Amtraktacular honeymoon in brief

We have returned from our Amtrak honeymoon, wherein we took a lot more pictures of trains than of people. In hindsight, possibly not the greatest planning there, but our one people-seeing visit was sort of rushed.

For reference, our itinerary:

  • 3 Jul 2014: Northeast Regional, Philadelphia, PA → Washington, DC
  • 3 Jul 2014: Capitol Limited (Train 29), Washington, DC → Chicago, IL
  • 4 Jul 2014: Empire Builder (Train 27), Chicago, IL → East Glacier, MT
  • 6 nights at the Whistling Swan Motel in East Glacier, MT
  • 11 Jul 2014: Empire Builder (Train 28), East Glacier, MT → Chicago, IL
  • 1 night at Jillian’s (paternal) grandmother’s apartment in Buffalo Grove, IL
  • 13 Jul 2014: Capitol Limited (Train 30), Chicago, IL → Pittsburgh, PA
  • 14 Jul 2014: Pennsylvanian (Train 42), Pittsburgh, PA → Philadelphia, PA

On our way out of town, we stopped at the ticket window to ask some questions and turn some gift certificates into a brief trip to Boston in mid-August. One thing we learned is that our gift certificates do not in fact expire, as long as we redeem them in Pennsylvania and no legislator changes the law that specifies that Amtrak gift certificates never expire. So we expect to have our superpower of unlimited Amtrak for a while.

Michael’s mysterious rash helpfully developed into something that was obviously shingles while we were on the outbound Empire Builder, resulting in some frantic emails and phone calls to doctors back east, a frantic rental of a car, and an excuse to drive to a grocery store with a pharmacy to pick up antivirals (and other more ordinary provisions). This meant we spent a bit more time holing up in our cozy motel room together and eating at East Glacier restaurants, and a bit less time hiking the gorgeous wilderness than we’d originally planned to, but that was fine too.

PIctures follow behind the break. Continue reading

Wedding photos!

We’ve been slowly aggregating and posting photos from our friends and families, and a couple of early previews from our photographer, Kat Clark, on the Photo Archive page. Note that we’ve password-protected most of the individual photo pages, to protect the privacy of our wedding guests; it’s the same password we gave you previously. These pages will continue to be updated over the next few days/weeks as we get more photos!

Please email us at [wedding at spondee dot org] if you’ve forgotten the password, or if you have any photos you’d like to share!

Here are a couple of awesome shots from Kat:

Sitting together at the front of the church.

Sitting together at the front of the church.

Posing at 5th St Station on the Market-Frankford Line.

Posing at 5th St Station on the Market-Frankford Line.

Waiting for the subway at 5th St Station.

Waiting for the subway at 5th St Station.

At the end of our first dance.

At the end of our first dance.

Final reminders

We’re almost there! Whee!

Just a couple quick reminders for attendees, mostly links to stuff that’s come up before, with a few addenda:

  • Wear comfortable shoes, especially if you’re planning to walk and take the subway with us to the reception. (Highly recommended if you’re up to it!)
  • Saturday is forecast to be much less brutally hot (high 70s) than today (high 90s), but with a chance of scattered thunderstorms. I recommend keeping an eye on the forecast and planning appropriately.
  • We’ve written out some suggestions for fun things to do and places to eat in Philadelphia while you’re here. Also, the weddingguests mailing list is planning some kind of Friday and/or Saturday board and/or parlour gaming, and possible some kind of rounds singing event on Saturday and/or early Sunday morning. Let us know if you want to be added.
  • If you have a train option for getting into the city, we strongly suggest taking it, but then, you knew we’d say that. The SEPTA railroad strike only lasted 24 hours so you have no excuse. (-:
  • Copious directions to the church (151 N 4th St) and the reception hotel (1800 Market St), both on transit and by car, are written out and posted on the directions page. The church is right by 5th St/Independence Hall Station on the Market-Frankford Line; the reception hotel is two blocks from Suburban (Rail) Station, and three blocks from the 15th St/City Hall stations on the Market-Frankford and Broad Street Lines.
  • If you are planning to drive to the ceremony and/or reception, plan your parking wisely. There is much more parking available at the hotel than at the church, so we recommend parking at the hotel and taking the subway over to the church for the service if you can. Parking at the hotel is $10 in an underground facility; you’ll have to pick up a voucher at the reception to get the discounted price.
  • Parking at the church is in two tiny parking lots by the church, plus a few spaces at nearby Arch St Friends Meeting, and designated street parking. Never assume you will available find street parking in central Philadelphia, although you may occasionally get lucky. If you do park on the street near the church, you will need to display an Old First parking placard, which you can either print and bring, or pick up inside the church and bring out to your car.
  • The ceremony begins promptly at 2 on Saturday. Doors open at 1:15. Childcare will be available on the first floor; the sanctuary is up the stairs. The reception follows at 4; here’s the whole schedule. We’ll be super-excited to see you there!

T Minus 7 Days

For people who are either not Philadelphia-local or are just waking up: yes, our commuter rail system just went out on strike. Subways and buses are not affected. Hopefully, this will be resolved quickly and well in advance of people coming into town on Friday and early Saturday, but we will keep you updated. If the strike should persist, which we think is unlikely, it will not affect getting around Center City (i.e. from Center City hotels to the church to the reception), but it will make it harder to get in from the Airport.

UPDATE: Because Railroads Are Special, the Federal Government can intervene, upon request, in railroad strikes. That request was made, and the President is ordering everyone back to negotiations and back to work until February. SEPTA Regional Rail service will be normal next weekend.

In better transit news, the subways will be running all night Friday and Saturday night, for the first time since 1991. So we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.

We will hold off on a major driving/transit directions post until Thursday or when the strike resolves, whichever comes first.

There is now an e-mail list for guests who want to organize unofficial fun things to happen next weekend; let us know if you are not on it and would like to be.

Odds and ends

Because it does not quite merit a post, but it has not yet been said here: We are not changing our names. We are quite accustomed to our present names, and bold suggestions that we somehow concatenate them did not seem aesthetically pleasing.

By popular request, the schedule for the official wedding-related events of the weekend beginning ten days from today is now online in a findable place. We hope it will be useful both for planning and for planning around. We encourage guests to make unofficial plans of their own together, and suggest referring to the list of expected attendees and checking out the list of Philadelphia attractions.

And since it has come up once or twice in conversation, at the church service on June 21st we welcome anyone who feels called to be with us and share in our ceremony as part of the community of friends, family, and spirit.

Certificate-Pencilled

Here are the results of today’s obsessive task.