In which we go to a wedding: Symon & Ashley edition

August was a busy month: two weddings in two weekends, each of which one of us was in. We couldn’t be more happy for our dear friends starting this new chapter in their lives and joining Team Married! After Bri and Ian’s nuptials we were back in Seattle for Symon and Ashley’s. Again, some of my terrible photos instead of their wedding photographer’s quality images:

Our dear friend Verlaine who was in our freshman dorm and is one of the few people that knew us before we were dating stayed with us for the weekend. After picking him up our first stop was to the Moon Temple for some celebratory drinks.

Our dear friend Verlaine who was in our freshman dorm and is one of the few people that knew us before we were dating stayed with us for the weekend. After picking him up our first stop was to the Moon Temple for some celebratory drinks. I sent this photo to Molly with the caption, “Jealous?” The answer was a resounding YES!

Verlaine wanted to go jogging the next morning so I hauled myself out of bed before work and ran around Green Lake with him. Only an 11 year friendship could make me do that.

Verlaine wanted to go jogging the next morning so I hauled myself out of bed before work and ran around Green Lake with him. Only an 11 year friendship could make me do that.

The rehearsal dinner was at the first restaurant Symon and Ashley took us to on our first night in Seattle - Barrio in Capitol Hill. It was so good! Since the food was Mexican to celebrate Ashley's heritage we had British paper crowns to celebrate Symon's.

The rehearsal dinner was at the first restaurant Symon and Ashley took us to on our first night in Seattle – Barrio in Capitol Hill. It was so good! Since the food was Mexican to celebrate Ashley’s heritage we had British paper crowns to celebrate Symon’s.

Adults turn into five year olds with British crackers

Adults turn into five year olds with British crackers

Harold, another old Duke friend, grew up in London. He told us that most of the time people wear the paper crowns for about five minutes before quietly slipping them off - this crowd though was full of good sports who wore them the majority of the night.

Harold, another old Duke friend, grew up in London. He told us that most of the time people wear the paper crowns for about five minutes before quietly slipping them off – this crowd though was full of good sports who wore them the majority of the night.

Anna, myself, Verlaine, Fernanda and Bruno

Anna, myself, Verlaine, Fernanda and Bruno at the rehearsal

Almost newly weds!

Almost newlyweds!

On the day of the wedding Jeff had to go early for pictures and my only job was getting the Steckel brothers and Verlaine to the venue on time. We got ready at my house and I had the chance to try Rent the Runway for the first time. It was awesome! I loved my dress and from now on I’m only using them for events.

On you know, just being serenaded by a Juilliard trained violinist while getting ready. Verlaine played for Symon and Ashley as they processed, and recessed down the aisle. It was fun because he also played our first dance at our wedding.

On you know, just being serenaded by a Juilliard trained violinist in our kitchen while getting ready. Verlaine played for Symon and Ashley as they processed, and recessed down the aisle. It was fun to hear him again because he also played our first dance at our wedding.

On our way to the venue with the boys (and champagne).

On our way to the venue with the boys (and champagne).

Getting ready for the ceremony - photo credit by Hannah P.

Getting ready for the ceremony – photo credit by Hannah P.

Jeff and I at the reception

Jeff and I at the reception

Verlaine and I at dinner

Verlaine and I at dinner

Brad Kelly and I at dinner - it was so much fun to catch up with so many old Duke alums!

Brad Kelly and I at dinner – it was so much fun to catch up with so many old Duke alums!

The stunning bride and groom!

The stunning bride and groom!

There were 10 Duke alumni there - some of whom I hadn't seen in years! They came from Brazil, New York, Texas, LA and of course, Seattle.

There were 10 Duke alumni there – some of whom I hadn’t seen in years! They came from Brazil, New York, Texas, LA and of course, Seattle. It was nice to know that all these years later we can still party pretty well.

Photo booth!

Photo booth!

The next morning I took Symon’s cousin Kai, Verlaine, David and Lauren – all out of towners – on a mini-tour of Seattle.

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We stopped by Pike Place Market to see the thrown fish, saw the waterfront, ate clam chowder at Ivar’s, were disgusted by the gum wall and enjoy the sunshine before heading up the hill to one of my favorite views of Seattle from Kerry Park:

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Since they all had planes to catch we truncated the tour and swung by the Fremont Troll before enjoying more sunshine at Gas Works Park. All too soon we dropped everyone at their hotels or packed them into Ubers on their way to the airport. It was such a fun weekend and I’m so happy we could celebrate Symon and Ashley!

In which I go to San Francisco for 48 hours

The only person we knew we moved out here was Symon, our friend from Duke. He was in Jeff’s fraternity and I was actually in class with him eight years ago when he stepped out to take the call from Microsoft offering him a job. When I came out for the pedo interview I met him and his girlfriend Ashley for a lovely lunch at Wild Ginger downtown, fresh off the plane from the East Coast. She was immediately welcoming, so sweet and so kind; I couldn’t have imagined a better partner for Symon. In my jet lagged haze I remember telling them what a long shot it was for Jeff and I to match here. They were hopeful that it would happen, but I realistically wasn’t so sure. He was one of the first people we told besides our parents after the results came out, which made for a sweet reunion when they came for our wedding in March.

How often do you have a picture from the first day you met someone? Meeting Ashley after a lovely lunch with her and Symon in the Market just before my interview.

How often do you have a picture from the first day you met someone? Meeting Ashley after a lovely lunch with her and Symon in the Market just before my interview. Ugh, at the Original Starbucks like the tourist I was.. I didn’t know at the time if I’d ever be back!

Since we’ve been here Symon and Ashley have helped us settle in so well. I am forever indebted to them both for taking us in, giving us a sense of community, taking us to Burning Man and introducing us to some of the most lovable people on the planet. They have given us our first urban family and we could not be more thankful. So last January when they decided to get married, we could not have been happier for them. The wedding is in August here in Seattle. To celebrate, I was honored to go to Ashely’s bachelorette party in San Francisco, my first time to the city, but definitely not my last:

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Our group outside of a great row house we stayed in

I was fortunate to have the expertise of those who had visited San Fran before me – Ashley had gone to college there and many others had visited countless times. I was just along for the wild, fun ride. The first night we started with an awesome show and dinner at Asia SF:

Red Carpet action

Red Carpet action: Theme of the night – Pink and Black

Dinner with the girls

Dinner with the girls

Ashley with the performers - so much fun!

Ashley with the performers – so much fun!

Myself, Brea and Mel.

Myself, Brea and Mel.

Toasting the bride!

Toasting the bride!

From then on it was lots of dancing in the Castro and sleeping in the next morning.

The only SF touristy thing I did was visit the Haight and Ashbury street districts with a bunch of other girls

The only SF touristy thing I did was visit the Haight and Ashbury street districts with a bunch of other girls

Of course the clock there is always stuck at 4:20..

Of course the clock there is always stuck at 4:20..

We replenished ourselves with giant burgers and bowls of delicious punch

We replenished ourselves with giant burgers and bowls of delicious punch before heading out to another night of fun.

First time trying fake eyelashes - holy Batman they were long!

First time trying fake eyelashes – holy Batman they were long!

Sunday, we had plenty of time to walk around before our flights left that evening so we went to the farmer’s market for brunch:

Anna and I outside Urbana, an adorable, declines restaurant that opened out into the farmer's market. Great scenery all around.

Anna and I outside La Urbana, an adorable, delicious Mexican restaurant whose patio opened out into the farmer’s market. Great scenery all around. By the way, this totally looks like it could be an awesome album cover if I was in anyway musical.

We walked around the neighborhood, window shopping and eating delicious treats

We walked around the neighborhood, window shopping and eating delicious treats

Deep graffiti on the walls..

This city seems to have profound graffiti on all the walls..

And settled down to enjoy the sunshine and some champagne near the Painted Ladies (of Full House opening credits fame).

And ending up settled down to enjoy the sunshine, some Cards Against Humanity and champagne near the Painted Ladies (of Full House opening credits fame).

All too soon we were headed back to Seattle as the infamous San Francisco fog rolled in:

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So excited to celebrate Symon and Ashley in August!