Monday, January 4, 2010

Lessons From Our Vacation

We just arrived back from five days in San Francisco.  After a year of ups and downs without much time away for ourselves, this was an incredibly welcome break for me and Jason. Besides visiting with numerous friends and family, stuffing ourselves silly with delicious food, and exploring nearly every inch of San Francisco, we also managed to talk a lot about our plans and hopes for the next year and get to know each other better via the process of traveling and talking.
  • We both have very different styles of vacation planning. I'm the"let's research a lot but then wing it" type while he's the "plan a detailed itinerary for every day" type.  There were a few moments of friction while preparing for the trip, but we figured it out in the end and thoroughly appreciated the other person's insight and contributions (hint: I got my way with a bunch of open-ended neighborhood walking tours and he got his way with a detailed list of nearby sights-to-see.  I liked his organization and he liked my get-to-know-the-city approach.) 
  • Sometimes it's worth it to get a fancy-schmancy hotel for a couple of romantic nights (even if we hadn't lucked out with with incredible last-minute deal pricing.  I cannot say enough amazing things about our Bay Bridge view, the stupid-comfy bed, and incredible service at Le Meridien)
  • But my heart belongs to funky boutique hotel discoveries like the Joie de Vivre's Hotel Carlton in the area between the Tenderloin and Nob Hill. Yay for the neighborhood, the free wine reception, and the Southeast Asian-inspired decor.
  • The whole "men hate planning weddings" thing is a cultural myth that harms everyone involved.  Jason's vacation reading was The New Jewish Wedding by Anita Diamant and it sparked some great conversation about weddings and marriage.
  • Once men get involved, you may be surprised by where their priorities and interests lie (decor?  really?  we may have some mini-battles-to-come on the decor front, and I'm preparing for compromise.) 
  • And once we do away with prescribed wedding and marriage-planning roles everyone can appreciate more joy in the process. For example, I can definitely state that my New Year's Eve (re)proposal to Jason with his ring was every bit as mushy, emotional, and meaningful as when he proposed with my ring.  Oh, and if you're counting, that makes three proposals in our egalitarian process of engagement.  It's just as fun the third time around remembering just how much we love each other and just how much we already treasure this partnership.  

View from our hotel room.  Ignore the building and focus on the balcony awesomeness and the Bay Bridge.

The Ring!  We absolutely love the half-matte half-shiny silver ring (both the craftsmanship and the symbolism) from Starving Artists Designs.

I hope you all had a fabulous holiday season.  I'm looking forward to sharing 2010 with all of you as Jason and I really dig into this wedding, marriage and life planning process. 


  1. I totally agree about men's involvement in weddings! S is very into planning, and he has opinions on the most unexpected elements of the wedding, like decor, invitations, table numbers, etc. We actually had a whole fight about table numbers :)

    PS Glad you enjoyed your vacation! I've never been to California, and San Francisco is definitely on my list of top places I want to visit.

  2. Someone needs to tell He-Mouse about this. :)

  3. YAY awesome vacation!

    I was completely surprised that Andrew actually had some strong opinions about random things... like not having a head table, and not have a dance-reception (which has proved to be quite complicated...). So- I placed him in 'charge' of several things... and try not to take over. Compromise is tricky, but so important :)

    I love that you have three proposals... What a fantastic idea!

  4. So glad you guys had a great time! I love SF! A friend of mine once said that if you can travel with your chosen partner and have a good time then thats a sure sign of a good relationship! Future husbands being involved is so important. And striking a balance for what works for your relationship is even more so. Sounds like you guys are figuring it out quite nicely! :)

  5. Happy New Year! Glad you had a great vacation! It's great when two people balance each other out & compliment each other :)

    Oh an I love the ring!

  6. LOVE the ring! Sounds like a fun vacation and that the two of you balance each other out nicely. I'm like Jason, I love my itineraries. :)

  7. So funny. Mr Fix It and I are like you and Jason with the vacation styles only I am the organized itinerary and he is the wing it guy. And we also have had a few wedding related battles over the things he's interested in...silliness. Mr Fix It's ring is also one with some polished shine and matte finish on it. :) Looks like we're going to have a great 2010!

  8. Sounds like a great vacation. Happy New Year! I have to disagree with the men planning myth. My guy is soooo not into wedding planning :)

  9. Mr. Beagle is also much more picky about decor than I expected. Although I should have seen it coming, since he is a photographer and deals with aesthetics on a daily basis (as well as frequently shooting weddings). I need to learn to compromise on some of it, because at this point I'm becoming quite lazy and cheap when it comes to wedding aesthetics. But if something is important to him, I should listen and we should talk about it.

  10. Oh sweet jesus. You can see my f*cking desk in that picture practically. I could circle my windows. That's like the least relaxing hotel view in the history of time...

    But glad you enjoyed it. Dosa IS the best, isn't it? It's our very favorite.


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