Tuesday, May 26, 2009

disney world part 1

We got to the airport at about 9am for our 10:40am flight. My dad picked us up that morning and drove us down there so thanks to him! It has been a REALLY LONG TIME since I have actually flown with another person. 2004, I think, was the last time. I have flown over 100 times since 2000 and I've only flown with someone else like 10 times. Max. Anyway, it was really nice to have a friend on a 2 hour flight. We slept a little bit on the plane and then, 2 hours later, we landed. IN ORLANDO! Thanks to the Disney Magical Express service we didn't have to worry about picking up our luggage or anything and we got to go straight onto the bus to take us to our hotel.

Now, let me just say that the Pop Century resort was fine. I had no problems with the fact that it was more "motel" than "hotel," or how ridiculous the giant characters were, or the fact that the park-to-hotel bus stop was ALWAYS the farthest one away from the gate, or the lack of wireless internet. I really liked the gift shop and the food court, I probably would have liked the pool if I went in it... what I didn't like was the fact that people let their kids run wild. Every where. They also let them scream in the rooms. A lot. I realize it's Disney World. There are going to be kids screaming and running anywhere you go. However, I think that there would be LESS of that at a nicer resort. So, that said, I wouldn't want to stay at the Pop Century Resort again, unless I had kids, which would be a very unwise decision in these tough financial times (and, as an actor lady).

When we checked in they gave us our special "Just Married" pins which we wore EVERYWHERE until we got to the airport a week later to leave. I didn't have to do any convincing to get Chris to wear it. He loved it. He would even wear it down to the food court at night just to get a drink refill (in our refillable mugs!) just in case someone gave him something for free. Which they often did.

That night we had reservations at Cinderella's caste for dinner so we headed to the Magic Kingdom. We didn't do too much there since we'd be returning on Sunday (and since we were WAY over dressed for how hot it was (since our luggage hadn't arrived yet for us to change and it was cold in Ohio when we got dressed that morning) ) but we did ride Splash Mountain and the train around the kingdom. The actual reviews I had read for dinner at the castle were only decent (although I remember it being AWESOME the last time I was there) and although it was completely different from what it was in 2002, we still had a great time. The food was GREAT and they gave us a free cupcake along with the dessert that came with every single meal. I think we basically went back to the hotel after that because we'd already been up since 6am and I had only gotten 3 hours of sleep the night before. We did walk around the hotel at night to see all the other buildings (we were staying in the 1960s section) which was fun.

The next day we went to Animal Kingdom! I was looking forward to this park the most since I didn't spend that much time in it the last time I was at Disney World. The animal safari was awesome but so was the walking tour animal thing (I have no idea what it was called). We saw this gorilla and it was so awesome that Chris cried a little. He's been watching a lot of Escape to Chimp Eden and Orangutan Island on the Animal Planet. There were a lot of other cool animals, but this guy (or girl!) was by far the closest, most posed and most amazing. You can see an elephant or giraffe any day (you know... in Africa)... Gorillas are different!! There was a lot of conservation stuff at this park, too... and all the straws were paper which I LOVED! I wish all straws were paper and I don't understand why they're not. If we can drink from paper cups we can drink from paper straws.

Because of our "just married" pins the guy checking Fast passes for Expedition Everest let us keep them and ride the ride again! This was great but it also made Chris sick since he didn't bring any Dramamine with him. Instead of riding the Dinosaur ride, we went to see the Finding Nemo musical which was AMAZING!!!!! I actually cried, a lot, during it. Listen. I know it was nothing spectacular in the way of theatre and I wish the puppets had more expressions but it was awesome. The people were great singers and it was so technically amazing that I just loved every second of it. I am trying to convince Chris that he should play Marlin and that I should play Dori and that we should go to the auditions together and be fish friends. I'm sure my Shakespearean Actor husband would love to play a fish when he gets out of here. I am SURE OF IT.

So, since Chris wasn't feeling too well and since we needed to get to EPCOT for dinner anyway, we decided to check out the Animal Kingdom Lodge (where we also transferred buses). Man. I wish I was rich so that I could stay there. Can you imagine having this effing giraffe as your view every morning? Me neither. It was so cool. And, like I thought, there were not screaming children everywhere.

After we got to EPCOT the first thing we did was the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids 3D... thing. Adventure, whatever. It was not as wonderful and I remembered it being. We killed some time by looking at the England and France pavilions in the World Showcase before heading to Canada to eat at Le Cellier. I made my reservation for Le Cellier in February. When I went to check in we found out the guy had made it for the wrong restaurant. I was about to freak out (this place is REALLY HARD to get in to) but luckily, perhaps because of the pins, they got us in anyway. We loved our server. She was SO CANADIAN. It was awesome. I love Canada, and not just in EPCOT. My steak was covered in coffee grounds and I don't remember what the potatoes were (cream cheese???) but they were awesome. Our desserts were even awesomer. You can see both in this picture. I had s'mores (some kind of brownie-like graham-cracker topped with ice cream, a real brownie and marshmallows with this crazy marshmallow on a stick coming out of it), Chris had the chocolate "moose." Our server gave us free champagne (which I didn't drink) and a card saying "congratulations" signed by all the Canadians. We just loved her. And, God, I loved that dessert. It was, as they say, "epic."
We went back to the hotel after that because nothing could top Le Cellier that night. And that, my friends, is the first day and a half at Disney World. I already felt like I lived there and there had never been a time before Disney World after a day and a half. I wish that were really true.

post-marriage reception (part 4)

The post-marriage reception (part 4) is now up at the other blog, so read it and follow this link to get there! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

the ceremony (part 3)

(for part 1, see part 1. For part 2, please see part 2)

The ceremony started with Ben singing "I Will" and Tony playing. I had both my parents walk me in, which was, no joke, a walk of about 10 steps. Or less. There was some confusion over who would go first in the hallway and since Chris and basically everyone else could see us, it must have been pretty funny. At some point we figured it out and we all entered. My mom started crying like a baby while we were waiting in the hall. It was sad. I had to tell her to stop lest *I* start to cry.

Ben started the ceremony with the traditional,

"Maw-waige. Maw-waige is what bwings us togevah today."

It was awesome.

Every one loved Ben. He was so good. He was funny and charming and meaningful and it was perfect. I am so glad we got him ordained over the internet and legalized to perform marriages in Ohio. It was the best decision ever. At one point he was saying something about the journey we've gone on to get to where we are today and then he added, "so much so that I thought about using a quote from the band 'Journey'." That was like the one really NEW things he added and that I didn't know was coming (I had read his original script so I knew pretty much everything) and I laughed a lot. I just love Ben.

So, the rest of our ceremony included Shakespeare readings by Emily and Ginna (sonnets 115 and 116, respectively), Greg singing I Will Follow You Into the Dark, Jason singing I've Just Seen a Face and Rick Blunt reading our dinosaur book, A Lovely Love Story. Every one started crying when Greg was singing, either because they could see our faces (like in the picture on the right) or because they saw Greg see our faces and choke up mid-song, OR because Greg is the best guy singer ever, or maybe because the song is really, really good. Or maybe all of the above. Our friend Dennis put his sun glasses on. I was able to stop crying, especially because I held up the dinosaur book to show the pictures while Rick was reading. Jen was, luckily, armed with tissues for me, though.

Next up we come to a little things called "vows." As you may have read in part 2, I made a bullet point list the night before of my vows because I couldn't imagine reading them off the paper. I was honestly standing around before the ceremony, asking people's opinion on whether or not I should read the original vows or do the bullet point list. They must have thought I was crazy. I WAS crazy! Talk about last minute. I decided to do the bullet point list.... but when it came time to do them, I couldn't even read THOSE! I literally could not READ the paper. What happened seems almost a dream right now and in some ways I feel like I must have blacked out because I hardly remember anything that I said past, "This is going to be weird for every one else because I say these things to you every day." I know I threw the paper at Ben, I know I buried my head into Chris's chest and said that I couldn't READ it (I don't mean that I was illiterate for a few moments, I mean that reading them felt wrong and that I had to come up with stuff right then and there to say)... I improvised my vows. I told him I'd take care of his asthma-y lungs. I told him that I loved him more than anything else, ever. I don't know what else I told him. I don't know how I ended them. I might have said, "the end." I don't know.

Chris's vows, on the other hand, were AMAZING. He said he felt like a jerk reading them off the paper after I made such a big deal about NOT reading mine, but his were good to begin with. I mean, REALLY good. Like, they were the best thing I've ever heard in my life. I told him that when he finished. He gave them to me later. I will take them everywhere.

After that, to his own amazement, Ben pronounced us husband and wife and we went into the hallway and hugged people and then went outside to take pictures in the windy 58 degree weather.... in the sunset.

part 2

I posted part 2 on the other blog so if you want to read part 2, please follow this link. You should. I don't know why blogger isn't letting me cut and paste these. It's weird.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

part 1

Hi everybody. This is going to have to be a multi-part series of blog posts. When I got back to town on Thursday the idea of retelling our adventures was so daunting that I could hardly take it. I am now at work and have some time to start, so we will have to see how far I can get!

Besides finding the hilarious "Mr. X" video below (along with the Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism videos, part 1 and part 2), I did a lot of things while I was at home! I got my headshots taken on Friday. I haven't even had very much time to weed them down, yet. That is another daunting task. However, we had a really good time and our engagement photos are hilarious and awesome. Everyone thought I was nuts but I really like the way they turned out (I'll get some of those up soon). My "bachelorette party" consisted of me and my sister going to Wal-mart at midnight to buy make up for Saturday the 2nd. I was so tired (I could write an entire blog post about how I didn't sleep the entire weekend. I think I got something like 8 hours of sleep TOTAL before we got to Disney World) that I apparently picked up something that I was wondering what it was, put it in our basket for some reason, and neither one of us noticed until we were in the car and wondered why the bill was so high. I mean, I was REALLY tired. I could barely even form sentences. Chris went out and had a real party with his old friends from high school and went to Great Lakes Brewing and went bowling. I pretty much fell asleep at a Wal-mart. They're the same, right?

So, on Saturday I took a good two hours to put on the make up from the night before and we had our little pre-wedding reception in the ballroom of the yacht club. I think it went really well! We had to practice a little bit before most people started arriving, although many of them came in while we were still going through stuff. This is a picture of us practicing a Neko Case song. I know this because that was the only song I ended up playing guitar on. Our set list was as follows:
  • Chris on the theme to "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"

  • "This Tornado Loves You" by Neko Case

  • Chris on "The Girl's Alright" (with audience participation!)

  • "Love Will Come to You" by the Indigo Girls

  • "Airplane" by the Indigo Girls

  • "Rhiannon" by Fleetwood Mac (for Dix Huit!!)

  • "Barracuda" by Heart (acoustic!!!)
We sang "Airplane" because we knew it. That was the only reason. We did this event for the Airport Operators of the Shenandoah Valley last year and we sang it there, so we brought it back... for our wedding. My brother played bass on "Rhiannon" and, like I said before, "Barracuda" was acoustic... which you don't often hear. I have not managed to NOT mess up this song when I sing it. The rhythm is so hard.

My mom made a three-tiered cake which was red velvet on the bottom, carrot in the middle and yellow on top, along with a yellow sheet cake that didn't even get cut in to. She was horribly distressed on Saturday because when they went to put it together at the Yacht Club, she moved the whole thing at once and the top piece started to sink. She freaked out. It wasn't that bad. I don't even know if I would have noticed had she not come home freaking out. The cake was awesome, though. I wish I would have been able to eat more of it. I did not get enough to eat either night. I'm not even sure all of what was served on Saturday... I know I had some chicken fingers and carrots... besides that, I really don't know what else was there.

My friend Jenny from high school and two of my friends from Sterling, Katie and (Meredith) Dix Huit Cordray were able to make it on Saturday and I was soooooo happy. I was actually able to have a conversation with them, too, which was even better. Chris only had TWO friends on Saturday night, his best man Jason and his friend from grad school Adam (and his girlfriend). I think most people get married in the city they live in. I also think that most people's entire group of friends don't move to other places, making it next to impossible to have people come to things. If we would have had a reception in New York there would have been tons of friends there!

I think there were about 150 people on Saturday at we used all of our allotted time but did get out by 11pm. Chris and I then went back to my parent's house to open presents and cards. We had video footage of that but I don't think I'll post it online because that would be weird and probably rude. I have some other video footage from the actual reception which I am sure I'll put online once my dad actually sends it to me.

Here is a great picture of the Ledyard kids. It's great because it is TRUE:

I think people had a good time. I hope they did. I had a good time (from what I can remember... it seemed to last forever and for a second at the same time). People kept doing the clinking their glass thing to get us to kiss but I was like "Dude. We're not married yet. We're IMMUNE to that." We also had to cut the cake as if we were married (Chris said, "They need to see the cake show!") but as soon as we did it, I think we walked in opposite directions away from each other. It was actually a really weird event. I think some people may have thought we were already married by the time we had this reception. We got a lot of checks addressed to "Alisa or Chris Seiler." Those we knew what to do with (give them to Chris to put in the bank). At least one was made out to "Alisa Seiler" and I honestly don't know what to do with it. I don't know if I CAN cash it because I am not Alisa Seiler. I mean, I guess the bank would understand that Alisa Seiler doesn't exist (well, she does in someone else, but not in me) and that the person who sent it didn't know I kept my name.... at least, I HOPE they would understand that. I'm not going to be like "I'm sorry. I am still Alisa Ledyard. Can you write me a new check?"

Changing your name is a funny thing. Or, maybe, NOT changing your name is a funny thing. People obviously expect you to in Ohio... but almost every woman I know down here in Virginia who is married kept her original last name. I think Chris didn't even WANT me to. I had a conversation with him about it once and he said "but Alisa Ledyard sounds so good with all the Ls!" Hardly any actors do it and I can see why. I'd hate to go to UPTAs again next year and have people get confused about whether or not I was the same person they saw the year before (unless it was beneficial to me :) ). Plus, I spent so much time in 5th-8th grade perfecting my signature that it'd be a waste to lose it now. "S" is a hard letter for me to make look cool in cursive. "L" is easy.