Dan wanted to put together a special way to ask his brothers and my brother to be his groomsmen. He’s always liked the idea of going to his barbershop with them the morning of the wedding, and everyone getting a shave or a cut, so he came up with this sweet idea to send them each a bottle of Bay Rum aftershave named “Groomsman”. I helped him design the labels, and then we stuck them on these matching bottles and filled them with the aftershave. I love the little detail of No. 1, No. 2, No. 3–Dan’s idea. He wrote them each a note, and sent them off to Florida, Colorado, and NYC. I think they turned out so well! Oh, and they said yes!
Dan and I spent a week of July in the Riviera Maya (south of Cancun) celebrating his parents’ 30th wedding anniversary! We all stayed at a massive resort with multiple pools, beach access, and a ton of restaurants. His parents renewed their vows on the beach on their actual anniversary in a very intimate and touching ceremony. Dan wrote and played a song about his parents’ last 30 years, including memories of when he and his brothers were little. Needless to say I think we all shed a tear! One of my favorite days of the trip was spent in Tulum. We visited the Tulum Ruins, and then walked down to the most gorgeous beach–such rich blue water and soft white sand. Dan and I stayed the rest of the day, and made our way down to Hartwood for dinner, which had been highly recommended by friends. It’s located on a beach road on what they call the “jungle side” (meaning not the beach side). Tulum definitely has an eclectic bohemian vibe going on, and we stopped for a cocktail at Casa Jaguar while we waited for Hartwood to open. We were blown away by the food and atmosphere at Hartwood! If you ever find yourself in Tulum, it’s a must. Their only source of cooking is a wood burning oven and open grill, and the dining is completely open air. We had a whole roasted snapper and pork ribs to die for. After dinner we sat in a couple of chairs on the perimeter and enjoyed a few more daiquiris while watching the restaurant fill up with people and the sun go down. I know I’ll always remember that evening with Dan, and it’s fun that we can look back and know it was during our engagement, which is its own special time in life. We were sweaty and salty from the day (we stealthily had changed out of our bathing suits on the side of the road just a few hours earlier), but we were full and very happy.
After a a few days in NYC, my parents and I drove out to New Canaan, CT to spend time with my Grandmom and see my aunt and uncle. I’ve always loved my Grandmom’s house. I remember swinging in the yellow plastic swing that used to be in the backyard, and feeling a little crushed when I returned and it had been taken down. I traveled and flew by myself on a plane for the first time going to visit my Grandmom. It was around Easter, and she left candy under my pillow every night before I went to bed–like the chocolate coconut nests with candy eggs in the middle? And we took the train to NYC and went on a tour of Radio City Hall, and I was soooo excited to meet a real Rockette! I got my first and only lava lamp for Christmas in that house, and broke a ceramic duck by accident and sobbed in that house, and got ready with my Aunt Amy in that house before her wedding. Basically, it’s a really special place. And so is the lady who lives there 🙂 I love all the ’60s style–like that green carpet! After a few days of relaxing and shopping at the New Canaan J.Crew (major sale and way better selection than most), I went back to the city for a night out with friends. Dinner at The Meatball Shop was followed by dive drinks with some of the most special people EVER, and the night ended with a giant slice of Artichoke pizza in the East Village. It was perfect. Literally my heart swells for all my friends who came out that night. Reunited and it FELT SO GOOD. Really just the most delightful and loving people. Also, fake eyelashes happened (thank you, Danny). The next morning, Dan’s parents, my parents, and Willyman all met us at Walter Foods for a big family brunch to celebrate our engagement! I was exhausted when I got back to LA, but so so happy. AND I was upgraded to business class on the flight home. So, yeah, that didn’t suck. See you soon, New York!
A couple weeks ago, Dan and I took advantage of two days off together, and drove out to the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs for what I thought would be an early birthday getaway. We drove up on a Friday morning through a rain storm, and arrived to a cooler than normal, but very clear and peaceful day at the Ace. We had lunch and cocktails at the Amigo Room, and enjoyed a dreamy and much needed massage. I snapped pictures all along the way because the Ace has style and the post rain sky left gorgeous light. Our room had a private patio and fire pit, and when we got back to the room there was a bottle of champagne with a note that said “We Hope You Enjoyed Your Massage!” I wrapped myself in a blanket and sat out by the fire in the rocking chair with my champagne. I remember looking up at the sky, feeling so relaxed and happy. Dan joined me and we started talking about how much we love taking trips and vacations together. We were long distance for a couple years, and little getaways were so precious. He told me moving to LA was the best decision he’d ever made, and before I knew it he proposed. In a total state of shock and happiness, I said yes. After I recovered and we called our parents, we had dinner at King’s Highway. When Dan told our busser we had just gotten engaged, he said “Whoa, dude, that’s awesome. Congratulations!” And then, “I’m thinking of asking my girl.” Very sweet. In the morning, I called my Grandmom. Once she knew, I sent this announcement to friends. Dan and I spent the rest of the day lounging by the pool, beaming from all the messages and calls from friends, until our phones died and it was just us. It’s kind of wild that I have the day documented with photos. You’d think I had an inkling what was coming, but I was in total birthday mode and it didn’t even cross my mind until he was down on one knee. I can’t believe I was surprised, and I’m so happy I was. The ultimate treat!
While I was in Chicago over the holidays, I was lucky to celebrate my friend Amy’s engagement! Her fiance, Matt, organized a surprise birthday/engagement celebration. Amy texted our group of girlfriend’s to tell us she was engaged (!!) — little did she know we were all on our way to her apartment building to surprise her. The look on her face and getting to witness their parents seeing the couple for the first time post-engagement was a moment I’ll never forget. There were tears and hugs and toasts (uh, yeah I cried, obviously)! Big cheers to Matt for planning the surprise. High five to my girlfriends for not spilling the beans! And congratulations to Amy and Matt and their families!!
And congratulations to my dear friends Kristi and Henry who also got engaged this holiday season! He proposed in Central Park at the reservoir. I love that! I’ve got some fun weddings coming up this year!