Wednesday, March 21, 2012


After 10 years together, I have officially earned my tenure.  When Eric and I started dating and it became obvious that we were headed to "forever" I was lovingly told, by my then boyfriend and now husband, that he would not marry me until I earned tenure.  Eric defined tenure as our 10th (ten year) anniversary of dating.  You all know how that worked out...I won, Eric couldn't resist marrying me.  Here is our official ten-year'd photo:

Ten Years -- Celebrated on Skis
Lake Louise, British Columbia Canada 

And a quick stroll down memory lane
Look how young we were!

Now we are on to our next relationship milestone on our boy-girl adventure!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Robin & Eli's Winter Wedding Wonderland

Last week, Eric and I made the trip back across the Pacific to the frozen tundra of Canada, for Robin & Eli's wedding celebration.  We flew into Calgary and met (back) up with Emily, who also flew from Penang for the festivities.  The three of us quickly acclimated to the 30 degree C (55F) difference in temperatures and made our way into the Canadian Rockies to meet up with the bride, groom and our friends.

We spent our first two nights in Field, British Columbia.  Field is a very small mountain town located  near great skiing and Lake Louise.  Eric and I are not winter weather creatures and don't like downhill skiing as much as our friends do, but we found lots to keep us busy.  We visited beautiful and historic Lake Louise for the day.  We rented cross country skis and spent the day skiing across the frozen lake, exploring trails and enjoying the cold weather.  This was my first time cross country skiing and I loved it!  Looks like Eric and I finally found a type of skiing that we like!

 Look how deep the snow was!
 In the middle of frozen Lake Louise!  It was awesome!
We also celebrated Emily's birthday and our 10th anniversary (dating) during this trip!  We had lots to be grateful for!  We spent a lot of time hanging out in our cute cottage near the fire drinking beer, wine and eating loads of cheese and bacon.
 After two days in Field, we moved to Emerald Lake Lodge, where we spent the next 3 days partaking in wedding festivities and enjoying the hot tub.  The guys took Eli skiing before the rehearsal dinner where they presented him with his "gift" a yeti suit!  In typical Eli fashion, he gladly put on the full costume and hit the slopes for the entire day!
Eli the Yeti 
The ski crew
Robin and her Yeti

After the "crew" returned from the slopes, we did some pre-dinner partying in our room.  Almost all of the Michigan peeps were in attendance.  As you can see, we did not follow the "no outside food or beverage" policy of the hotel.  
We had a nice time at the rehearsal dinner, giving speeches and telling stories about our relationships' with Robin and Eli.  Of course, we ended the night in the 17 person hot tub under the stars.

Wedding Day
Eric and I woke up to a fresh dusting of snow.  I had forgotten how beautiful and quiet a new layer of snow adds in the Winter.  It was a stunning morning and a perfect start for the wedding day.
The snow covered Emerald Lake

After breakfast, Eric and I split up for wedding duties.  Eric helped Dave, Eli, Chris Amory and Bob build the Hopa out of snow and skis, where the ceremony would take place later that afternoon.  
 The Hopa --a true masterpiece

Emily and I spent the afternoon with Robin doing girly things, like hair, makeup and nails and helping the bride get ready for her big day.  
Jenn doing Robin's nails.  Note the blow dryer and Robin sipping wine.
Getting Ready.

Robin and Eli exchanged vows outdoors overlooking the Lake. It was beautiful, intimate and so special.  I'm not sure there were any dry eyes during the ceremony.  Just spectacular.  After the ceremony, we headed to the lodge and exchanged our boots for our dancing shoes. 
Heading to the Reception

All dressed up

Dinner, drinks, S'mores and dancing followed.  We had so much fun!
kiss, kiss

After the reception, we moved to our secondary party location...the hot tub.  This is how Eric and I go to the hot tub when temperatures are below zero.

The next morning we caught up with everyone for brunch before we all headed our separate directions, be it Seattle, Turkey, New York, Colorado, Hawaii or Penang.  It was so wonderful to have time with our friends.  It's funny how distance and time separates us but when we are together, even if it's just for a few short days, it's like we've never been apart.  I know we were sad to leave each other but we will be back together in 6 short months for Chris and Sarah's wedding in New York! We are looking forward to seeing everyone again and picking up where we left off! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Christie and Jay come to Malaysia

In February, we had the pleasure of hosting our second set of guests, Christie and Jay!  We were super excited to have them visit for two weeks, where we showed them around Penang, and took a long weekend trip to lovely Langkawi. 

We spent their first few days hanging around Penang and eating the fantastic food!  Christie loved wantan mee and Jay loved soup dumplings.  While Eric was at work, Jenn played tour guide taking our guests around to Little India, the Blue Mansion, China House, Cafe 55, and our local market.  We happy houred every night on our patio, eating homemade hummus, salsa and drinking margaritas and rum and coke.

Mid way through their visit, we escaped to Langkawi, to show Christie and Jay a little more of our adopted home country, Malaysia.  Unfortunately, Eric had to work and joined us a bit later on our adventure.  Jenn, Christie and Jay visited the cable cars and took in the great views and cool breezes of the island.

We also took part in the Island Hopping Tour, where we rode a small boat to three of Langkawi's 99 islands.

Pregnant Maiden Island

Eric joined us on Friday night and we spent the rest of the weekend enjoying the beach, drinking duty free beer, reading books and relaxing.

We returned late Sunday evening and had one more week to check out the rest of Penang's offerings! Here are a few more pictures of our adventures!

Budding Fruit at the Tropical Fruit Farm

Lanterns at Kek Lok Si Temple

Praying Monk at Kek Lok Si Temple

The Butterfly Farm is Awesome!!

We are so glad that Christie and Jay came and experienced our island home!  We had a great and full two weeks!  Visitors are always welcome at the Hartner's! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Travel Hangover

You know when you drink too much you get a hangover...well it's the same with traveling too much.  We have a travel hangover.  Eric and I are sitting in the Hong Kong airport on our 8 our layover between Vancouver and Penang and the thought of doing anymore travel makes us both feel nauseous, exhausted and a bit dizzy. 

By the way, does anyone know what day it is or what timezone we are in??  We do not.

Don't get me wrong, we feel extremely lucky to have had so many awesome adventures already this year (5 countries and 18 flights) but we are ready to be home, in Penang.  We don't want to book another flight, hotel or pack another suitcase for a few (or more) weeks. I'm looking forward to our "stay-cation" this weekend which will include sleeping in our own bed, cooking breakfast, playing with Coco and updating our blog with all of our travels, visitors and fun!