Return to Port Townsend

For our third anniversary (how has it been so long already?!) we wanted to go back to Port Townsend for a weekend getaway. An Airbnb was selected, but no availability till October…so we booked a late anniversary weekend for the fall. It turned out to be exactly what we needed. August was busy enough with house painting and other weekend commitments, and the fall colors were great this time of year.

Last Friday we headed out. I still am in awe of how much closer to everything we feel living on Vashon Island. Well, close to everything except maybe the cascades. Surfing is 2.5 hours away, Port Townsend 1.5 hours. We are near to Seattle, and Tacoma, AND the Kitsap Peninsula (and therefore the lake property). It is pretty awesome. After the short ferry ride to Southworth we were on our way, and before we knew it, arrived in Port Townsend.

First order of business was dumping our stuff at the Airbnb. It was a cute little 1 room tiny house, 10×12 with a small bathroom, kitchenette bed and outdoor shower. Perfect!

Then we went out for long walk around Fort Worden. I was in a bit of a funk because my main camera was cardless (argh!) and my phone memory was full. No pictures was hard for me. We walked around and discovered a new part of the fort and reminisced at our wedding site.

We walked until sunset and then headed to town for dinner at Waterfront Pizza (they catered our rehearsal dinner). Service was slow, and then made slower by some issues with our order so our pizza was on the house. Turns out the slow dinner was a good thing so we spent less time at our Airbnb.

When we got back “home” for the night we were pooped and headed to bed. That is when the trouble began. We were both really bothered by an odor in the room. We are still not sure if it was mold or an air freshner or what, but it kept us up for hours. In the morning, we decided we could not handle another night there and reluctantly shortened our trip. The day was supposed to be rainy and we knew we did not want to spend time in that room.

So we loaded the car, and headed to town for breakfast. Pastries and coffee at Sweet Laurette’s, cruising the farmer’s market were a great way to start the day. We wandered all the standard shops along the waterfront and found a vintage 1940s or 50s art deco framed print for our house at an antique shop.

By 1:00 we were ready for another Port Townsend tradition: ice cream sundae at Don’s Pharmacy soda fountain!

We took a second lap around the fort (this time with a camera!) to work off the ice cream and then hit the road home.

All in all it was a great trip, and being home Sunday was really quite nice. The cats and chickens were happy to have us home and it make the weekend stretch just a bit longer. Most importantly, it reminded us how much we just love spending time together wherever we are.


Wedding Photo Bliss!

Warm. Content. Fillfilled. Loved.

That is how I am feeling. Last night we received the email we had long been waiting for…our wedding photos are done! Ben sent us a weblink, and also dropped our DVDs in the mail. I immediately clicked open the sight and, wow, I could not be happier with the photos. They are stunning. Not only are the photos themselves gorgeous, but they perfectly capture the emotion of our wedding day. Clicking through them with Matt nearly brought tears to my eyes, recalling all love and pure joy we experienced that day in August. There are just too many good ones to share! Here is a quick sample of a few favs…

After class, we went out for pho with Beth, as a final farewell dinner before she heads out to sea again on Monday. We laughed and talked over our brothy dinner, then talked and laughed some more while Matt enjoyed a cà phê sữa (Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk). Oh so good. I stole a sip, and I am hooked! This weekend we are going to find some phin filters at a market so we can make it at home. It will be the perfect fall treat to share in our cozy little home.

Our Wedding Weekend – Days 4 & 5

Day 4 – Saturday

2:30 AM – I woke up to swollen knees and really sore ankles. 3 days of standing, walking and dancing had caught up to me. My sweet husband found me some water and ibuprofen and I fell back asleep listening to the fog horns.

We woke up to more sunshine, and headed down to the Fort for an informal brunch. Costco Danishes, muffins, pastries, fruit, coffee, tea…and more visiting with family and friends. People milled around, played croquet, Frisbee, and ate, until we eventually got a group together to go explore the beach and some other parts of the fort. The sun was out, and for the first time this summer…I did not have to worry about tan lines! Woohoo! As you may have guessed…I burned my shoulders. It felt so good to be out in the sun.

By the afternoon, I was crashing. Tired, sore feet, achy voice, and really just kind of over-visited and over-stimulated in general. Going that many days with so many details and so many people is exhausting. Matt and I packed up some leftovers for dinner, and retreated back to the Red Barn for the afternoon. We did come back to the houses to visit and see some photos, but the down time that afternoon and evening was so desperately needed.

Day 5 – Sunday

We woke up to sunshine again, and had a slow morning packing up our stuff to go home. We ate more leftovers from the reception (wow the food was good!) for breakfast, then hit the road. The ferry line was long, but that just gave us more time to relax. I was so tired. I slept on Matt’s lap on the ferry ride home. We made it back to West Seattle around 2:00, and spent the afternoon opening gifts, seeing the kitties, and organizing the house. Over and over we kept exclaiming how well it all went, and how excited we were to be married.

We had so much help from friends and family. Pulling this off was truly a labor of love and generous outpouring of time. We had people come from across the state, county and world, and it was incredible to see all our closest friends and family meet, bond, and share in our wedding weekend. It was seriously better than we ever could have dreamed of, and the perfect way to start our lives together as Mr. and Mrs. Frugé.

The 222nd Day of 2012 – Our Wedding Day!

Day 3 – Friday, WEDDING DAY!

I had always pictured waking up on my wedding day to sun streaming in the window. Taking time to just let it all sink in before getting out of bed.

Wishful thinking. Instead, all of us in houses 11E and 11W were all jolted awake with a fire alarm at 6:30. We all grabbed sweaters and groggily ran outside to stand in the front yard. The sun was out and it was a gorgeous morning, but the screeching alarm was definitely NOT part of the plan. It was pretty obvious that it was a false alarm, but we had to wait for the fire department to come and reset the alarm. Apparently dust in these old houses trips the alarm pretty frequently. It sure made for an exciting story! And it got everyone up so we were not rushed!

Jacqui put on a pot of coffee, Richard made some great poached eggs, and we sat in the sunny kitchen rehashing tasks that needed to be taken care of. More cakes to bake, ladies to the salon, make sure grandparents were at the Battery by 3:30 for pictures, who has the USO hall key? Does anyone know where the iPad is? Does anyone know where the programs are??? Good chaos, but chaos none the less.

Luckily we were able to escape. My maids, the moms and I headed to the salon at 9:00 for 3 hours of pampering. We took over the whole thing, going from beautiful to stunning at the hands of our stylists. Mom had her hair and makeup done for maybe the first time ever, and looked stunning. All of our do’s turned out great. My makeup gal got my look exactly how I wanted. And the bridesmaids made the whole experience that much better with mimosas and cookies.

As the last girls finished up, I re-wrote my vows, painted my toenails and sipped on some throat coat tea (still trying to avoid going hoarse!). Then we piled into the car, and made our way back to the house for some last minute down time before pictures. We took tags off dresses, and hung them on the stairs for photos. The flowers arrived…boy were they cool! Succulents mixed in with really unique blooms. Exactly the kind of unexpected texture overload that I hoped they would be.

Our photographer, Ben, got there around 1:30 and it was go time. We slipped into our dresses, and then Jenny loaded me up for a drive down to the beach. Matt and I decided to do our “first look” on the beach away from the hullabaloo in the houses, which turned out to be a perfect choice. As we got down to the beach and Matt was waiting for me, a pod of orcas decided to show up. We just stood there, (seriously postponing our first look) to watch their beautiful dorsal fins pop out of the water. The sky was blue, the sun was out, it was the kind of day we Pacific North Westerners wait for all year. We had a great shoot with Ben, then headed up to the Battery for family photos.

I am not sure how to even write about the ceremony. I am going to use my favorite word again: perfect. There really is no other way to describe it. It felt natural and relaxed. Marty’s execution of the ceremony was flawless. He and Matt had spent so many hours drafting just the right words, and it was really special to hear them read aloud. We had some great improvised moments (like forgetting to have everyone sit down), and these just made it that much more personal. My mom read a poem by Senya, “Rise in Love”. Our vows went smoothly, and we both managed to get through them without crying. I think we were too excited and glowing with happiness to prompt any tears! The ceremony was just so fun. So natural. And so very us.

A big part of our ceremony was the seed necklace tying as our first act. Marty taught my family to make these necklaces with seeds we collected back when we were living on St. Croix, so we decided to add it into our ceremony. We asked every guest to put a seed on two necklaces. During the ceremony, Matt and I each added a final seed, and then tied the necklaces together in two linked loops. We each wore a loop around our necks for the rest of the ceremony, physically tying us together. We will treasure those necklaces for years to come.

Immediately after the ceremony, we took THE picture I wanted: one of everyone at the wedding, together, in one frame. We gathered in the next Battery over, and Ben got the shot. Then we took family photos off all of my relatives, then all of Matt’s. I cannot even express how excited I am to see Ben’s photos. He took so SO many good ones. There will be a massive post with his photos when we get them. Oh I cannot wait!

A collection of helpful hands had the ceremony site cleaned up in a matter of minutes, and our guests headed to the reception. Matt and I took more photos with Ben, and had a relaxing walk down the hill basking in the realization that we were MARRIED!

When we got to the USO hall, Josh (our good friend and awesome DJ/emcee) announced our entrance. We walked through a thunder of applause and cheering, seeing so many people we love. It was incredible. Seriously one of the best moments of the wedding. The hall looked stunning, and it felt so good to walk around, greeting people, and see all our hard work come together. When random things came up, like the cake melting, but we just went with it. So we will cut melted cake. No big deal! It is all part of the story. Dinner was amazing. And we actually got to eat (this was a major priority), then snuck out for more pictures.

Ben took us down to the beach again, and the sunset light was filtered through a thin haze. You could not ask for better light! Seriously, our time taking photos with Ben was more fun than any other part of the reception. It was beautiful, and relaxing, and most of all, just us. We were tempted to just stay out there taking pictures all night, but we eventually made it back to the USO hall to cut cake and dance.

The cake cutting was fun. Our cake was melting but it still looked great. Our moose and turtle topper was perfect. My aunt Linda had found us a cake knife at an antique store that morning, so we used that to cut our first piece. There was no smashing, but we made up for it with an icing filled kiss. The cake was yummy…Matt’s favorite: white on white from Safeway. And the cake buffet looked stunning. From there we moved on to toasts, then dances, then finally dancing the night away.

We had planned to dance till 11, but at 10:30 a park ranger appeared in the doorway and said the music could not be on after 10. Oh well, we were getting tired anyway so decided to take off. My mom arranged for a birdseed sendoff so we grabbed a bottle of champagne, our extra shoes, and ran through the tunnel. Oh and there was SO much birdseed! I had a handful shoved down the front of my dress, and Matt had it dumped down his shirt. Memorable to say the least!

Troy was our getaway driver, taking us to the Big Red Barn. Matt was in charge of finding this place and it was…you guessed it…perfect. One of the only non-Victorian style places in town, and it was just what we wanted in a retreat. We were floating on cloud nine, rehashing the events of the day and glowing in how well the whole day played out.

Our Wedding Weekend – Day 2

Day 2 – Thursday

Thursday morning we woke up to the smell of coffee coming from house 11E, and eventually the kitchen was full of hustle and bustle for breakfast. Most of the wedding guests/family went to town to hang out for the morning while a small core crew hung back to work on the wedding sites. First task: hanging lights and decorating the USO hall for the reception. With the Fort, there are lots of rules on who can do what. The Fort staff has to set up/move tables, the catering staff does linens, and we were in charge of decorations. We had to make a very clear schedule so that all of these tasks layered together correctly so that ladders could be used without getting in the way.

We started with lights. 400 feet of patio lights to make a dance floor canopy. Me, my dad, Matt, Matt’s dad, my mom and our friend Richard worked out a plan to hang the lights, and 3 hours later the hall was bathed in a soft glow from 400 little bulbs. It looked perfect. And we only broke 6 bulbs in the process!

From there we headed to the ceremony site (Battery Tolles) to help finish cleaning up the site. Weeding, sweeping, de-mossing and scraping were all well underway by the time I showed up, and when we broke for lunch, it looked awesome. The overgrown battery was overgrown no longer, and looked exactly how we imagined it to be.

I had time to grab a quick snack in the house before being called back to the USO hall to supervise table set up. Then was there for another 2 hours while we decorated the tables. My energy level was really starting to hit bottom, but I knew things needed to get done so I powered on. It felt good to know that we really were the ones to make this happen, and that our sweat and tears (along with all our helping hands!) were what pulled it together. So much more rewarding than just showing up to a pretty place.

I was dusty and hot and my ankles were really starting to hurt. No time for a shower or changing before rehearsal either. I met our day of coordinator, Karle, at the site, and reviewed decoration plans for the next day. My maids and the parents showed up, and then Matt…but the groomsmen were nowhere to be found. 20 minutes later they appeared from the woods, having gotten lost on the way up the road. Rehearsal was quick, and we headed down the hill for pizza and beer.

Well, everyone else did. I headed in to take a shower. I was so tired and so gross that I just was not ready to go be social until I was clean. The quiet house was nice too. My voice was almost gone from talking all day. The pizza was great, as were the root beer floats, but the evening was chilly so we quickly moved the party inside. Some people were visiting, others baking cakes for the wedding reception, others folding programs. There was anticipation in the air for the big event the next day. Around 10:30 people started to fade and head to bed.

Our Wedding Weekend – Day 1

Beyond perfect. That is the only way to describe it when people ask how the wedding went. It was everything we imagined, and then some. Our 5 days in Port Townsend were so memorable, and filled with so many fun stories, events and people. We could not have envisioned a more perfect wedding.

So here is the download, part 1. I think I will write this all out both for my memory’s sake and to share it with you, but go into it knowing that this series will be LONG and FULL of detail. Be prepared to read for a while.

Day 1 – Wednesday

Jenny, Matt and I got up early to pack the car and hit the road. Matt’s mom had come the day before and loaded up all the big bulky stuff, so it was a pretty quick task. The mini was stuffed to the gills with our clothes, wedding dress, signs, posters, and cake stands. We pulled out of West Seattle around 10:15, and literally drove on to the ferry as it was ready to depart. Glad we did not miss it!

The drive to Port Townsend was not what we expected. Forecast was for sunshine, but 20 minutes out of town we hit rain. Major rain. Enough to call people and tell them to be prepared. By the time we arrived though it was perfectly dry, and everyone else seemed to have missed it. I will take it as good luck!

We met up at Don’s Pharmacy for a quick lunch with family that was in town, then Matt and I headed to the Underground (coffee shop) to work on our vows. I made us sit at seperate tables because I knew I would peek at his writing. Isn’t he adorable?!

At 3:00 we went to the fort to check in and unload into the Officers houses. The houses were stunning! We had never actually been inside, but they had TONS of space, beautiful woodwork, and were absolutely perfect for a wedding weekend home base. The central house was 11E. At some point food appeared and we all ate picnic style on the porch, front lawn and at the kitchen table. Pulled pork, hot beef sandwiches, salad, cookies…and of course wine with peaches and nectarines.

After dinner we headed to the beach to play in the sand as the sun set. Stunning day.