Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jamaican Honeymoon

Tony and I went to Negril, Jamaica for our honeymoon.  It was amazing!  Not only are the beaches beautiful, but the cultural experience was great too.  The food was delicious - especially the Jerk Chicken.  It was 8 blissful days of laying in the sun, relaxing and NOT thinking about wedding planning!  

This is me laying in the sun, relaxing and NOT thinking about wedding planning!

This is one of the sundecks at the Rockhouse Hotel.  The entire resort was built right into the cliffs along the ocean.  The views were amazing!

The rings.

Swimming in the crystal clear Atlantic.

Tony enjoying a "Dirty Banana" - the best drink ever!

Lounging by the pool at the Rockhouse Hotel.

Tony hobbling back to our room after breakfast - it's a long (and funny) story!

Our nightly routine - a Cuban cigar and a Red Stripe in the pool.

This is Tony's (probably 15th) attempt to capture a nighttime lightning flash on  camera.  He kept trying to guess when the lightning would flash and then press the camera button just seconds before.  I have never seen or heard anything like the thunderstorms in the Caribbean.  The lightning bolts were so bright over the ocean and the thunder was so loud it made the roofs shake!  There would usually be one storm a day and it would last for an hour or so and then the sun would come out again.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wedding Bells!

Yeah!  We are finally married after being together for almost 6 years.  It was the most amazing day and we are both so happy to be husband and wife!  Here are few pictures from the big day.  I am still trying to figure out how to upload the pics from my photographer - since they are higher quality they were taking too long to upload and then I would get an error message.  Hopefully I will have it figured out soon...

Heading to the car after the ceremony.

Posing on the deck of the old Roslyn School.

Exiting the church after being pronounced Mr. & Mrs. Butorac!

More poses for the photographer...

The happy newlyweds!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Adventures on Snoqualmie Pass...

Last Saturday, my sister and I had plans to go to a couple Bridal Boutiques in Bellevue to try on wedding dresses. The whole thing was kind of a last minute decision as we did not call enough ahead of time to get appointments, but we thought we would venture over to the west side anyway to at least look and get style numbers of dresses that we could come back and try on at a later date. I was being lazy and didn't feel like driving or paying for more gas (I am commuting between Yakima & Ellensburg every day) so I asked Erin if she would mind driving. We thought about the fact that her Honda is only front wheel-drive and we would have to chain up if the pass got really bad, but we decided to chance it thinking that the weather reports were off and there wouldn't be that much snow.
We left my house in Ellensburg around 10:30 in the morning. We hit a little snow on the way over, but nothing terrible. We made it to Bellevue around 12:30 and went to a boutique called LaBelle Reve. Since we didn't have appointments we just looked around. We both found a couple dresses that we liked but there weren't any dressing rooms available so we told them we would schedule an appointment for another day if we wanted to come back and try them on. We then went to Bellevue Bridal Boutique. This place had quite a few more dresses than the other place and I immediately found a couple that I really liked. Since I am really getting down to the wire on ordering time for a dress, I think Erin just decided she would look for herself another time and spend the rest of the day trying to help me. Fortunately, one of their afternoon appointments didn't show up so we were able to get into a dressing room and try the dresses on. I liked the first dress, but thought it made my hips look too big. The second dress I tried on is one that I saw in a magazine when I first started looking at dresses and I loved it. I was so excited to finally get a chance to try it on. Turns out I should have found the time to try this dress on sooner because I loved it on as much as I loved it in the magazine. It had all the style elements I had been looking for. I probably would have ordered it on the spot, but it is by far the most expensive dress I have tried on to date.
So we left the store feeling pretty good but decided we had better get on the road because both Tony and Cole (Erin's fiance) had called and told us it was snowing pretty hard on the pass. We grabbed a quick bite to go and headed out - this is when the fun began! As we got just outside North Bend we saw the sign that said, "CHAINS REQUIRED ON ALL VEHICLES EXCEPT ALL WHEEL DRIVE." This is what I had been afraid of. Needless to say, this is point where I started kicking myself for being lazy and wishing like crazy we would have taken the Audi. Our options at this point were to either turn back and wait it out in North Bend or go buy chains and drive home. Since we both had plans that night we decided to get chains and head for home. I mean, how difficult can it be to put chains on, right? Apparently, very difficult if you have never done it before. We found a Napa Auto Parts in Mt. Si and bought a set of the "heavy duty" chains that are supposed to last longer than the cable chains. The sales guy showed us how to put them on and made it all look very quick and easy - mind you he was demonstrating on a loose tire that was NOT attached to a car.
So we headed back out to the freeway with our new chains and "work gloves". Seeing as how neither of us had done this before, we decided it would be better to put the chains on sooner rather than later, and pulled over after we saw a couple other people doing the same thing, even though we were still about 10+ miles from the place they were actually required. Much to our surprise we actually got them on fairly quickly and easily and off we went. It only took about a mile before we started hearing a very loud clanking noise that seemed to just get worse the further we drove. We pulled over to the side of the road and got out to check the chains and realized that we had forgotten to double back through a loop that we were supposed to go through before attaching the hook. When we tried to make the correction, we realized that the rubber bungee with the hook was not long enough to go through the loop and then hook to the chain. We decided maybe we should just start over. As we tried to remove the chain from the driver-side tire, we discovered that the plastic covering on the connecting wire had split in half, came loose from the wire and got caught in the wheel well. We jiggled and jostled and played around with it for at least half an hour before we finally got it loose. The worst part is that it was stuck on the BACK side of the tire so we were trying to get it loose without being able to see anything. We finally got that tire straightened out and went to work on the other one. We were trying so hard to get the bungee and hook to go through the loop that we ended up snapping the bungee in half, and completely rendering the set of chains unusable. After many swear words and some tears we decided to take the chains off, go back to Napa, get our money back and then decide what to do from there. We had spent over an hour on the side of 1-90 in windy, snowy, below 20 degree weather trying to get the chains put on properly only to end up completely breaking them. We were soaking wet, freezing and frustrated - and it was starting to get dark at this point.
Back at Napa we returned the broken chains (the guys were very apologetic) and got the more simple "cable chains" that aren't as heavy duty and you don't get as many uses out of them. At this point, we didn't care because all we were concerned about was getting home that night with them. The guys again showed us how to put them on (again on a tire that is not attached to anything so you can manouver it any way you need to to get the job done - not realistic at all) and gave us a couple flashlights for free, "for all the hassle." We headed back to the freeway and decided this time we would wait until the last possible minute to put the chains on. This time the process went much better than the first time - and when I say better I mean it only took us 30 minutes to get back on the road versus 90 minutes. We drove for a little bit and didn't hear any clanking or other loud noises and finally congratulated ourselves on successfully putting on chains. However, we were only able to drive another couple miles before we came to a complete stop as the pass was temporarily closed for avalanche control. We had heard this on the radio and were expecting it, but it was still disappointing to have to stop after just getting going again. Luckily, they were right on target with the re-opening time and we started moving again just after 7 PM. From that point on it was a VERY slow trip the rest of the way home. You aren't supposed to drive faster than about 30-35 mph with chains on, so that is about what we did from the top of the pass all the way to Cle Elum. We stopped in Cle Elum and took the chains off and as soon as we got back on the road it started dumping snow again. So we continued our slow trek back to Eburg, finally getting to my house around 9:30 - we left Bellevue at 2:30. Erin took a quick break and then decided to make the final leg of her trip back to Yakima (which turned out to be ok because it stopped snowing just outside of Ellensburg).
I have never felt so bad in my life! I was apologizing to Erin the entire way home. The whole mess could have been avoided if we had just taken the Audi. We would have had to drive slow, but we never would have had to stop in the first place, so we would have made it over the pass before all the avalanche stuff and before the snow got as bad as it did.
I know this is a very long post, but I just felt I had to share all the details. Can't you just picture the two of us on our hands and knees on the side of the road in a blizzard trying to figure how to put stupid chains on? When I think about it now, I just have to laugh - but I was definitely not laughing that day! So, I guess now I pretty much have to get that dress or the whole fiasco will have been for nothing. There is store in Yakima that carries the designer of the dress, so I am going there to order it. And the best part is, the store in Yakima is selling it for $150 cheaper than the place in Bellevue - what a deal! Now I have my dress and a great story to go with it!