Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Our Wedding: The flowers (and how they almost ruined everything)

When we were planning our wedding, the flowers gave me a huge headache. We've all read those articles that tell you how to "Buy ALL The flowers for your wedding for just $100!" and things like that. Like a fool, I believed that. I think when we first did our wedding budget I planned that we would spend $500 on ALL of the flowers, and while that could be done for some weddings, it couldn't be for ours.

Here's how you can ACTUALLY spend less than $500 total on flowers:

1) Don't live in California.
2) Don't buy anyone corsages.
3) Make all the bouquets and centerpieces yourself.
4) Only use baby's breath and a few clearance grocery store roses.
5) Don't plan on lining the aisle with rose petals.

We used a florist that my family has known for about 30 years. To be honest, I wasn't thrilled about using her, but I felt like I had to. Side note: you really don't have to do anything for your wedding. It's your wedding. I learned this the hard way. I first met with her about 6 weeks before the wedding. My dad and I went to her shop on a Saturday morning when I was in town for some family occasion and she asked me what I was thinking for the wedding. Here's what I told her I wanted:

-My bouquet to have English roses, ranunculus, succulents, gerber daisies, and baby's breath.
-White and pink rose petals lining the aisle.
-7 boutonnieres and 12 corsages.
-6 bridesmaids bouquests with English roses, ranunculus, gerber daisies, and baby's breath.
-20 small bouquets of baby's breath and white stock to line the aisles and go on tables.
-Assorted white and pink flowers to decorate the cake.

She gave me some great ideas and when I left that meeting I was super encouraged and excited. When Keith asked me the price I said, "Oh... we didn't talk about that... but I bet it will be cheap since we've known her for so long! Don't worry."

I'm an idiot.

Two weeks before the wedding my mom and I went to her house to discuss more details and talk pricing. We were sitting at her dining room table and she went over everything I wanted and then when I asked her how much she thought everything would be, she said,

"Well, if you pay cash and I don't have to charge you tax, and I get everything at cost, you're looking at about $1875.00."

You guys, I almost fell out of my chair. I think I was speechless for a full minute (which is a long time when somebody is waiting for you to respond) before I finally asked her how we could cut the cost. She went over a few scenarios and finally got everything down to about $1200 before finally asking the question she should have asked and I should have stated the very first time we spoke: What's your flower budget? I told her that honestly, we were planning to spend less than $500. I don't know how she didn't laugh.

She then went on to tell me that she frequently meets with brides who have a similar budget to mine, and that she had to explain countless times why flowers are so expensive:

1) California is in a drought so any plants are expensive.
2) Florists have to charge for their time.
3) Flowers are effing expensive.

Okay, number 3 is just mine but the first two were valid points. She seemed to understand why I had no idea about this sad truth about weddings, and we finally worked out a plan. I ended up paying her less than $500 for the flowers and her services. Keith and I had a lot of talks about the flowers and the florist and I went back and forth about a lot of things before we finally decided on a plan:

1) She would order baby's breath and white stock and we would make the centerpieces and bridesmaid bouquets ourselves.
2) We would not have any flower petals lining the aisles (the bags of rose petals were close to $90/bag and she estimated that we would need at least 4 bags).
3) She would make my bouquet since I wanted that to be nice (if I were to do this again, I would have made it myself).
4) She would only make corsages for the moms and two grandmothers and only 4 boutonnieres total.

In the end, I was pretty happy with most of it. I was really glad we didn't spend a fortune on flowers, but let me just tell you:

The corsages almost ruined my wedding.

We'll get to that in a minute. First let's discuss other things. The Thursday before the wedding we picked up like, 4 giant bunches of baby's breath and 48 individual stock flowers (if you don't know what those are just keep reading and I'll show you; I didn't know either). My mom and I and some angel friends from Arizona put them into individual vases which looked like this:

"Stock" is the flower that is in the vases. The bottles are empty bottles of Statbucks iced coffee that my mom collected, covered in burlap and a piece of twine, and put a a paper flower that SHE MADE onto. The wooden piece the vases are on is called a "wood cookie" and Keith's parents MADE them. We live in a forest so they found a bunch of sliced wood and sanded and varnished it. I LOVED our centerpieces and they were basically free!

Some of the vases had baby's breath instead of stock, like so:

Below is a picture of the aisle. I sort of wish we had done flower petals along the aisle, but it wasn't worth the $360 (at least) it would have cost us.

For the flowers Baby Kate dropped, I used what I think it a very original idea: she dropped the dried petals of some roses Keith had given me while we dated. 

We had some of Keith's roses in a little basket with some baby's breath by the guestbook (also made by my mom... I have to do a whole post on how my mom made all this stuff).

We also had the florist provide the flowers for the cake. The frosting for the cake is what the bakery called "messy icing." Our florist gave us the flowers and our amazing baker put the flowers on the cake. The cake stand is another wood cookie that Keith's parents MADE. The cake is by far one of my favorite parts of our wedding! (That cake stand is going to be an end table in Keith's parents house, eventually.)

Now, let's get to how our florist almost ruined our wedding: the corsages. When she and I discussed the corsages I told her, "very simple and small, preferably white or light pink roses. VERY SMALL AND UNDERSTATED AND SIMPLE." I said "small and simple" many times before my mom said, "Juel, I think she knows how to make corsages" and the florist assured me that "she's done this a lot so just trust her."

The morning of the wedding I drove to her house to pick up my bouquet and the corsages and she told me, "I have a surprise for you: I changed the corsages a little from what you wanted! You'll love it." Of course I pretended to love it and my sister and sister-in-law who were with me really thought I loved them until we got in the car, began driving, and I started shouting expletives because THE CORSAGES LOOKED LIKE SOMETHING THAT BELONGED AT THE MAD HATTER'S TEA PARTY. Unfortunately this is the only picture I have of the travesty that was the 4 corsages that I paid $100 total for:

For reasons I will never understand, she stuck those metal neon spirals onto all four of the corsages and I about had a cow in the car. I was driving (stupid) and during the 15 minutes I shouted things like,


And my sisters, the angels, just listened to me and promised they would fix them. My sister in law Amy is truly an angel from heaven because she turned the above photo into THIS:

They're beautiful and I love them!! Thankfully we had ordered the rest of the corsages and boutonnieres from a place I googled and then discussed pricing while in a Smart and Final in Redlands, and they were only $12 each and they were exactly what I wanted.

Below, my mom is wearing a botched corsage and my dad is wearing a perfect boutonniere.

I don't know why anybody had wire cutters on the day of my wedding but I'm forever grateful to whomever it was and I really couldn't care less about the why.

We made the bridesmaids bouquets the night before the wedding with baby's breath we'd ordered from the florist and roses we got from Ralph's the night before the wedding. We had the maid and matron of honor use pink roses, and the other four girls had white roses. They did this all on their own. I tried being in charge but all that happened was I held a half bouquet in my hand and ran back and forth from the kitchen to the living room to the parking lot and finally Cortney (far right) took them from me and said, "We're doing the flowers, go deal with whatever you need to."

And that's when my dad and I took a drive to pick up the keys to the hotel the bridesmaids were staying at that night, and I sobbed in the car. He was confused at first and asked me what was wrong and I just said, "Nothing is wrong I'm just getting married tomorrow!" Smart man that he is just replied, "Okay," and put his hand on my shoulder and let me cry.

The bouquets turned out perfectly.

My bouquet cost us about $200 I think, and I'm half happy with it and half not. I feel like I could have just done it myself. It had pieces of it just hanging off, which I had specifically said I did NOT want so I shoved them up into the bouquet, and it just didn't look as uniform as I wanted. But when I see pictures like this, I don't really see the mistakes in my bouquet... do you?

I love the succulents.
So, four months later, how do I feel about the flowers? I feel that I may never forgive our florist for what she did to the corsages. Those caused me so much stress and anger on a day that shouldn't have been filled with that. I absolutely LOVE how everything else turned out, especially the cake. And I love how our photographer Kristina Adams took so many fantastic shots and incorporated our simple flowers:

Here's what I learned:

1) ALWAYS discuss your budget first. Literally before anything else.
2) Have a plan, a backup plan, and another backup plan.
3) Don't have specific flowers you want. Instead, have a specific type of flower you want. I told our florist I loved ranunculus but since those weren't in season, we used dahlias and I loved them.
4) Don't be afraid to buy some stems at a grocery store.
5) Don't be afraid of doing anything yourself.

So there you have it: how the flowers almost ruined my wedding. Seriously, we still discuss those atrocious flowers and I live in fear of running into the florist when I'm at my parents house one day when I'm home... she'll know I'm mad at her. I won't be able to play it off, I'm sure.

So there you have it. How much we spent on our flowers, why, and how they turned out.

Do you think our flowers were worth it?
Would you have spent more or less (or did you) yourself?
Would you do the flowers yourself?
Did I overreact?
love you all.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


I want a cat.

I've been wanting a cat for years, and lately my mission in life is to convince Keith to say "yes"  so I can bring home a cuddly ball of fur. People keep telling me to "just go get a cat, what would be wrong with that?"  but um, I try (try) to have a little more respect for my spouse than that. So instead of just going out and getting an adorable little feline, I settle for sitting next to Keith on the cough and muttering, "I would be so much happier if I had a cat right now," or petting one of the dogs while saying, "DON'T YOU WISH YOU HAD A CAT TO PLAY WITH?" or, my personal favorite, saying this to Keith:
"If you're not going to give me a baby yet you could at least give me a cat."

Shockingly, I'm still cat-less. So now I'm resorting to passive-aggressively blogging and tweeting about my feline desire. Thus, I present to you:

5 reasons I should get a cat
1. Because the get scared by cucumbers and that reminds us all that we should have a healthy fear of vegetables.
2. Because cats and dogs interacting is HILARIOUS and filming the two of them together will guarantee my internet fame.

3. Because this is me.

4. Because cats are self-sufficient and can stay home by themselves as weekend as long as they have food and water. So basically you don't even know they're there.

5. Because Keith has his dogs who are basically my step children and I need my own children because his dogs literally shove their buttholes in my face to show me my place. A cat would probably do that too but at least it would be MY cat so it would be like I asked for it.
So now YOUR job is to do either one of two things: leave a comment agreeing with me so I can show it to Keith and be like, "THE WHOLE INTERNET AGREES WITH ME SO STOP BEING AN OGRE," or leave a comment telling me why I WOULDN'T want a cat so I can come up with a retort.

Also click here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Jonathan Adler for Motorola

I'm a pretty big fan of simplicity. If you look at pictures of our wedding, you'll notice it was pretty simple with some little pops of color or pizazz (one of my bridesmaids had a sequin dress so I mean, hello). To me, simplicity is classic. It's timeless. And it's something I look for in fashion, interior design, and personal style.

This is one reason I'm a fan of the new Moto X Pure Edition Design Motorolla phones by Jonathan Adler. These designs are sleek and unique, and perfect for somebody who loves simplicity and style! Let's face it: we're all attached to our phones, and it only makes sense to have our phones be representative of our own individual style, and Jonathan Adler is a master at this.

Jonathan Adler's philosophy is to "build a timelessly chic foundation, then accessorize with abandon." I LOVE THAT. These designs are limited but you can see the full collection by clicking here.

I've included some photos of how I like to decorate using simplicity and uniqueness. On my dining room table I have a wooden cookie that was used as a centerpiece for our wedding as a foundation for a beautiful jug that was gifted to us for our wedding by a coworker, and inside I have some silk hydrangeas that were completing the wrapping of a wedding gift. Everything is simple but it all comes together to form my own unique style. And like I said, Jonathan Adler is amazing at this!

Make sure to check out this page to view all the new Motorola phone designs, even if you weren't previously in the market for a new phone. Trust me, as something you use almost all day every day, you want your phone to represent who you are.

This post is sponsored by Motorola but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Marriage is not all fun and games

I've been married for a whopping 114 days, which makes me an expert. Isn't the saying that you have to practice something for 10 years before you're considered an expert? Well I've been mentally preparing myself for marriage since I was about 15 years old which actually makes me even MORE of an expert since I was 15 twelve years ago. So this is 12 years of experience telling you all of about marriage.

Marriage is wonderful, yes, and of course I love it. I'm insanely happy to be married to Keith and I still have to punch myself to make sure it's true. (I meant to say pinch but I think punch actually makes my point much more nicely.) But, you know how they say the first year of marriage is the hardest? THEYRE RIGHT. Whoever they are, they're right. And I don't have any other years of experience to compare this one to but let me just tell you, it's HARD, and nobody really talks about the hard stuff. 

I always thought it would be romantic that Keith gets up for work at 430 and leaves at 5. I thought I would lie in bed with an angelic dozing smile on my face listening to the sound of him rustle through things getting ready for his day, and I thought we would kiss goodbye and I'd snuggle back into the covers for another 2 hours until my alarm went off.

Let me tell you how it REALLY goes: his clock radio starts yelling at us at 4:30 and I passive aggressively groan, roll over, and count how long it takes him to turn it off. Then he sits up but doesn't quite get up. He just sits there so the blankets are slightly off our bodies which lets ALL THE COLD AIR INTO THE BLANKETS WITH ME. So now I'm snuggling down in the covers but not because I'm sweet and angelic, it's because if I don't, I'll get frostbite. Next, the dogs I've to cuddle really close to me. This would be fine except for the fact that they're mastered the art of subtly pushing me out of the bed. I'll start in the middle and by the time my alarm goes off at 7 in like, hanging on to the bed for dear life.

But backing up, usually while he's in the shower I'm wide awake and thinking (STRESSING) over all I have to get done that day both at work and in my personal life (changing my last name is on that list every day but it still hasn't happened ... Is there a time limit on that? Hope not). I hear the shower turn off and I know he's slowly getting dressed and whatever guys do in the bathroom in the morning. I always get excited for the goodbye kiss but I don't know why. I always turn away and so does he. Why?

MORNING BREATH. Our marriage is still new enough that morning breath is still a clear and present danger, and we aren't able to look past it yet. And since he's already brushed his teeth it's just mine we're steering clear from. It's so bad that I myself try to steer clear from it. I have no excuses for this embarrassing part of myself. 

So then we both go to work and go about our days, and I kid you not that every day I think I'm going to cook us a nice dinner that we're going to enjoy at the table using our new dishes and silverware and the placemats my coworker made us. That dream usually lasts until about 10am when I realize I'm always much to tired to cook and plus there are a billion other things to do and football is probably on so really it just comes down to are we eating pizza or frozen tacquitos on the sofa tonight? And we always always always enjoy it, and i always always always say. "One of these nights we're eating at the table" and he just pats me on the head and says "shhhhh the packers might hear you."

It's cute.

But really. We've fought over stupid stuff like.
"You love football more than you love meeeee!" (Guess who said that one)

"How did you break THAT cabinet door??" (He said that when I broke a corner door. It literally just FELL off the hinges when I breathed on it. Not my fault.

I always go to bed first and when he comes to bed he lifts the covers up to wrap them around is feet and it screws up my little cocoon that I've perfected. I've threatened to sleep in the other room because of this so I guess you could say... We're working on it?

One time I broke a controller for his xbox. Don't tell him. He still doesn't know for sure it was me. 

I wouldn't call this next one a fight, but we have a "discussion" about me getting a cat on a daily basis. 

There are some awesome things about being married though, i promise. Do you know how long it's been since I unclogged a drain? Like two weeks, but if I had asked him to unclog the shower drain he would have feigned happiness the whole time he did it. And I KNOW he enjoys all the meals I make him. He may complain about some thing but he never complains about my food. 

The best part is that he's more obsessed with The Bachelor than I am. Every Monday he's like DROP EVERYTHING ITS 7:58 THE BACHELOR STARTS IN TWO MINUTES ARE WE SURE ITS RECORDING?? And it usually takes us about an hour extra to get through it because he's making so many [hilariousi] comments about it. Some day I'll blog about that, but it is not this day (name that movie).

Anyway, I'm writing this in bed when in delirious again so I probably shared some mildly inappropriate stories (but none about s-e-x right? Those are way too inappropriate. I just can't. The TL;DR version is this: marriage is great but it's work. It's like eating a 4X4 from in n out: it's amazing, and you enjoy most of it, but at times you're miserable and wondering why you thought this was a good idea in the first place. Oh but then you get to a perfect bite of meat and cheese and secret sauce and you close your eyes and smile and you're like, "yep, this was totally worth it.

And since you're obviously wondering, YES I would be willing to speak at marriage conferences.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Thoughts from my phone when I really should be sleeping

Are you aware that blogging from your phone isn't very easy? We'll see how long this lasts. I already typed "bloodying" instead of "blogging" so you'd think things can only go up from here, right! Let's find out together; I don't like being alone. 

That's a lie, actually. I have no problem being alone. It's just that I also really like being with one person in particular, and I like it so much I decided to marry him and share a bed with him. Do you know what's not the most fun thing ever? Sharing a bed with a man and two dogs. There's hardly any room for me and if I dare to suggest the the dogs need to move he's like, "but they're so cute and cozy!" I usually mumble something to the effect of, "yeah well if you don't lock them off and let me go back to sleep you're going to have three bitches to deal with today."


Next let's discuss whatever is happening with my finger. You may remember that on 2004 I smashed it though a window and there was blood and surgery and I lost almost an inch of tendon which has resulting in me having a slightly disfigured right hand. Anyway, Saturday I noticed it was itchy and starting to swell. Saturday night and Sunday evening the itching was nearly unbearable. And now this is what it looks like:

Do you see the swollen mess that is my finger!? I actually thing these pictures look like pictures of carrots that grow at inappropriate angles but I think I'm the only one who sees that. But I can't remember hitting my hand on anything or getting stung or bitten, so it's all a mystery that I'm hoping my boss doctor can solve for me tomorrow because I cannot live with this itching. I would rather step on one thousand tiny Legos.

Next, let's talk about my sister, Baby Kate's mom. Some people say we look alike and I kind of see it, sort of, sometimes. 

Obviously her hair is way curlier but what do you think! Could we play ourselves in a movie about our life? If we were trying to get through border control in canadia and our story was that we were sisters, would they believe us?

She's going to be a big sister in less than two months!!! I can't remember if I've told on the blog if it's a boy or a girl. Have I? Do you even care? Katelynne doesn't care at all. Seriously, you ask her about the baby and she goes and finds a rain puddle to splash in and it's pretty adorable. 

Oh did I leave you hanging?
Too bad.

I got to have a lot of family time this weekend and it was wonderful. As you know, my grandma celebrated her 100th birthday and we had a big party. She had a good time, except she couldn't hear much. We even had a microphone but she could hardly hear. I told her this is why she needs hearing aids and she said "BUT I AM NOT DEAF." Ok grandma, ok. I still love you. 

That's all because I'm feeling that loopy kind of tired where anything could happen and you can't be held responsible for the secrets that you spill. I will tell you ONE thing, since I'm nice.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Today,  my Grandma turns 100 years old. Today, the matriarch of our family celebrates an entire century of life. Today and every day, I thank God that we've had her with us for so long.
When I see my Grandma, I see music and birds and laughter. I see the memories of a hundred years etched in the lines on her face. I see the two of us sitting in her chair while she read to me, I see her making me egg salad sandwiches, I see her cutting my hair in the bathroom. I don't see a woman who is a hundred years old - I just see my grandma.
I was a little girl when I learned how to use a telephone. I learned how to use it by calling my Grandma every single day. I don't remember what our conversations were about, probably the piano or my schoolwork, but I do remember that every conversation ended with us saying to each other, at the same time, "I love you more more moremoremoremoremore!"

My Grandma has seen a lot in her hundred years. (It's a hundred years, there's a lot to see!) She's seen wars, a depression, a recession, inventions, and so much more. She's walked in the Rose Parade, played the clarinet in massive music halls, and worked in Beverly Hills. She gave up a scholarship to go to college so she could stay at home and take care of her parents.

And she makes the best egg salad sandwiches I've ever tasted.

She does crossword puzzles constantly and solves them all (even the Sunday New York Times), and answers correctly on Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune nightly. It's pretty impressive if you ask me.

But, she is a hundred years old. That doesn't come without its difficulties. She says she always feels terrible, but there's no reason for that except for her age. I imagine this would be frustrating for most people, to feel weak and to have difficulty walking and doing things for yourself when you've never had any trouble with that before, so I try to understand where she's coming from. It's hard though, because she still wants to act like an 80 year old, or a 50 year old. She still wants to be able to clean her home, and stand up on stools to get a book off the top shelf, or drive herself to get a perm. She wants to be able to play with her only (for now) great-grandchild the way she always played with us, with energy and enthusiasm and zest, but the truth is that she just can't.

She can't get on the floor and play make believe with Baby Kate, so she sits in a overstuffed recliner and plays with her that way. She can't pick Baby Kate up, so she let's people try to convince a 2 month old to sit still for 5 minutes with Great Grandma (it works about as well as baptizing a cat).

When Keith and I got engaged, one of the first things Grandma said to me was, "Oh, I hope I make it to the wedding!" It's hard to hear her talk like that. To hear her talk about every big event with a hint of trepidation, because she doesn't know if she'll wake up tomorrow. I used to try and reason with her to get her to stop talking like that by saying, "Grandma, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow - nobody knows how long they have," but it didn't work, and I understand. She's 100 and I'm 27, and it's just different.

The thing I hear her say the most now is, "Oh, I don't know why God let me live so long!" I always reply with, "I don't know why either, Grandma, and I don't care why. I'm just glad he has!" And I am. I am so very glad, and I tell her that whenever we talk. I know that one day she won't be here anymore, but to think about just breaks my heart, and I can't even go there. Sometimes, when our family is all together, my aunt and I will both look at my Grandma and then look at each other, and both of our eyes fill with tears, because we're both so grateful that she's still here, and we're trying not to picture life without her.

I've always been amazed by her, and I always will be amazed by her. She loves family more than anyone I know, and I'm blessed to have had her as a role model for my whole life. She has always been proud of her family, and it's clear that nothing was more important to her (except Jesus).

Lately, she's been falling a lot more, and I've been scared. She has one of those fancy Life Alert buttons that has come in handy many times, and it's a good thing. She took a fall the morning after Christmas, right before our whole family was supposed to go over there. Tensions were high and she opted to miss the festivities and just stay in bed and rest. When Keith and I were getting ready to leave, my aunt told me to go in there and tell her goodbye, and the way she said it was so somber. When I walked in, she almost disappeared in the bed, she was so tiny. She was sleeping and was so bundled that I couldn't see any movement, and I started to cry. But when I touched her shoulder, she woke up, and her eyes lit up when she saw it was me.

"Merry Christmas, Grandma," I told her softly.
"Merry Christmas, Sug," she said with a smile. ("Sug" is short for "sugar.") "It was a nice Christmas, wasn't it?"
We talked about how nice it had been to all be together, and I told her it was time for me to go.
"Well, are you coming over for lunch next week?" She asked, and I gently reminded her that I don't live in San Luis anymore, that I lived on a mountain with my husband.
"Oh, that's right," she said. "Are you happy?"
"I'm very happy, and I hope you are too," I replied. And then I hugged her, told her I loved her, and walked out.
It's true: I hope she's happy. I hope she feels loved, because she is so loved. I hope she knows how important she is to all of us, and how much we all look up to her. I hope she feels celebrated, and special, because she is.
So, Grandma, happy birthday to you. Happy birthday and I love you, and I'm so looking forward to celebrating you with everyone this weekend. You and I have always had a special bond, and I will never forget that or stop telling people about it. Thank you for always believing in me and always offering a comforting hug or some sage advice. Thank you for teaching us, by example, how important family is, and for being such a joy in my life. Thank you for teaching me what hard work looks like, and for letting me stay up late and eat popsicles when I stayed at your house as a child. Thank you for always picking up the phone when I call, and for always being so happy to hear my voice. I love you forever...

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Honeymoon: Athens Day Two (in which I don 3 hairstyles in one day)

Honeymoon Part I
Honeymoon Athens Day One

Once upon a time I went on a honeymoon, and during random times of the honeymoon I'd think, "Oh I should get artsy and take some selfies for the internet." Let me present to you one of those times.
It's not weird, right? It's totally normal to go on a honeymoon, on your first time out of the country, across the globe, with your new husband, experiencing amazing things, and thinking of the best ways to take selfies to post on the internet, right? It's 2016... I think it's pretty normal (and also kind of sad and weird and I'd never admit this to anyone in person).
Today I'm sharing the next part of our honeymoon, which was our second day in Greece. There will probably be 13 honeymoon posts, because we were gone for 13 days, and we did a LOT every single day, and I like to be detailed and write posts that are as many words as there are dollars in the Powerball jackpot.
On day two of Athens, we woke up bright and early to get started on the day's adventure. In the evening Keith would spend time cementing our itinerary for the next day, and I'm happy to report that I didn't have to plan one single thing during our honeymoon and I think that was the best gift I've ever been given.
We took a photo outside of our hotel, the name of which I honestly can't remember. I've even tried googling it but I haven't had any luck. If you're going to Athens and you want the name of the hotel I'll ask Keith but tbh that just sounds like a lot of work. But that doesn't matter. What matters is that we walked out into the middle of a very busy street to take a picture outside of our honeymoon hotel. I think I mentioned this in my last honeymoon post: the way their floors are over there is weird. They label the bottom floor as, "0." So we were on the 3rd floor, but in the USA that would have been the 4th floor. It confused us every single time we got on an elevator.
After we took that picture we began our trek to Mount Lycabettus. In Greece we didn't rent a car, which meant we either had to take public transportation or walk everywhere. There wasn't really much public transportation to Mount Lucabettus, so we walked the. whole. way. It didn't seem that bad in the morning because the weather was fairly cool, but when the sun got higher in the sky and I'd been walking for a while, my perpetually sweaty self was definitely glistening a lot. Luckily I had comfortable shoes.
I had to take a picture of Starbucks because my aunt (who used to live in Saudi Arabia and went to Greece on multiple occasions) told me she knew they'd have gross coffee most places and that they probably didn't have any "regular" Starbucks coffee. They did have Starbucks, but I didn't try it so I don't know how it compared to the USA.

"Keith, take a picture of me drinking a Coke Light in Athens."
In front of us and to the left you can see some sort of City Hall building, and in the distance you can see Mount Lycabettus. See that pointy thing on top? That's where we were headed. When I found that out I almost passed out but then I kept it together because I am a very mature individual. Plus, it was Greece and I was looking forward to seeing all of the streets.

"Keith, take a picture of me holding a Coke Light and a Monster in Athens."

The above picture gives you a glimpse of how insane the streets were. The cars were parked SOCLOSE to each other that I don't really know how people either parked or pulled out. The streets were also really narrow if you drove anything larger than a mini cooper I don't know how you didn't lose your side mirrors.

Keith: Hey babe, let's race up these stairs.
Juliette: Ok, ready? GO!
*Keith runs, Juliette doesn't move*
Juliette: Oh look, you're winning!

We finally made it to the bottom of Mount Lycabettus, and luckily Keith had a map. There were a lot of signs directing us a lot of different directions, and I'm convinced that I'd have gotten lost had I been by myself. Here is a picture of the view during part of the hike. You can see the Acropolis and behind that, the Mediterranean Sea.

The couple that selfies together stays together because they have to take multiple selfies to ensure they get a perfect one.

My husband likes to get down and dirty for some of his pictures. When he realized I was photographing his technique he refused to continue in that manner until I gave him my phone so I couldn't take anymore pictures.

Finally, FINALLYm we made it to the top, and it was more than worth it.

From this peak you have a 360 degree view of Athens. It's INCREDIBLE. There's a small church and a restaurant at the top (neither of which we went into), but I'd go back there just for the view. We stayed at the top for well over an our just looking, talking about the future (more trips, cats, and tiny humans), taking pictures, and making out. The restaurant wasn't playing Grecian music... they were playing that "You know it raaaaains down in Aaaaafrica" song, and I just thought that was hilarious.

Our next stop was the National Gardens. It was another long trek but it was all downhill, so I didn't complain much. On our walk we saw this tree and I insisted that I could jump up onto it. We have a video of me trying to run and jump and I think it was my 3rd jump where I finally got my balance. If I ever get it together enough to put together a video of our trip, you'll see it. Until then you get this picture of me sitting on a tree.

Both of us were disappointed in the gardens. Don't get me wrong, they were incredible beautiful, but we were expecting more color, I think. There were very few flowers, but it was very shady which we enjoyed because it was getting pretty warm outside. You could spend hours in the gardens, but we just took a quick walk through because we had more destinations after this one.

True life: 90% of the reason I wanted to take a kissing picture was because I wanted to check out the messy bun I'd thrown together while we were walking.

Third hairstyle of the day: the braid. Hair ADD? What, me?

Our next destination was the Philopappos Monument on Philopappos Hill. It was another hike, and on the way there is a prison where it's rumored that Socrates was imprisoned, and some random monkey bars. The walk up this hill was really nice, and again, beautiful. I haven't been able to find information that confirms for me that Socrates was absolutely definitely without a doubt imprisoned in one of these cells, but it's definitely possible. I was surprised at how little there was at this point to tell us about what we were looking at, and I was also surprised at how spacious the cells were.

The Philopappos Monument sits high atop a hill, and from the hill you can again see both the Acropolis as well as Mount Lycabettus. There were several signs explaining who this monument was dedicated to, and if you're interested here's a link to the Wikipedia page, because what's more reliable than Wikipedia?

Behind me is the Acropolis. I want to say that Mount Lycabettus is directly behind me but there's a good chance I'm exremely wrong.

Next, we walked over to the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Here's some advice: if you're going to go to a museum, be prepared to both 1) be there for an obscene amount of time, and 2) look at the same things over and over and over and over again. At first we were both really excited about all the old things we were looking at, but there are only so many clay pots you can look at before it's like, "Ok, enough is enough."

True story behind the below picture: the main reason I wanted Keith to take it was because of the cool raspberry colored wall behind me. I thought it would look really cool on Instagram. Yes, I was in ancient Greece and I was thinking about Instagram. I ALREADY TOLD YOU THAT'S HOW MY MIND WORKS, OKAY? RELAX.

Apparently I'm not mature enough for these museums because most of the statues made me giggle because they looked inappropriate. Don't believe me? I HAVE PHOTOGRAPHS. If you can make it through without giggling then I salute you.


AND a clay pot because we only saw like one or two (thousand) of them.

That was about it for that day. We decided to go to that restaurant with the amazing gyros (ordering a more reasonable amount of food this time) and then call it a day. During our walk, we took some more pictures of the streets because it was just crazy to me how close these cars were parked to each other!

I think I mentioned it before, but during our whole trip to Greece, Turkey, and Hungary, the only sodas we saw were Coke, Coke Light, Fanta, and Sprite. I tried a Fanta and was really confused because it was YELLOW. It was like, grapefruit Fanta and I was expecting orange and my mind just couldn't get itself around what was happening. We also ordered a plate of goat cheese and a plate of pita bread and they got the goat cheese right but I'd neverr had pita bread like what they gave us, but you know what? IT WAS DELICIOUS and carbs are everything.

My goal is to not go two more months before I post the next part of our trip. If you've ever been to Athens I'm really curious about your experience, so please tell me about it in the comments below! Or not. You know, whatever.