Category Archives: honeymoon

the old college try

The other night we arrived home from honeymoon to a refrigerator that contained approximately 17 semi-used containers of condiments, half of a bag of dried-up baby carrots, and four* bottles of champagne. It’s clear what our priorities were before the wedding.

Here’s another thing we arrived home to:

It was apparently so hot in our house while we were gone that this candle melted. Or at least, slumped over in a permanently drunken stupor. I heard it was 113°F here on Monday, which means it was very likely — in my best estimate — 147°F inside of our closed-up home. This prompts me to wonder: why was the weather this year so consistently cool and foggy all the way up through our wedding, and then it suddenly decided to explode violently into summer while we were off battling rain and clouds in Vancouver? Which in turn prompts me to reflect on the fact that I will clearly never be satisfied with the outcome of anything, because if I’d actually been here during the heatwave I would have spent the entire time sprawled in a damp heap on the couch, moaning woefully about my impending sweaty death. HA HA. Karmic payback, to be sure. I knew I shouldn’t have taken that last maple bar from the kitchen at work.

In other news, our mail pile contains several envelopes addressed to Mr. & Mrs. Hislastname. The ones that kill me the most are the ones that are addressed to Mr. & Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname. Because it’s not enough that I should take his last name, right? His first name must also be conferred on me, as if upon marriage my individual self deflated like a party balloon; collapsing and synthesizing with my husband’s. I’ve now become an extension of him — a new appendage, perhaps? Which is obviously not me overreacting for the sake of humor, or anything. Far be it from me to throw a sanctimonious fit about taking the road less traveled and expecting everyone else to already know exactly where I went on the journey.

The most frustrating thing is that not taking his last name feels like a statement, when really it is just another decision in a long string of decisions I’ll make in life. I chose the chunky peanut butter; I kept my last name. Hell, the next time I go to the grocery store, I may choose creamy peanut butter — and one day I may decide to adopt the beau’s last name after all. My current decision is not a caterwauling cry against The Patriarchy, and yet it is, because you can’t talk about family names without invoking history, feminism, social expectations, and gender norms. But at the root of all this it’s still just me, here. I made this decision because it was right for me, like how many of my friends took their husband’s last names because it felt right for them. Sometimes I think the hardest thing about being a woman is that you can’t make a life decision and have it just be about you. It’s about everyone else — how does your husband feel about you keeping your last name? What about the children? You are having children, right? Tomorrow, right? What about his parents? What about your career? But here I go, lapsing back into resentment about others’ reactions and assumptions. Just like I did during the wedding planning, when I bristled over what people thought of our budget, our dessert choices, my dress. I see now that I’m part of the problem, too. I bought into placing value on these perceived barbs, which were really just words. How easily we get trapped in this virtual hall of mirrors. Right now I’m just concentrating on finding the most accurate reflection.

So. There’s that.

And there’s also the matter of the wedding photographs. Can I tell you a secret? We’ve actually had the link to an album one of our photographers made from pictures of our wedding for one whole week, and I have not been able to bring myself to click on it. I KNOW, RIGHT?? I am not sure what’s wrong with me. It’s not that I’m afraid that looking at these photos will, to wield what I believe is a phrase coined by Meg, shake off the glitter. It’s just… I’m not entirely sure. All I know is that whenever I think of clicking that damn link — which is often — my heart starts racing and I get into that old itchy, squirmy, incredibly tense mode that immediately descends upon me whenever I watch earnest and unsuspecting people get interviewed by comedians for satire. MUST FLEE ROOM NOW.

While I work up the nerve to actually look at my wedding photos, I’ve been working on figuring out where to draw the privacy line. I haven’t remained totally anonymous — a few photos of my face have crept onto this site, and I use my real first name, but still. None of my family and only a few of my friends know I have a blog, and I’d like to keep it that way. On the other hand, this blog has been blessed to remain a congenial gathering place with a small number of kind and intelligent readers, so posting photos here will feel like sharing with old friends. Yet on the other other hand, once I post my wedding photos they are out on the internet for anyone to look at. So like I said, I’m just trying to sort this all out.

You know what might help provide some clarity? A poll:

Tell me what you want, guys! Tell me what you want*** and I’ll make it happen. Because it’s not just about me here. It’s about you. All three of you.****

And with that, I’m off to corral my thoughts. I have already begun about a half-dozen jumbled stream-of-consciousness essays on various wedding-day topics, and now I actually have to, like, whip them into nice, decent, respectable posts. You know, the kind of posts you’d take home to mother.

Yeah, wish me luck with that endeavor.

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* I originally tweeted that there were merely three bottles of champagne in our fridge. I stand corrected.

** FINE! HERE! JESUS. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!

*** What you really really want!

**** I’m just sayin’ though, I was talking to these readers, you know, and, and I don’t put enough emphasis on the readers sometimes. I was talking to a reader she was talkin’ ‘bout how there was so many posts in her RSS feed, she gotta drink coffee to stay awake, she gotta read like 9200 blogs back to back and ain’t nobody really try to find out, you know, what she feel and how she feel. You know what she told me? Check it out. She said OHHH, OH OH OH OH, she said she wants some Jezebel, some Huffington Post, a little LOLcats, we’ll definitely set this party off right.

off the grid

You know that ridiculously starry-eyed, all-consuming, fleet-footed, fiery-passioned storybook romance into which people in movies and on TV are always falling? The internet and I have long had that kind of relationship. Which is why being on honeymoon for the past nine days has felt so very much like a cruel estrangement. You know what the saddest thing is? I barely even missed it. The internet, that is. I KNOW. I’m not sure what this spells for our future together, but I’m willing to try to make it work between us again. Honest.

Meanwhile, as I’ve turned my attention to my new husband* and our concentrated efforts to consume all of the food and booze in the entire province of British Columbia, new blog posts have flooded my Google Reader and countless emails and messages have stacked up in my email inbox. Apparently life — and the internet — staggered on without me.** I’m truly humbled by and grateful for the kind words many of you wrote to me before and after my wedding. I promise to catch up on responding to you guys in the coming days. Cross my heart and hope to die.

So. Here I am on the last day of our honeymoon. I am typing this from the very large deck of a very large suite, to which the hotel staff upgraded us for free due to construction noise near our old room. There is a Canadian flag flapping from a pole behind me. I am wearing a bikini. We are drinking Alberta Springs rye whisky and ginger ale. Being on honeymoon is clearly horrible, right?And yet I can still feel my stomach clench at the prospect of leaving on a jet plane tomorrow. For tomorrow I will officially resurface back in the Real World, and I am not talking that old MTV reality show. I am talking my old life, which is all kinds of blah and work and housecleaning and meh. But at least I still have you guys, right? And the internet. Oh, I love you internet. How I’ve missed you so.

Be back later with more. I’m not done talking about the wedding yet, folks. Much to your chagrin, I know.***

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* Gah. Part of me still wants to throw up a little in my mouth when I say or write that. Sorry, getting married hasn’t changed me. I am still an unsentimental jerk.

** And yet MY HEART WILL SOMEHOW GO ON, and now I TOTALLY HATE MYSELF FOR PUTTING THAT SONG IN MY HEAD. And now you do, too.

*** Why do even you keep reading? Do you LIKE torturing yourself?

so that’s done then

It was terrible and beautiful and stressful and fun.

Our Facebook pages have already been flooded with pictures from our pals, including this one which was taken by a dear friend during our grand entrance to the Beastie Boys classic “Sabotage” (hence the aviator sunglasses).*

I’m writing from the airport in LAX as we await our flight to Vancouver. It’s strange seeing the beau wearing jewelry, but otherwise it’s been like regular life again. Except that neither of us is has to work on a Monday and I’m about to go get a cocktail in the middle of the lunch hour. But yeah. Regular life and stuff.

I’ll be back later. I understand they have the internet in Vancouver, so perhaps I’ll post once or twice during the honeymoon. Or perhaps not. We’ll see how it goes.

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* We wanted a cop car so that we could roll over the hood in slow motion, but the cost and hassle of setting that up in the courtyard of the museum was prohibitive, to say the least.

yes, please

As we keep plugging away at our task list, I’ve discovered the only parts of wedding-related planning that really get me hot and bothered anymore are the parts that are entirely unrelated to the actual wedding. Namely, the bachelorette party and the honeymoon.

I’ve made some real strides lately in planning both of these little nuggets of sheer, unadulterated fun, and let me tell you, they’ve been a welcome respite from the kind of wedding stuff that makes me want to lie down on the floor and pitch a feet-kicking, eardrum-piercing fit. Since the anticipation of the bach party and the honeymoon is currently making me feel like frolicking around the room in deranged ecstasy before making out with a total stranger* from the sheer joy of it all, I want to TELL YOU ALL ABOUT THEM. You cannot stop me!

THE BACHELORETTE

The bach party will be in August in Palm Springs. PALM EM-EFFING SPRINGS. In what is probably the only wedding blog industry-related thing I will ever do, I am going to attend The Flashdance’s once-monthly Sunday night dance party at the Ace Hotel. Yeah, THAT Ace Hotel.** I am beyond giddy about this. I started following The Flashdance’s blog before I even got engaged, and I love the mixes he puts up on his site. So this dance party is truly going to be one of the highlights of the weekend.

Other than the dancing, I’m not sure what else we’ll do besides drink and lay next to the pool. Except go bowling. And get dressed up in the ugliest, cheesiest thriftstore bridesmaid dresses we can find and go out on the town at night. Holy balls, I think I’m in heaven.

THE HONEYMOON

I’ve mentioned before that we’re going to Vancouver. We were mainly able to do this because the beau used his frequent flier miles accumulated at work to purchase our plane tickets to the tune of $42 each. I know. We totally deserve to be punched in the face.

Once we arrive in Canada, we’ll drive to a tiny town called Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The cabins we’re staying at have a “bear aware orientation” at check in, and despite delusions to the contrary, this process apparently has nothing to do with familiarizing guests with the full list of Care Bears characters.*** Additionally, these cabins have adopted a green cleaning program in which they use only biodegradable citrus cleaner to sanitize the rooms. I like that.

We’re spending three full days on Vancouver Island, for which I’m grateful. I’m sure that after the whirlwind of the wedding all I’ll want to do is find the nearest horizontal surface and collapse upon it, which is why a quiet, remote setting with a view will be bliss. Something like this, perhaps.

Yes, I believe this will do nicely.

I’m optimistic that by the second day I can find the strength to remain upright for more than ten minutes at a time, so that we can go kayaking around the inlets and enjoy the natural splendor of the outdoors. After we tire of the outdoors, we can retreat indoors to our 2-person Jacuzzi tub overlooking the water. OH YES. THE JACUZZI TUB IS THE SOLE REASON WE CHOSE THIS CABIN.

The yellow hutch may have had something to do with it, though.

After our time on the island, we’ll travel back to the city of Vancouver for four full days of sightseeing and eating very, very well. And ziplining! And eating some more. Seriously, this town has some good eats. The beau and I started a shared Google Map and whenever we find a new restaurant or bar that looks good, we just add it to the mix. So far we’ve got a bunch of Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Indian joints on the map. I cannot wait to stuff myself full of delicious, delicious food.

Holy lobby, Batman.

When we’re not out roaming, we’ll be cozying up in the L’Hermitage Hotel. We love this place because 1) it’s right downtown within walking distance of tons of activities, 2) it has a pool and free internet, 3) it has an in-room washer and dryer set,**** and 4) we are not paying for it. That’s right. The beau’s parents offered this place to us as their wedding gift to us. Yeah. Feel free to punch us in the face again. Seriously though, when they gave us this gift, we were floored. Not only is it incredibly generous, it enabled us to splurge a little on our cabin on Vancouver Island.

So yeah. That’s it. I am so. Freaking. Excited.

What’s floating your boat these days? What are you planning/did you do for your bach parties and honeymoons, respectively?

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* Awkward. Sorry, beau.

** Hipsters ho!

*** My parents, as I imagine parents are wont to do, still make jokes involving the cartoons I obsessively watched when I was a kid. I remember one visit home after college when we went for a drive out in the West Virginia countryside, where we proceeded to be ogled by the locals as if we were circus freaks. My mother declared that they were giving us the “Care Bear Stare,” and immediately followed it up by shouting at the passenger window, “Care Bears, prepare to stare!” I’m sure it must be a survival strategy; a way of dealing with all the inane children’s television programming to which they were exposed. I mean, as opposed to outright lunacy. Right?

**** This is INSANELY VALUABLE for longish trips. Insanely!

déclassé

I didn’t know what a trousseau* was, so I looked it up. Disappointing! I’d been hoping it was some kind of confection. Or at least a baked good.

Eh. Screw the trousseau.

I’m going to spend that money on honeymoon ziplining instead.

Not an actual representation of my feet, because: DEAR GOD. Not an actual representation of my own photo, either. Credit goes to alleykatimages on Flickr.

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* Are you similarly unenlightened? From Old French: A “small bundle” of a bride’s personal possessions, including clothing, lingerie, linens, and wares. In modern times it’s pretty much come to be associated with lingerie and sleepwear for the wedding night and honeymoon. Booooo-ring!

meanwhile, back at the ranch

So I’m on the phone with United. Actually, no. I am not so much on the phone with United — as in “an actual representative of United Airlines” — so much as I am engaged in a vicious verbal war with the automated bouncer at the virtual customer service door. Trust me: He does not want to let you in.

Automated Customer Service Guy: “Thanks for calling the United Mileage Plus customer service line. Would you like: reservations, upgrades, enroll in Mileage Plus, or for everything else say manage my account.”
Me: “Um, customer service?”
ACSG: “Sorry, please say: reservations, upgrades, enroll in Mileage Plus, or for everything else say manage my account.”
Me: (silence)
ACSG: “Sorry, I didn’t hear you. Please say: reservations, upgrades, enroll in Mileage Plus, or for everything else say manage my account.”
Me: (muttering) “I don’t need those.”
ACSG: “Sorry, did you say, ‘goodbye?'”
Me: “No!”
ACSG: “Let’s get your Mileage Plus number. Say or enter your 11-digit Mileage Plus number.”
Me: (tries frantically to locate the number on my desk, manages to key in four digits before allotted time expires)
ACSG: “Sorry, that was in invalid number. Please say your Mileage Plus number one digit at a time, or say: I don’t know it. Or, say: Help.”
Me: “Help?”
ACSG: “Let’s get your Mileage Plus number. Say or enter your 11-digit Mileage Plus number.”
Me: “I FUCKING HATE YOU.”

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I related all this to the beau later, using sweeping arm gestures and perhaps a higher pitch of voice than necessary. He looked at me coolly. “You know, you could have just hit “0” to bypass all those menus,” he said.

Really? REALLY? Was I the last person on earth to know this? Did all of you just read through that now, wincing and ducking like you were watching a bad horror flick; shouting at your computer screen, “Press zero! No! Press zero NOW! Don’t go in the basement! PRESS ZEROOOOO!”

If not, THERE YOU HAVE IT. Now you know the secret trick. No, seriously, you can thank me later.

Let me just say right now: I am not a phone person. Talking on the phone with strangers is my own special flavor of personal hell. But I was having issues with my online account and the error page was telling me I needed to call someone in order to fix it.

So, I sucked it up and made the call. I sacrificed myself for the sake of our post-wedding sanity. See, the beau was a mere 1,500 miles short of the 50,000 needed to get two round-trip tickets for free, and I had to transfer some miles from my account to his so that we could book our flights. That’s right. Flights. To Vancouver. For the honeymoon. We’re leaving the Monday morning after the wedding and coming back the following Wednesday. One glorious full week of non-travel vacation days in between.

So, we’ll be in Vancouver as newlyweds. VANCOUVER. I haven’t been to Vancouver since the summer of ’89, when my parents and I road-tripped from the San Francisco bay area to British Columbia in our 1984 Ford Tempo.* Thank god my parents only had one child, because most of the backseat was taken up by our humongous cooler. I couldn’t stretch out or lie down; the best option I had was to fold my arms over the top of the plastic lid and rest my head on them. I collected blue, green, and brown sea glass on the beaches across from run-down NorCal motels. We stopped and gazed at the inverted beauty of Crater Lake. I saw blue-haired punks for the first time in my life in Seattle. We drove our car onto a ferry (OMG the car went RIGHT ON THE BOAT) and it deposited us in Vancouver, where I saw a clock that spurted forth steam and a park with a horse-drawn carriage and there was a GOLDEN RETRIEVER in that park and the owners let me pet it, and we ate at a place called The Old Spaghetti Factory and that was super exciting because HELLO, spaghetti, plus they served me an Italian soda in a tall skinny glass, and we got to take that glass home with us.**

Yeah. This time around it’s going to be really, really, really different.

Where you goin’ on honeymoon, yo? Or: Where did you go, and what were your best memories from that trip?

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* I am not sure how that car made it all the way to Canada; it frequently couldn’t make it 10 miles from our house.

** This is amazing when you’re eight. Seriously.