Friday, October 17, 2008

Wedding Pictures!!!

Here's all the pictures Shelly took at our wedding. If you want the full size pictures let me know and we will mail you copies!

Wedding Day - Getting Ready

Wedding Day - Adam and Natalia

Wedding Day - Wedding Party

Wedding Day - Family Portraits

Wedding Day - Ceremony

Wedding Day - Reception

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Taman Mini

The day after Mom, Dad, Erin and Lee arrived was also the day before the reception in Indonesia, and so we decided to spend this day at Taman Mini, which is a theme park that is very close to Grace and Berthus' house. Taman Mini means Miniature Park. It is named as such because the park contains a large pool with miniature islands that represent the islands of Indonesia.

We picked up Mom, Dad, Erin and Lee at the hotel and then we went to the park. We were suprised when we arrived that there was hardly anybody at the park. This was likely because of Ramadan, and Natalia said it was normally more crowded. Not that we were complaining--it made it very easy to get around and see all the sights.

The first place we visited was the aviary. This was really neat because we saw all sorts of exotic birds, all of which were native to Indonesia. The aviary consisted of several large domes, which were split into two areas. The first area contained birds from Eastern Indonesia, and the second area contained birds from Western Indonesia. The zookeeper said every month they would open up the doors so they could visit each other. Just kidding about that part.

The aviary was really cool, and we saw many different birds. Mom and I talked to a Macaw for about 5 minutes, and we got it all on tape. I was taping for most of the time, but I did get a picture in front of the peacock cage. Don't worry, the pictures get more exciting later on...
After the aviary, which all of us really enjoyed, Dad and I especially, we got on the skyway, which was a cable car that was carried across the entire park. From the cable car we got a birds eye view of the park, and could see the miniature Indonesia islands very well. Here's a picture of the islands.
We actually got two rides across the skyway because we got to the landing area on the opposite side of the park, and the attendant just sort of waved us through! We got a chance to pass everybody, which was sort of fun, and back at the first landing area there was sort of a bump when you landed, and since Natalia and I landed first we got to see everybody react to this, which was pretty funny, let me tell you.

After we rode the skyway we checked out a few of the other sites, which included different churches of the area, which were true churches, and we were able to take a walk through an Islamic mosque. Very interesting.

Another part of the park contained the houses of Indonesia, which you could walk through and look at the architecture of all the different types of houses built in different parts of Indonesia. We only walked through one house, which was very much like a barn. It was interesting because it was built on stilts and you had to walk up two very steep flights of stairs to get to the living area. The upper living space was a very large room that was considered a common living area. It had ventilation on each end, which also made it very barn-like, and then it had smaller rooms all along the sides of the room, and each of these smaller rooms would house a family.

Once we got done checking out the house examples, we went to check out the lizards and snakes. I'm not sure what they call this place. They call big bird houses aviary. What a great name. I guess lizards are too ugly to have a name for where they live. Anyway, we went to where the lizards and snakes live, and we saw many snakes, including the Indonesian Spitting Cobra, and a Monitor Lizard, which is about two feet long. Natalia said this was the same lizard that was stealing the fish out of the Koi pond in her parents' garden! We then went back to the main attraction in the snake-and-lizard-iary, which was a Komodo Dragon. We actually got to walk up and touch the Komodo Dragon, which was pretty cool. Here's the picture of Natalia and I with the Komodo Dragon. It was pretty docile, but I was half expecting it to go, "RAAHHHHHH," and then go after my arm. Fortunately that didn't happen.
So that was pretty cool, and if we hadn't gotten enough of touching scaly animals, they had another feature close to this with a very large python. They let us go up and hold the python, which was really cool. I went first, and here's the picture. You can really feel how powerful the snake is. It's not slimy at all, but I could tell the snake was like, "You know what, this guy thinks he can keep a hold of me, but I could just squirm right out of his hands and coil around him if I felt like it. Well, I just ate that chicken yesterday so I think I'll just play along for now." Ok, so the snake didn't actually say that, but it did squirm around quite a bit. It was interesting because you could feel the scales of the snake sort of bristle out in a wavelike manner, which made it harder to hold onto, and would allow it to back right out of your hands if it really felt like it.
I thought I was really brave to go up, until my nieces went up and held the snake. There was also a little turtle walking around the snake area, and we got a really cute picture of Catherine and Celine.
We all had a really fun day, and it was nice to have a fun outing with Mom, Dad, Erin and Lee on their first full day in Indonesia.

Next up...the big reception!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mom, Dad, Erin and Lee's Arrival

On the 19th of September Mom, Dad, Erin and Lee arrived. Aldo, Berthus and I woke up and got ready that morning, and we left at about 11:00 to head to the airport. We needed to be at the airport by 1:15 to meet the group when they arrived. We got there just at 1:15 and were at the arrival gate by 1:25 or so. So we had gotten there a little late, and in addition we had no way to call Mom, Dad, Erin and Lee to try and figure out where they were. We waited and waited, and waited for about two hours, and we finally got a hold of them at their hotel. As it turns out, they were taken to the hotel by a shuttle service. As I had experienced when you walk out of the arrival gate, there is a mad rush of transportation service people who will very aggressively try to sell you their services. When Natalia and I had arrived, Aldo and Natalia handled it like old pros. Mom, Dad, Erin and Lee ran into the same taxi service solicitation, but fortunately were greeted by a man who worked for the shuttle service of "The Sultan" which was the hotel where they were staying. This man helped them get out of the madness and got their luggage in the car. The only downside to this was they couldn't contact us until they got to their hotel. As Mom, Dad, Erin and Lee were happily on their way to the hotel, Berthus, Aldo, and I were at the airport growing more and more concerned, yet also bored. There was one spell of excitement when Gunawan, a movie star in Indonesia, got off the plane. Apparently he was on his way back from Mecca. I acted like I was from the American press, "Yes, we American photo journalists use point-and-shoot cameras," and I was able to snap this picture: As you can see, not just anybody could have gotten that shot, but since I towered over everybody else it made it easy. I guess I could always be a photographer in an Asian country, if I ever felt like it. At the time I took the picture, I had no idea who this guy was, only that everybody was snapping pictures and crowding around him. I showed Natalia and Jane this picture later and they could barely contain their excitement.

So afterwards, we went to The Sultan where everybody was staying and met up with Mom and Dad. Erin and Lee were tuckered out, and had already gone to bed. Mom and Dad were troupers, and were up for dinner.

It was about 6:00 or so, and we got in the car and went to a great little restaurant where they served Indonesian food. They had very good Gado Gado, which is like potato salad with lettuce, and peanut sauce, and chicken satay, which, if you're not familiar with it, is grilled meat on a stick, served with hot sauce. Both were very good. Here is a picture of Mom and Dad at the restaurant. Both are looking a little tired!
We had fun and it was good to see Mom and Dad. We took them back so they could rest for the next day.

Back to the Blog

Hey all. I've got no other plans today but to take a marathon run at this blog. Let's see if I can get in all the remaining stories I mentioned, and maybe even some pictures!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Back home now! Still catching up on the blog

Hey All,

We got back home yesterday, and we are still catching up on the blog.

Yep, after Mom and Dad arrived we were busy from then on. We had the reception, which was amazing, then flew to Yogyakarta, Indonesia, where we visited several temples, including the Borobudur Temple, which is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. We then traveled to Bali, where we stayed at the Hyatt resort for five days. Let me tell you, it was rough, especially the constant pampering, delicious food, and countless fun things to do.

Of course, you know this means many more stories and pictures, which I haven't had a chance to post yet. Now that we are back home again in Indiana, I do believe I should have a chance to add new stories from the last part of our Honeymoon.

Stay tuned!