Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Really Back

For all 2.4 readers of this blog (and probably even fewer who are still checking after this long hiatus), we've returned! The last month has been an absolute whirlwind. I don't think I have the time energy, or procrastination skill (that tells you something about how dense this time really was) to detail everything that happened, but I'll try to do a brief recap before swinging back into normal posting.

The wedding was absolutely perfect. We could not have asked for more. The ceremonies went beautifully, the reception was tons of fun, and the details were exactly how we imagined them. Best of all, we were able to celebrate with the vast majority of those we love most. A HUGE thank you to all those who helped make our special day way beyond what we ever expected (including family, friends, bridesmaids, groomsmen, incredible photographers, DJs, caterers, servers, cake makers, hair do-ers, and oh my! so many others). You can expect an actual written thank you soon. I promise we will get around to it.

We spent a grand total of about 6 ours in our hotel room that night, after arriving at about 1am and needing to leave promptly on the 7am shuttle to the Dulles airport to catch our flight to Puerto Rico. Incredibly, I felt more rested than I remembered in a long time that morning, having nothing else to PLAN. Wow. That's a great feeling. We bummed around Old San Juan that day, enjoying a little snooze on a old ledge overlooking the beautiful Caribbean waters. We explored some before boarding our cruise ship (the Carnival Destiny) that evening to set sail for St. Thomas, Dominica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, and St. Kitts. Highlights include:

  • Sleeping! I took a preemptive Dramamine the first night for fear that I'd get seasick (I did the last time my family took a cruise, and was fine after taking Dramamine). We fell asleep around 11pm that night and finally raised our heads from our pillows at 11:30am Monday morning. We went to eat something out on the deck and, made even more drowsy by the warm sunshine, I literally could not even walk down to our cabin. So we stretched out on some deck chairs until 3pm, at which point we (I) finally woke up and decided we'd better at least take a peek at St. Thomas. We had to be back on board at 4:30pm, so we came back and took a nap from 5-8pm (walking off the ship really takes it out of you!). We went and ate dinner and fell asleep again by 10:30pm. Mmm. Though I'm pretty sure the drowsiness would've worn off after a day, I decided to forego the medication after that since we were really only sailing at night, anyway (there was a port every day).

  • Winning the Love and Marriage Game aboard the ship! Announcer slash Cruise Director Lenny asked for the newest wedded couple and the oldest, along with one in between. When one couple with our same date volunteered, we kept our mouths shut. But then another couple spoke up that they'd gotten hitched the same day, so he started asking for times. We chimed in and conveniently used the latter of our two ceremonies to get called up on stage along with the couples of 52 (Santa & Mrs. Claus...not kidding, there was some joke about this and they just played it out the rest of the cruise) and 40 years. And...we won! Actually, we dominated. Lenny said that he couldn't remember the last time newlyweds won the game. We were presented with a fake gold cruise ship statue and champagne, which we traded in for sparkling cider and drank up on the Lido Deck under the stars. Entertaining moments included my response to the question of favorite honeymoon memory (snorkeling with baracudas in St. Lucia). Lenny made fun of me. Then read Dan's answer (the same).

  • The aforementioned snorkeling with baracudas. We swam over to the side of this cove and I got nervous about the old abandoned logs and planks in the water (what if something's hiding in there? what if they're slimy?). I didn't really pay attention to the long silver things floating next to me, merely thinking they were unusually cool. Dan later pointed out that they were baracudas. I'm glad I didn't know that there.

  • Scootering around Antigua. Dan had been wanting to rent a scooter the entire trip, so we finally managed it in our second to last port ($20 for almost 2 hours...we were top-notch negotiators everywhere). We took it to the beach, up some beautiful overlooks, and through random residential and rather run-down (hello unintentional alliteration!) communities. Though I got scared every time we pushed above 25...kilometers...Dan maneuvered the bike like a pro.

  • Snorkeling with sea turtles in Barbados! $10 for the two of us. Bigsweetsupercute turtles. Awesome. Enough said.

  • Eating way more amazing food than is humanly fathomable. Really, if you've never been on a cruise, it's difficult to even describe the degree to which we gorged ourselves. And it was all. so. good. Wow. Favorites included chilled strawberry and cucumber soups, mushroom caps, mango cardamom cheesecake, guava jelly, hash browns, molten chocolate cake, nicely arranged fruit, and oh my so much else.

  • Juggling. Comedy. Magic. Dancing. All were included in the nightly shows on board.


  • Being together 24/7. Married life is unequivocally the best.

So that was the cruise. It was the greatest. And the perfect honeymoon - SO relaxing. We didn't even have to decide where to eat for each meal! We sepnt another night in San Juan when we got back, which was great. We just went to the beach and walked around - so nice! And we stayed in an adorable little non-chain hotel that was right by the beach - highly recommended. It was so lovely and peaceful and the people were so nice, and the amenities top notch.

We returned that Monday (the 2nd) to DC, where my dad graciously picked us up from the airport, and where we spent that evening with my wonderful family. We drove back up to Philly on Tuesday, stopping along the way to buy some beautiful furniture, including a bedroom set and a dining table. We were thinking we'd make do with some Ikea stuff for a while, but then decided we wanted something a little nicer as a married couple. It's so pretty!!

The weeks after that have also been hectic - the following weekend, we flew to Salt Lake to spend time with Dan's incredible family and celebrate with a reception there on my birthday, during which Dan pampered me to no end. The week/weekend after was spent frantically organizing and attending the sealing/reception of the awesome Steve & Mickie, who looked absolutely stunning! What an awesome couple. They were both so smiley and ridiculously happy both days, which was so great to witness. Since we were in the neighborhood (sort of), we decided to spend the weekend in Niagara Falls since I'd never been. We were chauffeured and toured about by our wonderful and gracious friend and hostess Mar, and had a delightful time hiking about. Then a couple of days later, I went to Minneapolis for work.


The end. Of our traveling. For a while, at least. So now we're just trying to get officially and totally settled. Our furniture is built and arranged (thanks, honey!). Most things are organized, except for gifts we still have to buy with our gift cards. Couch arrived today (yay!). We'll keep you posted. Thanks for reading!