 Oct

I think I can speak for our group of ten to say that we had the best time in New Orleans this past weekend for my bachelorette party.  It was a great city to visit and we certainly had a jam-packed itinerary!

Our trip started very early on Friday morning, when everyone hopped on early flights to the Crescent City.  I got to experience first class for the first time (thank you Marisa) and once we landed the fun started right away.  After a much needed lunch and walk around the French Quarter, we got all dolled up for our evening.  My friends love a good theme nights and Friday night was no exception.   Since DB and I are going on a safari, we had a safari-themed evening.  All of the ladies wore some kind of animal print and I was the zookeeper.  We also decorated safari hats.

RAWR!

db2be the zookeeper

in the words of kristina, “everyone does this, right?”

We had an early start on Saturday morning, for our Honey Island Swamp Tour.  After a 45 minute ride, we were on the bayou feeding alligators hot dogs and marshmellows.  Not surprisingly, we had another matching outfit.

it’s getting closer!

that line you see at the bottom was our boat! how am i going to make it through a real safari with lions?

but we survived!!!

After touring the swamp, we decided to lunch at Drago’s, the spot for NOLA charbroiled oysters.  This means cheese, butter and garlic are added to a fresh oyster and broiled to perfection.  It was heavenly.  We were licking the shells.   We then left on a haunted history tour of New Orleans which was fascinating.

After a regroup at the hotel, we got into our second night uniform, little black dresses, with a twist.  Of course I had a headpiece of some sort.  

The night ended with a stop at Cafe Du Monde, the #1 thing I wanted to do/eat.  They lived up to the hype!  Mmmmm.

The third and final day consisted of brunch at Mother’s, a culinary must-see.  DB would have loved this place. We then took another walk around the French Quarter to check out the art and music we had seen on the walking tour the day before.  While there, we found the creepiest looking lady and had our tarot cards read.  When in NOLA…

Eventually it was time to say goodbye and head home.  It was the trip of a lifetime and I’m so lucky to have such amazing, thoughtful friends to plan the whole thing.  Thank you so much!!

With the bachelorette and bachelor parties done and dusted, things are really getting close.  Can you believe it?  xoxo db2be

Off We Go

5 Oct

xoxo db2be

We Are Not First Cousins

27 Sep

But if we were, we could get married in NJ.  Who knew??

DB and I took a mini-break from atoning yesterday to head down to Newark City Hall to get our marriage license.  We are New York residents but NY & NJ laws state that you must get the license in the municipality that you are getting married.  So off the Newark we went.

City Hall – It’s actually a really cool old building. Just like The Mezz!

DB and I filled out a few forms, paid $28 and took an oath.  Then we needed our witness to step in.  I brought my mom as back-up, but as we were walking into the building. I tweeted at social-media savvy Newark Mayor Cory Booker:

Within the  minute, Mayor Booker tweeted me back.  My heart stopped, hoping he was on his way downstairs, but alas:

I then proceeded to invite him to the wedding via Twitter.  I’ll let you know if he shows up!

Don’t worry, my mom was an excellent witness.  A few more signatures and questions and we were good to go.  We have to pick it up the week of the wedding.

It’s getting really close now…  xoxo db2be

Showered with Love

21 Sep

This past weekend was my bridal shower.  I was overwhelmed with the creativity, generosity and thought that went into making the shower a wonderful and special day I will never forget.   There are many people to thank for making this a great day including my mom, DB’s mom Karen and sister Lauren (who are incredible party planners), my amazing maid of honor Lo, Jill for opening up her beautiful home, the best bunch of bridesmaids a girl could ask for and of course all of the women who came from as far as Florida and Albany to celebrate.   There are hundreds of pics, but I’ve included a few highlights below.

beautiful invitation! (address edited out)

Table Centerpieces

Delicious Drinks! Sangria brought by Lo, obviously

MHS Friends!

Lots of gifts – thank you so much!

My Mom and cousins

Karen & Friends!!

My favorite Central PA friends 🙂

one of the many desserts

ETSY’s #1 Customer

My throne!

Beautiful Flower Girl and present opener Dylan

The DB-to-Be awkward picture tree – aka “guess my age”

The greatest maids! (minus one – we missed you Kalen!)

Newleywed Game! DB and I know each other too well!

Love the hat

cousins!

Look who stopped by!

As you can see it was a spectacular shower and a great time was had by all. THANK YOU so much for everything, I’m really one lucky bride-to-be!  And a belated happy birthday to my cousin Melissa – thanks for sharing this day with me.  xoxo db2be

DB’s Bachelor Party

16 Sep

It’s been a week since I returned from my bachelor party in Austin, TX, and not a day has gone by without Danielle asking me to write this blog post. So without further ado, here is a little recap of the trip.

The 10 of us flew into Texas on one of the hottest days ever (peak heat reached well over 100 degrees). After grabbing lunch and hanging around the pool during the day, we ventured out to The Salt Lick BBQ for a dinner feast. The meal was amazing – just $19.95 for all-you-can eat BBQ. And the setting was amazing as well, situated on a ranch about 45 minutes outside of the city.

Look at this meal. You get all of this, as much as you want, for under $20!

Here I am lathering up my meat

A closer look at me and my meat

After going out on Austin’s famed Sixth Street on Friday night, Saturday started with a trip to Guero’s Taco Bar for some breakfast tacos. After that, we walked around part of the city and eventually headed to a bar to watch some college football.

I ultimately decided that I was not suited to don a cowboy hat

One of the highlights at the bar was seeing this ad for Texas’s version of Dial 7.

I wonder if these guys also have a catchy jingle

Finally, it was time to trek from downtown Austin to the football game on the University of Texas campus. We made several notable stops on the way, including the Texas State Capitol building and the school bookstore, where we picked up some burnt orange gear.

Texas State Capitol Building

University of Texas

Here’s a fun thing to bring to a tailgate … a bovine!

DB and the Best Man at the tailgate

Finally, it was time for the game to start. While the game was a total blowout, it was really cool to see the grandeur that is a UT football game.

Hey, it’s the world’s largest Texas state flag!

Just being in a stadium with over 100K spectators was a very cool experience. But the highlight of the game was clearly getting to sing the Texas fight song – “The Eyes of Texas.” Why? Because all the fans take it really seriously, but it’s just a version of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” with creepier words. Honestly, how Big Brother-y are these lyrics?

The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
All the live long day.
The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
You can not get away.
Do not think you can escape them
At night or early in the morn-
The Eyes of Texas are upon you
‘Till Gabriel blows his horn.

Finally, we left the game after the stadium was invaded by bats and locust-like creatures (no kidding).We spent the rest of the night back out on Sixth Street, eventually settling in on a fun dueling piano bar.

Some old teachers dancing on the bar

So that’s it. Thanks to everyone who helped organize the trip, as well as everyone who came. I had a great time!

-db