E-Mails from the trip

E-Mails from the trip

Back to the wedding/honeymoon page.


DATE: May 16, 2004
SUBJECT: We have an announcement to make...

We're married!

Six weeks ago, we sat down to start planning our wedding in earnest. 
After an hour or two of trying to decide who to invite, where to hold the
ceremony, what food to serve at the reception and which hotels to contact,
we ceased to be excited about “our day” and became wrapped up in the
details.  In fact, we almost had an argument over wedding cake!  On a
whim, Sarah said, "What if we just eloped and went to Europe for a couple
of weeks?"  The more we thought about it, the more we realized it was a
good idea, so we decided to do it.

We have invited our respective parents to brunch today; what they don't
know is that they'll attend our wedding ceremony before we go to the
restaurant.  Since we're sending this out pretty much as they're arriving,
we can't tell you how it went, but the plan is to tell them, give them 30
minutes to recover, head out, get married, have lunch and get on the plane
to Europe.  No muss, no fuss.

So, as you are reading this message, we are either on the plane or
enjoying the first few days of our honeymoon in France and Italy.  We
leave Kingston at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday for an overnight flight from Toronto
to Paris.  We'll be flying from Rome to Toronto on May 30th. Ben's sister
Chris and her partner Jamie have helped tremendously; they are holding the
fort and looking after Kali in our absence.

Although it has been suggested many times, we will not be hosting a
reception when we get back.  We certainly don't need any gifts and we want
to avoid the headaches associated with co-ordinating such an event. 
Instead, we are looking forward to several small visits with friends and
family over the summer.  We'd like to see everyone, but would rather have
a few casual social gatherings than a large party.

While we're very sorry that you won't be celebrating a traditional wedding
ceremony with us, we hope that you respect our decision and are happy for
us.  We had a guest list drawn up and you were most certainly on it, but
in the end we decided that this is how we wanted to celebrate our love for
each other.

We will be hitting some internet cafes while we're overseas, so we'll be
sure to send out emails and we'll be able to receive them as well if you
want to send any.  While we're on our trip, we'll be checking
ben_and_sarah@linuxgruven.ca as often as we can.


DATE: May 22, 2004 SUBJECT: Our last day in France Hello, All. Our vacation is half-over and, fittingly enough, this is our last night in France. We'll be taking an overnight train to Turin tonight where we hope to meet up with some friends who are also travelling in Italy. It really is a small world. Besancon is wonderful; we recommend visiting if you're ever in France. The town fortress, La Citadelle, was built in the 1680s and is a marvel, as were the churches. The local comté cheese is also fantastic. We both really want to see the south of Italy, so our current plan is to visit Naples and Ishcia before we head for Rome. Internet cafes abound in France, but may not in Italy, so our next message may take a while. We'll do our best to keep you posted. Cheers, Ben and Sarah
DATE: May 24, 2004 SUBJECT: A message from Italy Hi everyone, We're sending this from an internet cafe in Turin, Italy as we wait for our laundry to finish. We arrived yesterday morning at 7:00AM after taking an overnight train from Dijon. The couchette was great. (A couchette is a set of 4-6 bunk beds in a small room on the train.) We both slept quite well, but arrived rather exhausted in Turin. Turin is a rather strange city. They're hosting the Olympics in 2006 and it seems like the whole city is in a state of upheaval as they make preparations. There is a lot of construction and a lot of restoration going on right now. Despite this, the city feels much older than either Basancon or Paris. We happened upon a festival of sorts and lucked into some free cheese, bread and honey treats. We walked around the city until our room was ready. Our hotel here was absolutely fabulous. We had marble floors, a huge bed and our own balcony overlooking a small square. Sarah even hung laundry on a line off of our balcony! (She was quite excited about this...) We slept for part of the afternoon and then struck out into the city again. We'd missed the lunch hours, so we wandered around trying to find something to eat. (We'd only had a couple of pastries and the the food from the festival.) We spent some time in a park; people seem to let their pets and children run pretty loose here! Eventually we found a great restaurant where we had salad, excellent flat bread pizza and wine. Afterwards, we found some home made gelato. Of course, it was amazing! We walked around again and then retired for the evening. Today we plan more sight seeing; churches, piazzas (squares) and the shroud of Turin. We're going to try to meet up with Pat and Yandu (Two friends from Ottawa) at the shroud. We're also planning to consume a huge plate of pasta at least once today. (Oh, and more gelato, of course.) We're heading out on an overnight train to Naples this evening. We plan to spend a few days there visiting islands and seeing some Roman ruins. We'll then head back to Rome where we'll be flying out on Sunday morning. Dad Hall has graciously offered to pick us up at the airport, it'll be so nice to see a familiar face. As you can surely tell, we're having a fantastic time. Thanks for all of the messages we've been receiving, it's really been great to hear from you all. Ciao, Ben and Sarah
DATE: May 26, 2004 SUBJECT: Naples! Hello again everyone, We're mailing this from our hotel room in Naples. We first arrived on Tuesday but immediately left for Ishcia, an island in the Bay of Naples. Ischia was unlike anything we had seen; imagine a small semi-tropical island an hour and a half away from a huge bustling city. It was amazing, we took about a roll and a half of film. (We're starting the fifth roll tomorrow, so don't worry, we have lots of pictures.) We managed to find Yandu and Pat in Turin on Sunday. We spent a lovely afternoon and evening with them. We visited the Shroud of Turin, had a lovely Italian supper with a good bottle of wine, and finished off with the best gelato of the trip. They left us at the train station and here we are! We arrived back in Naples this afternoon. We had some trouble finding a hotel, but lucked into a very nice room that's about five minutes from the train station. We went out for dinner tonight to a pizzaria that has been making pizza since 1870!! We had a pizza and a beer each, the bill came to a whopping $10! We then had gelato (Italian ice cream) and canoli (tubes of chocolate pastry filled with sweetened ricotta cheese.) We'll be touring Naples tomorrow and then leaving for Rome at about 12:30 on Friday. Rome is only two hours away, so we'll have part of Friday and all day Saturday to explore Rome. Alright, that's enough for now. We'll try to mail once more from Rome, but if we can't find a place, we'll send a wrap up message from home. Thanks for all of the lovely messages, Ben (Hall) and Sarah (Whittaker)
DATE: June 6, 2004 SUBJECT: Message from home Hi everyone, This is our last message, I promise. Sarah and I got home on Sunday night. Mom and Dad Hall were there to pick us up at the airport. We talked their ear off for the first hour and a half, then Sarah fell asleep and the three of us continued the conversation. We arrived home at midnight and slept in the next morning. Sarah and I both took Monday off, we took the time to get food in the house, exchange the last of our euros, eat a big Canadian breakfast and to prepare to get back to reality. We've been at work/school since Tuesday. We've been meaning to send this letter out sooner, but we've both been very busy catching up. Just to make things interesting, we're both still dealing with lingering jetlag. (We've been going to bed before 9:00PM most days since we got back.) Anyway, we had an amazing time. Our eight rolls of film have been developed now. We had them make us CDs of the pictures as well. I've almost finished the site for all of this. In the mean time, I've posted pictures from the trip, the diary we kept, a copy of our ceremony and pictures from the wedding at: http://www.linuxgruven.ca/personal/honeymoon/ Enjoy, and thanks once again to everyone who wrote us. Ben and Sarah