...and we're off!

taking a year of pretirement to travel the world

on may 23, 2013, we quit our jobs and began our year of "pretirement." these are some of our adventures around the world.

a houston wedding and san francisco

our first halloween together - and the night parsa met kevin! 

anita, parsa, and i were roommates for our first four years in new york. i remember how stressed i was trying to find the perfect apartment for us since i was the first to move to the city (we ended up living above a brothel – ha!). i also remember the night parsa was telling us about how she was going to get that "mason boy.” fast forward six years and we were off to houston to watch her and kevin tie the knot! even after the three of us moved out of that apartment, we were still neighbors. then two years flew by and suddenly we were all leaving new york – anita was heading to business school, parsa was moving to palo alto, and i was pretiring with alex. it’s crazy how quickly change seemed to wash over our lives and take us on different paths. at this point it’d been six months since we’d last been together, so i was very excited to be reunited on such a happy and momentous occasion!

after a long layover and much delayed flight, we arrived in houston late friday night and hurried to catch the tail end of the gaye holud, which is a traditional bengali pre-wedding celebration. the second i saw parsa, my eyes welled up with tears. she looked so beautiful in her exquisitely beaded, dark green dress and jeweled hair. and kevin looked so dapper in his traditional bengali attire! the two of them were beaming, and i couldn’t have been happier for them. simply put, they’re perfect for each other. the banquet hall was decorated in hues of red, pink, and orange, and the choreographed dances that friends and family performed were so much fun to watch. it was a colorful way to kick off the weekend.

the wedding was held the next day at briscoe manor, a beautiful venue set in the texan countryside with grazing longhorns greeting us as we pulled in. it was a gorgeous afternoon, and the sun was shining on parsa and kevin as they exchanged their own written vows. i of course was bawling like a baby. more tears were shed later as anita gave her speech, and kevin’s siblings read a version of dr. seuss’ poem “oh, the places you’ll go” that they’d re-written to chronicle parsa and kevin’s story. there were even fireworks outside, which was beyond awesome. then the dj started blasting hits from the nineties and got us all nostalgic and dance-crazy. everyone had an amazing time – what a memorable night!

the next day the newlyweds were off to africa for their honeymoon, and we were off to san francisco, where we’d be spending a couple days with our friends julia and dave before we took off for asia. this time we had two quick layovers and a very early, hectic morning. we were beyond relieved when we finally got to their place. they live in a completely renovated four-story house in the richmond, complete with a backyard and two balcony-decks overlooking the city and ocean. julia is definitely the first of our friends to live in a real grown-up house, and it’s huuuge! alex and i jokingly (or not so jokingly) told them we’d be moving in after our year of pretirement was over. that night, julia cooked us a delicious meal and dave busted out several bottles of really nice wine from his impressive collection – a huge perk of living so close to napa. our friend andrew and his boyfriend dominic were also over for dinner, and by the end of the evening we were all happily drunk and ready for a good night’s sleep. 

we only had one full day in the city before our flight the next morning, so julia played hooky and we went gallivanting around town. alex and i had been dreaming about the burritos at taqueria cancun in the mission, so we stopped there for lunch before driving over to land’s end lookout and enjoying the nice breeze by the water. julia and i also got a little girly time in at the nail salon before we headed out and met dave for drinks at fat angel, their new favorite spot for good beer and delicious small plates. alex and i were so glad we were able to spend time with these two before we left for tokyo. it was the perfect last hurrah before we dove into the next chapter of our pretirement!

one of my favorite dances at the gaye holud!