For all of you faithful followers, can you believe that Steven and I have already been married for six months!?!? It seriously has flown by and I'm not sure I like it! I have a feeling I will wake up one day and be 65 with grandkids, not knowing exactly where all those middle years went. I love, love, love settling into married life together, but I do get sad at how fast this first year is going. I already have a crappy memory, and have to look at our wedding photos frequently to remember little details, so the more that time flies by, the more I miss the strong memories of our wedding day. I want to be married for lots of years AND have our wedding be a fresh memory all at the same time. Well as they say, you can't always get what you want. So I'll just keep pouring over our beautiful photos.
Welcome to paradise.
I began researching honeymoon locations way earlier than was necessary. I was SO excited thinking about the possibilities. We ended up choosing Curacao (pronounce is like you are healing a pig... cure-a-sow, with emphasis on Cure) after looking around for the most affordable tropical options. Anywhere else was a good $1,000 more. We knew we wanted an all inclusive resort so we didn't have to worry about money for drinks, dinners, snacks, etc. Because come on, we can eat. I didn't want to go to Mexico because I've been (to the non-tropical part) and wanted something else to add to my imaginary list. I looked up a bunch of resorts that were budget busters, and we even toyed with staying stateside. Well, I toyed with it during one of my many money freak outs, but thankfully Steven insisted. Then I happened upon Curacao which I'd never heard of before, and they had a very affordable 3 star resort. Since we've never been to any resort, we figured 3 stars would feel like 5 to us! I did an obsessive amount of researching and we booked it in June when the flight prices were the lowest.
Before I get into the actual trip, I have to say this. If you can take a honeymoon immediately after your wedding, DO IT. I know lots of people recently who have taken honeymoons later on, but that time together after planning the wedding and celebrating your big day is absolutely priceless. And if you can't leave the country, turn your phone off! One of our favorite things about our tropical getaway was that we were completely cut off from the world that week. We were those doe eyed lovers who didn't have a care in the world, had no clue what was happening back home, and liked it that way. I thank Steven all the time for not letting me cheap out of that honeymoon because we get mushy every time we talk or think about it! Here's another tip... honeymoon registry!!!! Our total honeymoon cost was about $3500, including airfare, 6 days and nights at the resort, all of our food, drinks, snacks and activities there, and anything we spent on the island outside of the resort. We got over half of that cost covered by our honeymoon registry! We also did a traditional registry for people who preferred that, and I think it was the perfect balance.
Awesome chess set at the resort! There is "Jimmy's" behind Steven, where we ate most of our meals.
This is long and I haven't even written about the honeymoon yet! We got in a cab at 4am the day after our wedding. We were so excited that I don't think we cared how early it was! We had that newlywed glow and we were so excited to be off on an adventure together. At the airport, we got through security and had breakfast. Afterward, I saw a sign that said 'family restroom' and got all emotional realizing that Steven and I were officially a family! Do you see the kinds of things my poor husband has to put up with!?
Welcome to Curacao!
This was the first time I saw our names like that. I squeed. Loudly.
His first time out of the country!
We had a layover in Miami where we ate Wendy's for lunch, and then realized it was 9am. Oops! We got into Curacao at about 2pm local time... which I think is the same as our time. It might have been an hour different but we never bothered to check lol! We were on island time! When we got out at the super pretty airport, we got our bags, went through immigration, and then saw a lady holding a Breezes sign (our resort). I would link to it, but apparently Breezes sold it to another resort this summer... I may or may not have gotten emotional upon reading that. Anyway, she whisked us to a desk where we got a folder of information and arm bands to wear all week. Then the original lady took us to a van. We were the only ones in it which was partially exciting since it made us feel special, and partially terrifying since she could be taking us to harvest our organs, for all we knew. Luckily, she took us to the resort. The views along the way were such a mixed bag! There middle class seems more like our lower class, so most of the houses reflected that. They weren't shacks or impoverished at all, just very different from here. It was fascinating! They drive on the right side of the road, but all their signage is different. We tipped the lady who drove us and that was the first and only tip we gave all week. Breezes is a 'super resort' and they don't let you tip anyone. Score!
Fairly typical street.
A fairly typical house and (small) yard.
When we checked in, it was an open air lobby so you could see straight to the water. I was about dying from excitement. Somehow, I never got a picture of that beautiful lobby. They put us in the Plover building on the first floor. While we loved walking out to the beach, we do recommend honeymooners asking for a second floor room lol! We loved the building they put us in because it was close to everything and close enough to hear the night time entertainment, without it being too loud. There are two buildings that are a good walk to everything and one that is known as the 'party building' right at the pools, and then this one which ended up being perfect! Of course I promptly made him go out and explore the resort, and walk on the beach with me!
We have debated moving here many times.
The patio at our room.
This is the outside of our room. See that giant window? Nice for morning views, but not nice for privacy!
View from our room.
We made dinner reservations for that night at their Italian restaurant, Martino's. It was the BEST meal we had that entire week and so good that we changed our last night's reservations so we could go back! It felt surreal sitting on this outdoor patio, dressed up at a fancy restaurant with my brand new husband, hearing the waves crash, and eating a delicious meal that we didn't have to stress about paying for! I was floating on a cloud that entire evening. We got drinks after dinner, which was really fun since neither of us really drink.... we had a great time finding drinks we actually liked that week. We would hear someone mention a drink name and then go up and order it. If we didn't like it, it didn't matter because it was all included! I sipped on a looooot of pina coladas that week!
On our way to our first dinner of our honeymoon!
I woke up bright and early, so excited for our day on Monday. I laid there for a little bit, trying to let Steven sleep. After I couldn't stand it anymore, I woke Steven up and we went to breakfast. They had TONS of breakfast food at Jimmy's which is where we ate every day for breakfast and where you would go if you didn't have reservations at another place. My favorite part was their delicious cappucinos and island fruit pancakes. They would have a different kind each day like mango, coconut, or papaya pancakes! The first day we had plans to go on a trolley tour we had booked. We had a bit of trouble finding out where the starting point was.
Because the salt leaks out and ruins the texture and paint, ALL of these buildings (any building you see that is brightly colored... which is tons of them!) have to be repainted every six months and replastered every two years. Can you even imagine!?!?
He barely tolerates my incessant picture taking.
Floating market where boats dock on their way to Venezuela to sell produce and fish to the locals.
The back of the floating market where all the boats dock.
This is what we thought was our trolley:
This is what turned out to be our trolley:
The tour guide insisted on taking our picture in front of the 'Wedding Cake House'. This house was built by a man for his brand new wife, as a wedding gift. I hope Steven took notes.
Whew, what a relief! We ended up being the only people who booked it, which totally make us feel like royalty! A private tour around Willemstaad! The tour guide was SO fun and friendly, and we had a blast. After the tour was over, we decided to try some local cuisine at The Iguana Cafe which was RIGHT on the water. The view was fantastic! We were brave and tried local food. Steven had a gezond which is a hard boiled egg sandwich (so tame!) and I had a kroket, which is a mix of meat that is lightly fried and put in a hot dog bun. It was kind of weird and I only later learned that it contained ostrich.
Lunch on the water.... so serene!
That afternoon we went back to the resort and plopped down in some beach chairs under a grass umbrella. I can't believe how much more fun the beach is when you don't have to lug chairs to and from and put up umbrellas! One of our very favorite things about our afternoon beach hangouts were that we got entire MEALS from the bar, and called it snack. Seriously, it was heaven. We would have lunch, then at 3pm I would get nuggets, fries, and a tropical drink. Steven would get a burger, fries, and tropical drink. We would swim/rest it off and head to dinner at 7. Disgusting and wonderful all at the same time! We had dinner at Jimmy's that night, played some board games in the lobby, and watched the Flamenco dancers with live music. Then we checked out the arcade game hut where we played lots of Pacman and air hockey!
Testing out Blue Curacao!
Live music and entertainment every night!
Me thinks someone was a bit tired.
Tuesday, I finally let Steven sleep in a little and I took a book and snack out to a beach chair. In fact, I was reading Style, Sex, and Substance which I know some of you will enjoy! I went and visited the resort parrot who did NOT like me and scared me to death with some really loud squawks. Needless to say I didn't spend any more time with him. I woke Steven up, we had breakfast, and then we got in a little beach time before lunch and heading to the ostrich farm.
Starting the day with a tropical sunrise, M&M's, and a good book!
Steven with emu (they raise both emu and ostrich).
Great hilltop views at the ostrich farm.
The hubs, semi-patiently waiting on the tour to start.
We were instructed to approach with our back to the ostrich, as they would peck your face otherwise.... Gulp...
I bought some gift shop loot, and then we enjoyed a cool "Coke Light" while waiting on the cab.
Sweaty, but oh so happy!
Stay tuned for an equally long and photo heavy part II :).... Hopefully it won't take me another six months to write and post!