Thursday, August 14, 2014

My Wedding: The Honeymoon

[This post is part 4 of a multi-part series about my wedding. You can read about the rehearsal here, the  morning of the wedding here, and the wedding itself here.]

With the long-awaited wedding over, and after a day to rest and open up our gifts, my wife and I set out to the next step; the honeymoon.

Our original plan when we first talked about going on a honeymoon was to save money by taking a road trip within the continental United States. We assumed it would be fun, inexpensive, and a great way to start our long-term goal of visiting each state together. Maps and tourist guides were bought, hotels were researched, and we were just about to book our stay at one with  the ultimate goal being to end up in North Carolina (which has been a fantasy of Corey's for quite some time partially thanks to Nicholas Sparks books).

Just before booking the hotel, we realized that the whole process was just too stressful, too expensive, and too small. We found ourselves having to calculate distances between towns and gasoline consumption, subtracting hours of fun because of driving time, and not wanting to worry about all of that when the time came.

"Why don't we just find an all-inclusive resort for the same amount of money, spend it all at once, and not worry about that sort of thing for a second during the trip?" I suggested. Corey rolled her eyes at me because this had actually been her original plan. She was always more interested in the idea of sitting on a beach somewhere, but I had said "no" to that idea because I thought it would be too boring.

So what changed my mind? Stress and finances had only dictated that I did not want to go on such an intricate road trip for what was meant to be a fun and romantic honeymoon, but what had made me want to go to a beach?

The winter of 2013 was a long and record-breaking cold one. That's what.

Before long we had decided (with the help of a travel agent suggested by a friend) to go to the Ocean Maya Royale resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. We chose the location because it is adults-only, smaller, and less expensive than others, so with the money we saved on the location we bumped ourselves up to the "privileged" package.

It was the first time that either of us had been to an all-inclusive resort, as well as the first time either of us had flown on an airplane (which turned out to not be scary except for the scary parts). The resort was beautiful. Not too large, but not too small either. They had multiple restaurants, each with their own theme and menu, and they had multiple activities throughout the day which ended with a show and then dance party at the end of the night.
Photo of the daily events at the Ocean Maya Royale
We signed up for two excursions; ATV ride/tour and a full-day visit that was split between the Tulum ruins and Xel-Ha natural water park.
Photo of my wife and I on an ATV in a thick jungle-looking area.
We purposely scheduled the excursions for the middle of our week-long stay so that we could spend the first and last days relaxing, which included a couple's massage on the first day and a private dinner on the beach on one of the last.
Photo of our desserts during a romantic sunset dinner on the beach.
Part of the privileged package included meals at certain restaurants which were closed to everyone else, wine and chocolate-covered strawberries at our room upon arrival, and (our personal favorite) a private section of the beach with comfortable furniture, shade, and an exclusive waiter/waitress for drink orders.
Photo of my wife and I about to eat a delicious breakfast near the ocean.
Over the course of that week we each tried things that we'd never done before. We snorkeled with fish (I'm quite scared of fish), tried all sorts of food (why not try it when it's all included?), got the aforementioned couple's massage, and both realized we're quite fond of daiquiris.
A selfie of my wife and I swimming with snorkel gear on.
So much happened that it's honestly too much to sum up into one blog post. There was a lazy river, a chocolate martini-induced iguana sighting, a lot of Italian food, a finger-painter, a Grease show, more delicious food than I can recall, beautiful blue water, baby deer, a guarded bridge to a beautiful inlet, a waterproof camera, and a lizard on our ceiling.

On our last night (after the lizard), we reconnected with a couple that we'd met on the first day when getting our massage, and ended up staying up late hanging out, talking, and drinking with them until the wee hours of the night rather than turning in early as we had been for the rest of the week. They seemed legitimately bummed that we were leaving the next day, since they were staying for a whole extra week.
A photo of my wife, myself, and the couple we spent time with on our last night of our honeymoon.
Of course, we were even more bummed to be leaving. The honeymoon was more relaxing than anything else either of us had ever experienced before, and we found ourselves making mental lists of all the things we would do should we (hopefully) return. I would highly suggest this type of honeymoon to anyone, as well as the Ocean Maya Royale resort itself.

And yes, we really should return.

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