Wednesday, December 29, 2010

honeymooning bliss

Galley Bay Resort in Antigua

I had a feeling my honeymoon would be fun, but I had NO idea it was going to be such a surreal state of bliss. It was incredible! I should pat myself on the back for the months of researching and hundreds (literally!) of reviews I read about different locations and resorts, because it definitely paid off! I narrowed my search down to the place with the shortest plane ride and best weather--3 hour plane ride and 85 degrees with no rain all year. And our resort, Galley Bay, was as amazing as the hundreds of rave reviews I read claimed it was!

There's really no way to share the story of a 9 day honeymoon.....the long conversations, the life planning, hashing out our parenting philosophies, inside jokes over drinks, romantic, PDA-ridden dinners, playing on the beach like children...I think this only covers about 1/4 of the experience.

Our daily routine didn't seem to alter much the entire time though: sleep in, enormous pile of pineapple and enormous omelet, beach, fresh fish lunch, more beach and/or pool, lazing on the balcony reading and writing, his and her shower (I must have this in my future home!), dress up for dinner (and watch Alex react to a different dress each night, so much fun;), tropical drinks and champagne at the teepee bar, stroll home along the beach staring at the bright Antiguan night sky.

One of the greatest things about being on your honeymoon, especially when you don't go until a few months after your wedding and you think all the fun is over, is being congratulated repeatedly. We were greeted with the best glass of champagne I've ever had in the reception area only seconds after arriving, but when we got to our room we also found this adorable hand-written note and a bottle of champagne to enjoy at our leisure....even better, another one was delivered to our doorstep the next day as well.

The best part of being congratulated in Antigua though, is that the people truly mean it. I was overwhelmed by the genuine, warm, friendly natives and our vacation was incredibly enhanced by these sweet island folks. The island culture was a beautiful and welcome change from the unfriendly extension of Manhattan that we live in.

We stayed on the top floor of this beach villa, the perfect choice so we could enjoy the privacy of our peaceful first thing in the morning or while lounging together, listening to music and talking into the night.

Our room could not have been any better. Terra-cotta tiles to cool your hot feet, an amazingly comfortable bed, gorgeous photography on the walls, a bathroom the size of my living room and kitchen combined (with his and her showers and a hot tub, yes please!), a swanky living room and kitchenette and the breathtaking views from our balcony of the perfectly teal Caribbean waters...oh, and a tiny Christmas tree!

Here's the lovely pool that felt like lounging next to a swimming hole in the middle of a rainforest.

Three things that will forever remind me of Antigua: pineapple, coconuts and fish. I suppose it makes sense to associate tropical fruits with tropical islands, but I had no idea how insane my craving would grow each day. I seriously could not get enough pineapple or coconuts. I consumed two large plates of pineapple every day, and couldn't stop ordering the best drink I've ever had: coco locos. Mmmmm! And I have to say, fish is incredibly different when it's caught fresh every day and prepared with island sauces and herbs.

One notable experience was the couples coconut cocoon spa treatment we had in a little hut. They scrubbed us from head to toe with a coconut sugar scrub, then poured warm coconut milk over us and cocooned us in warm wraps while massaging our heads. The treatment was finished off with a couples shower and coconut oil massage. Ahhhh.....

This was a very long list of rules posted on the beach. But, I absolutely love the second to last one: "Please respect mother nature. The sea is beautiful, and powerful." Oh yes it is! It's obviously beautiful, but the waves were extremely powerful. The last two days the waves reached what I feared were tsunami levels (totally not though, haha!) and they had to make a sandbag barricade around the boardwalk to keep the waves from crashing into the restaurant....but they still crashed in. It was quite exciting and mesmerizing to watch; but I'm not going to lie, I was pretty scared. I kept having flashbacks from the movie Hereafter (with Matt Damon).

These are "tiny" waves.

There's nothing like a fruity, tropical beverage from a teepee bar right on the ocean, right? It's the picture of an island vacation and I enjoyed it far more than I anticipated. I don't even drink, but I couldn't help but indulge in yummy coco locos (coconut creme, light rum, pineapple juice). And I've never had so much champagne in my life! But, was my honeymoon:)

The best part of the trip hands down, though, were all the fun, romantic, hilarious, lively, intimate hours and days of connection I experienced with my husband. We do spend a lot of time together at home, but this was so different! We were completely removed from life and melted into one another in a new way that left us feeling more bonded than ever.....I guess you'd call that married:) At any rate, there was so much playing and laughing and uncontrollable affection and praise. Ahhh......

All in all, I came home with an endless store of memories that will make me smile for the rest of my life.

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