Thursday, March 13, 2008

leavin on a jet plane

I'm not sure whether I've mentioned here that I have never flown before. I feel so backwards southern country bumpkin saying that. Most of my family lives in the southeast and my parents always opted for vacation sites close enough to drive to. Thus, besides never flying, I have also never been west of Texas or north of Missourri (save one trip to Pennsylvania/D.C. as an infant which my parents, insanely, also opted to make a road trip). I have, however, been to Disneyworld on several occassions, despite the twelve-hour drive.

The point of this confession is that Best Friend (ex)Roommate is flying me out tonight to visit her and our friend Laura in Atlanta, as they both live there now. I have driven to Atlanta many, many times, and I must say that eight hours in the car has lost its appeal to me after a lifetime of road trips, so I am very excited about getting on a plane tonight in New Orleans and getting off ninety minutes later in Atlanta.

I am also quite comfortable with the actual flying aspect. I am a bit nervous about getting through security and to my gate and everything, since I will be by myself, but I've spent quite a ridiculous amount of time researching security requirements online and asking friends and family about procedures, so I feel pretty confident that everything will work out just fine. My dad, ever supportive, commented "Once you get used to the cavity search at security you'll be just fine." Thanks, Dad. You are the reason I was such a gullible child.

I see this as a beginning step in conquering my ridiculous lack of travel experience. Nick and I have talked about going to New York or the west coast this summer, and we plan on going to Puerto Rico for our honeymoon. His grandmother (Abuela, she prefers to be called) is Puerto Rican and still owns a condo near the beach in Old San Juan. So, hopefully, with a little patience and a little money, within the next few years I'll be able to see more of my nation, and, with a little luck, perhaps even make it out of U.S. Territory. I'm really looking forward to seeing what life is like outside of the southern United States. It's a big world out there, and reading about it in books or watching it on TV is simply no longer enough.

Monday, March 03, 2008

week #2 of blogging consistently

Last week I told you that I had spent an entire day touring no less than eight wedding locations and found none that I absolutely loved. After seeing some more places this past Friday, I've got the opposite problem: two locations between which I am absolutely torn.

One is the Shaw Center, an old hotel which was remodeled and added on to, now a swanky arts center. The ceremony would be on a rooftop terrace featuring a sculpture garden, with panoramic views of the Mississippi river and its iconic bridge, the Louisiana Old State Capitol, and an historic hotel recently purchased and restored by Hilton, all beautiful structures which serve as bastions of the landscape of downtown Baton Rouge. The ceremony would be in a room directly beneath the terrace, with windows lining two walls featuring the same view.

The other site I'm considering is the Old Governor's Mansion. Also downtown, this building is referred to as "Louisiana's White House." Built in 1930 under the governorship of Huey P. Long, it appears as if it'd be more at home in a rural parish on a highway lined with old plantations. The ceremony would be held in the Rose Garden at the rear of the property, with the reception spreading throughout the first floor of the home.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these. The Shaw Center may be a little too modern for Great Aunt Edith, while the Old Governor's Mansion exudes grace and Southern charm. However, the Shaw Center is $880 cheaper--my entire dress budget. Also, my grandfather is handicapped, and while the OGM is technically accessible, it's a bit complicated, moving ramps around and such, while at the Shaw Center he can drive his electric wheelchair anywhere his heart desires.

Space is an issue at both of these sites. The terrace at the Shaw Center is L-Shaped, and I'm nervous about fitting 200 guests into the room where the reception would be held while leaving ample room for dancing. The OGM has no single room big enough for all of our guests, so, while most of the action would be in the ballroom, other guests would be lounging in the library, state dining room, etc. I'm not sure whether this is a negative or positive thing. My teenaged cousins will most likely appreciate being able to sit in another room with their dates and talk about teenage things, but I worry about people unintentionally missing out on some of the traditional things that happen at a wedding--bouquet/garter toss, cake cutting, money dance, etc. (we don't want anyone missing the money dance!). Also, if my goofy cousin Nicky busts out his white boy dance moves to "Billy Jean," for example, people will certainly be bummed to have missed it.

On another note, my weight loss efforts have thus far been quite consistent. Looking at my progress chart for last week, I can see that I drank an average of 74 ounces of water each day and burned 1,831 calories in aerobic exercise. After a week of regular exercise, I feel really good, except for in my calves, which are killing me, but even that I don't mind. I've been writing down what I eat and working to make healthy choices, although I haven't yet begun counting calories. If I don't start seeing results within 4-6 weeks, I probably will start tracking caloric intake. My logic for this is that I rarely eat junk food nowadays (cookies, chips, dip, ice cream, fast food, etc.) and have pretty much cut out coke completely since I'm too busy drinking water. I think my biggest problem lies in eating too much at mealtime. So for now, I'm avoiding second helpings and seeing where that takes me.

If y'all have opinions on which wedding site I should choose, or any non-crazy suggestions for losing weight (only healthy choices please, and preferably nothing that requires me to spend extra money or spend three days straight on a toilet), let me know!