Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Wedding and Honeymoon

Several rather landmark life events have happened in the past few months, and I figured it was about time to  honor them with a blog update!  So here's part one of my life in a nutshell for the past three months:

WEDDING - We're married!!!  It was hands-down the most stressful week of my life that culminated into what was truly the best. day. ever.  I took my last final of the semester on May 9, helped move my fiance into our new apartment on the 10th, then we walked down the aisle two weeks later!  We had SOOO many people help us pull our big day together that last week, and it turned out absolutely wonderful!

Yellow roses have a special significance for us (after intense and stressful deliberation, a single yellow rose is the flower hubby decided to bring me on our first date), so that was our theme and the only flower we used.  Lucky for me, the save-money-and-do-it-yourself-bride, Costco offers bulk-order yellow roses, so the day before the wedding 200 of those budding yellow beauties showed up on my doorstep, just waiting to be crafted into table arrangements, altar pieces, and bridesmaids bouquets.  However, being a save-money-and-do-it-yourself bride does not automatically make you a smart one, and prior to that day I had never actually assembled a wedding bouquet or table centerpiece in my life - but thanks to my mother, a good friend/bridesmaid with a keen eye for flowers, and rolls (ROLLS!) of floral tape, any impending (/deserved) flower crisis was averted.  The flowers were lovely, just like everything else about the day.  Celebrating with all of the family and friends that are dearest to each of us, all in once place at the same time, was a truly special and once-in-a-lifetime event.  People came from near and far - one of my bridesmaids flew in from Brazil, and my brother-in-law even flew in from China with his wife and their new baby girl a week before the wedding, and he served as the combination minister/best man at the ceremony.

Afterward, the party boogied down the street to the Cowgirl Museum, which my aunt, uncle, cousins, and numerous other awesome friends had decorated perfectly.  The upstairs galleries of the museum were open, so guests could wander around and learn all about the history of American Cowgirls while they waited for us to arrive. :)  I still laugh when I think about how random yet completely perfect the venue was.  The museum is beautiful, but the cowgirl influence is definitely present, such as cowgirl murals in the rotunda or the life-sized diving horse statue coming out of the ceiling and hovering above us in several of our dancing photos.  No matter though - it's just one more nuance that made it our own unique, special day. :)

First Dance photo - note the flying horse

HONEYMOON - The honeymoon was equally as awesome and amazing as the wedding!  The day after the wedding, hubby and I headed to the airport to catch a flight south to Belize.  We landed in Belize City, then hopped on a 15-seat puddle jumper to take us to the island where we stayed for the week, San Pedro.  Twenty minutes later, we landed in the San Pedro "airport," were directed to a van which proceeded to drive us and our luggage exactly two blocks down the road, and were then directed to wait at the nearby dock for the water taxi that would take us to the hotel.  The boat arrived a while later, and safely deposited us at the resort.

The shore of San Pedro is interesting, because about half a mile offshore is one of the largest barrier reefs in the world.  It's close enough that you can see where the waves are breaking against it, but far enough away that by the time the water reaches the shoreline it has hardly any waves or movement.  This means the buildings can get extremely close to the shoreline because the water is always so still.  Our room was on the second floor and right on the beach, about 30 feet from the water, and it was absolutely gorgeous.  In addition to the beach, the resort had two different pool areas, a swim-up bar, and a "jumping rock/slide" that was fun but absolutely would not pass safety regulations in the U.S. (let's just say the water was a tad shallow for unsupervised two-story diving...).

Our week in Belize was a perfect blend of relaxation and exploration.  Several days we just hung around the resort or headed into the main town of San Pedro to walk around, and other days we opted for more adventurous outings.  It just so happened that my birthday fell during our honeymoon week, so hubby let me choose an "exploration adventure" offered by the hotel.  I opted for the Mayan ruins/cave tubing tour, and it was seriously one of the coolest things ever!  We took another puddle jumper back to Belize City, then took a 2 hour (extremely bumpy) bus ride into the mainland to reach the ruins of Xunantunich near the Guatemalan border.

Sidenote:  I've started to realize as an adult with CF that there are many small victories to be celebrated in the process of aging.  I often catch myself in the middle of groaning about unpleasant symptoms of "getting old" (such as the increasing number of gray hairs popping up all over my hairline!), and suddenly feel a secret little thrill that I am alive to experience such a thing.  One such moment was when, on my 27th birthday, I climbed a Mayan temple with my husband on our honeymoon.  I wasn't expecting any sort of surreal or existential moment while we were at the site, but while standing on the top of the pyramid, all the wonderful and significant pieces that made up that moment became clear, including all the little jokes and teasing about "being old now," and my heart was filled with joy, a little pride, gratitude, and determination for the future.

View from the balcony

Our resort (on a windy, rainy day)

The Mayan temple

View from the top

Waiting for the water taxi

After the ruins, we took an even bumpier road into the rainforest, which led us to a river that flows through a series of caves.  Armed with innertubes and miner's hats with head lamps, we jumped into the river and followed our guide through the pitch black caves.  After that, we headed back to the resort where hubby had arranged a surprise birthday dinner on the beach for us, right in front of our room!  The next morning he woke up early to make me breakfast, presented me with a new Bible with my new married name engraved on the front, aaaaaaand surprised me one more time by ordering a private couple's massage on our balcony.  Have I ever mentioned that he kind of (ridiculously) spoils me? ;)  He's always sworn he would never get a massage, so ordering this was a true testament to how much he loves me.  I thoroughly enjoyed the massage, but he found it simultaneously awkward and boring, haha.  Oh well!  At least he finally tried it! :)

Leaving Belize and heading back to reality was tough, especially since we started back to work only a day after we got back.  But we were also pretty stoked at the prospect of starting "real life" together.  We're still definitely in the lovey-dovey newlywed stage, but right now I'm more than ok with that. :)