Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tuxes picked, rehearsal dinner booked, making progress

We picked the tuxes for the wedding party tonight, which was less of a task than I anticipated. I've never been able to figure a way to show examples of the full ensemble online, maybe I'll just post links to individual pieces.

We booked the rehearsal dinner site on Monday it is at Red Star in Fells Point if you didn't read previous post.

The photographer and DJ have also been booked — that happened some time last week.

Take that, Knot checklist!

Meanwhile, it's the end of the month, which is the worst week of the month work-wise for both Allie and I. I'm proud to say that despite the down economy, good weather seems to have motivated people to keep drinking, which is in turn keeping my employed (and product coming in the door!)

This weekend is kind of up in the air for us. Allie is looking forward to gift registry on Sunday. I'm hoping that I can register the Wizards to get out of their hole against the Cavs, tonight was a good start.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


The full staff was back at work today so I was out the door at 4. Add to that the Caps being out of the playoffs, the Wiz being off and the O's playing on the West Coast I had few things to distract me from bringing the site a little more up-to-date.

But as Murphy's Law would have it, Blogger was down for a good chunk of the evening. Nonetheless, you should notice a couple updates.

1) I added an agenda on the right side of the page that will become more completely filled in over the next two weeks.

2) I updated flight info and included instructions for reserving a room in the "useful information department."

3) Please note the post below for info on a couple shower hosted by my parents on June 21 as well as the bachelor and bachelorette parties.

Meanwhile we picked a DJ last night. Got song requests now? Post 'em in the comments section or send me an e-mail. We're also starting to plow through that damed Knot checklist – the one that's always showing me items with explanation points. I know it's overdue!

As I finish writing this post I'm being told that I can not contact Blogger, so we'll see if anyone reads this.

I'm hoping to put together a line-up of the official wedding garb up here Thursday.


Party! Party! Party!

That's not only the name of the place we bought our invitations, it describes how Nate and Allie, a/k/a Nallie, will spend three weekends sending off their pseudo-singleness.

The first event on this itinerary is a couple shower/engagement party at Nate's parents house on Saturday, June 21, tentatively scheduled from 2-5 p.m. at Nate's parents house at 3904 Oak Park Circle, in Waterloo, IA, 50701.

We know not everyone will be able to make it to the East Coast for the Aug. 2 wedding, but if some people would still like to give good luck wishes, please stop by the party. It will include free food and beer, so even if you don't wish us well you might as well take advantage.

Later that night, bachelor party #1 gets started. That's right, I get two bachelor parties. Awesome! Seriously though, since so many of my friends and family are spread out I thought it best to have parties in two different places. And, of cours, having two bachelor parties is awesome.

Groomsman Matt Schafer (seen below, left) is heading the Iowa efforts. I'm not sure what's in store for me. but as you can see, he and attendee Blaine can rock. Track him or me down if you would like to get in on this bash.

--Image should be here. Problem fixed soon?

The East Coast bachelor party is slated for the weekend of July 11 and 12 in Rehoboth Beach. I know we are planing to stay here and drink lots of beer here. Groomsman Mark Goldman (seen below) is running this show and has the details, so contact him or me if you want to party in Delaware.

--Image should be here. Problem fixed soon?

No formal invites on any of these. If you know about this blog you are welcome to go.

Allie gets down with her bachelorette party the following weekend in the Big Apple. I know there is karaoke involved and am otherwise staying out of the loop on this one.


Monday, April 21, 2008


There are few things I hate more about watching television, than the "teasers" you see promising big stories on that evening's news. The reason I hate them so much as because they almost always fail to live up to expectations.

That being said, and because I have to leave for work, I am offering a teaser of what I will post this week rather than the actual info. But these announcements will not disappoint!

We'll have:

• News about two bachelor parties? Find out more this week;
• A look at the hot summer fashions the wedding party will be wearing;
• Who the DJ is who will get this party started; and
• A run down on Baltimore's hot spots you can see on your visit.

Live. Local. Late-breaking. Nallie08.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Scoop! Nallie campaign headed to Iowa in June

Details are not yet confirmed, but this blog has learned that Nate and likely Allie plan to visit Iowa, one of 2008's most important campaign stops, at sometime in June in advance of the nallie 2008 wedding.

Although pundits speculate that residents of perhaps a dozen states will attend the Aug. 2 wedding celebration, current and former Iowa residents are likely to make up the greatest constituency of guests. They will also have the most dirt on Nate, should they find any reason this couple should not be bound in matrimony.

Some speculate that invited Hawkeye fans, sick of losing football games to the Cyclones, will conjure up vicious rumors to tear down former Iowa State attendee Nate, because, like Iowa football, they suck. Among them is Jim Butts, who also likes the Cubs and is an idiot.

One source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because Nallie hopes to have more official details in place before formally announcing the visit, say the couple is planing to land on a runway in the middle of a cornfield, otherwise known as Eastern Iowa Airport.

The source said the couple is likely to arrive on Friday, June 20, and host a cookout at Nate's parents that weekend. Some form of bachelor party could also be in the works.

Rehearsal dinner tryouts

Went to Red Star in Fells Point on Saturday evening as a potential rehearsal dinner site, and it fared pretty well with reviewers Allie, Mark and Becca.

Nate also liked his dish, sugar cane-skewed pork tenderloin with mango habanera salsa, but thought he should have gotten a larger portion.

Nonetheless, how many former brothel sites do you know that get overall high marks for their food? Red Star also has an isolated space upstairs that should accommodate our group of approximately 40. It also has free parking across the street, which is a definite bonus in Fells Point. There are also tons of bars for some nightlife in the area, for those interested in hanging out after dinner.

However, there are some potential pitfalls. One is that it is almost 2 miles from the hotel — still a short drive but too long for most people to walk. Secondly, as part of our impromptu visit, they didn't have anything on the menu that evening that is part of their group buffet offering. They can probably give us a sample before we decided to go with them.

Here's a look at their buffet options.

1) House salad with grapes and grape tomatoes with 2 dressings
Chicken breast marsala

Penne pasta with ricotta and marinara

Roasted flounder roulade with lemon butter

Chefs choice of fresh vegetable

Red and sweet potato hash with caramelized onions

Choice of house salad or Caesar salad station
Chicken and shrimp jambalaya with sausage and rice

Cheese or vegetable lasagna

Grilled London broil in rich mushroom sauce

Chef's choice of fresh vegetable

Roasted red potatoes with garlic and rosemary

3) Choice of house salad, Caesar, or spinach salad with strawberries and raspberry dressing
Herb roasted salmon with dill butter

Sautéed shrimp and mussel penne with asparagus and fresh tomatoes

Sesame chicken breast with orange ginger sauce

Sautéed tenderloin tips with wild mushrooms and port wine

Mini baked potatoes with traditional accompaniments

Chef's choice of fresh vegetables

#2 is probably out because Grilled London Broil is one of the options at the reception dinner (although Mark doesn't see this as an issue.)

Will probably try to hit a few of the last spots this weekend and then will make a decision.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Ever wanted to stay at the Plaza Hotel?

Well, it's not the same Plaza Hotel in New York so often referred to in pop culture, but then again it won't cost you $800 a night.

This morning I visited Baltimore's Tremont Plaza Hotel and it seems to be the best combination of location and price I can secure. I hope to have a contract signed by early next week so those who are ready can begin reserving rooms at our group rate for Friday and Saturday. I'm not sure if many people plan to come in earlier than Friday, but if you do let me know. If I have enough I can try to get a group rate earlier in the week.

A little about the place:

It is located a little more than a mile from the wedding/reception site. For those from out of town, that translates to about a $5 cab ride, seven-minute drive or 25-minute walk. (I will find actuals for sure within in the next two weeks.)

The hotel is also a short walk from the Inner Harbor, which is kind of Baltimore's main tourist area. If you are looking for some things to do on Friday evening or Saturday morning, you should be able to find it as long as you don't mind panhandlers too much.

The rooms in the hotel are suites. You can choose from one of two studio models either with a king bed or two queen beds. There also rooms with one bedroom set aside from the rest of the suite and two-bedroom suites. You can see photos here and specs here. If you get a room high enough on one side, you will get a view of Baltimore's harbor, the other side has a view of Baltimore's more historic but perhaps less visually interesting west side.

The Plaza also has an outdoor pool, although it is kind of small, and a health club. There's a bar and restaurant that serves brunch for $15. There's also a pretty decent deli with carry-out sandwiches, specialty dishes as well as beer and wine. For more on the amenities, click here.

So, what's the price tag? The studio suites are $159 a night, the one-bedrooms are $189 a night and the two-bedrooms are $339. After looking at the rooms, four people can easily fit in the studio, and I would add that you don't really get much more for a one-bedroom for an extra $30.

Even though it is possible to split a room, I recognize that the rate is kind of expensive for those who are already buying a plane ticket. The consolation is that it should not be necessary for you to rent a car. However, you may be able to find a room and rent a car for a little bit cheaper if you would like to.

I searched and for lowest rates in the metro area and found rooms for as low as $70 per evening if you would rather stay in the suburbs. For instance, I found the Ramada Inn in Catonsville (about 8 miles away) starting at that rate. If you are OK staying away from downtown and staying in a lower-tier hotel, an option like this may be your choice.

If you have any questions about a neighborhood I would be happy to tell you more about it. I would suggest that you also read hotel reviews for any place you pick either at, Travelocity or another travel site.

After checking a few rental car companies, it looks like you could rent a car for about $70 from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.

Again, I know travel can be a pain so if you need any help feel free to call or e-mail me.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Praise for the U.S. Postal Service

I know many people complain about service at the post office, but I have to give the much maligned government agency some praise. I didn't drop off the Save the Date cards until Saturday, and by Monday people in Maryland were already getting them. What a deal for 26 cents!

Some may accuse us of having a pro-Post Office bias as both Allie and I have uncles in Illinois who worked for the postal service. If you think that's interesting (and who wouldn't?), here's some more Nallie fast facts.

• The Orioles hosted the Tampa Bay Rays for Opening Day on Monday. But did you know Nate and Allie's dating anniversary is marked by the Orioles-Rays game they went to on April 19, 2000. That game turned out a little better for the O's, with Cal Ripken hitting a walk-off ninth inning home run to win it 3-2.

• From that day, Nate and Allie would date for seven years, one month, and four days before becoming engaged. That's longer than the Seven Years' War!

• Nate assures you that the delay was not because of bleak predictions from astrologists like this one, which says Cancer and Gemini are "Not a match made in Heaven." Really, that doesn't describe us at all, stupid astrologists.