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Nhu and I recently returned from a week in Dubai. The trip was our first to the Middle East, and we had a great time. We went on a guided tour with friends of mine, Chi and Pamela, who live in Chicago. I don’t usually go for guided tours, but we got an excellent deal on Travelzoo, and I thought a tour might be a good idea for our first visit. We were not disappointed! Aside from the hassle of getting there and back, we had a blast. We were shown the highlights of Dubai, and we also had ample time to explore on our own. I made Chi and Pamela get up with us to see sunrise at a beach. We also went up in the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and stayed until sunset to see the water fountain show in front of the tower. We went “dune bashing,” which is what they called some pretty crazy four-wheeling in the desert sand dunes. Sadly, we weren’t the ones doing the driving. I think the highlight of the tour, though, was the trip to see the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. The mosque was incredibly beautiful, easily one of the prettiest buildings I’ve ever seen.

Since my last post, we also spent time in San Diego and Florida. We went to San Diego over Thanksgiving to visit Nhu’s brother and his family. Little did we know that we would have the privilege of seeing their newborn daughter! She was not due until December, but apparently she had other plans. She was truly beautiful, albeit very, very tiny. Linh Chi was very excited to have a new baby sister!

Nhu and I went to Ft. Myers, Florida, for a weekend in December. It was nice to get away from winter weather and spend some time strolling on the beach. I had never been to that part of Florida, so it was fun to do some exploring. We spent some time on Sanibel, and worked our way from Fort Myers Beach all the way down to Barefoot Beach. We also went to Six Mile Cypress Slough, which was Nhu’s first time seeing a swamp. After a few days of excellent seafood and time at the beach, though, we were glad to come back home, even though it meant returning to cold, snowy weather.

Posted by nick.steinbaugh at 11:18 AM

I finally finished going through the honeymoon pictures! It took a long, long time, but they are done and posted. I ended up with 58 images that I liked enough to give a top rating, which is a record for a single trip. You can find all of the pictures filed under Austria, Italy and Germany.

Since the honeymoon, we've also managed a few shorter trips. At the beginning of August, we went with a bunch of friends to Glacier National Park in Montana. We rented a house in Columbia Falls and had a blast, including various hikes and also a sunrise photo expedition, at my suggestion of course. Also, just this past weekend, Nhu and I went with my parents to Oregon. We visited Crater Lake, and also drove up nearly the entire Oregon coast, from Crescent City to Cannon Beach. It was quite stunning, certainly a trip I'd recommend.

Posted by nick.steinbaugh at 1:37 PM

Well, we’ve been back from the honeymoon for almost two weeks now, so it’s about time I sit down and write about recent events.

The first major event surrounding the wedding was a Vietnamese Buddhist ceremony that we had to pray for Nhu’s dad. We had it on the evening of Sunday, May 26, the day before the wedding. Unfortunately, prior events of the day (especially the rehearsal and lunch) took longer than expected, and Nhu and I were nearly late to the ceremony. We arrived only minutes before it was supposed to begin, and we were immediately whisked into our places to begin. As the ceremony was almost entirely in Vietnamese, I do not know exactly what was said, but the ceremony was to help put Nhu’s dad’s spirit at ease, and also to celebrate our upcoming marriage. I followed Nhu’s lead, bowing when needed! The two monks that were present did speak to me a bit in English, to congratulate us and wish us a happy life together.

The following day was our wedding day. Needless to say, it was extremely busy. Jim and Sarah came over to our house to take pictures of Nhu getting ready, while I was working on getting things together to take down to Arrowhead Golf Club, our wedding venue. Once Nhu had her hair and makeup done, we drove down to Arrowhead. Nhu and the girls had a bridal suite to finish getting ready, but the guys were relegated to the bathroom. After I put on my shirt and pants, though, I went out to the banquet hall so Jim could take at least some pictures of me getting ready. We then worked on putting flowers on everyone; I put my mom’s on her, and I attempted to put one on Nhu’s mom, but failed. I was then whisked away for more photos! Before I knew it, they were setting up our “first look,” where I saw Nhu in her dress for the first time. The moment was perfect, and it is something I will remember forever. We were then given golf carts, and we drove a ways down the course for more photos in a place that seemed to have been made just for the occasion. Finally, it was time to put on finishing touches and get ready for the ceremony.

I have to say, we chose our officiant very, very well. His name is Keith Horstman, and I cannot say enough good things about him and the ceremony he put together for us. It was exactly what we wanted: a blend of east and west, with just enough humor to keep everyone involved, and a touch of the story of our relationship. By the end, Nhu was not the only one holding back tears.

After the ceremony, there was time for more photos with the family while the rest of the guests enjoyed cocktail hour. Soon, though, it was time for us to be introduced at the reception. Thankfully, Nhu and I had ample time to enjoy appetizers and dinner before the speeches began. Nhu’s mom, my mom, Matthew and Jessica all spoke, and I closed. Everyone did a truly fantastic job on their speeches; they were all very powerful and reminded me how lucky I am to have such wonderful people in my life. From there, cake was cut, and dancing began. Nhu tossed her bouquet, which was caught by Tracy, a good friend of mine from college. I was then called over to remove the garter belt, but little did I know that a surprise was in store for me. I was blindfolded, and presented with a leg. I knew almost immediately that it was not Nhu’s leg though, as it was far too prickly. The jig was up, my blindfold was removed, and before me sat Jimmy, Nhu’s cousin, whom I had apparently been feeling up, with not a garter belt to be found. After the laughter subsided, I went to work and obtained the garter belt from the proper leg. My first toss failed miserably, but on the second attempt, my brother Taylor caught it. After that, there was much more dancing and celebrating. The evening eventually wound down, though we did not leave until nearly midnight, and did not get home until nearly one o’clock.

Our wedding was nothing short of spectacular.

Posted by nick.steinbaugh at 6:44 PM
Filed under: Friends, Family, Nhu, Colorado