Saturday, September 2, 2006

Rainy Rainy Canada

Niagara Falls Through The Window of Our HotelThe rain hasn’t stopped for a minute today. And it’s not raining lightly either. But we’re trying not to let that get in the way of us enjoying our trip.

Our drive here was good. We lucked out and got here ahead of rain. The hotel is really nice. We ended up on the 16th floor of it. Even though the sky is dark and grey we can still see the falls from our windows.

We spent quite a bit of our time in a local casino. It’s new, and it wasn’t here before. A lot of new hotels came up in the past 4 years that I haven’t been here.

Later in the evening we went out to the pools / jacuzzis. The one inside was packed with people. The one outside was empty for obvious reasons. However that didn’t stop us, and actually it was pretty great. Warm bubbling water around us and cold rainy sky on top of us.

So no matter the rain I would still make this trip. I’m having a great time, and so is everyone else.
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Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Colorful Insects

ButterflyThe main reason I wanted to go to Canada was so that Alena could see all the great things that I’ve seen. So we were making stops at locations which I’ve visited before many times.

This time around we decided to stop by the botanical garden. I’ve seen signs pointing to it many times, but never actually went there. The garden itself seems to be rather large, and we were short on time, so we visited only one part of it: Butterfly Conservatory.

Butterfly Refuses to Fly AwayI armed myself with my new macro lens and went hunting. The first butterfly that we came upon was actually flying outside of conservatory, and the pictures of it came out the best. The conservatory itself was filled with all kinds of beautiful and exotic butterflies. They would even land on people and would refuse to fly away.

BeeBut I guess because the lighting condition weren’t great and I’m only an amateur majority of the pictures came out fuzzy. It still was a very fun experience nevertheless.

BumblebeeThen on our way back I stumbled upon a nice bumblebee flying around the flowers. He didn’t really want to strike a pose for me, but I think I still got a nice shot. Looks like he was flying around and collecting nectar from flowers.

My dad took a lot of butterfly pictures as well on his camera. Looks like he and my mom were having fun too. Also we got yet another magnet for our refrigerator. Alena refuses to leave without those from anywhere now. ) We brought 3 new ones from Canada.
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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Wedding: Incoming!

Luxor EntranceAfter months of deliberation, research, head spinning and confusion we finally have made some major decisions. We know when and where it’s going to happen. teeth

About an hour ago we made hotel reservations and bought plane tickets. We’re flying out on November 21st to Las Vegas. The hotel that we picked is Luxor.

We are not exactly sure where the wedding itself is going to happen, but our plan at the moment is The Chapel at Luxor on November 23rd. We’re going to have a civil ceremony, since Alena is Catholic, I am Jewish and when it comes down it to we’re not religious.

There is still a lot to decide and to do, but I think this was the major issue that needed resolution. Either way, we’re finally going to be married in less then 3 months! mrgreen
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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wedding: The Mini Crisis

MGM GrandToday, after I heard that almost everybody got their tickets I figured I’ll get more information about the wedding ceremony. I remember checking a while back on the official city of Las Vegas website that their official wedding offices are open 7 days a week, including all holidays. My assumption was that even if the city offices are open, the business will be open for sure.

I call Luxor to actually make a reservation: we’re planning to have our wedding on November 23rd, which falls on Thanksgiving. Oh, ok, but we’re closed on that day. 8O YOU WHAT?? o.O By now I’m in a state of shock. Everyone has tickets and we can’t have a wedding! I call city offices, they are indeed open. I figure, worst case we’ll do the wedding in the city hall, but they don’t let the guests in. I start calling all hotels: Mandalay Bay – closed, New York New York – closed, Paris – closed, MGM Grand – yeah, sure, we’re open. teeth

To make a long story short, we have a wedding ceremony scheduled on November 23rd, 1:30pm at MGM Grand Chapel. The package that we picked is called “Forever Yours”. The difference between this one and their top package is it has less photos included and doesn’t have pedicure/manicure part. We upgraded photography to the level of the top one and saved $200 as a result. Total of the package comes out to $1399. It includes lots of photography now, hair style and make up for the bride, flowers and a bunch of other stuff.
Eternity begins in style with the “Forever Yours” package. Our exceptional service assures you a wedding of extravagance through an array of personalized services. A classic photography package, beautifully designed bouquets, and a day of beauty at the world-renowned salon, Cristophe, are merely a few of the services we offer. Through the collection of lavish amenities, the first day of forever will be the beginning of unforgettable memories.
One more step closer to the wedding! Next big thing to tackle: the after-wedding dinner.
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Friday, September 15, 2006

The Beginning of College Life

College TextbooksI haven’t written anything in quite some time. College started and time deficit hit me right between my widely open eyes. 8O

I really like it so far. Even considering the fact that American Government classes put me to sleep, as well as the book on the subject. roll

The rest of the classes seem to be pretty interesting.

We have a huge psychology class – the teacher claims that it has around 450 people. Not sure if that’s true, but might very well be! Professor Sitt is trying to make us “feel as in the class of 20″… Don’t think it’s possible, but at least his manner of teaching is very lively and enjoyable. mrgreen

Our music professor Mrs. Saloman is a tiny old lady, who is always smiling. I like her and the subject. In fact, music classes are too easy for me. Come on, to teach a musical school graduate what a pitch is, an octave, scales and how to write notes is … well… the good word would be ridiculous. But oh well – what can I do? At least I’ll be able to refresh my memory and will get acquainted with English musical terminology. I was even listening to classics today. I downloaded Beethoven’s Sonata #14 in C sharp minor (“Moonlight”) and listening to it now. I know it’s too popular, but that doesn’t make it less beautiful.

My English writing class is pretty challenging. I need to spend a lot of time on homework, but that was expected.

Communications class = public speaking. We’ll have to prepare different speeches and present them before our teacher and classmates. Last time we drew numbers in order to figure out the sequence of speakers. I’m number 2!! I’m scared and excited at the same time. On Monday I’m going to present my 5 minutes open topic speech. I’ve decided to enlighten people about the World of Warcraft. mrgreen At least I know something about it and indeed am enthusiastic.

I am also very excited about the incoming wedding. It’s so great that our wishes are finally turning into reality. Now my main concern is a wedding dress – something elegant, not too expensive, something light and something that fits me well… Tomorrow we’re planning to buy wedding bands. Hopefully, we’ll find something interesting, or at least we’ll figure out our sizes. )
In: Life In General
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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wedding Bands

Wedding BandsWe spent last weekend going through jewelry stores, looking for our wedding bands. Saw a bunch of them on Saturday in Brooklyn and majority of them are mighty ugly. On Sunday we went to Manhattan to check out the stores in the jewelry district on 47th. That’s where we ended up ordering them.

I wanted something pretty simple, but not a plain one. Alena I think wanted the same thing, but for her the ring had to work with her engagement ring. In the end I got myself a fairly simple ring made out of platinum, and after looking through the multitude of the designs Alena picked out one made out of white gold with a small set of diamonds on the top.

EngravingWe just picked them up and they look good. We had both of them engraved with the following: “11-23-06 D+A FTW”. FTW is something we picked up while playing World of Warcraft for almost 2 years non-stop. It means “For The Win”. Going to be fun looking back at that at the age of 50. Or so I think. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. teeth
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Saturday, September 30, 2006

My Wedding Dress

CorsetToday me and t. Oksana went wedding dress hunting again. Last Sunday we went to different boutiques to check out regular evening dresses as well as visited one wedding dresses store, but weren’t able to find anything interesting enough.

Today we started with some Italian wedding cloth store… and that was the end of out shopping trip as well. We found a beautiful wedding dress!!! It is expensive though. ( Supposedly it’s decorated with Swarovski crystals and it’s elegant and it just feels so right…

I’m very excited and can’t wait to try it on again (it should undergo some minor alterations). Funny thing that in this store all the dresses were my size. )

I just need to find proper shoes now – nothing fancy, nothing expensive. Dress is long and they are not going to show up.

P.S. Since we have to keep the dress top secret as per Daniel’s post, the picture attached is that of a corset that was needed for the dress.
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