My Time in Baltimore (Post FNCE) and Carolyn's Wedding

After FNCE I headed home to Baltimore to see my family, some friends, and attend one of my best friend's weddings.  The US is a long way from Japan so going for just a few days doesn't make a lot of sense.  Although Houston is not close to MD, it is closer than I would be from Japan.  Plus, my friend Carolyn had asked me to be a bridesmaid and I was truly honored to be a part of her special day.  

More on that in a little bit.  First up I have some pictures of my random, delicious, and American eats.

My mom recommended a Kosher dairy restaurant that was somewhat new in my hometown.  She recommended the soup, which was perfect because since it was a dairy restaurant none of the soups would have meat in them.  This barley vegetable soup was great!
I ended up ordering the sweet potato fries to go along with it.  Pretty tasty!
This was a tasty, nutritious breakfast I enjoyed one morning while home.  Lots of fruits and veggies.
Next up is a wonderful Thai dinner at a place called Spice and Dice with another one of my best friends and her husband.  Mer and I went to high school and college together and her husband Matt went to College with us.  Meredith is one of my oldest and dearest friends.  I was so glad we could work out a night for dinner.

Obviously not my beef dish.  Matt had this.
Mer and I shared these cheesey rolls.
I had this awesome shrimp pad Thai.
No idea what this is, but I know they liked it!
Matt had this and I believe it was something spicy.
And here is Marshall, Mer and Matt's son.  He is such a cutie!  And so well behaved.
Plus, he has a good appetite and is happy to eat all kinds of healthy foods (mom and dad brought avocado and lentils along for his dinner, but he was also a fan of the Thai options).
After a few days in Baltimore, I headed up to PA for Carolyn and Steve's wedding.  Here is my welcome goody bag.
The first thing I did was head over to my friend Laura's house because she lives in the same area and had just had a baby.  My other friend Naomi came over so that I could see everyone all at once.  If you have been reading my blog for a long time you may remember that I went to a friends wedding in Spain.  That was Laura.  And Naomi was there too.  I have known them for quite some time too.  Actually, I have known them both now for just over 20 years.  Crazy!  We went to summer camp together and have stayed in touch for all these years.  I was so glad I got to see Laura and her newborn baby girl.

Later that night we headed over to the 'out of towners' dinner.  Carolyn was my roommate in Baltimore when I did my dietetic internship.  We only lived together for a few months but we have stayed in touch ever since.  She is a great friend.  Knowing I have limited time every time I come to Baltimore, she would come down from Philly to visit, even if it was just for dinner.  She is one of the most thoughtful and kind people I know.  She was a great roommate and remains a great friend.

Although she was not a bridesmaid in my wedding (only my sister was), she was a very important part, helping with my bridal shower and bachelorette party.  In fact, she was my distraction person to take me out and about so I could come home and be surprised for my bridal shower.  I was so very happy to be a part of her special day.

Here is what we had at the dinner.  Salad to start.
Rachel (my sister was my date) and I both had the fish, which was awesome.  We both really enjoyed it.
Dessert was a platter of desserts for the table, which we all enjoyed.
Here I am with the other bridesmaids and the bride.
The next day we were up early to start getting ready in the bridal suite.  Cheers!
Carolyn's mom got us a nice selection of food so that we were not starving before the wedding.  She even got separate vegetarian wraps for me and my sister.
Lots of veggies!
Lots of fruit too!
Then it was time to get to business.  These are the bridesmaid's dresses.  I had not met the other two bridesmaids until the dinner the night before but we all clicked and they made me feel really welcome.  Amazingly we all ended up with similar dresses that looked great together.
This is Carolyn's beautiful dress.
Here is the beautiful bride!
Here I am in a nice staged photo helping Carolyn getting ready.
Here I am with the bridesmaids and bride as we took photos before the wedding.  Thankfully the weather was great because this was late October in Philly so it wasn't a slam dunk for perfect weather.  We really lucked out.  It was perfect.
This is one of my favorite wedding photos.  So cute!
This is the ceremony.
When we got inside to our table after the ceremony and cocktail hour, we spotted the special treat from the bride.  She is well known for her baked goods.  In fact, she was always baking when I lived with her and her traditional Christmas gift is homemade cookies.  So this was not surprising to me at all.  She made 3 different kinds and included these as favors for their guests.  Yum!
The happy bride and groom.
This is our table.
The lovely wedding cake.  Carolyn met Steve playing football.  Carolyn played rugby in college so playing football is not a far stretch.  She is also a skier and generally does a lot of outdoors activities.
Dinner started with a nice salad.
Rachel and I both ordered the vegetarian entree.  Actually, I think we were the only ones that got this.  It was a quinoa stuffing ball.  Interesting and pretty tasty.
Cake time!

Later in the evening Carolyn and Steve changed into their traditional Korean wedding outfits.  Steve is Korean and his mom and female family members wore traditional dress for the entire evening.  It was pretty cool!
The night ended with everyone heading to the bar at the hotel and hanging out there.  We had a great time and everyone made me feel right at home even though I really didn't know anyone and had traveled so far.

For lunch the next day before we headed home, Rach and I went to Seasons 52, which I love!  If you have never been, check to see if there is one near you and definitely try it out.
Rachel and I ordered a few things to split.  One was a flat bread, which they are known for.  Lots of good choices.
We also split the vegetarian platter.  Lots of tasty options to try out.
For dessert, we each ordered one.  They were the first to do the little desserts in single serve cups.  They are about 4-5 bites each.  Just enough!  Rach had carrot cake.
I had a chocolate dessert.
Last up was my final dinner at home with my parents before heading back to Japan.  We went to Earth, Wood and Fire.  We all started with the crab soup, which was awesome!
Next up was one of the most amazing things I have ever tried.  These were stuffed jalapenos.  They were fresh, not breaded and fried.  I have never had a jalapeno baked like this.  It was so fresh and amazing.  Delish!
Then Rach and I split a pizza.  Veggies minus the cheese (Rach is lactose intolerant, or as she says, she is a lactard).  It was tasty. 
That was it for my time back in the states.  I boarded a plane early the next day and headed back to Japan.  And what was the first thing I did when I got home?  I went for sushi!  I had to stay overnight in the airport (there is a hotel) so I went to one of the sushi places to get some dinner.  Yum!  Yum! Yum!

That was it for my time home.  Then it was back to the base and back to my normal routine.

QUESTIONS:  Whose was the last wedding you went to?  Have you ever been a bridesmaid?  Have you been to Seasons 52?