Thursday, March 31, 2011

Breaking News: Royal Wedding Cancelled! :(

Ok, the British gossip rags (which I read religiously) broke this story yesterday, but I didn't believe it. But today, BBC news, Buckingham Palace, and Clarence House have all confirmed the story. I'm devastated.

The royal wedding has been cancelled!

Of course Clarence house (Prince of Wales' place + official residence for Wills and Harry, for royal press release purposes) and Buckingham aren't giving any details. Respect the couple, blah, blah, blah.

BBC news says that they are awaiting reliable information, but that the Bank Holiday for the wedding has been cancelled and that all the vendors will be paid "for services rendered and intended." I'm not sure what that means in British-speak.

The Brit gossip rags, though, have any number of possibilities. The one gaining most popular support seems to be that Wills engaged in "naughty behaviour" during his bachelor party the weekend before last. One magazine had interviews with the call girls who intimated, well, that Wills had been intimate with 6 of them! Another gossip rag said that Camilla had offered the setting (outside London) and had chosen girls that she knew Wills would find attractive. That horsey-faced spoiler of royal marriages!!

Kate is rumored to have called off the wedding, though most magazines qualified that by saying that Mr. and Mrs. Middleton counseled her to simply accept the "rowdy" actions of the prince. Kate's dressmaker will still be paid by the Middletons, but it looks like the dress will be British royal family property. (Guessing it's not going to be on display?)

Personally, I'm shocked and greatly saddened. Those two cute kids seemed like a great pair; they took their time and went through ups and downs, but they seemed so happy during these months of engaged bliss. I know that royals have a different lifestyle than I can imagine, but Wills didn't seem the type to have call girls and all that. I KNOW Diana wouldn't approve, and I hope Wills feels like he let down his mom. I hope he feels like he let down his whole country. After the Charles/Camilla debacle, this was his chance to prove that he was an intelligent individual, marrying an equally intelligent girl, and that, together, they could bring a new breath of life, poise, and class to the royal family. I guess I'll just sit and stew in my unhappiness, but my thoughts are with Kate. And I'm proud of her to have the courage to call off this wedding; I'm so glad that she didn't just go through because of public pressure and to then have an empty shell of a marriage. That girl has a lot of class! So, even though today, April 1st in London, may be known as the day the Royal Wedding got called off, I'll always remember it as the day that even royals can't escape from being fools for love. And, yes, there are key words in that last sentence. God save the Queen, of course, but, let me tell you, Shakespeare would NOT be pleased!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy Birthday to Elsie Butler!

It's Adam's grandma's 86th birthday! Here are some pictures of the beautiful Elsie at our wedding. :)

I miss my grandparents so much, but I feel lucky to have her as a grandma-in-law. What a wonderful treasure she is. Have a happy birthday!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

One Sweet Year!

On March 20, 2010, I married the sweetest, most handsome, most faithful, and perfect-for-me guy in the world, Adam Latham Copeland. I loved our wedding. I liked how I looked, I loved how Adam looked, everyone was smiling at us and wishing us happiness, blue skies and warm weather in March, and people were taking millions of pictures of me! How fabulous is that!!

Here are some images of the day. Rothwell Photography captured all the lovely happiness I felt!

Adam had his brother take little video shots through the day with a FlipCamera. I had been wanting to put up a few for quite some time, so I figured this was as good a time as any. If you like these, let me know and I'll put up more!

Adam and I dancing our first dance! (Unfortunately, the youtube link won't let the audio, just fyi, we danced to Michael Buble...sorry that YouTube is a big loser.)

And a general look at the back of Cross Keys Vineyards main building and the back lawn with some Shenandoah mountains can see what a gorgeous day it was (sunny, 70s, blue skies--all in March in Virginia). :)

Happy anniversary, Adam! And thanks to all our friends and family who helped make our wedding day and our first year of marriage special.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

San Antonio Trip: Day Four's time for some Texas wine and Texas landmarks! I enjoyed meeting people, watching the Spurs, seeing the gardens, etc, but I was absolutely itching to see the Alamo! I'm a weird history-loving person like that. And we went there on day four! Yee-haw! :)

That morning, we drove slightly north of San Antonio to visit some wineries. Our friend Becky came with us, and we had a great time! We went to two wineries (see our Wine Blog when we update it) and then to lunch at Rudy's (Tony Parker and Eva Longoria Parker lunched there!).

The barn that housed Sisterdale Winery! It used to be a cotton gin, but now it produces excellent wine.

Becky and Adam outside Comfort Cellars Winery.

Ahhh, surrounded by wine barrels! :)

Some of the BBQ at Rudy's

Rudy' was delicious, despite their catchphrase as the worst BBQ in Texas.

Afterward, Adam and I drove into the center of San Antonio, checked into our beautiful hotel room, relaxed for a teensy bit, and then went to the ALAMO!! YAY! Although you can't take pictures inside, I did enjoy the inside and I learned a lot from the visual aids that they had throughout the Alamo. Granted, it's a little weird to walk across busy streets and see giant skyscrapers all around while you try to imagine what the battle of the Alamo must have ben like. Still, the Alamo delivers.

distance shot of Alamo and the retaining wall

beautiful church of Alamo
I had no idea there were so many beautiful botanicals inside the Alamo (although, to be fair, most of them were only transplanted or planted there in the early 1900s when it became a National landmark).

Live oak tree...the sign said it was grown for 40 years in a town 200 miles away,
transplanted here in 1909, and has flourished ever since.

Me, by the old well by the live oak

One of the best parts of the Alamo was a bit of a surprise. I was looking at a 19th century hospital set-up at the Alamo (spoiler: it looked scary!) and, all of a sudden, there was a posse of Texas rangers right there! Yikes! I thought I was going to get arrested (for being too northern? for mentally calling them all "Walker"? for wearing a skirt in the Alamo?), but they were just there to collect the money from all the collection boxes scattered throughout the Alamo. I kept seeing them all around the place (good for the Alamo...lotso money!), so I snapped a surreptitious picture. You gotta have your fun!

How many Texas rangers does it take to get the collection money?
I wish that I could have taken pictures of the inside of the Alamo because it was really neat. Also, the lay-out was really intriguing. I didn't know the lay-out and how large the original Alamo complex was. The church of it was really just a small part, but it was great to read and understand the whole area. I highly suggest visiting and enjoying if you're ever in Texas. But they did have lovely stonework throughout, and, well, I enjoyed the atmosphere.

One of the sweet arches in the courtyard of the Alamo

pretending to be someone important giving a speech in twangy Texan


Adam looks very regal among all the flags

Us outside the ALAMO!

good TX flag in the background

After the Alamo, we had a fantastic happy hour at the hotel, went to a great restaurant for dinner, and explored the Riverwalk. BUT, I'm a little ill and dead tired, so I'll group all of that with the other Riverwalk stuff during my next San Antonio post.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

San Antonio Trip: Day Three

Sunday, March 6th was church-n-spurs day!

We woke up, dressed, packed up, and went to Northside Church for the second service. Since we were leaving the Wharton's house, we had to be sure that we had packed everything...and we haven't found that we've lost anything yet! :)

Adam worked as the youth minister for four years (and interned for two summers previous to his job) at Northside. Needless to say, everyone wanted to say hello and meet his wife! I loved watching Adam with his friends, and I loved meeting everyone! I didn't take any pictures because Adam didn't want to pose outside Northside....sorry!

After church and more talking, Adam and I quickly changed into jeans and Spurs shirts. I have a Tony Parker shirt because I SO LOVED he and Eva Longoria Parker, when they were together. (I had a theory that converged the Spurs with Macbeth and it's a wonderous theory...ask me about it if you want to be amazed and a little bit scared.) Anyway, the t-shirt looks good on me, so I kept it. Adam just loves the Spurs, and, since I'm going to be hearing about the Spurs for the rest of my life, I decided last year to embrace the Spurs-love and cheer them on (and root against all other teams)!

We drove to the AT&T Center for the Spurs vs. Lakers game (3/6/11) and waited for about 30 minutes until the doors opened. Pictures were taken, children dressed in Lakers' gear were pitied, sights were seen.

Outside the AT&T Center...some inflatables, lots of people, beautiful sunshine!

The pair of us at AT&T Center!!

My hot Spurs-loving husband

Then we got into the arena and explored all sorts of things before we got food and went to our seats. (The players were warming up, so we got some shots of the court from the lower deck.) The hallways of the arena were spacious, strung with lights, and there was fun memorabilia all over the place. Everything looked really sharp with the Spurs' black-and-white all over the place.

Copelands in the AT&T Center!!

The Championship Cow (from Cows on Parade)

Fun, colorful lights were all throughout the hallways of the arena. Very festive!

David Robinson on a painted backboard for charity

Also, I earned 35 baskets in the 40-second Quick Hoops game (Adam earned 18, but he *said* the balls were slow in coming back to him)! And I am a horrible b-ball player!! Honestly, with my kind of phenomenal luck, I should have known we were in for a weird, almost unnatural afternoon.

Our seats were great. And the food was yummy!

Our view (with my drink providing some perspective) was a great view!

Go Spurs Go! We got the noisemakers because we got to the arena so early!

Here are some zoom shots of some of our favorite players, pre-game.

Tim Duncan (#21)

Manu Ginobili (#20)

Rookie James Anderson(#25) with Ginobili and Duncan

And one shot of the Lakers warming up...BOO!

Then, the game started. 2 points to the Spurs, then the Lakers just got all the other points, it seemed. :(

Coach Pop trying to get RJ and the team motivated!

The Spurs cheerleaders were all sorts of raunchy/slutty, so I'm not posting any close-up pictures of them (also, I didn't take any up-close pics of them!). But the whole atmosphere was just sensational and spectacular. Very, very spectacle-focused; I kind of felt like I was a Roman in the Coliseum at times.

Spurs cheerleaders....ummm, the outfits were rather scandalous,
but I was impressed that they could dance in their high-heeled boots.

Beyond that, though, we LOST. WE LOST BADLY. The first quarter we were down by more than 20, and it stayed just as pitiful throughout the whole game. The Lakers couldn't miss a shot, while the Spurs couldn't hit anything. What misery! I was going to count it as a victory if the Spurs got within 15 points for the final score. It ended up being 83-99, so that was a bust too.

Ummm, at least they didn't reach 100?

Final stats. Yep, the Spurs shot 36%.
At one point, the Lakers' shooting percentage was in the 70s. Geez.

Sadness, post game :)

I was pretty sad, and I felt like it was all my fault because I must have been a bad luck charm. Adam tried to convince me otherwise, but I didn't really cheer up until we had some really excellent Persian food and some red wine. After that delicious meal, we went to Adam's friend Becky's house. She was hosting us for the evening and also threw a soiree for all of Adam's non-church San Antonio friends. Lots of good talk and laughter commenced, and it was great to catch up!

Monday, March 14, 2011

San Antonio Trip: Day Two

After a lovely breakfast courtesy of the Whartons, Adam and I headed out to explore San Antonio! We drove around some of his old haunts....and even drove to the more ritzy areas of San Antonio to see the fancy houses. Fun, fun! Sadly, we didn't see any famous houses because all of those are (wisely) in gated communities.

Then we went to the Alamo Cafe to meet Maynard Leese, a friend of Adam's from Northside, for lunch. It was a beautiful place, and it had delicious food! Conversation with Maynard was absolutely delightful.
Copelands at Alamo Cafe!
My man with the Texas flag

Maynard, Adam, and I outside the Alamo Cafe

The back area of the Alamo Cafe...great landscaping,
especially the preservation of the live oaks all around the restaurant.

After that, Adam and I took a quick jaunt into Breckenridge Park. It was a sunny, clear day, so the parking lot was crowded, but we took a few far-away shots of the San Antonio zoo and spent the rest of our time exploring the Japanese Tea Gardens.

I liked this pic of the San Antonio Zoo (even though we didn't visit)

ohhh, spiky plants! yucca, yucca!

Outside the tea gardens, this is the one of the main quarry buildings--the circular one is a kiln.

The Japanese Tea Gardens were created from a man-made quarry that was bought by the city to be converted into parkland. Although a Japanese gardener created the space in the early 1900s, it has undergone several reconstructions and redesigns. Most notably, the gardens were renamed the Chinese Sunken Gardens during WWII and some of the years thereafter. Luckily, their original name and original design has been restored and updated smartly. If you're in San Antonio for only 2 hours, spend ALL your time here! I LOVED it!! The stonework, the design (it's a big, empty hole in the ground, but they put in ponds, waterfalls, plants, bridges, cozy stonework, etc to make it feel like a bit of paradise!), everything was excellent!

Sign about the gardens! I like to read everything in sight!

At the entrance of the tea garden, there is a huge stone temple structure.
It's breathtaking, and made entirely of old stone from the quarry.

In the center of the temple

The roof was very Polynesian in style--but the beams and the stones were just remarkable.

Look at all that gorgeous stonework!

A view from the back of the quarry looking toward the front.

All the bridges in the quarry had the same fantastic stonework--and the bridges were so whimsical!

This waterfall cascaded along the back of the quarry,
helping to supply the water features of the place.

I'm on a bridge that's covered in ivy! (Anyone catch the Timberlake joke there?)

There were lots of coy in the ground ponds--and they were MONSTER coy! Huge!

Adam, relaxing by the waterfall

A good view of the quarry basin...and of us smooching! :)

So picturesque! (View from top of stone temple)

We were there just as spring was starting, so here's some look at some of the blooms that were a-budding!

After the gardens, Adam and I spent some time with the Utleys, a family that went to Brasil with his family in 1998. We had a couple of hours chatting with them, and then we headed back to the Whartons. A whole clan of Whartons, significant others, and Adam and I went to Cris Madrid's for dinner. It's one of San Antonio's most famous hamburger joints, and it was DELICIOUS! The surrounding area was a little sketchy (and hard to find...go there with native San Antonions!), but the hamburgers were worth it!

After dinner, we played a tough game of Pictionary (girls vs. boys). Although the girls lost, we made a valiant attempt. But I'm sure that my horrible pictures contributed to the loss. (How do you draw Rodeo Drive or Out of Luck?) Anyway, it was a ton of fun, but I was ready for bed at the end of the night!