Most of you don't know that I'm not an American - I'm a Canadian citizen. (This is important later.) We try to keep it quiet though because I heard that Texas doesn't allow Canadians to cross the border without a special passport...and Jason's family might force an annulment if they find out he married a real-life Yankee. We haven't had the formal sit-down discussion of whether I live above or below the Mason-Dixon line just yet!
Jason and I had a lot of time to plan our wedding and honeymoon because we were engaged for over a year while he finished his degree from Franciscan. I had graduated in 2006 and spent the year at a desk job on Capital Hill just plowing money away to pay for the wedding and to secure our future . And someone had to help pay for Jason's 25 cent Zalenski's Wings and Beer habit every Wednesday!
We kept the budget for the wedding low and we decided to splurge on the Honeymoon. From our many years of working full-time before we went to college to finish our degrees, we were WELL aware of how difficult vacations were to schedule and pay for so we decided to bite the bullet and go somewhere extravagant!
We decided on El Dorado Seaside Suites in Cozumel, Mexico. I still have the print-out from our online reservation...*sigh*
Dreaming of it helped me get through the year of our long-distance relationship and commuting and hour-and-a-half every day to work and another hour-and-a-half home. I spent the year with my adorable nieces and nephews so at least I wasn't too bored.
That same year, Canada announced that it would be tightening it's borders. In order to cross to the US and back, all Canadian citizens would now need a passport rather than a driver's license.
So I, along with 33,739,900 Canadians, mailed my passport application to the passport office in Canada. I thought I gave myself enough time having mailed it 4 months before the wedding day. I dutifully checked the "processing times" listed on Canada's government webpage and this is what I saw:
The problem was that all of my important information (birth certificate, green card, future firstborn son) was sitting in a FedEx Envelope piled on top of 33 million Canadian applications in a passport office somewhere above the border. I was so desperate I even called the Prime Minister's office and spoke to a gentleman who gave me the number to a friend of his who worked in the office. But not even that worked!! The passport office told me that even if they wanted to expedite my passport quickly, they would never find it in the rubble. They felt terrible, but I wasn't the only one who "needed" the passport for a honeymoon/wedding/anniversary trip.
So, on June 16, 2007, I woke up early, got my hair and make up done and put on my dress to marry my best friend. I had no idea if my passport would magically appear in our mailbox that day, but I didn't have my hopes up and I just didn't think about it too much.
We spent the entire 4-hour reception responding to the question, "So, where are you going for your honeymoon" with a shrug and a laugh! We didn't have a clue!! Nor did we spend any time worrying about it. It just didn't matter to us at the time since there was absolutely nothing we could do about it!
And it didn't really matter since WE WERE MARRIED!!!
Okay so fast-forward to 6:00 am the next morning. We received a free night at a beautiful hotel in town and managed to smuggle a bottle of wine and a wine opener into the room and were sleeping soundly. But at 6 am, we received an apologetic phone call from Jason's brother to tell us that he needed to get into Jason's car in order to get his cell phone before his plane took off back to Texas!!!!
Honestly it didn't bother us. He felt so bad and we didn't know how to tell him that we really weren't upset! But I'm still going to bust his chops about it :)
So, we were up and bored. We had eaten a huge buffet breakfast at the hotel restaurant and weren't sure where we were going or what to do. So, we decided to swing by my moms house to grab all the presents and start unpacking them in our apartment. The presents were in her car in the driveway so we didn't even need to wake her up. Being the caring daughter that I am, I knew she had a late night and would rather sleep a little longer than 7 am!
We went back to the apartment and Jason went online to plan an impromptu honeymoon while I dove into presents galore.
We finally decided on Virginia Beach and I called my mom around 2:00 pm to let her know and also to ask her how the rest of the evening went after we left. Here is the conversation:
Me: "Mom - we decided on Virginia Beach. How did the rest of the night go?"I think she passed out.
Mom: "Well...it was okay. But there's something I need to tell you."
Me: "Uh, okay? What's up?"
Mom: "Well it's okay since we called the police already, but someone stole all the wedding presents out of my car. I had no idea they wouldn't be safe in there and I even locked the door. I'm so sorry!!!!"
Me: "Oh sh....Mom - WE took the presents this morning while you were sleeping..."
Mom??? Mom are you there???
Mom: "Ummm........I gotta go."
Okay so we kinda resolved that issue (I called my brother to go check on mom for me) and packed for the actual honeymoon. We threw our stuff in the car and drove to our reserved beachfront VA Beach hotel room. We pulled up to a hotel, in the middle of the city, notorious for...Conference Meetings????? WHAT?!?! The room didn't even have a deck and was 8 foot by 4 foot with two full beds and a nice formal work desk...
That was when we both hung our heads and almost started to cry. Jason called downstairs to the front desk and explained that he thought he had called the branch of the hotel on the beach. They graciously refunded our deposit and cancelled the reservation no problem. (And while he was on the phone with the front desk, I heard him say "my...uh...wife and I" and I nearly passed out!)
We drove a half hour further to the beach, picked the first hotel we saw and grabbed a room. DONE!! FINALLY!!!
We relaxed on the beach with a bottle of Malibu Coconut Rum hidden in a cooler and Cherry Limeade from Sonic.
We bought tickets for a small sunset cruise with just us and a really nice family of four. Jason got seasick just a few minutes into it but he put on his game face and tolerated it.
We had an amazing lobster and steak dinner from Ruth Chris Steakhouse
(notice the background? That's basically where our original hotel was located...)
And we even squeezed in a day at Busch Gardens when the sun disappeared.
Jason won me a stuffed dragon and the kids still play with him :)
And we purchased this sign that hangs in our house. I am terrible at remembering dates (well...anything really) so I always have to refer to it if anyone asks our anniversary date!!
We also went para-sailing but I can't find the photo (but while I was looking for that photo, I did find our original marriage certificate that we had lost - SCORE!).
The only snag in our trip was the evening we rented one of those 4 person leisure bikes and rode it up and down the boardwalk. Jason tried to show off and pedaled as fast as his legs would go. The only problem is that his pedals were attached to my pedals and when he took off, the pedals spun out of control and cut my ankle pretty bad. The cut didn't hurt but it was near the bone and bled like a faucet! For the next 15 minutes, he had to run into a bunch of different stores just to find a store that carried band aids on the boardwalk. And I told him I was too injured to bike back so I sat back and enjoyed the ride :)
Overall, the honeymoon was awesome. The weather was perfect and we felt like it was a true honeymoon despite all the issues leading up to planning it. I think that the annoyances we had made the trip seem all the more relaxing and chill. We were so exhausted after the wedding that we didn't care where we ended up!!
Visit Hallie at Betty Beguiles for the list of all the other Honeymoon Stories!!!