the palace of carlos v, granada

The third set of pictures is up, these from our honeymoon time in Granada, Spain. After our stay on the Costa del Sol, we drove up to Granada and (in the one splurge we took on the trip) stayed in the Parador, the hotel that’s actually inside the Alhambra. It was only fitting — we actually ended up spending the bulk of our three days in Granada within the walls of the Alhambra, exploring the Nazrid Palaces (by day and by night!), the Alcazaba, and the Generalife gardens. And where Ronda introduced us to Moorish Spain, Granada hit us full-force with it! (The pictures aren’t all captioned yet, but will be in the next day or two.)

anil and alaina getting married!

Congratulations go out to Anil and Alaina — they done got married! In fabulous style, they took over a small parcel of Madison Square Park this afternoon, and under the official eyes of Alaina’s sister, had a bunch of us say a few words before taking their vows and pledging their love. And while it was a little cold in New York today, the sun came out at all the right moments, beaming right alongside their enormous smiles. (Yeah, I know — I seem to have caught Anil in one of his very few non-smiling moments above…) I can’t imagine they could have asked for a better start to their lives together! (For those who are interested, the rest of my pictures are over at Flickr.)

minaret in ronda

The second set of pictures is now up — these from the first leg of our honeymoon in the Andalucia province of Spain. We flew into Malaga, one of the larger towns on the Costa del Sol (the Mediterranean coast of Spain), and because we wanted to enforce a little bit of relaxation at the start of the trip, we stayed in a resort in the smaller coastal town of Estepona. On the third day there, we took a day trip to the town of Ronda (one of the pueblas blancas, or white villages, and home of modern bullfighting) and got a great introduction to the Moorish heritage of most of southern Spain.

Next up: our trip from the Costa del Sol to Granada, and our stay within the Alhambra!

first dance

I’ve posted the first bunch of pictures from our wedding, nearly all of which graciously taken by a friend of ours, Jill, using our new digital camera. (OK, two were rudely stolen from Anil and Alaina, but since one is of the two of them looking damn good, I figured they wouldn’t mind too terribly much.) It was great that Jill wanted to take pictures for us, since that meant that we were able to upload them to my laptop and see them while on our flight to Spain — it sure beats waiting for the official pictures! That being said, we are supposed to have all the official digital photos from our photographers within the next week, something that makes us very excited.

The next pix I expect to put up will be from the first leg of our honeymoon, along the Costa del Sol in Spain. Keep an eye out for it in the next few days!

Shannon and I got back from the honeymoon yesterday afternoon (or yesterday night, if you listen to our internal body clocks — getting to our house at 5:30 PM felt like the middle of the night to us!), and are just now settling back into a regular routine. We have nearly 1,000 photos from the trip through the south of Spain, and another couple hundred wedding photos already from friends and relatives who passed them along; I’m going to try to post a ton of them as I find the time over the next days to weeks. Feel free to keep an eye on my Flickr photostream — I’m probably going to upload most of the pictures there, and then point to the slideshows from here, so watching that might get you a quicker view of the pix!

I know it’s a bit quiet around here — Shannon and I are puttering around Spain on our honeymoon! We started in Estepona (on the Costa del Sol), took a daytrip to Ronda, and then came to Granada; today is the first day that we’ve had good enough internet access to be able to upload a ton of pictures. Of course, though, we didn’t know that would be the case until we sat down in the internet cafe and saw how awesome their setup is, so all our pictures are back at the hotel! Alas. In the mean time, here’s one of us in the gardens of the Palacio de Mondragón in Ronda, which I was able to cull out of an email we sent the last day we were on the Costa del Sol:

the happy couple at the palacio mondragón

We’re off to the small mountain town of Osuna today, then headed to Seville mid-week, and end up in Madrid for the weekend. More when we get back… or perhaps a day or two earlier, when we reach our net-savvy hotel in Madrid!

We’re in the home stretch of the wedding prep, so I wanted to make the first of what will (hopefully) be a series of posts about my experience with the vendors we’ve worked with for various parts of the planning. Today’s subject: getting silk-screened T-shirts made in a hurry.

small wedding t-shirt

First, a preface: my brother got married a little over a year ago, and his wife’s family did something we loved — they hosted a brunch the morning after the wedding, and incorporated a softball game into the morning that was a ton of fun. The game pitted family against family, and they had T-shirts made up for each side, allowing everyone to change out of their nicer shirts so that they could go out and play without worrying. Shannon and her mother specifically liked that idea, so we decided to do the same. Of course, with everything else that needed to be planned, the T-shirts fell down on the list a little bit, leaving us two weeks ago with the realization that we hadn’t done anything about them.

wedding t-shirt

Needing the shirts on such a short timeline, we thought about just finding someone in South Jersey, but also did a little bit of research on the web. It wasn’t long until I found the site of T-Shirt Pros (also known as David K’s T-Shirt Printing), and I really liked what I saw. The prices were extremely competitive with everything else I saw, I was able to generate real-time quotes (a surprisingly rare thing in the web-based custom clothing world), and the entire process could be completed online. After talking to them on the phone (just to assure myself that they’d actually be able to complete and ship the order on time), I designed a quick one-color graphic in Illustrator and submitted our order; about two or three hours later, I had a final quote in my inbox, and a link to click to approve the order. Then, a few days later, I got an email asking for me to verify that I’d be available to complete a press check the next afternoon, and when that time came, I got another email directing me to a web page with pictures of the first few shirts off the presses. (My favorite thing is that one of the pictures was of an employee actually wearing the shirt, and then another was of the employee holding up a child-sized shirt.) I approved those, and then 24 hours later, I had a shipping confirmation complete with tracking information. Like I said, it was an easy process from soup to nuts, and I felt like every time something could potentially go wrong I was included in the process to approve how things looked.

In terms of negatives, I only have one: the company’s website doesn’t allow people using Safari on a Mac to upload images, so I had to back out of my order and use Firefox. It’s a minor quibble, but trying to upload images using Safari didn’t generate any obvious error (other than the image just not appearing in the right place on the page), so it wasn’t even clear to me what the problem was until I tried putting my order in using another browser. Other than that, though, I was very happy with using T-Shirts Pros for our order, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to friends and readers.

(Now, if we could only get the weather forecast to stop saying that it’s going to rain the entire day of the brunch!)

Shannon and I have started our southerly migration to start getting ready to get married this weekend! We’re in a Panera off of I-84 right now — Shannon bought a book about Spain from Audible (worst… website… EVER!), but it seems to have not made it onto her iPod, so we figured we’d combine eating with using Panera’s free WiFi to grab the book again. A bit after midnight, we should be in South Jersey!

A few articles of relevance to our upcoming honeymoon:

  • The Most Delicious Ham in the World: a lengthy description of the types of ham available in Spain, including jamón serrano and jamón ibérico. It’s actually a little unreasonable how excited I am about the latter, a type of ham that comes from acorn-fed pigs (resulting in a meat that’s suffused with the same types of fats that are in olive oil), is cured for a year and a half or more, and isn’t even available in America due to USDA regulations about processing of meats.
  • Jamon: another explanation of jamón ibérico, also describing the setup used to slice the ham in most tapas bars and restaurants.
  • Granada’s Alhambra: An Oasis of Elegance: Rick Steves’ description of the Alhambra, including information about the different types of visits.
  • Osuna: a bit of information about one of the white villages that sits between Grenada and Seville, tending towards historic architectural sites.

There will certainly be more to come!

So, say that I’m in the market to buy a half-dozen iPod Shuffles sometime in the next six weeks — I hadn’t decided between the 512 Mb ($99) or 1 Gb ($129) models, but nonetheless, a bunch of ‘em. And then, say that there’s been a rumor since June that there might be an upgrade coming to the iPod Shuffle line, an upgrade that you’d imagine will likely mean that the current models will disappear, and might mean that the new models will be priced differently. If you were me, would you buy now, or wait to see what happens?

twin ringbearers!

Really, is there any doubt that we have the cutest ringbearers ever? Does it make them cuter to know that, every time we ask them to go through another clothes fitting, they run around proclaiming their love for their “teacher clothes”?