Friday, June 18, 2010


After visiting Toronto, we cruised on over to Philly for my brother's graduation:

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It was great fun! Philly is known for its awesome markets, which provided us with sustenance for breakfast and lunch every day and had a lot of other cool stuff besides. I would love to live by one of these markets:

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We took in a lot of Philly's sights, including the Liberty Bell and a statue of Rocky outside the Philly art museum (the steps he runs up in the movie are the front of this museum):

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Gene and Matt are trying to be funny, but I'm not interested -- it was freaking hot!

We also did a lot of walking around:

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and my dad took a crap ton of pictures (surprise, surprise):

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So, yeah, what could be more fun than walking around in the heat seeing "sights" while my dad took a million pictures?

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No, seriously, we had a great time. The best part, however, was definitely the food. Each night we had at least 11 people at dinner; it was a crazy party! At least, I had a good time:

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There was even dancing:

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So hey, Philly, we salute you! And congrats again to Gene... I mean, finish your thesis!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Our Un-Honeymoon

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Just after our whirlwind wedding, Eddy had a conference in Toronto. (Alright, that's why we were headed to the Niagara Falls region to begin with). While, there, we did the usual tourist things. We toured the amazing Steam Whistle Brewery.

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Steam Whistle brews a tasty pilsner and is alternatively fueled, is community minded and lets guests go right down on the floor where they brew and bottle. Eddy even got to blow the steam whistle at the end.

We experienced some of the Toronto art scene in the form of murals,

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the famed Bata Shoe Museum,

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and the Museum of Inuit Art.

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While Eddy amused himself with his conference, I managed to make a pilgrimage to the Hockey Hall of Fame!!

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Everyone knows I can't visit a city without visiting the Zoo.

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But don't worry, we aren't counting this as our honeymoon... I think I finally have Eddy sold on the idea of a bike tour of Italy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Westbrooks!

We've had a chance to tell most of our family and a few friends, but why not broadcast it over our blog?! We got married!!

Wedding Ceremony

So we had always planned on the big family wedding (perhaps in Hawaii) in our little minds. But then we were thinking seriously about moving to Sweden, so we scaled it back to a tiny get together at some Texas courthouse. Then, Eddy remembered we had plans to travel to Toronto this June and asked if I would rather get married at Niagara Falls. Um... Yes!!

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We were SOOOOO lucky to be able to coerce Emily Dewan--wedding photographer extraordinaire-- and Neal Groothuis--recently ordained minister in the fakey Universal Life Church--to fly out and meet us.

We enjoyed an Indian Mega Buffet.

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We had an impromptu wedding shoot in a parking garage.

Wedding Ceremony

Then we boarded the Maiden of the Mist where we took our vows!

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Wedding Ceremony

Afterward, we had just enough time to hit up the Hard Rock Cafe where Neal treated us to a vodka shot before we sprinted to the airport to (BARELY) put Emily and Neal on the last flight back to NYC. Later that weekend, Eddy and I convened over a bottle of champagne to record our favorite memories from the day so that we could share them with everyone we love.

Now we are working with our families to plan a ring exchange ceremony and reception in St. Louis, Missouri this fall. Check out our new website to get the latest information.

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Sucker for Amusement Parks

I cannot resist a good amusement park. I drag Eddy to any park within 100 miles of us. While visiting Sweden, we decided on a side-trip to Copenhagen. Once we read about Tivoli Gardens, we pretty much had to go there. Tivoli Gardens was opened in 1843 and was the inspiration for my beloved Disney Land/World.

Copenhagen is the home of Hans Christian Anderson, so Tivoli Gardens had not only a replica of the famous Little Mermaid Statue, but also a SWEET Hans Christian Anderson Ride. I made Eddy ride it at least 3 times.

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There were lots of other sweet rides.

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We ate dinner at a little brewery where Eddy nearly knocked himself silly on a low doorway.

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They also had lots of little themed worlds and a parade with little boys in uniform.

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Maybe Disney took theme parks to a whole new level, but there's nothing like a day at an old-school Euro amusement park.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

To Sweden, Or Not to Sweden

That was our question as we traveled to Halmstad this past week. Halmstad is a gorgeous little beach resort town on the west coast of Sweden.

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Eddy had a job opportunity, so we went over to check it out. After much deliberation, we decided it was not a great fit for us. At that point, we did it up tourist style!

We ate lots of Magnum bars and excellent Swedish waffles.

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Our hotel also had a very extensive breakfast smorgasbord, so we indulged every single morning. Turns out, one can get tired of smoked salmon and pickled fish products.

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We saw the rapeseed in bloom along the beautiful Swedish countryside.

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We also visited Tylösand, one of the world's most popular beaches. Since it was still a bit early for tourist season, we had the whole place to ourselves.

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Look for an upcoming post on our excursion to Copenhagen!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Authentic Sweden

We just returned from Sweden and will publish our exploits serially here per our usual. In the meantime, here's a little teaser...

Nothing could be more authentically Swedish than a pilgrimage to the IKEA in Gothenburg.

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We went crazy testing out all of their goodies.

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Sadly, the Swedish meatball plate at the IKEA was the only meatball we had while visiting. Happily, it was freaking delicious!

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Check out our continuing adventures in Sweden and Denmark over the next couple of days!