Tag Archives: weddings

Road Trip to DC: Adam & Ellie’s Wedding

Jason and I spent a lot of time on the road in the last week. My second cousin Adam got married in Washington, DC, so Jason and I were excited to travel out East for the event.

We debated back and forth on whether to fly or drive, and driving won out in the end. Not only was it cheaper for us, it also allowed for a side trip to Shenandoah National Park. It was also set up to be my longest road trip to date – 14 hours one way, 1,875ish miles total. Knowing me, it could have been bad…

But it was actually really fun! I enjoyed seeing new places and adding new states to my list of states visited – Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.

We crammed a lot into our five-day trip. So first things first, the reason for the trip: Adam and Ellie’s wedding!

As I said before, Adam is my second cousin; our moms are first cousins. Honestly, Adam feels much more like a first cousin to me than most of my actual first cousins.

Both the ceremony and reception were held at the Newton White Mansion just outside of Washington, DC.

Newton White Mansion

Newton White Mansion

Newton White Mansion

It was such a beautiful setting. I couldn’t get over how perfect it was.

Interesting note: The ceremony was in the Quaker tradition. No officiant, but a friend who welcomed everyone and described the proceedings. No wedding party. No sermon. Just silence.

After the welcome and explanation of the “meeting,” we settled into silence. When ready, Adam and Ellie stood and made their vows to one another, and their vows were followed by another period of silence. At this time, guests could stand and share their own messages. Some told stories about the couple, one guest shared a poem, and others provided their advice for a happy marriage. Between messages, we sat in silent reflection. For Quakers, silence is as important as words. The period of silent worship was closed by a “community” vow – all of the family and friends being the bride and groom’s supporting community – the shaking of hands, and community signing of a wedding certificate.

It was simple, beautiful, and like nothing I have experienced before.

The clouds broke as we sat in silent worship. It could not have been more perfect.
Ray of Light

Adam & Ellie's Ceremony Site


We moved inside rather quickly after the ceremony – it was getting quite chilly – where we sampled some amazing food. I experienced several food firsts that evening: beets, served on crostini with cheese (maybe goat cheese); watermelon radishes, thinly sliced and topped with creme fraiche and caviar; brussel sprouts. I also enjoyed the signature cocktail for the evening, a mix of pear juice, lemon juice, lime juice, vodka, and a couple other things. Yummy! My entree was an amazingly delicious crab cake. And the cake – Seriously, it might have been the best wedding cake I have ever had, including my own  😯

Adam and Ellie’s first dance
First Dance

Tearing up the dance floor with Mark, Adam’s younger brother.
Dancing with Mark

Jason and I had a lovely time. I am so glad that we decided to make the trip from Wisconsin to share in such a special day.

Navigating a Busy Weekend with Fingers Crossed

Well, we are just a little over a week out from our trip out west. However, our travel plans are still a little uncertain.

As I wrote back in May, our original trip – a 5-day loop trip through the Yosemite High Sierra Camps – was cancelled due to snow. After the initial disappointment wore off, we went back to the drawing board and modified our vacation plans. As it stands, we will still visit Yosemite National Park, staying in one of the Tuolumne Meadows Lodge’s tent cabins, for the first half of the trip followed by a drive south to Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks for the second half.

Unfortunately, Tuolumne Meadows Lodge is still not open. The tentative open date is Friday, July 15. We arrive on Tuesday, July 19. The conditions in the high country of Yosemite are still that bad. Snow can suck it.

Any good vibes you can send our way are much appreciated.

Even though our weeklong vacation is a week away, Jason and I kept ourselves busy this weekend. Friday afternoon, we headed up to Madison on a quest to find some new clothes for the trip. Our first stop: REI.

While I didn’t have much luck in the vacation clothes department, I did score some of my favorite running tights from The North Face, on sale no less. I also picked up a couple of new books that I’ll be sure to share my thoughts on once I dig into them.

Jason and I followed our REI stop with the mall. I picked up a couple of tops from Dick’s Sporting Goods and a couple from Eddie Bauer. While at Eddie Bauer, I also found a new dress for Saturday’s activity: the wedding of our friends Justin and Erin.

Saturday was a beautiful day for a wedding, even one that was indoors. With about two hours to kill between the ceremony and reception, Jason and I went on the hunt for food with a view. We found it at On the Rock Restaurant in Watertown.

Jason and I ordered their three appetizers special, the Cardiac Arrest or something of the sort, along with a couple of beverages.

Instagram fun!
Break between ceremony & reception: Doin' it up right!

Jason chose chicken tenders for himself and mozzarella sticks to split with me. I picked the fried pickle chips.

I have read about pickle chips on other foodie blogs, and all the reviews of this snack are right on: they are awesome! I devoured the chips, and if it wasn’t for the meal waiting for me at the reception, I totally would have ordered more.

While we ate, we enjoyed a view of the Rock River.

After our snack, we continued on to the reception. Check out the couple’s super cute cake topper. FYI – both the bride and the groom played rugby in college.

Justin & Erin's Wedding - July 9, 2011

Alas, no hiking this weekend. There was a four-mile run today in the 80-degree heat, so I’m quickly running out of steam. Hoping you had an enjoyable weekend, whatever you spent it doing  🙂

In case you missed it, my first official gear review for Camping Gear TV was released earlier this week. I shared my thoughts on Hi-Tec’s V-Lite Infinity HPI adventure sports shoe. Be sure to check it out!


A Day of Celebration

What a day yesterday was! First up: the Royal Wedding! I got up shortly after 4am to watch the festivities. It was magnificent!

I love, love, LOVED Kate’s dress!

Say what you will about caring, but it was wonderful to watch something so joyous and beautiful on TV for once. It was a much needed boost of happy  🙂

Once the wedding wound down, it was time for the next bit of fun for the day: UW Spirit Day! Every spring, my alma mater, UW-Madison, celebrates Spirit Day. It’s all about showing the impact that UW-Madison has in the state of Wisconsin and around the world. Alumni show their pride by dressing in red. Prince William isn’t a UW alum, but I appreciate his red ensemble  😉

Spirit Day 2010
Jacobs '02

Unfortunately, I couldn’t wear red this Spirit Day. UW-Whitewater hosted its annual Make a Difference Day, and I was part of the event crew. This meant wearing a neon green t-shirt, and I figured a red long-sleeved layer would clash just a bit  😉

I was prepared, though, and donned the newest piece in my UW arsenal:

It’s Bucky!
UW Spirit Day 2011

How do you like my hat? I got a lot of compliments on my spirited topper for the day. I couldn’t let a Spirit Day pass without showing off my Badger pride.

The final event for the day was a recognition dinner for Jason’s company. I meant to snap a picture, but didn’t. I kept Spirit Day firmly in mind and topped my gray skirt and black top with a red cardigan. Thankfully, we didn’t stay long. I was pretty tired, though I can’t imagine why  😉

So, did you partake in the Royal Wedding spectacle? What were your thoughts on the event?


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