Sweet and Simple Wedding

Weddings don’t always have to be extravagant affairs. A wedding is really about celebrating a lifelong commitment to one another and the celebration is about people enjoying each others’ company.

A few weeks ago I went to San Diego County to attend the wedding of my nephew Ben Crilly, who is a marine currently stationed at Camp Pendleton. Accompanying me on the trip was husband Peter Crilly, son Christopher and his girlfriend Laura. Going out to California gave us the opportunity to see daughter Alex, who took the train down from San Luis Obispo to San Diego to meet us. We had a great time staying in La Jolla, revisiting some to the sights we had the pleasure of seeing  San Diego during Thanksgiving plus making new memories.

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I didn’t know what to expect, as far as the wedding we were attending but I did know I liked the handmade invitation and the fact that we didn’t need to be super dressed up.  Shown in this photo of the invitation are the party favors given as we left– handmade pouches of wildflower seeds. But I’m getting ahead of myself.The wedding was held at the bride’s grandmother’s house, in the backyard. The sun was shining and there was a lovely spreading Ficus Tree on the hill. On the tree were hanging mason jars and white Christmas lights for when it got dark.  To set the stage for the ceremony were a pair of French Doors and jars of baby breath and purple flowers. The colors of the wedding were white and purple. The brides maids word short purple satin dresses and the table covers for dinner were purple as well. I confess I didn’t take enough pictures to show everything, because I was having too much fun.

There was no alcohol served. Emma, the bride is under 21, so the couple toasted one another with pink lemonade.  The bride and groom both looked radiant as they made their ways around to the tables set up after the ceremony to say hello to everyone. A dance floor was set up on the ground, like the floors you see at a hotel, and it was placed up on the hill under the tree. A deejay down below spun tunes after dinner, which was two choices of pasta served buffet style.  The beautiful tiered cake was chocolate with vanilla frosting (my favorite!). Instead of a guest book, we were all asked to write something around the edges of a canvas which had the couple’s picture in the center and as the couple got ready to depart in their “just married car” we were given sparklers. Assembled in the driveway, we held up our lit sparklers and the bride and groom walked underneath as we said good luck and congratulations. It was a lovely event. Seen in the photos with the bride, groom, and Peter is his brother Paul, and nephew Nate (Ben’s younger brother who was one of the groomsmen).

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Catching Up after Maine, Work, and a Birthday

It has been several weeks since I’ve posted in this blog, although I have been faithfully posting at least once a week on the Annapolis Taste blog.  So if you are ever wondering what I’ve been up to, you could check there.

Back in July one of the members of my book club generously opened her house for a weekend to her fellow bookies  for a long book club weekend. And what a  great weekend it was in York Beach,dining on lobster and doing a night of Karaoke. Of course we swore that “What happens in York Beach stays in York Beach” so I can’t provide any details but… it was a pleasant break from the hot humid environment of Maryland.
So here are a few pictures…

I always have to go swimming. I find the cold water exhilarating and I convinced my friend Susan that she should join me!
Yesterday was August 14th, the wedding anniversary of my friends Lynn and Jeff and the birthday of my husband Peter, day that marks many important occasions. I always write him a poem and we try to do something fun so we started celebrating  Monday night with a beer and a light dinner outside in front of Castlebay on Main Street in Annapolis after walking Chloe around town. All through dinner it was Chloe who got all the attention. Everyone wanted to pet her and say hello. Must be because she is so adorable!

  Last night we went to Severna Park to buy Peter a beer making kit.

Afterwards we went to dinner at Gary’s Grill and for details click here.

Entrepreneurial Spirit Alive and Well in Cuba

Cuba might well be a socialist country, but during our  February visit we met plenty of entrepreneurs who found ways of making a little extra money on the side. Whether they report their earning to the government or not, I’m not certain.  But they found many tourists eager to part with their “convertible pesos” the monetary unit used when visitors convert their currency to Cuban currency.

Our first full day in the City of Havana, we were lead on a walking tour of the older section of the city. Gathered around two adorable Dachund hounds was a crowd of people cheering and clapping as the dogs made noises approximating the sound of speech. But that was not all. After the crowd dispersed, the owner of the dogs spied my husband Peter and posed him next to one of the dogs after learning we were Americans. First the dog kissed and greeted him. Then when he placed and American dollar bill in Peter’s hand and pointed a plastic gun the dog snarled and bared his teeth.  Of course he received a generous tip for this entertainment, from Peter’s wallet as well as several other bystanders.

Just a few yards away , women in colorful 19th century costume carrying baskets of flowers and fruit, beckoned Peter to pose with them for a kiss. (It must have been that red shirt he was wearing)  I took a few photos and when Peter pulled out one peso to give them they firmly told him that he must give them two pesos, because after all there were two of them. (Well it did make a nice picture)

A few blocks away were street artists painted a solid color to resemble statues, moving in various poses. They too wanted a donation for their performance.  Women guards inside the various museums would embroider and crotchet while “on duty” and would offer their wares on the side, while others would set up stands near churches and other tourists attractions to sell handmade dolls and linens.  In the city of Trinidad, an old man sat on a street corner with a rooster perched on his head. For a price, he too would pose for a picture.

These are just a few examples, but yes, regardless of the governmental structure, it just goes to show you that there is creative capitalism wherever you travel!

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