Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Wow.  Not one post for 2011.  Guess there was nothing really eventful to blog about, right?  WRONG!!  We were obviously quite busy with our wedding, but wow, not one post!  Many, many apologies!

Well, before we get into the swing of 2012, check out some of our wedding pictures at  We had a wonderfully amazing wedding day... we couldn't have asked for anything different!  We were surrounded by family and friends in a gorgeous setting.  We got to rest and relax and go on several honeymoon adventures in both La Paz and Los Cabos (including San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas), Mexico... and we can't wait to return for our 1 year anniversary... just 278 short days away :)

Following the wedding we had 'local receptions' in both Bellevue, Washington (at Purple- one of our favorite restaurants) and in downtown Pasadena, California at a great location called The Rococo Room at Cafe Santorini.  We then treated ourselves to another quick honeymoon... at Disneyland!  Happiest place on Earth for two of the happiest people on Earth (yes, totally sappy and cheese bally- get over it).

We have now finished celebrating "Our First Christmas... as a Mr. and Mrs." (since technically, it is our 8th Christmas celebration together).  We have enjoyed having a week off together (of course Erin has had 2 weeks off thanks to her school-based calendar)... 2011 was a lovely and wonderful year... one of THE best years ever!  We are quite excited to see what 2012 has in store for The Reoyos!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wedding Planning

As you've read in a previous blog (or surely heard by now), Leo and I are in the process of planning our wedding.  Before even getting engaged, we had both talked about the idea of having a destination wedding (the idea of standing in the sand as we say our vows is very appealing) so having had a 'destination engagement' we only thought it was appropriate!  We went back and forth on several locations in Mexico and Hawaii and eventually decided on the Los Cabos, Mexico area.  Prior to making our decision, neither of us had been but friends has nothing but great things to say about the area.  Luckily we both had enough airline miles so we decided to take a quick trip at the beginning of this month to do some reconnaissance work (I know, twist my rubber arm!).

We had appointments set up with three resorts: Hilton, Westin, and Dreams.  All three websites boasted beautiful pictures of their resort and of on-site weddings.  All three had attentive wedding planners who, prior to arriving, sent us details and ideas for our wedding day.  How would we choose?

We decided to stay at the Hilton and truthfully, we had already "decided" that this would be the place for our wedding... the wedding planner sent us amazing details and we were in awe when we arrived at the resort.  And then we had our appointment with the Westin... WOW!!  Talk about wining and dining!  We were scheduled for a brunch appointment and upon arrival, we were treated to fresh pear juice that had adorable "E & L Wedding" flags in the fruit garnish.  We sit down to breakfast and are served a fruit plate that has "E & L" written in chocolate on the plate.  We visit 3 different guest rooms and in each room is a note saying "Welcome Erin & Leo...".  And then.  And then we go out to the balcony to look at the amazing view of the ocean and what do we see??  "E & L" is drawn in the sand!!  Oh, it's the little things that make you feel special.  Things that don't make you feel special?  When you show up to Dreams for your appointment and the wedding coordinator is not there.  I wish I knew how to repeat it in Spanish, but as Leo told the managment (who was scrambling to find someone else to show us the resort since our gal was a no show), "I'm not going to trust one of the most important days of our lives to someone who isn't organized enough to show up!"  In our hearts, I knew our decision was made before we even left Los Cabos- we were getting married at The Westin!!!  Since returning home, Leo has been busy corresponding with our wedding coordinator and our date is set for October 7, 2011.

This past week has been busy with engagement photos and considering designs for our wedding website, engagement annoucements, save the dates, and invitations.  Our dear DEAR friend Amy is a photographer at Artis Studios in Snohomish (right next door to Maltby Cafe... yuummmm cinnamon rolls...) and she and Rachele took some amazing pictures for us.  The one above was inspired by a photograph I saw in a wedding magazine but this had Amy's creative spin on it.  The one to the right is one of our favorites.

Today we went to a Crate and Barrel wedding registery event (our first attempt at registering) and were treated to delicious treats, mimosas... and heart shaped champagne flutes.  GASP!  I love free stuff.  No I LOVE free stuff... but REALLY?  HEARTshaped champagne flutes??  Coming soon to a white elephant gift party near you...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Photos: Best of Madrid, Segovia & Seville

  Click on this photo to enjoy some of our favorite photos from the first week of our trip to Spain.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 16, 2010

¡Lo dije sí!

There once was a boy from L.A.,
This Leo, he loved Erin K.
He asked her to wed,
It was "YES!" that she said,
Making the trip to Seville a memorable day!!

Can't resist a great limerick!!... Just wanted to share the news that Leo proposed on June 19 while we were in Seville, Spain (see the blog re: our Seville outing and insert "Leo proposed" by the end of the blog :) and we were fortunate enough to have an "engagement honeymoon" for the remainder of our trip.  We are so very happy and excited and we appreciate all of the support and words of encouragement from all of our family and friends!  We look forward to sharing the details of our wedding planning adventures as they occur.

Erin & Leo

Monday, July 12, 2010

Jet setting with Jess

HOLY TOLEDO- What a journey!! (and coincidentally I am currently blogging from Toledo).  It's now been over a week since I said good-bye to Leo in Malaga (tear!!) and hello to Jessica in Barcelona (woo-hoo!!)... we've been jet setting ever since!  After a quick overnight stay in BCN (nothing touristy- yet) we flew over to the small island of Menorca (about 30 miles long and 10 miles wide).  Jess, having just come up from futbol & safari festivities in South Africa, was ready for some beach time and some R&R in the sun (for those of you who know Jess well... she's kind of always ready for this... yes, her name is Jessica, and she is a tanerexic!!).  She was a tad jealous that I had a 3-week old tan (and for once, was darker than her) but that quickly changed within a matter of about 45 minutes (damn that girl can tan!!).  We bought some inflatable rafts for under 3Euros and headed on a beach trek.
Along the way (but not pictured here), we learned that the Menorcan definition of "viewpoint" (noted on the map) may be a little different from out own definition... while the picture below matches my definition, you might see other pictures on Jessica's blog.  We stumbled upon what we have affectionately referred to as "full moons, roosters, and clams without the night sky, feathers, or pearls"... that's right, we stumbled up on a nude beach... don't get too excited- the average age was about 65  years old (don't mean to hate on my friends and fans who are card holding AARP members... just don't need to see your bits and pieces and twigs and berries!!).  For those of you Seinfeld fans, you may recall the episode about Jerry's new girlfriend who lies around the house naked.  Jerry is excited until he discovers "bad naked".  He could add these activities to the list:  setting up or taking down your beach umbrella; sitting criss-cross-apple-sauce (although it feels so wrong to refer to it that way) reading your book; squatting down to take a picture of your young children; observing the tide pools... need I go on?  I think not.
Azul, azul, azul... Menorca

After our beach excurison, we headed to an area called Santa Rita for my belated birthday gift to Jessica- horseback riding.  We found out last minute that we would not in fact be riding along the beach but instead, took a lovely ride throughout "their farm" which is really in fact acres and acres of country-side and hills.  Jessica is a much more experienced rider who did some extra trotting and running where I was quite comfortable on my bigger, lazier horse (it was meant to be!).
Horseback riding around the countryside and up the hills of Santa Rita (including along the oldest road- about 300 years old) on Menorca.  Erin y Lero (no lie- that was his name) con Jess y Mimosa (a true Menorcan horse- all black with no white).

After two nights in Menorca (and some extra shoe shopping for some Menorcan sandals and Moroccan-styled billowy pants... yeah, you'll see me rockin' those by the time I return!!) we headed back over to Barcelona for three nights.  Barcelona is quite incredible!  I had heard that it was "quite touristy" and while that may be true, there are really too many sights to see within the short time that we were there.  We hopped on double-decker bus and were able to 'hop on and off' through out the city.  Not pictured here (because they are so massive that my pictures don't quite capture it), but some of my favorite sights were Gaudi's works of Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, and Casa Mila- such amazing architecture inside and out!  We also made a quick trip to the FC Barcelona Futbol Stadium so that I could add another scarf to my love's new European futbol scarf collection (don't ask what he is going to do with all of those scarves!! but the fact is, I know he wanted one so I was happy to get it). 

The following day, we took the train (an adventure all on it's own... it is alway an experience navigating foreign transit) to nearby Montserrat for a peaceful and spiritual experience.  It was peaceful, but also HOT!  We were sweaty hot messes as we toured the basilica, hiked down to the Sacred Cave where the original La Moreneta (small wood statue of "the black virgin") was found, and waited for an hour or two to see and touch the original La Moreneta.  While I am not religious, I was still able to enjoy the experience and the surroundings and even participated with other fellow tourists as I left a personal belonging in the Sacred Cave.  Many do this as "a prayer request or as a thanks for divine intercession" and leave items such as baby's Baptism dresses, wedding dresses, wax replicas of body parts in need of healing (I should have left a replica of my neck as I've had a knot in it for several days now... but after an exciting journey to farmacia tonight, let's hope it gets better!).  It was a really lovely experience (you may see that I use the word "lovely" quite often now.  I think it is a lovely word and hope to take it back to the states with me :)
View of the Basilica at Montserrat- about and hour outside of Barcelona

After our three nights in Barcelona (like I said, we needed much longer!), we head over to Madrid with 3 things on our mind: bull fights, flamenco, and futbol (by this point, Spain was in the finals and we were excited to add "watching the game at the fan sight" to our agenda).  After only being in town for about 30 minutes, we discovered that there was a bull fight nearby within the next couple of hours(bull ring within walking distance? DONE!).  We were both excited to see a bull fight... but I will be honest... I didn't really THINK about what a bull fight is all about.  Sooooo... there was quite a bit of blood and 7 bulls died.  Maybe there wouldn't have been as much blood if more skilled bull fighters were "matadoring" but it may have been open-mic night at the bull ring.  One of the matadors was 17 years old- 17!!!!!  And even though he performed quite well, he did get knocked around a bit by said bull... a 485lb. bull!  Another lost his shoes as he tried to stab the bull with what I said looked like spirit sticks (c'mon- you know that you know what spirit sticks are... even if you weren't a cheerleader or a danz-er, you know you've seen Bring it On more than once) and even another got knocked around so much that he didn't come back for the night.    
OLE! Bull fight in Madrid.

I would have liked more cape and less stabbing of the bulls...

The matadors were quite 'cartoonish' and had VERY serious looks on their faces, with furrowed brows and jutted jaws (or maloclussions... couldn't tell) and they did quite a lot of crotch thrusting towards the bull (no wonder the bulls charge at them!).  The performances with the capes is actually quite exciting... but I could do without they stabbing, dying, and dragging of the bulls.  Let's just say I won't be a season ticket holder (that AND the stone seats make your butt sweat... yes, there is a lot of sweating in Spain!!).
"Rushed the ring" after the bull fight.  Until this moment, I didn't realize you could see the path where the bulls where drug (dragged??) out of the ring...

We toured the Royal Palace and some other sights on Saturday before seeing a flamenco show and feasting on more paella and sangria (maybe a wee too much of Sangria so in true WT style we filled out empty water bottles so that we could have Sangria 'to go'... don't judge). 

[Insert monster truck rally announcer voice] Sunday, Sunday, Sunday: It was time for the big game!  We spent some time siesting at Retiro Park (I LOVE that park!) and then took the metro up to the Real Madrid/Bernabeu Stadium to watch the game with thousands and thousands of fans... only to discover that no one was there!!  The fan sight had been moved so we set off on foot and found those thousands, thousands, and THOUSANDS of fan- it was incredibly packed with fans in red and yellow, waving flags, and cheering "E-span-a!!"  After a quick trip to the market, we were armed with two liters of water, a bag of jamon flavored chips, two bags of corn-nuts, a package of havarti cheese, and two 40's of lukewarm Mahou beer... dinner of campeones!!  As you have likely heard, SPAIN WON THE WORLD CUP!!  Never could we have imagined they would have made it that far, much less win, when we had planned this trip.  Thank you universe for working out that way!

Fans, forties, and futbol.


Today we took the AVE train to Toledo and spent the day touring this beautiful city (the original capital), siesting, and feasting on a local specialty- alubias con codorniz (white bean stew with quail). 

Train station in Toledo

Holy Toledo!  What a beautiful city!

Tomorrow, we have another full day in Toledo but will spend the night back in Madrid before my Wednesday flight back home and Jessica's trip to Grenada- one of the many stops she has on her 'tour around the world' (I think I'm finally "ready to talk about it"... but am still sad and will miss her!!). This month in Spain has been full of incredible experiences and I can't wait to share the many other stories and photos that didn't appear on this blog!! See you soon!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


A quick check-in after being on the road since Sunday... we'll post some more detailed descriptions and photos later (or share our stories upon return) but have had another amazing couple of days.

After a quick morning trip to visit "GIB" (Gibralter) and going to the top of "The Rock", on Sunday, we drove further east on the Costa del Sol to the small costal town of Nerja.  Such a beautiful town, known for it's touristy "Balcon de Europe", caves, and toes-in-the-sand paella meals.  We also found the best cherry ice cream I've ever had in my life.  In. My. Life.

After one night there (and as our wonderful hosts at the Hostal Miguel told us, "you'll wish you stayed longer"- and we do!!) we headed North to Granada.  This is the season for the International Arts Festival so several months ago, we purchased tickets to watch the Boston Ballet perform in the Generalife outdoor theatre (ballet under the stars- are you kidding me?!?!) at the Alhambra.  The next day we toured the Alhambra (the pictures you'll eventually see won't even come close to doing it justice) and the Royal Chapel, ending our evening in a local bar cheering on Spain's win over Portugal (keeping fingers crossed for Spain to be in championship game since Jess and I will be in Madrid at the time of that game).

Yesterday, we left Granada for a road trip to Ronda, a beautiful white hills town known for being the birth place of modern bull-fighting (their bull fights don't begin until September but we toured the ring and museum) and for this amazing bridge that spans a gorge that separates the old and new parts of town.  While Leo cooled off in the shade with beer and olives, I decided to do the hike down (not nearly as hard as the hike up!) to get better pictures of the bridge and the gorge- definitely the high of my day yesterday!  Exhausted from the heat and sightseeing, we drove the winding road back to the coast, happy to be back in our "home away from home".

Today's agenda: poolside.  All. Day. Long.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A day spent with an Angel

Today was an AMAZING day... we went on an adventure that will go down as one the most memorable culinary and spiritual experiences.  In the Ronda Mountains there are many quiet White Hills towns.  Today we found ourselves (via guide and as it turns out, with two other lovely couples) in the town of Gaucin as well as 'the other side' of Gaucin near the train station.  Here we were introduced to Angeles, the chef and owner of Caserio Ananda.  She is a self-taught chef from a family of 10 children following generations and generations of 'family chefs'.  Her idea is that food should be simple, you should know where your ingredients come from (and what they are), and that your food is made with love... and it was (and lots and lots of garlic and olive oil!).  The fact that she welcomed us into her kitchen and invited us to be a part of the preparation and presentation of the meals was touching (and I won't lie, at times this afternoon, I did get a bit choked up).  We don't have sheets of recipes to take home, but we have better than that- we have memories of this hands-on experience that we plan to share with those we love!  Amy- recipes to add to our summer bucket list.  Bruces and Beckerleys- a MUST DO when you come in the spring!! 

Fresh veggies- YUM!!

Angeles believes in the open flame and prepares most (if not all) meals this way (i.e. roasting vegetables rather than sauteeing them... at least doing the sautee after they have been roasted).  You
can imagine how wonderful it smells in the restaurant.

Let's eat!

Outside of Caserio Ananda

Following a memorable meal- pictured here with Chef Angeles

... oh and Dana, wait until you see the door I have for you... 17th century original.  That just happened.