Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wedding Photos and Videos

Wedding Photos from Shai

Wedding Video highlights

Hong Kong Photo Shoot
- A video montage of scenes from our photoshoot around scenic spots in Hong Kong, beginning with a Chinese tea ceremony at Romina's home.

Baby Photo Montage
- A video montage of photos that show Romina and Ben over the years.
Photos from our Hong Kong Dinner Party (March 16th, 2008)

Hong Kong Photo Shoot

Hong Kong Dinner Party Photos

Photos you Took

Photos You Took from the Wedding

Submissions to our Memory Box

"Let's see... I think my favorite time is going to have to be when we rode jaguars through the jungle and discovered that spaceship buried under some rocks." - From Anthony

"We enjoyed your wedding tremendously. The care and design you put to the plan is enjoyed and appreciated by all. This is the best wedding ever. Wish you a beautiful life together." From The Hwangs

"Mitsurugi still dominates Taki. Congratulations and here's hoping Romina keeps you too busy for any more Soul Calibar marathons." - Anonymous (Jairam or Jerome)

"Ben, you are one of my most special friends from Stanford. No specific memories - so mnay good ones :) wish you both the very best always." - From Amita

"It would have to be that one time when Ben and I robbed that bank, and then we ate snow cones in the park." - From Anthony

"I think you already know of all the favorite memories we share together, so, rather than list those here, I'd like to propose a future favorite memory - when Shiyan and I name your first born! Best of luck you two. You totally deserve each other and I expect nothing short of greatness!" - Love, Mel

"I was jealous of Derek and Ben chatting in the corner at the scotch bar on my birthday! I'm glad he's taken now!!!" - Love, Melissa (Dattalo)

"I was going to write something about freshman year or sophomore year or junior year or senior year or Maui or Costa Rica, or DC, or Baltimore, but now I think I have to write about your wedding. AWESOME DANCING! (Ben, ow ow!)" - Love, Mere

"It was definitely when Ben and I went to Mexico and bought these kids onthe black market. We told them we were going to set them free in America, but we really just brought them here to resell them at a higher price. That was awesome." - From Anthony

"Hope you two keep laughing, having FUN, and enjoying each other :)" - Sunshine logo ---LaCona (yay Mirlo!)

"Ruining your Starcraft games, Messing up the dating service, "helping" you with "your" master's thesis, ejecting your CD during You Don't Know Jack, Driving to Kittery in a blizzard, Back Orifice, Ping of Death, Eating and stealing your cards during bridge, Copying my 18.06 problem sets, Late nights with 6.170, Missing remote conrols under your bed, Spice Girls, Pickle jar explosions, Dish soap stinkclouds, Soul caliber via .... and many other great memories. Congratulations!" - Bubby

"Romina and Ben, Happiness is a choice. No matter how hard things may get, or how much it may seem impossible, create joy." Bests, Cisco

"What a wonderful day, what a wonderful wedding party, what a lovely couple get together today. With our best wishes, and blessings, most important we also enjoyed it and shared the happiness with you" - Ping Wang.

"Dear Romina & Ben: May 10, 2008, "By wisdom a house is built through understanding it is established through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." May your home be filled with joy, laughter, and fond memories. And, of course, the pitter patter of little feet!!" Love, Auntie Shirin

"I remember you Romina as a little girl in Vancouver and you have grown into a beautiful woman. Good health and happiness to both you and Ben." Love, Elizabeth Betty Doherty

"So nice to have been able to share this memorable occassion with you." Beverly Ann

"Ro & Ben, The wedding is absolutely fantastic. I'm so happy for the two of you." Love, Rahim, May 10, 2008.

"Romina and Ben, May your love of food and life bring you much joy, new adventures, and of course, GOOD EATS! Congratulations!" Love, Debbie (Chang)

"Dearest Ben + Ro. It's us. You + me. Remember this day forever, no matter how hard it gets, remember how it felt today, remember how hot Ro looked, how handsome Ben looked, and how happy and overwhelmed with joy we are."

"Just two words: "pickle jar" Oh and trying to con a replacement out of Bose for that one." (MIT friend)

"Ben - A wedding Snkkt would be proud of. :) Romina Thanks for putting up w/ Ben's continued childhood dreams!" (Dave or Charlotte)

"Ben, Re-penetrate a vast firmament sometime soon buddy!" Jason :)

"Dear Ro and Ben, I feel truly happy for both of you and I wish you both the greatest happiness ever in your life. [chinese characters: zhu ni liang xing fu, kuai le!]" Love, Gigi

"Going to Europe. Leaving with passports and money still intact. Eating lots of nutella and banana crepes. Since when is Killington on the way to NJ from MA?" (Rhonda)

"Dear Ben, just remember the Mrs. is always right! :)" always with love, Julie + Eric [all in julie's hand writing] (yes Dear) [in eric's handwriting]

"Congrats to the both of you. Wishing you a fruitful life together." Love, Rebecca :D

"Ro + Ben, This day could not have gone better" - love Mammy & Daddy 10 May, 2008

"Wearing a trenchcoat. Hands in pockets. Watching sexy cakes." - Jairam

"Taiwan: I learned that you were sleeptalking and not trying to keep me awake on purpose. We had a ton of fun learning about the homeland, and we had some heated discussions about things I don't even remember now because I'm old. Also remember the many weekends overs stimulated from being @ the Rockaway Mall, 3 hours @ Primetime Playhouse , another 25 hours @ the AMC across the way, and finally SIZZLER. We were two classy guys back then. Also remember never wanting to leave your house after long weekends, playing Missile Command on Atari. - Much love to you and Romina in your future together." - Jim

"Ro and Ben: You are on a lifetime endeavour. Think of it as one of your trips together. We look forward to checking up on you periodically. Have fun!" Love Auntie Mariam

"Dear Ro :) and Ben :D Best fish I've ever had! (actually I was trying to write 'Best wishes' but I must have really liked your fish dish') My favorite moment of Ben was when he gave me a hug the 3rd time I saw him, and it felt nice and like family :) and every moment w/ Ro (especially late nights on the phone) I've enjoyed. :) Congrats and please have your first baby call me godmother? OK? thanks :)" Love, Jan, '08

"The blinking cursor....its mocking me! To many more ridiculous memories! First born suggestions: Shilissa (Shelly), Meliyan (Mel) ( if you have a boy, we'll have to regroup)" (Shiyan)

"I almost peed my pants (in happiness) when I thought about how the two of you have found your companion for life. May your utility always be maximized, and may your eyes always light up as they do now whenever you see each other. Best wishes, Ro & Ben!" - Jonathan Shih

"Climb every mountain... or, next time you go up Mount Elinor, call uncle George and auntie Mariam" (uncle george?)

Wedding Guestbook

Haminah Wahab - Tsing Yi HK Mar 14, 2008
Romina and Benjamin,

Chance makes you meet each other and love makes you share your life together. . . . .


Haminah and Dawood

Nader Ben Aissa - Vancouver, BC CA Feb 17, 2008
Heartfelt Congratulations From Your Cousin in Vancouver!

An Ode to Romina and Ben

Romina and Ben
fell in love when
their eyes locked some time ago.

A whirlwind romance
and many a slow dance
has led us to this fine event.

We wish you good cheer
and many a new year
spent swooning in the arms of your true love

Decades from now
grandchildren around
This day will never be forgotten

All the Best,
Nader Ben Aissa

Dean Ben Aissa - Vancouver, BC CA Feb 16, 2008
Congratulations my dear cousin Romina! While looking at the picture of you and Ben one can see how happy the two of you are and that makes me equally pleased ! With regret I will be unable to attend the ceremonies as I am soon traveling to Japan. I wish you two the best and hope to meet you and your knight in shining armor someday soon.

With love, your cousin Dean.

Uncle Wing Kam WONG & Auntie Sarah - Hong Kong HK Feb 14, 2008
Our dear Romina & Ben, This the BEST TIDING we have ever received for the year of the Rat. GUNG-HEI ! Will attend your great ocassion in the best manner we could. Cannot imagine a 3-foot child from the first time we saw you, now is going to build her own nest now ! Wow!
Congratulations! & all our best wishes to you both!
Love, Uncle WING & Auntie Sarah

Anne Li Tsuo - Tainan TW Jan 14, 2008
Dear Ben and Romina,

What a lovely website for your wedding announcement! Simon and I are long-time friends of Ben's mother.
We saw Ben for the first time was in the winter of 1982 (or 1983) while Ben was just a little one. We were always proud of Ben while he was growing up.
Uncle Simon has started up Motech Solar, a manufacture that produces PV cells, in Taiwan since 1999. If you have a chance visiting Taiwan, please do stop by at this sunny southern Taiwan, called Tainan.

Best wishes.
Simon and Anne

auntie esther - hong kong CN Dec 12, 2007
congratulations to you & ben.
may god bless you with a long & happy life together.

Shiyan - Menlo Park, CA Dec 01, 2007
Congratulations Ben and Romina! I'm so excited to be part of the wedding and you can bet the two triumphant bridesmaids will be telling some good stories!

Nancy - Palo Alto, CA Nov 26, 2007
Congratulations Ben and Romina! I will Save the Date! Hmm.. all of the pictures in your photo album have Ben's arm sticking out of the frame, holding the camera.

Weylin - Singapore SG Nov 26, 2007
You guys have a website for the wedding...seriously, that definitely says something. I am so happy for you both and so thrilled that you guys have been such a wonderful couple and are taking this next step. Congratulations! I miss you, Ro!

Rahim Wahab - San Ramon, CA Nov 26, 2007
Well.....though I wasn't the first.....but being the 2nd person to sign this guest book ain't bad! one and only dear sis....what can I say except many congrats and I am so so happy for you. I'm sure Ben will take good care of you. Sign me up for the big day! I'll see the both of you on May 10, 2008!

Melissa - Menlo Park, CA Nov 25, 2007
Hi Romina and Ben,

Congratulations!!! As you very well know, I'm almost as invested in this relationship as you both are, so I'm very very excited for you two and can't wait until May 10th!


Wedding Events

Wedding and Reception

Date & Time: May 10, 2008 - 4.30pm

Location: Aurora Inn
391 Main St.
Aurora, NY 13026
View Map

To reach Aurora from Ithaca, you follow the eastern shore north along Cayuga lake. Leave Ithaca on route 34, but make sure to turn left on route 34B and left again onto route 90 to stay along the lake. From New York and points south, you can reach Aurora directly from exit 12 off Interstate 81.

Driving from New York, take US80 west to 380W to 81N (about 190 miles) to either exit 8 for Ithaca for exit 12 for Aurora.

See link to google maps above for directions, or our beautifully rendered map of the area.

The Pier at Aurora Inn:

Additional info:

Welcome Picnic

Date & Time: May 9, 2008 - 5pm

Location: Upper Park (near Lucifer Falls)
Robert Treman State Park
Park Road from Enfield Rd (Route 327)
Ithaca, NY

For the out of town guests who happen to be in town Friday evening, we'd like to invite you to a casual picnic by the Upper Falls at Treman Park.

Coming from Ithaca, take Route 13 South for about 3 miles, then turn right on Route 327, take it for about 3 miles, then left on Park road. This should take you to the Upper Park entrance to Robert Treman State Park (note there is a small parking fee).

Additional info:

For any guests who arrived early and have no other plans, come join us for a casual picnic at one of the our favorite waterfalls/parks in the area.

Things to Do - Ithaca

Things to Do

The Finger Lakes region is a beautiful place with incredible natural beauty, great local wines, and great local produce. Here are our thoughts on things to do in and around Ithaca.

The New York Times is always a good guide: 36 hours in Ithaca, NY

Here is a more recent New York Times article on the wine trail:

Downtown Ithaca

The hotel school graduates many restauranteurs (among them Stephen from Top Chef Season 1) and leads to many great local restaurants. Here are some of our favorites.

French Bistro - Dijon
Casual New Orleans Food with live music - Maxie's Supper Club (Try the Grits, the Gumbo and the Jambalaya)
Fancy - Willow
New York style deli - Hal's deli - famous for their mini potato pancakes, potato knishes, and we also loved their corned beef, as well as the pastrami)
Hip Cocktail Bar with live music - Felicia's Atomic Lounge
Moosewoods - famous for their ubiquitous vegetarian cookbooks is also in Ithaca, though we are so-so about this place.
And local coffee chain, Gimme! coffee, has amazing espressos (even their decafs).

People are very proud of the local farmer's market. Great seasonal local produce. Great place to pick up breakfast or lunch on Saturday or Sunday.

Also, locals are proud of the Wegman's (like Whole Foods). And for the crunchy granola locally owned version, Greenstar Cooperative.
Also, several local science museum and a Carl Sagan science walk.


Has a beautiful campus on high hills between forested gorges and dozens of waterfalls. Visit the gardens and arboretums of Cornell planations. Take the Cascadilla Gorge Trail path from downtown Ithaca (Ben's walk to work every day in a staircase through the woods and by several falls), or the many other trails around campus. See the Johnson Art Museum (looks like a giant Sewing Machine, and built by IM Pei. Spectacular views of the surrounding area though).

Water Falls/Hiking/Parks

There are dozens of great parks, waterfalls, hiking trails, swimmig holes in the area. Listed below are some of the ones we've really enjoyed.

Treman Park and Upper and Lower waterfalls - with large swimming hole with lifeguard, impressive gorge trail winding up alongside tall falls a few miles south of Ithaca.
Taughannock falls - Tallest waterfall in the North East and a beautiful park by the lake a few miles north of Ithaca
Ithaca Falls - Most imposing/impressive waterfall in area. No hiking, but walkable from downtown Ithaca.

Some great secluded swimming holes under waterfalls:

Wineries and Breweries

The Finger Lakes area has great wines, and great local beer. We like Shalestone for reds, but dry Rieslings is the local specialty. The New York Times article (see link above) is a good guide.

By the Seneca wineries (about 45 min from Ithaca), we really like the restaurant Danos Heuriger (an Austrian style wine garden [like beergarden but with wine], with great local wines, creative homey Austrian food, a fantastic building designed by a Cornell architecture prof, beautiful lake views, and really friendly owners). Also a really neat secluded swimming hole is by Seneca lake (see link above).

Further Afield:

New York, NY (the city so nice, they named it twice) is about 220 miles away.
Corning, famous for their glass museum and the corning factory is about 44 miles away
Rochester, famous for Kodak, and its university is 90 miles away
Niagara Falls and Buffalo is 168 miles away.
Toronto is about 248 miles away

Important Dates

First Date: November 16, 2003
Engagement: July 20, 2007
Wedding: May 10, 2008

How we Met

In short, Ben was Romina's 21st birthday present. It was a pseudo-blind date that Romina's dear friends secretly orchestrated much to Ro's shocked delight and to a quietly opportunistic Ben.

The new hopefully permanent archive of the lives of Romina and Ben

The first few posts will mostly be reposts from our wedding archive, but we hope this will be a forum to share info about the rest of our lives.