Around the World in 180 Days

A journey across the Atlantic and into matrimony

Take A Walk on the Wild Side January 19, 2010

Filed under: travel,us — rhet @ 10:39 pm
Tags: , ,

reindeer!

Alright, so Christmas is long gone. But I think having just gotten married (yep, the girl is now the wife) is a good enough excuse for a late post. Here it goes!

As excited as I was to spend Christmas with the hubby for the first time and see the family traditions he had grown up with, I can’t say it was easy to spend the holidays away from my own family.  Especially since it seemed that each approach to the holiday could not be more different.  Where we have 20-30 people over for dinner, theirs is never more than 5. For me it was an eerily quiet and calm day.

One of their most cherished traditions turned out to be the most challenging part of the day for me, however. After the typical wrapping paper shred-fest, the gang gets their winter gear on and heads out on a walk through a reindeer park. Which sounds pretty awesome right? And it would have been if Manchester hadn’t been hammered with snow for the past 2 weeks which left all the pathways solid sheets of ice. That combined with the fact that I was the only one who had absolutely no decent shoes for that kind of weather made the experience dreadfully frustrating. Teeny..tiny..steps..for miles..on Christmas. Eek. Luckily, at the end of that walk was a pub!

After returning to the house, I was glad to have scheduled some Skype time with my fam to get my spirits back up. Hooray for the power of the internet!

My next initiation into British Christmas traditions was the Christmas cracker. Exhibit A:

Apparently what you do is, two people pull opposite ends of the thing and then it splits and makes a loud noise (hence calling it a cracker). Inside, one finds a random cheap toy (i got a miniature tape dispenser), a silly joke and a paper crown. You then wear said crown for the remainder of the day.  It made me feel like Max from Where the Wild Things Are but it was quite funny to see the hubby’s parents in pastel coloured paper crowns!

Both of our family’s follow dinner with a round of games. The only difference is that with the hubby’s family there is a lot more alcohol involved which is a great improvement on the tradition I say (though in recent years, the less conservative of my family members have been easing glasses of wine into the days festivities here and there).

Speaking of alcohol, when I have my own family and the hubby and I start making our own traditions..there will definitely be mulled wine involved! I’d heard of the stuff in the States but I’m typically not fond of red wine so I never tried it. But now after giving it a taste, I’ve decided that mulled wine is liquid Christmas Spirit. I’ve never felt so jolly as when I’ve had a few glasses of mulled wine.

And on that holly, jolly note, I hope you all enjoyed your (long gone) holidays as much as I did!

 

I’m leaving on a jet plane.. October 6, 2009

Filed under: the process,travel,us — rhet @ 5:35 am

Just a little update to say I GOT MY VISA! the wait is over my friends.

I’m hoppin on the next plane outta here and startin phase 2: life in Glasgow. Stay tuned!

 

What’s In a Name? August 5, 2009

Filed under: us,wholy matrimony — rhet @ 9:39 pm
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158 days

I woke up to a few different blog posts addressing the issue of to change or not to change one’s last name after getting married in my rss feeds this morning (specifically Broke-Ass-Bride and OffBeatBride) so I thought I’d throw in my two cents.

I decided as far back as I remember considering it, to keep my last name when I would get married. It’s not really that I think my name is particularly awesome, its not ‘pretty’ sounding exactly as its German but it is pretty much nickname proof, and one of the main things that connects the huge group of people that is my family.

That was until my senior year of high school when I had to change my last name. I won’t go into the details as to why it was necessary to do so, but I was not happy. Not only did I loose the last name that tied me to my family, I was now stuck with a name that was doomed to be be mispronounced as a word that means ‘poop’. Fantastic! It also bothered me because I did not exactly get along with the family whose name I had taken and wasn’t thrilled to have their name instead of the one I’d grown up with.

A few years after the name change, I met my future husband and upon learning of his awesome last name, decided the perfect solution was to take his last name! Only it wouldnt be out of tradition or ownership (which is kind of how I view it), it’d just be a good excuse to steal his cool name. Plus it works really well with my first name.

Though, as I write this, I’m wondering if maybe I should take my old last name back instead? Is that legal in Scotland? Or maybe I should take it and his last name too? Hmmm decisions, decisions..

 

Coming Up for Air July 30, 2009

Filed under: travel,us — rhet @ 7:38 pm
Tags: ,

164 days

As I wrote about in the previous post, the boy has finally arrived in the US to stay with me and my family until my ship out date for Scotland (which is September 2nd, in case you’re curious).

So thats the reason for my lapse in posts for the past however many days as the boy and I have been virtually attached at the hip, catching up on lost time. I have however managed to peel myself away from the boy to renew my efforts on here. We’ve got the rest of our lives ahead of us together and I’m sure a little personal time would do us both some good.

I have been doing my best to keep him entertained and show him what few sights there are in Pennsylvania. I realized after he arrived that my list of things for us to do here consisted mostly of Pennsylvania Dutch or otherwise American things I wanted to make him eat. Oh well. Here’s my list:

1. Green Dragon (our local/Amish farmers market known for really good fresh food)

2. Buggy ride (even though i’ve never actually done one myself, could be fun right?)

3. Hershey Park (after living in Seattle and discovering really good chocolate out there, Hersheys
is a bit disappointing but the park is still quite fun and i enjoy the chocolate themed town)

4. shoo-fly pie

5. whoopie pies

6. lebanon/sweet bologna

7. hot air balloon ride (not exactly specific to our area but our wedding invitations have hot air balloons on them and i thought it’d be cute to take some unofficial engagement photos there)

So far he’s tried lebanon/sweet bologna, went to my 5 year class reunion (which was a bad idea by the way) and and we’ve been to Philadelphia for a day (but didnt have time to get cheese steaks! next time..) so we need to work on the list a bit but i have 2 weeks off work coming up and here are some of the plans in the works:

• 3 day trip to NYC (where we first met) to visit the MoMa, possibly catch something on Broadway
• local microbrewery fest as the boy’s a big fan of beer
• Renaissance Faire
• local wine tours

plus generally hanging out, enjoying my parents swimming pool and visiting with all my friends and family as much as possible.

All while fretting over the arrival of my visa in the mail..cross your fingers and toes for me folks.

 

Shock and Awe July 18, 2009

Filed under: us,wholy matrimony — rhet @ 12:43 pm

177 days

Up until now, the boy and I have had a loong history of not being able to keep secrets long enough to surprise eachother but my oh my did he get me this time.

A few weeks ago, my mom sent me an email that was supposed to have gone to the boy and i had a feeling that they were up to something. I tried to just let it go and let the surprise take its course but…i couldn’t! i have little control once the curiousity gets hold. it wasnt long till i was asking the boy questions and prodding my mom for info. the boy blatantly denied it but my mom burst the bubble by urging me to just let it go and let him surprise me if he wanted to.

So i decided yes, i should just be a good girlfriend and shut up and curb my curiousity, imagining how sad he’d be and how bad i’d feel for foiling another surprise. Then the next morning as we were talking and I was doing a perfect job of not asking anymore questions, he gives in and tells me he was planning on arriving on Friday instead of Saturday like he’d told me. awww! I did in fact feel really guilty and horrible for screwing up such a cute plan.

The weeks went on and I arranged my work schedule to have Friday off and about a week before his arrival my mother began urging me to get food bought, bedroom set up, etc as soon as possible, which i attributed to her typical obsessive planning and preparation.

But then, as I came home from work Wednesday night, I walked down the path to my house and found him standing on my deck! This is where the shock and awe comes in. I could barely think of anything other than how amazed and ecstatic I was that he was finally here. Before I knew what was happening he said he he had a surprise for me (as if home showing up early wasn’t enough) he got down on one knee, pulled a ring out of his pocket, proposed! I was so bowled over by the thoughtfulness of this whole operation, I nearly forgot to say yes, but eventually I got it out.  Plus, we decided to be engaged about 6 months ago, so saying yes wasnt exactly a necessity. My family then appeared out of their hiding spots just inside the door where they’d watched the whole thing, telling me how they’d all been involved in the planning behind my back, which is actually one of my favorite parts of the whole thing.

Since a great portion of the boy and i’s relationship has been spent long distance, my parents and family havent gotten much of a chance to get to know him and i was worried he wouldnt become a part of the family in the way i hoped (my family is both large and very close, incidentally). But if they can all scheme and sneak to plan a surprise for me then clearly, he’s in!

So not only has his place in my life been solidified that much more, but also his place in my family.

 

It Takes Two July 5, 2009

Filed under: us — the boy @ 10:24 pm

A relationship and of course a marriage takes two people (well unless you have some very liberal ideals) to work. So we’ve decided to split the content of this blog in two as well. I’ll be offering my perspective from the UK and male perspective whilst the girl does the American and female stuff. Hopefully this unusual approach to writing a blog will help those in a similar and stressful situation see how to handle the it and most of all, not feel alone in the process as we did.

 

Away We Go..

Filed under: the process,travel,us — rhet @ 10:12 pm
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Its crazy to think that in about 180 days (its 188 to be exact, but close enough right?) I’ll be married to the guy of my dreams and leaving the US to make Glasgow my new home. Theres been a lot of hoops to jump through and I’m sure theres more ahead which is actually the main reason I’m writing this blog. When I started the process of getting a fiance visa to join the boy in the UK and get married, I tried desperately to find a blog or a forum where someone told their story of what it was like and what to expect but found very little information. Now that I’m nearly at the tail end, I’d love to share the process and some helpful information to anyone else in the same or a similar situation! Not to mention the process of planning a wedding from afar and being in a long distance relationship. The journey is as important as the destination afterall..