Countries Visited

Svalbard Spain United States of America Antarctica South Georgia Falkland Islands Bolivia Peru Ecuador Colombia Venezuela Guyana Suriname French Guiana Brazil Paraguay Uruguay Argentina Chile Greenland Canada United States of America United States of America Israel Jordan Cyprus Qatar United Arab Emirates Oman Yemen Saudia Arabia Iraq Afghanistan Turkmenistan Iran Syria Singapore China Mongolia Papua New Guinea Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Malaysia Tiawan Philippines Vietnam Cambodia Laos Thailand Myanmar Bangladesh Sri Lanka India Bhutan Nepal Pakistan Afghanistan Turkmenistan Tajikistan Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan Japan North Korea South Korea Russia Kazakhstan Russia Montenegro Portugal Azerbaijan Armenia Georgia Ukraine Moldova Belarus Romania Bulgaria Macedonia Serbia Bosonia & Herzegovina Turkey Greece Albania Croatia Hungary Slovakia Slovenia Malta Spain Portugal Spain France Italy Italy Austria Switzerland Belgium France Ireland United Kingdom Norway Sweden Finland Estonia Latvia Lithuania Russia Poland Czech Republic Germany Denmark The Netherlands Iceland El Salvador Guatemala Panama Costa Rica Nicaragua Honduras Belize Mexico Trinidad & Tobago Puerto Rico Dominican Republic Haiti Jamaica The Bahamas Cuba Vanuatu Australia Solomon Islands Fiji New Caledonia New Zealand Eritrea Ethiopia Djibouti Somalia Kenya Uganda Tanzania Rwanda Burundi Madagascar Namibia Botswana South Africa Lesotho Swaziland Zimbabwe Mozambique Malawi Zambia Angola Democratic Repbulic of Congo Republic of Congo Gabon Equatorial Guinea Central African Republic Cameroon Nigeria Togo Ghana Burkina Fasso Cote d'Ivoire Liberia Sierra Leone Guinea Guinea Bissau The Gambia Senegal Mali Mauritania Niger Western Sahara Sudan Chad Egypt Libya Tunisia Morocco Algeria
Map Legend: 28%, 75 of 263 Territories

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

You got rid of everything?

For the last week, the question all of our close friends have asked is how much stuff we have left. Many people have asked what we're doing with all of our stuff. The short answer is that we have sold or given away everything we own except for a few boxes of personal effects each of us is keeping with our parents. Don't get me wrong--even those personal items (mostly clothes, photos, and random gifts from over the years) amount to more than it seems like we need. However, as of a few hours ago, we have no furniture, no electronics (other than our cameras), no dishes, no appliances, and no home.

We got rid of about 95% of everything we owned. We managed to sell most of it, but also gave a good amount away today. We tried a take what you want, give what you want house sale, which had mixed results. I cursed a few people as they left for their cheapness and I actually talked one girl down and told her she couldn't give us that much money for the amount she was taking. Tara posted weeks of Craigslist ads to sell tons of stuff. We donated somewhere around 15 trash bags of clothes. Overall, we think we made about $2000 from selling stuff, which will hopefully fund another month of travel.

So, we leave in 8 hours for Trinidad & Tobago with just the gear we talked about earlier. We'll hope that you'll come along with us for our trip.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Gear, Part Dos

While Andy has been busy adding terrific new posts to this blog, I have been off mini-golfing, eating Duckfat fries and Beals ice cream, and, most importantly, road-testing some of my new travel gear in Maine!

(Side note: You can find Andy's gear list and reviews in "Gear: Part I.")

I have pretty much the same gear as Andy does, but there are a few differences. I'll follow Andy's format of listing largest to smallest (though note that my size order is different!), and try to comment on how I'm enjoying things that I've been able to try out so far.

Backpack: Women's Eagle Creek Explorer LT 45L pack with detachable 20L daypack ($230). Seems to fit all my stuff nicely and is still within carry-on size limits. Great sturdy waist strap. I don't love the orange color I ended up with, but as Andy mentioned, this model was discontinued, so I'm just glad I got one at all.

Sleeping bag: Lafuma 650X Pro ($70). Same as Andy's. A little bulkier than we expected, but very lightweight. Usefulness TBD.

Pillow: Thermarest Medium Compressible Pillow ($23). I'm not really convinced yet that this thing will be worth the space it takes up in my bag. It doesn't stuff down that small and seems to take a while to fluff up after being unstuffed. But Andy seems really psyched about his, so I hope I'm wrong.

Fleece: REI Woodland Fleece (~$40), made of 85% recycled polyester. My first fleece ever. I've been wearing it all weekend in chilly Maine and love it so far--super-comfy and warm. Not really windproof, but that's what my jacket is for...

Jacket: Columbia Storm Dry breathable, packable jacket. Got this a few years ago and it's held up nicely through multiple rainforesty trips (Costa Rica, Hawaii, Borneo). Keeps me dry, has zipper pockets and stuffs into itself for easy storage. Pretty sure I got it on sale for less than $40.

Pants: 2 pairs of The North Face Paramount Porter Convertible Pants ($65 apiece); 1 pair waterproof lined nylon pants (already had, probably cost $20 or so).

I tried on a lot of convertibles, and basically went with North Face because 1) their petite length pant legs seemed to be the shortest, 2) their shorts inseam was by far the shortest (6 inches when many other brands are 10 inches), and 3) they have an extra button that allows you to wear the pants at a third, capri, length.

Pathetically, I may still need to hem the full pants leg a little (I'm 5'2") so it's also good that these don't have boot zippers (my hangup with the EMS brand, which was my second favorite). I got one pair a little wet in the ocean this weekend and they dried very quickly. They're also very lightweight on. The only thing I don't love so far is that none of the pockets have zippers.

I'll also take a pair of stuffable waterproof pants that I bought a few trips ago and that have been very handy in the rainforest trips I mentioned above.

Water bottles: 2 1L Sigg lifestyle loop bottles. Andy went with the Nalgenes, but I stuck with Siggies. I've had a smaller Sigg for a while now and it keeps my water cool and clean-tasting with very infrequent cleanings. I am also confident that my bottles will be less leaky than Andy's. The water-bottle war is on!

Shirts: 1 long-sleeved Icebreaker 260 Olympia zip ($25 on crazy sale); 2 short-sleeved Icebreaker Superfine140 Flight T Lite t-shirts (~35-$50 apiece); 1 Icebreaker Superfine 190 Cross Cami with built-in bra (~$30), all 100% merino wool.

These seem awesome so far. I've been wearing one of my 140 t-shirts almost daily for about a week now, and it does not smell at all. It itched a little when I first tried it on, but after one washing and one day of wear, it has not itched a bit since and has been super-soft and comfortable.

The long-sleeved zip shirt has thumb holes and a neck that can zip all the way up for warmth or all the way down if I get hot. I wore it one night over the 140 shirt and it kept me toasty. These shirts also take up next to no room in my backpack.

Water filtration system: See Andy's description. I'm carrying the spare filter, which is a bit lighter than the actual apparatus.

Shoes: New Balance WT1110 GT Waterproof Trailrunning shoes ($100); 1 pair Columbia sandals (already had, less than $20 on sale).

The New Balance Gore-Tex shoes are awesome so far--super-comfy right out of the box, and very waterproof in my recent testings in the NY monsoon. (I've also done a few runs in them, much to Andy's chagrin, as he thinks I should be saving their soles for the trip!)

The Columbias can be worn in the water and were really cheap; if they wear out too much along the way I may need to replace them.

Cameras: See Andy's review. I'll be carrying the smaller waterproof one.

Socks: 1 pair Smartwool hiking socks ($18); 2 pairs SmartWool PhD Outdoor Light Mini Socks ($17 each); 2 pairs SmartWool PhD Running Ultra Light Micro Socks ($13 each).

I also got more socks than I originally planned, oh well. I've been wearing the light minis around and they are super-cushy and comfy, and though they're a little warmer than I'd anticipated, my feet didn't get all sweaty in them and they didn't smell bad, even after several days. But I got worried about hot feet in the tropics, so I also got the ultra lights/micros, which are lighter weight and shorter, though still cushioned. Haven't tried those yet. The light pair I did wear around seemed to shed a little, so these socks may wear out faster than some of our other clothes.

I also followed the comments I read online and ordered one size down from my normal size (I'm a 7-7.5 in shoes, which means I should get a medium Smartwool sock, but I got smalls instead.) The socks I got all fit great, so this seems to be solid advice.

Bag cover: Came with the bag. Takes up space in the bag. But may protect the bag from monsoon. We'll see.

Hat/gloves: Generic wool hat (likely ancient, was my dad's); baseball cap (go Mets!); 1 pair Outdoor Research Windstopper Gripper Gloves ($45).

Like Andy, was looking for windproof/waterproof gloves. Tried these on the advice of a salesman at Campmor and liked them. Bonus: They came not only in black, but in pale blue...but only if I ordered a medium. I probably should be wearing a small, but the blue was so guess which size I got? We'll see if this choice bites me in the ass, I mean butt, I mean thumb, at the top of the Andes...

Underwear: 5 pairs Ex Officio Soy Seamless Bikini underpants (in black, coral, and spearmint, $10 a pair on sale); 3 Ex Officio Soytopia Seamless Tank Bras (2 spearmint, 1 black, ~$15 per bra); 1 pair REI Silk Bottoms (long underwear, petite length, $30).

Yes, my underwear is made of soy, which means that if Andy and I are starving, we can boil it into a tasty soup. Kidding! They're only 77% soy, seasoned with some nylon and Lycra. But that still makes them pretty eco-friendly, and so far, REALLY comfortable. I've been wearing one of the bras for about a week straight and love it, and the undies I tried for a day were great, too. The black color seems to fit a little tighter than the other ones.

I washed and hang-dried these and they didn't dry as fast as my Icebreaker stuff, but we'll see how they do when rung out with a towel first like the instructions suggest.

I probably didn't need this much underwear, but they take up hardly any space in my bag.

The REI silk bottoms pack down tiny, seem really warm, and were the best price for pure silk long johns.

Towel: REI Large Multitowel ($8). See Andy's review. Haven't tried this out yet.

Bathing suit: 1 super-old blue one-piece I've had since high school. Though I may buy my first-ever bikini on the trip...we'll see how cheap they are and how buff I am feeling.

Other stuff: Black Diamond Spot LED Headlamp Headlamp ($40)--seems comfy, easy to use, and has great lighting features; binoculars (a bit bigger and better than Andy's tiny ones, were a Christmas gift from him); a Rite-In-The-Rain Notebook ($15), pen ($10) and mini spiral memo pad ($4) for waterproof journaling and note-taking; various toiletries, including 2 LUSH solid shampoos ($8-$10 apiece), Soak and Float (awesome for dry scalp) and Squeaky Green (eco-friendly and also scalp-soothing)--I've been using these for a year and love them, they last forever and are so easy to carry around; Sea to Summit Titanium Spork ($7); Eagle Creek TSA approved combination lock ($6); Sandisk Sansa Clip 4GB mp3 player ($35 used on Craigslist--love it so far, as it's tiny, clips onto my clothes, and plays FM radio in addition to mp3s!), games--waterproof playing cards (rummy!!) and possibly a Boggle set if we can fit it; plus all the misc. stuff Andy mentioned and other things I'm sure I'm forgetting.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Time left for getting more gear before departure is short, so say your piece now!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Afraid of needles?

The world is a big place with a lot of disease. Many diseases and infections that are very rare in the US kill thousands or millions in other countries. This post is dedicated to some of those diseases.

A few weeks ago we went to the doctor to get all of our shots up-to-date. The first thing to know is that almost no insurance covers travel shots, so schedule a visit as part of an annual check-up or say that you have a runny nose. Anything that will allow your doctor to bill the visit so that you don't have to pay. We learned this the hard way. The second is that almost no insurance covers most of the shots you need. Nothing you can do about that. Some doctors will have the vaccines in stock and others will need to order them or have you pick them up at the drug store.

Here's the list of major vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Measles/Mumps/Rubella, Meningitis, Polio, Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (TDaP), Varicella (Chickenpox), Typhoid, and Yellow Fever.

Tara and I did typhoid shots last year for another trip, so we were covered for that. Almost all Americans have MMR when they are children. (If you are a parent reading this, please, please have your child vaccinated. It may save your child's life.) Tara and I both had Chickenpox, so we're covered. Most children these days get that shot as a child, though. We also both had Meningitis shots during a college meningitis outbreak. Tara had her Hep A/B series long ago, but I did mine. It was about $200 for the series. We both had yellow fever at about $100/person. My tetanus booster is up-to-date, but Tara had one. As an added plus, it comes with diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) boosters, so now I won't have to listen to Tara whoop. That one was about $130.

In addition to vaccines, we're going to spend a lot of time in malaria zones. My insurance amazingly pays for malarone, the drug of choice to take while in malaria zones. It is really expensive, so our doctor suggested filling what insurance would pay for (60 days supply) and buying the rest while traveling. So, that's what we're going to try.

He also prescribed us what might best be described as super-bacitracin to put on any cuts or injuries to stop bacterial infection. Lastly, he gave us a cipro prescription as a broad-spectrum antibiotic if we fall ill.

We have the following over-the-counter medications/supplies: pain relievers (an assortment), anti-diarrheals, Tylenol cold (both nighttime and daytime), lots of dramamine (for motion sickness/anti-naseau), benadryl, cortizone, bacitracin, cough suppressant, lots of bandaids, and sunscreen.

That's just about it. Hopefully enough to keep us healthy, though we'll no doubt get additional medicine on the road as needed.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Our first visas

Today we went to get our first visas for the trip. In South America, four countries require visas at present for Americans: Brazil, Suriname, Bolivia, and Paraguay. Since Brazil has a consulate in New York, we went there first. We'll do Paraguay next at their consulate, get Suriname in Guiana, and get Bolivia at the border. From the Brazilian website, it is seems that communist Russia advised Brazil on the finer points of bureaucracy, and the consulate didn't disappoint.

To begin with, global warming has come to New York in the form of a monsoon. According to NPR this morning, we could expect "light rain throughout the morning." So, I shunned Tara's suggestion of an umbrella in favor of my Ex Officio Canopy coat that I'll be taking on the trip. The good news is that the coat worked really well despite the sheets of rain falling on it. It was fairly comfortable, and the rain just balls up and rolls off of it. I could take it off, give it a shake, and it was basically dry. The bad news is that everything below my waist was soaked by the 6 block walk to the consulate. Tara fared only slightly better, but she wisely wore her waterproof shoes.

Back to the consulate. It is only open for business from 10am to noon each weekday, so we arrived around 10:20. Upon arrival, we quickly got on the line that everyone else seemed to be going to. This line was overseen by a security guard who, judging from the interactions I saw, wasn't allowed to answer any question unless it pertained to the line. Examples: Woman with question:"Excuse me, I was wondering if you knew if I needed...?" Guard: "Please get in the line." Man: "I just arrived. Where do I go?" Guard: "Please get in the line."

After 20 minutes in this line, we arrived at the window marked "Reception". We told the friendly woman that we needed visas and she started down a long list of things we needed from memory. We replied that we had everything listed on the website and she gave us a number. It was V660 and they were currently on V633. One person servicing these numbers.

So, we sat and listened for an hour to all the other people applying for visas. Most people were rejected because you could only pay with a US Post Office Money Order. No cash, no checks, no Western Union money orders. A few were sent away for not having photos with them, and some were rejected for not having the address of a place to stay in Brazil. (Though the guy was friendly about all of this.) My favorite was when they asked a Chinese student who planned to attend a conference in Brazil for bank statements for the last three months. After a bit of back and forth, he pulled them out! He clearly wasn't new to bureacracy.

In the 27 numbers he called, he processed 3 applications. This left us worried since we didn't have a firm itinerary. Finally, our number came and we ran to the window, because if you weren't there in 2 seconds (sometimes less), they went to the next person. We arrived at the window, handed him our applications and passports along with copies of our flights to and from South America, a rough itinerary, and our US Post Office Money Orders for $130 each (Brazil charges a reciprocal fee because that's what the US charges Brazilians). Amusingly, he didn't even look at the ticket information or itineraries, processed our papers in about 30 seconds and told us to come back Monday to pick up our visas. Normally we could get them tomorrow, but it is apparently a Brazilian holiday. National Bureaucracy Day, I'd guess.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Gear, Part I

Okay, one of the questions we get asked the most is what we are taking. Only since our wedding have we actually had our gear in our possession, so now I feel good about giving my initial thoughts on everything. I'm going to do my gear and a few shared items and ask Tara to do hers.

(Note: You can now find Tara's gear list and reviews in "Gear: Part Dos.")

In order from biggest to smallest with the approximate prices that we paid:

Backpack: Mens' Eagle Creek Explorer LT 45L pack with detachable 20L daypack ($230). We tried on a ton of bags, and I really liked both the fit and size of this bag. It is carry-on size, which was a requirement. Seems great so far. Fits all my stuff perfectly. Unfortunately, they discontinued this bag, so we had to buy them when we realized this. We got ours at Campmor, which still seems to have a few.

Sleeping bag: Lafuma 650X Pro ($70). 5"x10" stuffed, 1.5 lbs. We debated about whether or not to carry sleeping bags, and decided they would be useful. Many people travel with just a sleeping bag liner, but the sleeping bags should be particularly useful on overnight buses and when we find ourselves outdoors or on people's floors. We went with this one because 1.) it is cheap; 2.) it is synthetic (stays warm when wet) while still being small; 3.) they come with left and right zips, so Tara and I can attach to each other and I can have a sleeping bag and a half while she gets a half.

Fleece: REI Woodland Fleece ($40), made of 85% recycled polyester. Cheap and environmentally friendly. I wish it weren't so bulky, but it seems very warm, it's quick-drying, and it's super soft. I don't see much difference between fleeces, but I'll let you know when we're traveling.

Coat: Ex Officio Canopy Trench ($80) with welded seams and teflon coating. It will surprise many people that I'm even taking a coat, since I don't normally wear one. However, I needed a waterproof cover and a layer to keep me warm in the mountains. This should do both. It was also on sale for a great price directly from Ex Offico. When I wear it, I'll refer to myself as the Teflon man.

Pants: 1 pair waterproof, half-lined generic nylon pants ($10); 1 pair Northface Horizon Convertible Pants ($45); 1 pair Orvis Zip-Off Convertible Pants ($80). We stuck primarily with convertibles that can be pants or shorts. They are fast drying nylon, but look much better than standard nylon. The Northface pair is very lightweight. The Orvis pair is a bit thicker and looks really nice in my opinion. A quick note on Orvis: they own Ex Officio, but their own branded stuff is hard to find. I stumbled on these pants in an Orvis store and then ordered them online after confirming that I couldn't get them cheaper anywhere. I really like these pants because they have tons of zipping pockets, which I prefer so that I don't lose things or get pickpocketed. The last pair is my standard pair of traveling pants. They work well in cold, wet environments, so I decided to bring them. They will be the first thing to go if I need more space.

Shirts: 1 longsleeve Icebreaker 260 shirt ($50); 1 shortsleeve Icebreaker 190 t-shirt ($45); 1 shortsleeve Icebreaker 140 t-shirt ($35), all 100% merino wool. These prices may seem crazy compared to a regular t-shirt, but so far I love them. They are soft, super lightweight, and don't smell bad after me wearing it to run errands for a few days. They have a great reputation, so we'll let you know how they hold up. My one complaint so far is that when they wick moisture away, I never thought about where it goes. It turns out it goes to the outside of the shirt. Some of the colors really show the wet spots until it evaporates. Only matters if you care what other people think...

Waterbottles: 2 standard widemouth 1L Nalgene bottles ($6). Not much to say on this one. They hold water, they don't leak.

Water filtration system: First Need XL Water Purifier ($110). Weighs 1 lb. Tara will carry an extra filter ($50) for it, which weighs close to 1lb. I did a lot of research on filtration systems, and this one takes out the smallest particles, including most viruses. For US backwoods filtration, very few viruses are a problem, so the extra price and weight wouldn't be worth it. For much of the world, it seemed well worth it to take out the viruses. Each canister can filter about 150 gallons of water, which should keep us going for most of our trip since we'll mostly use it when we don't know if the water is safe to drink.

Shoes: New Balance MT1110 Waterproof Trailrunning shoes ($120); 1 pair Nike sandals (owned for a long time). We won't actually be doing much trailrunning, but these shoes are light and waterproof, making them good for our all around needs. The sandals could fall apart on me, but they are easy to replace.

Pillow: Thermarest Medium Compressible Pillow ($23). This thing takes a ton of space in my bag, but seems worth every bit. Many travelers will cringe that I waste space on a pillow, but I find that a pillow can make a huge difference in my comfort, so I'm taking one. We'll be spending a ton of time on buses, and it will come in handy. It seems really comfortable, though I haven't slept on it for a full night yet.

Cameras: 1 Panasonic FZ-28 ($290) with 24GB memory ($50) and 2 spare batteries ($25 for both); 1 Olympus SW770 Waterproof camera ($300 18 months ago) with 7GB memory ($35) and 3 spare batteries ($15 for all three). I just got the Panasonic yesterday and love it so far. It has been on sale for as low as $250 in the last month, but my timing was bad, so I paid it bit more. In any case, I think it should work very well. The big draw for me was the 18x zoom for wildlife. The Olympus is a decent little camera (though it uses xD memory, which is terrible), and a great camera when around water. We have quickchargers for both.

Socks: 2 pair Smartwool light hiking Crosswalk socks ($15); 1 pair Smartwool medium weight hiking socks ($16); 1 pair Smartwool ultralight PhD socks ($12). I ended up with one more pair of socks than I originally wanted because we needed to order a certain amount for a discount at EMS. I may drop a pair at Christmas if I don't need them. In any case, they seem great from the couple times I've wore them. People online swear by Smartwool socks, and Smartwool charges a premium for it. We'll let you know if it's worth it.

Bag cover: Our bags came with a rain cover/duffel bag. It's fairly large, but I would like something to keep my bag dry in the rain and if we put our bags into it, they look much less touristy. Going to try it in South America and dump it if not needed.

Hat/gloves: Generic fleece hat ($5); Manzella Silkweight Windstopper Gloves ($30). It doesn't seem like it should be hard to find really thin gloves that are windproof and waterproof while being somewhat warm. As it turns out, it is. I actually found these because a coworker (when I was still employed) owned them and I had been looking at gloves for this trip. I started asking him about them, which led to a series of test from holding them underwater to trying to blow through the material with our mouths. It passed, so I bought them. Very compact and seem to be exactly what I need. The fleece hat I had, and it should come in handy in the mountains.

Underwear: 2 pairs Ex Officio Boxer Briefs ($25); 1 pair REI Silk Bottoms. Ex Officio Boxer Briefs seem to be loved by all who use them. I wore them for a couple days and they seem good so far. The real test will be how fast they dry. I plan to wear them in the shower most days to wash them. They are suppose to go for days without washing if necessary--I probably won't tell you if I test that feature, though Tara may share. The silk bottoms are very small and in our tests around the house they kept us really warm. Should be good in cold weather.

Towel: REI Large Multitowel ($8). We had someone get us these for our wedding when they were on super sale, and they seem like a good deal. Light and small, they should fold up wherever we need them.

Other stuff: Princeton Tec Zipka Plus Headlamp ($32) has a great combination of features and portability; Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellant ($8) will hopefully keep the bugs away with this natural very strong smelling solution; 1 combination whistle/magnifier/thermometer/compass ($4 at Walmart) which Tara and I thought was weak with her little test blow. Her second test blow caused me to lose my hearing for about a day; 1 pair 8x25 generic binoculars ($15) are small and decent to keep in a pocket; 1 Rite-In-The-Rain Notebook ($15) is a waterproof notebook; 4 Alok super fancy Ziplock bags ($12 for the set) will apparently keep anything dry; waterproof matches ($3) just in case; first aid kit (~$25) with lots of bandaids, drugs and a wilderness first aid kit (I had a basic kit and added lots of drugs and bandages from Wal-mart); Sea to Summit Titanium Spork ($7); travel guide (~$20, we will use Footprint South America for the first leg of our trip); Eagle Creek TSA approved combination lock ($6); Exelon power adaptor with USB charger ($25) so that we can charge things anywhere; iPod Nano (already owned) to listen to music when I get sick of listening to Tara.

That's basically everything. Let me know if you have any questions.

We are married! And, stuff for sale.

We now interrupt your regularly-scheduled travel blog to bring you a most important update: We're married!

We spent six glorious days surrounded by friends and family at an apple orchard in Walpole, New Hampshire, last week, and could not have asked for a more perfect time. The weather was glorious, the ceremony beautiful (thanks, Anna!), the food delicious (thanks, award-winning BBQ team I Smell Smoke!!!, First Course Catering, and Kristin's!), the dancing nonstop (thanks, iPod playlist!), and the photographic evidence received so far breathtaking (thanks, Liesl and Randy!).

Here are just a few snaps from the weekend, all courtesy of Liesl Henrichsen Photography:

Aerobics taught by my sister the morning of the wedding:

Sneaking off in the orchard rows:


First kiss!

First dance (yes, we do-si-doed):


Taking the plunge--literally!--at the end of the night:

If you can't see these, or if you want to see Liesl's full preview set, click here.

And if you are wanting even more where that came from, here are a few sets our photographically-inclined friends have taken:

Sukie's Flickr stream

Evelyn's Flickr stream

Jess's Picasa

Del's Picasa

And one final link--since we are shipping out in less than three weeks for our world travels, we are in a major push to sell everything we have left. Please check out our Craigslist listing, especially if you are in the NYC/NJ area, and let us know if there's anything you'd like to buy!