Our St. Louis trip!!

Posted in One year later! at 10:04 pm by Nora

We had so much fun in St. Louis for Labor Day weekend!! We’d been looking forward to it for so long and it was SO GOOD to see our friends and spend time together at our old hang outs!! Jamie, Aaron, Kate, Crown, Jenny, Julio & I flew into the Lou on Friday night (8/31) and of course, where was our first stop? El Maguey!!! Melissa met us there and it was as delicious as ever!! They even sang Feliz Cumpleanos to me and Jenny AND we got to wear the birthday sombreros! We went to Morgan Street after and just talked and talked - there was so much to catch up on.
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Saturday, we watched the Canes game at a local bar - we stayed at the Hyatt downtown which was a great spot for everything we wanted to do. The Canes won!! We walked around the Landing and enjoyed a few Fat Tuesday drinks and some of the local bands that were playing at the Blues Festival. It was such a beautiful day and so fun to be with everone! We met up with Lindsay and Jason for the Cardinals game - they played awesome and won!! Of course, I missed quite a bit of the game because there was so much still to catch up with everyone about and I hadn’t seen Lindsay and Jason in forever! We all headed to Al Hrabosky’s after the game - it was all Cardinals fans and it was a blast. Allison and two of her friends met us there - it was so good to see Allison!! There was a great DJ so we danced it up:)
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Sunday, Julio and I met up with my former co-workers at Churchill and checked out the brand new school they just built! It was so exciting to see everyone and see the new school. We met Jamie, Aaron and Melissa at Logan to check out the new auditorium and they all reminsced about classes - a visit to the cadaver lab and diversified lab brought all the memories flowing back!! They couldn’t resist doing a little adjusting on each other while they were there, too. It was again a beautiful, sunny, blue sky day. Of course, we had to visit one of our other favorite restaurants - Thai Country! It was so yummy! We had drinks and chatted the night away at another favorite spot, Pin Up Bowl martini bar. Key lime, mandarin blossom (crown’s favorite!), baked apple - such yummy martinis!! We couldn’t end the night so we headed to Houligan’s and another restaurant inside Union Station for more drinks, dancing and chatting!!
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It was sad to leave everyone on Monday, but we hope to make it a yearly trip somewhere fun with everyone!!! We’re lucky to have such amazing friends:)


There are nice people in Miami!!

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:43 pm by Nora

I got a flat tire in the parking lot of Target during my day off from work and a nice man showed up right as I thought, I knew I should have gotten on Julio’s AAA policy before something like this happened! Julio was at work and had a really busy day, so it would have been a long afternoon without this guy’s help. I didn’t even get his name, but he walked right up and asked if I needed help like it was no problem at all. He changed the tire and was so easygoing and nice about it - it was like 100 degrees out today! This guy didn’t come close to Julio’s impressive, record speed tire change on the shoulder of I-95 in July - he did it in like 10 minutes in his fancy party clothes! - that was craziness, too! It’s time for me to pay it forward and help out someone in need next time I’m there to help. It was such a nice thing and it made me realize that there are more nice people in Miami than I thought!


Nora’s 26th birthday!!

Posted in One year later! at 4:21 pm by Nora

My birthday was fabulous! I felt very special and very loved every second of my day! It started out with balloons at work from Danny, lunch with my work team at Prezzo and the rest of the day off! Julio had been planning surprises for the day and Shannon was in on it so we decided I needed a birthday dress for the night. Shannon and I went shopping and found a cute dress and shoes. Balloons, food, cake, and shopping - and it was only 4 pm! I got home and Julio told me to pack an overnight bag. He surprised me with a night at the Mandarin Hotel on Brickell Key - so, so nice!! I’d never been there before so we got there early and relaxed until dinner. I thought we were going to dinner just the two of us, but it turned out to be another surprise - his parents, Cecil and our friends, Shannon, Danny, Marilyn and Alan, met us there for a yummy dinner at Cafe Sambal, a Thai and Sushi restaurant! After awesome presents, lots of happy birthday calls from friends, a few yummy martinis and another birthday cake, we headed to Red Bar and Karu & Y with Shannon, Danny, Artie and Sergio. The DJ’s were really good and both places were really fun!! I danced it up in my birthday dress!! We got to sleep in - yay - with extra late check out and then we enjoyed the Mandarin Hotel beach for a few hours. There were beds in the sand looking out into the water surrounded by palm trees - it was so relaxing and such a nice way to end a long birthday celebration!!! Julio is the best and always finds a way to make my birthday so special!! We had a wonderful night with our friends - it was a fabulous 26th birthday!!

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Keeping up with our busy schedule!

Posted in One year later! at 11:03 pm by Nora

I had an awesome trip last week to DC! I traveled there for a grant writing workshop for my job, but it was so much fun because I got to stay with Nate, Fatima, Benji and Ellie! My workshop was on the George Washington University campus, so I was able to ride the metro in with Fatima and get everywhere I needed to go on the metro. Nate and Fatima gave me the new Harry Potter book for my birthday, so I had very good reading to do while I rode!! I so wish we had a metro system here in Miami. I got to explore more of DC than I have in a long time because I got off at so many different stops during my trip! My friend Jenna works near Metro Center, so I met up with her for coffee one night and got to see her new apartment - so cute! By the end of the trip I was very good at traveling by metro:) It was really fun to hang out with Nate, Fatima and Benji during their “real life” of work and school - we just got to hang out. Since we don’t live nearby, we don’t get to do that very often! It was really, really fun.

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That weekend Kat came to town!! She was in town recruiting so I got to watch her do her magic with her stopwatch, notebooks and lots of information about lots of softball players. I also got to enjoy some yummy Cuban food with Kat and Shelly - gotta make the dinner stop at Little Havana. And Kat can’t come to visit without a fun night out to South Beach!!

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Chris and Christie’s Wedding Shower - Saturday, July 28! Hosted by the Kibler family, who I finally got to meet - it was great to see the Buck family, Christie’s family and share the one of the many special days leading up to the big day for Chris and Christie!!
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After the wedding shower during the day and a Peruvian gala celebration for Independence Day at night, we finished the night out at Las Olas!! So good to see Chris, Christie and Jess!!!
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One Year Anniversary!

Posted in One year later! at 1:23 pm by Nora

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One year! Wow! As I sit here and think that a year ago today, I was in Paris on my honeymoon after having the most amazing wedding day ever, all I can do is smile. Julio and I talk about our wedding weekend all the time because so many things remind us of that special day and the wonderful people we shared it with. I remember at the end of the night, about to leave the reception hall and telling Julio, it was a perfect night. Looking into his eyes, knowing he is my husband was an amazing feeling. Seeing our friends and family get on the dance floor to get the party started and keep the party going was so much fun! It was just such a fun night of excitement and happiness. This year has been full of much more excitement and happiness with so many trips, visits from friends, and many firsts!!

To summarize our first year as husband and wife (as I’ve been told, I can’t tell the short version of any story, so here’s the long version!) …

After our honeymoon, we did more celebrating with my 25th birthday! Then we had a few things to figure out…where to live, where I was going to work…pretty important stuff! We looked into buying a townhouse or house, but the market was and still is crazy down here. So, we lived with the Pardaves for a while until we figured out what to do. I really had to find a job before we knew what our budget was. Julio’s business really picked up after he had a “Grand Opening” at the end of August. He finally got to do it after all the wedding festivities! At the end of September, I started at Miami Country Day School in the Development Office! It has been an awesome 10 months working there - the people are fabulous and I love the work I’m doing. Before I started working, I did make a trip to St. Louis to surprise Lindsay for her 25th birthday!! It was a blast with Linds, Jason, Mistie and everyone! In October, we made a trip to visit Nate, Fatima and Benji in Silver Spring which was so much fun as always:) I also got to get a quick visit with my Aunt Sharon, my Cousin Theresa and her family, Jessica and Jenna, too! At the end of October, Kat came in town to recruit, so we got to hang out! She’s coming here this weekend, too!!
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In the beginning of November, we finally moved into our own place - a 2 bedroom apartment in Aventura, not too far away from the Pardaves, only a couple blocks actually! We really like our location - it’s getting a little busier and crowded but our commutes to work aren’t bad which make a huge difference here. Neither of us drive on the highway - it takes Julio only 5 min and me about 20 min. We’re right by a canal, too (view below) so it’s great being near the water. Baxter and I take lots of walks by the boat dock! We love it! We’re still decorating - our guest room is always a work in progress! We went to Julio’s 10 year high school reunion party in the beginning of November! It was cool to meet his high school friends! Oh, and on Saturdays, we made it to the UM football games - my first experience at the Orange Bowl! The games are so much fun!
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My Aunt Ginny and Uncle Doug were in town for a conference in Oct so we met them for a nice dinner - Miami is a great place to be for lots of visitors!! More fun visitors, my Mom, Dad and Grandma came down for a visit in mid-November which was really fun! It was great for them to see our new place! Later in November, Julio headed to Atlanta to take his National Athletic Training test, which he passed, so he’s now a Certified Athletic Trainer and Chiropractor!!

We hosted our first Thanksgiving at our apartment - luckily I did not have to attempt cooking the turkey this year, but I did make lots of sides and desserts:) The Pardave family joined us for a yummy Thanksgiving dinner at our very new place! For the holidays, we had lots of fun times - parties at work, parties at friends houses, a fun trip to Orlando for Chris’ birthday party and a Christmas party at Christie’s mom’s house! Jessica made a quick stop at our place on her way to Colombia! It’s so fun to be the friends people can stay with on their way to and from South America!! We stayed in Miami for our first married Christmas and spent a nice day and had a delicious dinner with the Pardaves, Trigoso family and Victor. I was sick for New Year’s and only made it until the ball dropped but we still had fun with friends:)
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The new year started off well - I saw my first UM basketball game when Duke was in town - we were so close and tickets were so easy to get compared to at Cameron!! January 20th brought an exciting day - Julio’s 29th birthday! We went out to dinner with his family. This year is the big 3-0 so there will be a big party to celebrate!!! We had a Superbowl/apartment warming party on Superbowl Sunday, which was so much fun! Lots of people showed up - it was a lot of fun to have everyone over. In mid-February, I headed to Columbus, Ohio, to meet up with Lindsey to visit Ann! It was freezing and I think our next trip will be during spring or fall, but it was so fun to see Ann’s home and hang out with the girls! Chris and Christie were actually visiting Miami that same weekend, so Julio got to hang out with them! We did a Walk for the Animals at the end of February with friends from work - Baxter had a blast! nora, linds, ann.jpg Buck crew.jpg Walk2.jpg Baxter-Walk.jpg

Spring Break began in March! Jamie and Aaron started the fun - they came down for Cardinals spring training in Jupiter, FL. We went to a few games with them and got to hang out at their house in Palm Beach and then hung out in Aventura for a night. It was so good to see them! I got to watch the Duke/UNC game with my fellow Duke fans, even though Duke lost. The next weekend, Shannon’s best friend was in town, which was just the beginning of the late nights out with friends! Nora&Jamie1.jpg Ju, Aaron&Jamie.jpg shannon&danny.jpg

Fun times continued when Lindsay came to visit for St. Patrick’s Day weekend. We got to go to a Heat game - in the 2nd row!! - and we had so much fun catching up, partying and hanging out! We had a blast like we always do!! Julio’s cousin, Danaly, and Alan came in town the next weekend for the winter music festival and we hadn’t seen them for like 3 years! It was really fun to go out with them on the Beach! The next weekend Lindsey and Joel were in town along with a group of Julio’s friends from chiropractic school. So, we had a great time catching up with everyone!! The weather stayed nice for all of our spring break visitors, so it was a fabulous month!! nora&julio heat.jpg nora&linds.jpg Danaly.jpg Linds&Joel.jpg chiro crew.jpg

Jenny came in town in mid-April - it was so good to see her! She was our last visitor for a while, so things calmed down a bit. I was able to see a Barry softball game and catch up with Sarah and Erin. Julio had time to focus on work - he started working with his Dad in his Hialeah office and really started focusing on marketing himself! Annick made a pit stop in Miami for a night on her way from Ecuador, so we got to catch up after 2 years or so. At the end of April we celebrated Shannon’s birthday - more fun times!
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Tax season brought our first tax return as a married couple - I love the married tax breaks! I went to a volunteer session for the Humane Society - I still haven’t volunteered, but it’s one of my goals to help out there:) We headed to Durham for Memorial Day weekend where we got to see my mom, dad, grandma, Nate, Fatima, Benji and Hana! It was the first time I’d been home in over a year, so it was really fun to be in my house, see my Dad’s garden, talk with my mom over breakfast, play ball with Ben in the backyard, catch up with Hana over lunch at yummy Torrero’s and just hang out with my family. Julio even got to experience going to a field to hit and throw with my dad and brother! I love going home:)
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At the end of June, we went on a 3 day cruise to the Bahamas with the Pardaves and Trigosos. It was so relaxing and fun to spend time with Julio’s brothers and cousins. bahamas.jpg pardavefam2.jpg bahamas jet ski.jpg pardavefam.jpg

We unpacked, celebrated 4th of July with a few fireworks and then packed for Vegas! We celebrated Chris and Christie’s Bachelor/Bachelorette party weekend in Vegas with a big group and it was a blast!!
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All of sudden - after all these fun times - it was our one-year anniversary. Julio had a plan for the afternoon - he’s always so good - so we slept in, had our morning coffee and exchanged gifts. Julio gave me a beautiful necklace with a silver circle with one diamond - one diamond for one year Julio said! It is perfect! He surprised me by taking me to the Biltmore Hotel for brunch - it was delicious and it was so relaxing. We reminisced about our wedding day and what it was like that day. We both took wedding pics in the Biltmore lobby, so we walked around, just remembering that day. We walked around our church and there was a wedding about to take place inside. It brought back all kinds of memories for us:) We even saw the same Rolls Royce car that brought my mom, dad and me to the church!
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We stopped by the Venetian Pool - it closed early, so we just looked around at the very cool pool. I’d never been there. We decided to see a movie - Transformers (how romantic!) - that we’d been trying to see for a few weeks. We hardly ever get to go on movie dates! We headed home for the sweet ending - the top tier of our wedding cake! It was still so yummy after a year! It was a wonderful, relaxing day, just spending the day together remembering the amazing weekend a year ago and the wonderful year we’ve had together as husband and wife. Cheers to another year of newlywed bliss and many more happy anniversaries!!!


Our honeymoon (the long version)!!

Posted in All the details at 11:53 pm by Nora

Together in Paris and London for 9 days - what more could we have asked for? Frequent flyer miles helped us get across the Atlantic to explore Europe and it was more than we could have imagined! After the brunch on Sunday, we packed our suitcases (that we got from our registry- thank you!!!) and left for Paris around 6 pm on Monday. We would definitely recommend leaving for your honeymoon on Monday if you can. It was nice not to have to pack before the wedding and rush off on Sunday.

Day 1 (July 17- July 18): So, we flew all night and arrived in Paris at around 9 am on Tuesday and were pretty exhausted since I only slept for about 2 hours and Julio about half an hour. We eventually found la gare (the train) after asking someone (vous parlez anglais? luckily he spoke a little english) and following signs. We (well Julio) figured out where to get off of the metro and how to get to our hotel in the Latin Quarter area. I was impressed how easily he found it. We then took a nice, 6 hour nap to catch up on our sleep. Julio and I agreed this was going to be a fun, relaxing trip, not a crazy one that we tried to see everything and were exhausted! So, we took advantage of our air conditioned hotel and rested up for the start of our trip. Our first meal was 2 gyros - Julio had  been craving one since we got off the plane. You walk around the streets and everyone is eating them so you have to try one!  Then we found a yummy dessert place and had a caramel crepe to finish off our first meal in Paris. Our hotel was near the Seine so we walked down to get our first view of the River and we realized we were very close to Notre Dame. It was spectacular at night being all lit up next to the river.

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That night, I couldn’t fall asleep. My brain would not stop replaying every single moment of our wedding weekend. I guess it finally hit me (3 days after the fact) that we were married. All the planning was over and we had such a wonderful wedding. I kept seeing everyone that was there that night and seeing everyone having so much fun on the dance floor. It felt surreal that night because when it’s all happening, you’re like, is this really our wedding reception happening right now? Our friends, Lauren and Brian, told us to savor every second b/c it just flies by. It really does go by so quickly and I wish there was a way to do it all again, but I’ve never felt happier than I did that night. To see our parents so happy and all of our family members and friends having so much fun, it really was a once in a lifetime night. I wouldn’t change a thing. That night in Paris, I the tears started flowing. I teared up on wedding day, but that night, all of the emotions hit me at once b/c it really sunk in that we are married and I am Julio’s wife!!!

So, eventually I fell asleep and got a little rest for the exciting next day!

Day 2 (July 19): Started out w/ shower issues…first I couldn’t figure out how to turn it on, then the nozzle kept moving around all crazy and I dropped the travel shampoo bottle so all of my nice Dove shampoo was gone for the rest of the trip. It was funny:) Julio laughed at me. We got a delicious breakfast of pastries, OJ, coffee and croissants and Julio had an omelet. And they served cake for dessert…I love cake for breakfast! We headed to the Louvre, well first we walked to the Expedia office to pick up our passes Julio had reserved. I decided we could walk there instead of the metro but it was a little longer than I anticipated. There are 3 different sections you can go to inside the Louvre, but we visited 2 of them, the Richelieu and the Denon sections. We started out looking at every single painting and sculpture but there are just too many! We got lunch there. I had a croque monsieur b/c everyone else in line was so I wanted to try it. It was yummy - ham and cheese sandwich with a spread of some kind. So, we spent the whole day taking in the amazing pieces of art. We were exhausted by the end. I’m glad I wore my tennis shoes! We took the metro back (no more walking) and took a three hour nap:) Naps are key. We went to dinner in the Latin Quarter…onion soup, salad, spaghetti, ice cream and beer. There are so many places to choose from and they all want you to eat at their restaurant. The menu is definitely the way to go in Europe - it’s cheaper and you get 3 or 4 courses!

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Day 3 (July 20): We checked out of our Paris hotel and stopped for a scruptious breakfast at the Stop Cluny Cafe. Croissants, omelet, french bread, coffee…love it! We had to take the Metro to the Gare du Nord stop to get to the Eurostar trains. We didn’t buy our tickets to London ahead of time (should have) but we weren’t sure of our schedule. So we waited in the wrong line for like 20 minutes and then waited in the right line for another 30 minutes. The Eurostar man was very very nice! He spoke English and helped me get a cheaper ticket b/c I’m under 26. Unfortunately Julio is not under 26 so his ticket was like $300 more! He didn’t even check my passport so we probably should have said Julio was under 26 but oh well. The nice man felt sorry for us so he gave us 2 passes to the Premier Business Lounge inside the terminal. We didn’t have time to use it then but it was a fun story for the return trip! Who knew traveling to London was so expensive? We learned to make those plans ahead of time!

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The trip took about 2 1/2 hours. It was nice - we got to write postcards and Julio bought a splitter so we could both listen to his iPod. How sweet:) We had to get ready for the She Wants Revenge concert!! We got some train food which included some very interesting mini sandwiches. They were like dollar roll sandwiches but one had salmon, one had just cheese, one with ham and one with a mystery sauce. Fun times with foreign train food!

We took a cab to St. Gregory’s hotel on Shoreditch Street, near Liverpool in East London. It was a really nice hotel - Julio picked it out - and it was much bigger than our Paris one. We walked around and found our way to a bank to exchange money. England doesn’t use Euros so we had to get Pounds. The exchange rate is awful - Julio gave the woman $200 and got like 100 pounds and some change. We were like wow, that really sucks! We got lunch and had a drink. I had to try the fish n chips which was very good. We took a little nap at the hotel before we headed to the She Wants Revenge concert. We found our way to the metro and to Club Scala where the show was. It was a small club (like Cats Cradle for my Durham people or The Pageant for you St. Louisans) so it was really cool. We saw the opening band, SoHo Dolls and then She Wants Revenge performed for about an hour!! They were awesome!! So, why did we go to this concert? I surprised Julio with 2 tickets to the concert for his wedding day gift. I kept it a surprise until our wedding day but it was kind of hard when I realized it’s not that easy to travel from country to country in Europe. I defnitely didn’t think it was so expensive. So, I had to tell Julio that we should go to London instead of Switzerland like we had originally planned. I couldn’t tell him why, just that he would like the reason. It turned out great and he was so surprised that I found tickets to his favorite band (right now) in London while we were going to be in Europe. It was an awesome show! I’ve heard a lot of their songs b/c Julio is always playing their cd so I loved it, too. It was definitely worth the money and the crazy change in plans to see them perform on our honeymoon!! And of course we enjoyed a slice of pizza after the show to end the night in a yummy way:)

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Day 4 (July 21): Our crazy day of touring started at 6 am. We paid for a full day tour through Expedia and it was great to see everything in one day because we were only in London for a few days. We asked the people at the hotel how long of a cab ride it would be to the tour office and of course we allowed way more time than necessary so we got there so early. Luckily there was a breakfast place but we got there at like 730 and didn’t leave until 9ish. But we didn’t miss it! The tour was on an air conditioned bus with about 40 people and a tour guide. She was very good - she knew everything and was kind of funny even that early in the morning. Our first stop was Westminster Abbey and we got to go inside for a tour. There is so much history in the Abbey so we were glad we got a tour instead of guessing what everything was. The history and the stories are fascinating. We got to walk around a little on our own and there was a Winston Churchill statue in the square nearby. I had to check it out since I worked at Churchill Center & School, named after Winston Churchill, while I lived in St. Louis.

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We headed to Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard ceremony. I had no idea how many people come see this every time. It’s quite the production with horses and three different groups of guards playing music and marching into the palace gates! It was very fun to see and we got a great view of everything.

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We got to take a cruise on the Thames River and got a little commentary along the ride. I like seeing things from the river perspective. We got to see the Houses of Parliament, the Millenium Wheel, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, the wibbly wobbly bridge, London Bridge and we got off at the Tower of London. We ate lunch (another good meal of fish n chips) and rested our legs a little. The Tower of London was first tower built in London in 1066 so there was so much to take in. We toured the crown of jewels, the bloody tower with so many conspiracies, the beheading site, and the white tower. We were on our own for this part of the day so went into the white tower last which wasn’t the best idea. It’s the first tower they built, so there were so many stairs!! There were a lot of exhibitions about the purpose of the tower and lots of guns, gunpowder,  and armor displays. Around every corner, I thought it was going to be the exit but it kept going on…I needed some fresh London air by the end! We were the last people to meet the group back on the bus to go back home - good thing we made it! We stopped to get a picture of a church used in The Da Vinci Code movie and took the wonderfully air conditioned bus back to the metro station. We got dinner on the way back to our hotel and were just exhausted! We went to bed at like 8:30 that night!  I guess that’s why they tell you to travel when you’re young…

Day 5 (July 22): I woke up to Julio bringing a delicious breakfast back to the room:) He woke up early and got yummy croissants and coffee for me and he tried eggs, toast and sausage served with baked beans and tomatoes. It was a different combination but it was cheap and really yummy! We checked out that morning and the hotel was nice to keep our bags b/c we weren’t leaving until that night to go back to Paris. We walked around the Liverpool shops and got lunch at Giraffe Cafe. It rained for the first time so we got dessert while it rained. It was very quiet on the streets (it was Saturday) compared to happy hour the night before! It was crazy to see everyone in their work clothes on the streets outside the bars loving happy hour!

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We got a cab to the Eurostar train station. We got there really early so we people watched for a while…we finally got to check in and we found our way to the Premier Lounge with our free passes. This was great - free beer, soda, snacks, internet, good air conditioning! We had time to check our email and saw we had wedding pictures from Jenny and Jamie so we got to look at those. We had time to send an email out to say hi from Europe!



We got back to Paris at 11 that night and checked into our hotel. It was down the street from the one we stayed in the few days before. The AC wasn’t working so luckily we were on the 5th floor and there was a good breeze so we slept with the nice, big windows open.

Day 6 (July 23): We woke up and checked out of the hotel and checked into our original Paris hotel where the AC worked! We got lunch and had our first taste of creme brulee - yum! We got on L’Open Bus Tur that takes you around the different tourist sights of Paris. It’s really nice because you see so much and they have little headphones so you get some history as you go. The Tour de France ended that day in Paris (we didn’t realize this until we were on the bus) so we couldn’t go past the Arc de Triomphe or down the Champs Elysees. It turned out good, though because we got off at the Eiffel Tower and spent the day there. It was a beautiful, clear day and maybe a little less crowded because of the Tour de France going on. We bought tickets to go to the top! We got off at the second level and took in the amazin views of the city. We waited in a long line to take the little elevator to the very top but it was so worth it. It was really cool to see everything from the top! I trusted Julio with the camera for the pics from the top because I didn’t want to be the one to drop the camera off the Eiffel Tower. To get down we had to wait in an even longer line to take the elevator down. There were so many people! We made it back on ground level and laid in the grass in front of the tower to relax and enjoy the moment. It was such a gorgeous day! It was neat to see everyone loving the nice summer day…people playing soccer, reading and just relaxing.

Day 6.jpg          Eiffel Tower.jpg          River.jpg          us-tower.jpg          tku pic.jpg

We got to the bus station so we had to take the metro and the train took forever to get there. We ate pizza, greek salad and beer for dinner and got dessert and a local patisserie. We called our parents to say hi and walked over to see Notre Dame at night. It was lit up and was a very cool sight to see.

Day 7 (July 24): We slept in and found a cute breakfast cafe that was still serving breakfast. It turned out to be our favorite little spot to get breakfast b/c they had the best croissants and french bread w/ butter and jam. We found our way to the Caberet ticket office to buy tickets for that night and on the way found a post office so we could mail our postcards!We got back on L’Open Tour for our second day of the bus tour. We got off at the Champs Elysees and visited the Arc de Triomphe. We ate McDonald’s for lunch - it was so crowded and it was huge. Everyone knows McDonald’s. We rode the rest of the way and got to see all the sights around the city.

cafe.jpg          Arc.jpg

We got dressed up and went to the Caberet show that night. Julio’s parents said it would be fun to see a show so we had dinner and saw the crazy show! It was fun but we were definitely one of the youngest couples there. Julio told them we were on our honeymoon so they announced it which was cool. It was a fun date with dinner, a bottle of wine and champagne! We finished the night with a beer that we bought from a little stand on the street and enjoyed the walk back to the hotel.



Day 8 (July 25): We had breakfast at the same cafe as the day before, got our bottles of Coca Cola Light and Water and headed to City Rama to try to get on the tour to Versailles. The tour was sold out so we decided to take the metro which sounded easy at the time. It turned out to be the hottest day of the summer and we were walking around outside for so long it seemed. It was the heat of the day and it was so hot. We got to the metro station which wasn’t far but found out it was closed. We waited for the bus that was supposed to take us to the next metro station (which I think was like a block down so we should have just walked there instead of waiting in the sun) and we didn’t know which bus was going to that station. Finally, we got on the bus and got to the metro station to get on the train to Versailles.

Julio was loving this day of sweating to go to Versailles. I really wanted to go, so he agreed to go. It was kind of funny b/c we worked hard to get there and it was so hot to walk around the rooms and the gardens but it was beautiful and full of so much history. I’m glad we went:) We went through the state apartments, the queen’s apartments and the gardens. We had an audio guide that explained what each room was and the history behind everything. We were glad we didn’t go with a tour group because there were so many rooms and so much to see. We went at our own pace and learned a lot about Louis XIV! The gardens were amazing and so beautiful. I took way too many pictures! Our feet were tired so we headed back to our hotel by train (this one was air conditioned)! We showered and got ready to enjoy our last night in Paris!

Versailles.jpg          view.jpg          Verailles2.jpg

We headed down to the Latin Quarter and did a little shopping in the numerous souvenir shops. I wanted to enjoy the river at night so we grabbed a beer and sat down by the river to savor every minute of the last night of our honeymoon. A lot of other people had snacks and drinks and were doing the same thing. There was a two man band playing U2, Pearl Jam, Bob Marley and other great songs which created an awesome scene by the river. It was a really cool way to spend our last night. We grabbed pizza on the way back to the hotel and had a nice walk through the Latin Quarter where everything was still going strong at 1 am.

last night.jpg

Day 9 (July 26): We woke up early, packed our suitcases, checked out and headed to our favorite breakfast cafe to grab one more delicous French breakfast. We took the metro to the airport and found our way to the right terminal. I got a little scared when we got off the metro and had to take a bus to the terminal but didn’t know exactly where or what we were doing. Luckily we found our way, got to the e-ticket check in and were ready to go! We flew to Boston on what felt like the longest flight. The VCR was broken so there were no movies to keep us entertained but I finished The Devil Wears Prada and we enjoyed so many drinks and snacks. I’ve never seen people get so excited about the snack pack toward the end of the flight! I didn’t know we got a snack so I was super excited! We had a 2 hour layover in Boston and got to Miami at about 9 pm (3 am Paris time). We were exhausted of course but we were home!

We had an amazing trip and I think you now know every single thing we did! We’re planning to keep the website going to post pictures and other updates on our lives!


18 days and counting!

Posted in All the details at 12:53 am by Nora

Newlywed life is treating us wonderfully so far!! It’s been a fantastic 18 days, especially with 9 of those days being spent together in Paris and London! July 15 was such a special day for us and we cannot say thank you enough for all of you who were there with us and those who had us in their thoughts. It was an amazing experience to share so many life changing moments with our friends and family. Walking down the aisle and seeing so many smiling faces was a moment I will never forget. I think I was more nervous than Julio when we got to the altar but just seeing his smile and his loving eyes made those deep breaths a little easier to calm my nerves. He looked so good in his tux, too:) Hearing the words Reverend Guillermo spoke to us reminded me how lucky I am to be marrying such an amazing man.

dad down the aisle.jpg          altar with julio.jpg          mr and mrs.jpg

          julio & boys.jpg          bridesmades & me.jpg

It all happened so fast but all of sudden we were Dr. and Mrs. Julio Pardave! I couldn’t stop smiling that day and especially during the reception! We had so much fun! It was really fun to see everyone start dancing so quickly and see the dance floor so full the entire night! The dance floor was full before we even finished our dinner! To see our friends dancing with our families and our parents friends was just what we wanted. It was a little surreal that the night was all really happening because we’d been looking forward to it for so long. The main things we wanted were to have our friends and family with us and for everyone to have a good time, so we were thoroughly pleased with how everything turned out! I wouldn’t change a thing about the night or the planning! Looking back on the planning process, it really is all worth it to feel the way we felt that night.

parents watching first dance.jpg     cake cutting.jpg     feeding cake.jpg     dancing.jpg

linds, jenny & kat.jpg     nora, julio & ben.jpg     durham girls.jpg

Everyone keeps telling us marriage is hard work and the passage that was read during our ceremony reminds us of that, but I’m looking forward to working very hard to make our marriage work. It’s off to a wonderful start with all of the love we feel from our friends and family. Thank you for making our wedding night the best night of our lives!

And please send us pictures that you have! These are all pics from our friends! We’d love to see everyone’s!



I’m living w/ sleeptalkers

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:12 am by Julio & Nora

Ever since I’ve been w/ Nora I was aware of her frequent sleeptalking. But lately it has been a circus at night. Usually she sleeptalks within the first 2 hours of her sleep, so I’m used to it. But this morning, she scared the crap out of me (30 min before my alarm went off!) She jumped right out of bed screaming something about “…knocking the wedding cake off!!”, frantically searching the floor. She picks up a pillow that was on the floor and throws it at me. I think she thought the pillow was the cake and was trying to save the cake by tossing it towards me! The sleeptalking has really picked up with the wedding coming closer & closer. And last night, Baxter was sleeping next to me while I was watching TV, he started barking in his sleep! Even my dog is sleeptalking! Man, what a freakin riot…..I love my family!!!!



19 days!!!

Posted in All the details at 3:37 pm by Nora

The big day is coming up fast so we’re taking care of all the little things and getting so excited about seeing everybody for the wedding! We were talking reception music with Julio’s parents the other night and had a little dance practice in the living room. Good times, good times:)

Also, I finally found some shoes to wear with my dress! Yay!




Posted in Miami Style at 12:49 am by Julio & Nora

Last night we went out to Hooligans for game 6 of the Heat/Mavs finals. It was one of the best b-ball games I’ve seen in a while. We met up w/ some of my boys from the H.S. era. Good times!!

boys at Hooligans Pub    Emil, JP, Dave    Me & my future wifey

Matt, Ju, Dave    Matt, JP, Dave, Ju    Me & my bro Emil

Celebrating    Me & Shamus

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