It took us a long time to get to this:
Laura being walked down the aisle by her mom and dad for our wedding at Sacred Heart Chapel at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Photo credit: Stacee Lianna.
Make no mistake, the 4-5 years we dated was considered a long time by most if not all of our friends and family. I’m pretty sure if faces spoke words those of my mother- and father-in-law would be straight to the point of what they were thinking all along: About damn time this is happening.
And like most couples, we planned our entire wedding–expensive wedding planners be damned! We made a few assumptions, some of them smart, some not so bright.
First and foremost, if 9 months is long enough to make a baby, it’s long enough to plan a wedding. To hell with a longer engagement period.
Next, a good friend of mine helped us keep focus on what matters most. “The wedding is all about her, the reception all about your guests” Another cardinal rule of wedding planning worked brilliantly for us: Have a great DJ and a lot of alcohol, something to eat, and the rest will work itself out.
And our final assumption turned out to be the one most often discussed by almost all of our participants: People really hate LA. And equally important to this assumption: We really love it. What’s more, we wanted our friends and family, loved ones who have avoided the city like the plague to get a glimpse of why we love it so much. But how would we do that when most, if not all the guests were arriving for one brief weekend to celebrate with us? Simple, we’d have a wedding and we’d have a reception, but for the hours in between both, we’d plan a tour of the most epic proportions. Touch football in the world-famous Coliseum anyone?
My groomsmen learning that their long-held belief they could be an NFL kicker one day was in fact false. Photo credit: Stacee Lianna.
Want to know how we pulled it off? And how you can too? Continue reading
I’ll never forget living in Quito during Holy Week. As a Catholic, the week is something special to me, but I never thought much about it. Holy Week comes, we go to Mass a couple extra times, music returns to the church, hallelujah. But in Quito, I went to a re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross, where the man playing Jesus really looked to be suffering. The cross was heavy, the sweat real, and more astonishing still, where the Cross rubbed into his shoulder, real blood appeared.
True to the Stations, a man comes to assist “Jesus” with the cross.
Suddenly the Stations of the Cross meant something else, as I stood uncomfortably, watching the suffering of this volunteer actor before me, and for the first time in my life, truly picturing what the actual event was like.
And so when we travel, we love finding a way to have our travels coincide with cultural celebrations. And if you want to understand Día de Los Muertos (Day of the dead), there are few places that celebrate it as well as Baja California.
A classical Dia de los Muertos altar in the community I work with in El Florido, Tijuana, Mexico
Ahh, your honeymoon. No doubt you should be planning some intensive part of your wedding and yet, here you are: tired of looking at flower arrangements, needing a reprieve from researching DJs and other vendors. Let’s start with the obvious: The wedding industry is so much like the illegal drug trade. Think about: it’s usually cash only. You get your product from a guy who knows a guy. And above all else, the product is meant to make you feel like you need more, more, more! But we digress.
If you’re like us, you’ll end up having your honeymoon fully planned and booked before your wedding! We’ve spent some time polling friends, drawing on our own experience, and utilizing some new research on honeymoon habits to bring you the best honeymoon destinations in the world, based on your personality and travel style. Continue reading
Everyone likes to eat and drink. But what if your ventures out to do so could also do good for society as well? Sound too good to be true? It’s not!
Here in LA, Laura and I are obsessed with really making our dollars count. I mean, it’s one of the most expensive cities in the country, so that alone should be motivation. But we also like seeing to it that, when possible, we are confident our money is going to good causes.
And good cause can mean many things, to many people. It might be shopping local instead of at a giant box store. Perhaps it’s hitting up a mom and pop owned Chinese restaurant rather than a Chinese chain. For the purpose of this blog, Laura and I are talking about one thing, and one thing alone: How can the money you spend, support social justice initiatives? And to start, we’re going to focus on the travel destination we know the best: Our home town of Los Angeles. Continue reading
Stuck at LAX on a layover? You’re probably on your smart phone or tablet, frantically searching for things to do with your time. If you’re in LA and have a layover (or delay) of more than a couple hours, take the advice from a couple that lives in the area- we’ve got some great ways to get you out of the airport and into a couple cool hidden and not so hidden gems close to LAX!
So what to do with a layover in LA? Here’s some simple advice for areas close to the airport, and the various transportation you can utilize to get there. If you don’t have enough time to leave the airport but want a terminal by terminal guide to food, you can find that in our Eating in LAX guide
You’re at LAX and you’re looking for the best place to eat? Fear not, we’ve got your terminal by terminal dining guide to find the best restaurants in LAX. And if you have more time and are looking to get OUT of the airport, check out our guide with tips and tricks for how to find food and activities close to the airport that are either free to get to or very cheap! LAX used to be one of the worst places in the world to eat. It’s bad enough that the traffic is insane, that moving between terminals is difficult, and that the city of LA still hasn’t found a way to get public transportation into the actual airport (but we’re working on that). But to arrive having fought all that, and then be faced with McDonald’s or some nameless and low quality sandwich joint- it was salt in the wound.