That’s me: always full of good ideas!
That’s me: always full of good ideas!
Pretty nicely, I must say. The background is the view from my yard this morning; the foreground shows part of my complete breakfast.
In case you’re wondering, the cold brew mix that Trader Joe’s sells is pretty decent. Cut with water or milk, it makes a decent iced coffee, livens up a protein shake, and I’ll bet that it makes for some good mixed drinks and shots. At about $8, it lives in the cost-benefit middle ground between brewing your own and going to your local coffee shop.
The blog’s been quiet for the past couple of weeks, but I have a good excuse: I married Anitra on Saturday, March 7th, 2015, and the wedding and everything related have been keeping us busy. It’s been a week since the big day, we returned from our honeymoon yesterday, and we’re both back at work this morning after ten days well outside reality.
We won’t get to see the official wedding photographer photos for about another week, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any photos. I’ve compiled this “album” from pictures snapped by Yours Truly, best man Eldon Brown, “father” of the groom Dr. Domingo de la Fuente, bridesmaid Elizabeth Cannon-Dang, Rob Strickler, and guest and unofficial wedding cruise director Marichka Melnyk. Thanks for the photos, folks!
We had the big event at the Grand Plaza Hotel, which hosts its wedding ceremonies right on the beach:
Here’s an overhead view of their ceremony areas. There are two sets of palm tree “aisles” down which happy couples can march:
Here’s a closer look at ours, the southwest-facing aisle:
Here’s a scene from the wedding rehearsal, with Anitra’s uncle and our officiant, Rabbi John Fischer giving best man Eldon some instructions:
Fast-forward a day to the next morning, and we’ve got Eldon giving me the traditional best man gift of booze, which in this case was a hard-to-find and very delicious Canadian whisky, served in the most appropriate vessels we could find:
And here I am with my father-in-law, who was greatly amused by the whole thing:
We don’t buy into this “you can’t see the bride before the ceremony” nonsense. With a bride like this, I want to see her as often as possible!
Here we are from another angle:
Time to head to the lobby, where our big event was already posted:
A quick gathering of Team Groom, featuring my mom, Yours Truly, and my groomsmen Eldon and Richard (who’s also my brother-in-law):
I was ready to get the party started:
Here’s the last photo I snapped as a free man! It’s of my view of the “aisle” before I made my way to the front:
And here’s my last walk as a free man:
I was raised Catholic, she was raised Protestant, the officiant’s a rabbi, and the ceremony combined Jewish and Filipino wedding traditions. Here’s a Jewish tradition, where the bride walks around the groom three times, in a process I call “circling your prey”:
Post-ceremony parasol pix with the bridesmaids:
And now the bridesmaids and groomsmen:
Here’s the mandatory “Ocean’s Eleven” pic:
Here’s where we had the reception: the Presidential Ballroom, located on the Grand Plaza’s penthouse level:
As my friend George put it, it’s a classic James Bond villain’s lair waiting to happen, and it’s also reminiscent of the reclusive billionaire’s hotel from Diamonds are Forever:
Here’s a closer look at the “sweetheart table”:
A quick welcome to the guests before we all descended on brunch:
Here we are at our Star Trek-like table, with me sitting at Mr. Sulu’s post, and Anitra as Chekov:
Of course there was some accordion playing:
Anitra looked amazing, but in my opinion, she always does:
I love this photo:
Here’s the wedding “cake”:
At the end of the reception, a couple of hours before sunset…
…we made our way to Bongo’s Beach Bar, where we had the less formal, unofficial part of the day that stretched well into the night:
Here’s a view from the bridal suite the next day:
Before we left, we went for the first of many walks on the beach as husband and wife:
…and when we got to our car, we saw that one of the guests left us a geekily appropriate gift: a pair of twenty-sided fuzzy dice:
Now that the event has taken place and we’re husband and wife, I’ve opened up the Anitra and Joey wedding site to the public. It wasn’t all that hidden in the first place, since it lives at AnitraAndJoey.com.
It’s got all the details about where and when, plus a little background info about each of us and how we met:
The location was the wonderful St. Pete Beach, located on a barrier island just off the coast of St. Petersburg, Florida, and the venue was the Grand Plaza Hotel, a striking building reminiscent of the Whyte House, the hotel owned by reclusive billionaire Willard Whyte from the James Bond film Diamonds are Forever. The wedding took place at 11 a.m. and was followed by a brunch reception, which in turn was followed by an after-party at Bongo’s, a bar right on the beach:
If you’re feeling particularly wacky or generous and have a couple of bucks to spare, our Honeymoon Fund is still open:
Also: if you’re thinking about having a wedding in the Tampa Bay area and want to know about my experiences talking to various vendors and venues, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This was in our mailbox when The Missus (I can really call her that now!) and I got home the day after our wedding: an envelope with a White House return address. I’m so pleased that my close personal friends Barack and Michelle, while they couldn’t make the ceremony, took the time out to send me a lovely card, complete with a coupon entitling me to a free drone strike to be unleashed on the person or location of my choosing.
But seriously: if you’re looking for an interesting goodie to add to your wedding scrapbook, send a wedding invitation to this White House address…
The President and First Lady
The White House
Greetings Office Rm. 39
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20500
…you too can get this official response, as well as an addendum to your record in the NSA database. All this for the price of a stamp!
I still have a couple of invitations left, so I’m going to try these addresses:
Mickey and Minnie Mouse
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, California 91521
Prefettura della Casa Pontifica
00210 Citta del Vaticano, Italia
I’ll let you know what I get back.
The barbecue was nice, the company of best man Eldon was good, but I’m ready to get married now, thank you very much.