In which we go to a wedding: Bri & Ian edition

You know it’s been a long time since you’ve blogged when wordpress changes it’s format.. obviously I have a lot of catching up to do, so let’s start with our first August wedding. Bri and Ian were married on Decatur Island up in the San Juans – it’s a special place to their family and it was so sweet to watch the ceremony in his grandparents’ back yard. I’ve been stalking their wonderful photographer’s website for pictures to include in this post, but ultimately decided that 1) it’s taking a long time since summer is prime wedding season and I’m sure she’s still editing and 2) those are really her photos and it’s unfair to put them on this blog. So here are mine from that EXTREMELY fun and gorgeous weekend:

We arrived on Decatur from Anacortes by private very boat. The Washington State ferries don't run to this particular island like they do to the larger San Juans.

We arrived on Decatur from Anacortes by private very boat. The Washington State ferries don’t run to this particular island like they do to the larger San Juans.

Happy to have escaped only mildly sea-sick!

Happy to have escaped only mildly sea-sick!

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The view from our cabin was gorgeous - we watched otters play in the bay below.

The view from our cabin was gorgeous – we watched otters play in the bay below with high def binoculars.

At the rehearsal we ad a preview of the gorgeous view from the ceremony site as well. You could see all the way across the straight to Mount Baker

At the rehearsal we had a preview of the breath taking聽view from the ceremony site as well. You could see all the way across the straight to Mount Baker.

Walking back to the cabin after the rehearsal dinner took a little extra time - there are no road signs on the island, so we got a bit lost.

Walking back to the cabin after the rehearsal dinner took a little extra time – there are no road signs on the island, so we got a bit lost.

But the views of the bay at sunset were worth it.

But the views of the bay at sunset were worth it.

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Boats in the bay

The next morning the bridesmaids were picked up in a pickup truck to go get our hair done.

The next morning the bridesmaids were picked up in a pickup truck to go get our hair done.

It was a little windy!

It was a little windy!

Obligatory bridesmaid dresses shot

Obligatory bridesmaids’ dresses shot

The day had robin-egg blue skies and great views of Mount Baker across the water.

The day could not have been more perfect: robin-egg blue skies and great views of Mount Baker across the water.

Hydrangea bouquets

Hydrangea bouquets – These had to be carefully guarded as the deer on the island were clamoring to get them all weekend. One unfortunate guy got his head caught in the garden gate that was containing them and almost had to be “taken care of”, but escaped at the last minute.聽

Hair done

Hair done!

Hair all done!

Make-up聽done!

At this point I put down the camera for a while, so there are no current pictures from the amazingly gorgeous ceremony, but trust me, it was amazing.

Jeff and I at the reception

Jeff and I at the reception

Dental residents: Ian, Karen and I!

Dental residents: Ian, Karen and I!

At the end of the night we all headed down to the beach to light paper lanterns:

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Lighting it up...

Lighting it up…

...getting hot..

…getting hot..

... and LIFT OFF!

… and LIFT OFF!

Someone commented that Jeff's eyes looked crazy in this picture. Really this moment is capturing his thoughts that his dear wife has had several glasses of prosecco and is innately clumsy, we're holding a lot of fire and if something happens we will need to be (expensively) airlifted off this island. I think he's being rather calm given the situation.

Someone commented that Jeff’s eyes looked crazy in this picture. Really this moment is capturing the thoughts that his dear wife has had several glasses of prosecco and is at baseline rather clumsy, we’re holding a large, highly flammable object and if something happens we will need to be (expensively) airlifted off this island. I think he’s being rather calm given the situation.

The next morning we had to wait until the tides came in to head out on the ferry – Kat and I used this time to wander around the beach, look in tide pools and poke at seastars.

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It was so much fun seeing all my co-ressies one more time. It's going to be a long year without them.

It was so much fun seeing all my co-ressies one more time. It’s going to be a long year without them.

On our walk we ran into Bri!

On our walk we ran into Bri!

Soon it was time to get back on the boat and leave.

Soon it was time to get back on the boat and leave.

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I’m smiling in this picture, but I’m actually really sad this is the last time for a while that I’ll be near these lovely ladies.

I was sad to leave the island, but the ferry ride back had some spectacular views of Mount Baker and friendly porpoise sightings to smooth the way.

It was sad to leave the island, but the ferry ride back had some spectacular views of Mount Baker and friendly porpoise sightings to smooth the way.

In which we take a trip to the San Juans

The San Juan islands are located 2 hours or so north of Seattle, probably faster if the traffic isn’t bad. Bri, one of my co-residents and her boyfriend Ian were so sweet and invited us up to his family’s cabin on Decatur Island to spend the weekend. Even though the trip was too short we had an amazing time! A little time outside the city seemed to exactly what we needed.

There are no bridges to the islands so we drove up after work on Friday evening and took a ferry over in the dark. The next day Bri’s dad came up and took us crabbing on his fully outfitted, customized fishing boat. It was so much fun! Jeff and I’ve watched The Deadliest Catch for years and it was neat to live it out in miniature (and minus all the dangerous conditions of course).

The islands in the morning from the boat

Hauling in the first catch

Helping to pull in a crab pot

Jeff pulling in a crab pot

Sometimes we found creatures other than crabs hitching a free ride on a pot

Many legged star fish

I married him for his inner biology nerd 馃檪

If this was an octopus instead of a starfish and beer you might think we were at a certain hockey game

We can’t thank Bri’s dad enough for bringing up the boat and teaching us how to crab – what a fun day! Seriously we own that man a couple of packs of PBR. After dropping us back onto dry land we furthered our crab knowledge by getting a first hand lesson in cooking and cleaning the wild beasts. One had gotten a claw around my finger while on the boat and I was determined to cook him personally (they’re all “hims” – you must throw the females back).

I think these crabs are the first food I’ve “hunted’ and then eaten. Somehow the many gallons of fresh blackberries I’ve picked in my life and fistfuls of basil I’ve collected from the garden over the years don’t really compare to pulling a live creature smack out of what was probably a pleasant crabby morning and then devouring it. It just made the delicious fresh crab taste even better.

We spent the rest of the evening cooking, eating crab, learning to play bridge and cooking s’mores over a campfire (how can I have s’more of nothing? you’re killing me Smalls). The next day was gorgeous and Bri, Jeff and I walked around the island looking for otters and poking around in tide pools.

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View out from Ian’s cabin

Its so much fun to explore a totally different Nature after spending years climbing around the foothills of Tennessee. There you used to have to worry about snakes and ticks, but here you’re just trying to keep your eye out for an otter, seal or sea lion. Both have lots of deer though!

What a wonderful, much needed getaway! Thanks Bri and Ian for being such gracious hosts!

Our amazing hosts – Bri and Ian and their dog Lola on the beach waiting for the ferry back

We can’t wait to go back and do some more exploring!