This year marked our fourth anniversary, which, falling as it always does on the fourth day of Christmas, we deemed special.
On the 28th of December, the day of our anniversary, we drove from Erie (where we spent Christmas with Nathan's family) to Pittsburgh. I experimented with my camera, taking pictures through the car window as we drove:
In Pittsburgh, we enjoyed an afternoon at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. These indoor gardens surpassed my expectations, and also proved to be a great place to get started learning to use a new camera.
There were beautiful hydrangeas:
Interesting cactus/cactuses/cacti (I believe all these plural forms are considered correct; aren't words interesting?):
And all sorts of other flowers, from the everyday to the uncommon:
One whole room of the gardens was filled with electric trains:
The rainforest section of the gardens had many beautiful waterfalls:
And the whole place was decked out in grand style for Christmas!
[This is one reason I love that we got married at Christmastime -- the whole world just gets extra beautiful every December. When Nathan and I were planning our wedding, I remember little old ladies asking me, "But don't you want to be a 'June bride'?" And I was thinking, no, I really don't, because... Christmas!]
After we had seen every room and every plant at the conservatory, we checked in at The Renaissance Hotel (booked for a steal on priceline.com!) and then headed out to dinner at ELEVEN, a beautiful restaurant just a brisk walk from our hotel.
Dinner was fantastic. I started with the squash soup with hazelnuts, while Nathan ordered an appetizer of freshly made soft pretzels. Then for my entrée, I enjoyed a vegetarian pasta dish of spaghetti, brussels sprouts, golden raisins, squash, and pine nuts in a light sauce with a glass of chianti. Delicious! [Nathan had a burger and fries. Heh.]
[Having not taken the Nikon to the restaurant, these iPhone photos will have to suffice.]
Back in our hotel room, Nathan took a turn with my new camera and took some photos out our room window:
And that was day 1 of our anniversary trip, minus the kissy-kissy, smoochy-smoochy, stare-into-each-others'-eyes parts, which you can thank me for omitting.