Saturday, July 7, 2012

Summer of Travel 2012: Princeton, NJ 2

Last weekend, I ventured down to Princeton, NJ for the second time this summer (check out the highlights of my trip down for Princeton Reunions here). A good friend was getting married, and it provided a great excuse to revisit many of the sites from my own wedding of a couple years ago.

We took NJTransit down to Princeton, and then hopped in a cab over to the Westin Princeton. Thankfully, we were able to check-in early, and while we didn't get the Presidential Suite this time around, we did get bumped up to the top floor. Nothing super special about the room, but the upgrade did provide free bottles of water in the room and a complimentary "grab and go" breakfast.

Our room at the Westin Princeton
The Westin has a complimentary shuttle that services the local area (especially helpful in Princeton, where the cabs are outrageously expensive). Unfortunately, while we had made a reservation for 12:30pm, there was no shuttle to be seen by 12:45, and we were about to be late for the wedding. We hopped in another cab, and made our way over to the Princeton University Chapel.

After a lovely service in the picturesque (but HOT) chapel, we decided to find a place to cool down before the reception. Though it wasn't open while I was a student at Princeton, The Bent Spoon is hands down the best place to get ice cream (or gelato) in town. Every flavor sounded better than the next, so it was really hard to choose:

The perfect cure for a hot day
Ultimately, my better half opted for basil and I went with blueberry marscapone - in shake format:

I love the fact that they over-fill the milkshakes

The reception was held at Prospect House (the faculty house on campus). It's where many of the faculty on campus eat lunch (and occasionally students for special events... though I was never special enough as a student). Our hosts had a very cute idea in lieu of table cards:

Needlepoint key chains

The part that I thought was most creative was the fact that each key chain came with a personalized conversation-starter suggestion:

They know me too well

The wedding itself was great fun (as weddings tend to be). I met Uncle Ed and he proved to be quite the character!

Afterward, we ventured over to Triumph Brewery for a post-wedding drink. They brew their own beer (as breweries tend to do), and rotate the selection throughout the year.

Beer selection at Triumph Brewery in Princeton

I'm a big fan of their Amber Ale, but had never tried their Zythos IPA - so I went with that. It wasn't nearly as hoppy as some of the IPAs from the breweries in Denver, but still quite good. And Triumph beer isn't available anywhere but Triumph, so it's always fun to pop in when I'm in town to see what's on tap.

We made our way back to the Westin, intending to watch The Newsroom on HBO before going to bed. Much to our surprise, the hotel didn't actually have HBO. They had HBO Family, but not regular, ole HBO. Fortunately, HBO GO came to the rescue and we weren't left hanging.

The next morning, we gave the shuttle one more try, and this time it came through for us. Back to the train station and back to real life.

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