Goodbye “I do’s”, Hello Honeymoon!

With our “I do’s” and all the wedding stress behind us after Saturday, it was nice to actually enjoy the rest of our weekend in Breckenridge to ourselves.

The house we rented for our wedding venue was also lodging for us and 10 of our closest friends and family members. Most of our guests left Sunday morning after they had recovered from the wedding and done some final sightseeing in Breckenridge. With the exception of my brother, we had the whole house to ourselves until Monday morning when we had to pack up and check out.

Being able to relax in Breckenridge for a couple more days was almost a mini-honeymoon in itself. As I would soon come to find out, even with all the stress of the wedding, Breckenridge was still, in some ways, more relaxing than our actual honeymoon!

When Bryce and I first discussed the topic of taking a honeymoon, we were unable to come to a conclusion for several months because of many reasons. We knew planning an expensive weekend wedding in Breckenridge was already draining our wallets enough as it was and we agreed that it might stretch our budget a bit too much if we added a honeymoon to it.

Additionally, we couldn’t decide if our 4-day Breckenridge wedding should count as a honeymoon and if it would be too indulgent to book an additional trip. We later revisited the honeymoon topic after getting many inquiries from friends and family asking if we were planning to take a honeymoon. We explained our predicament and most people’s advice was that we would want an actual vacation to ourselves where we could relax. They made a really good point; while our weekend in Breckenridge would be a nice trip in and of itself, we would end up spending most of our time with friends and family and not really enjoy Breckenridge as a romantic retreat for the two of us to kick off our marriage.

We had also considered postponing the honeymoon until the following summer when we could catch up financially, but we both agreed that if we waited to take a nice honeymoon, it might never happen since life likes to throw these little things at you, called babies, once you are married.

So we said “yes!” to a honeymoon and Bryce got started right away looking at honeymoon destinations. Another small obstacle in the way of us taking a honeymoon was that I did not have much free time on my hands with all the wedding research and crafts I was busy with. I also flat-out did not feel like doing a bunch of research to plan a honeymoon. When we decided we were indeed going to take a honeymoon I left all the planning up to Bryce because he likes researching these kinds of things and is good at it. Furthermore, since I was doing most of the wedding planning, it made sense that he do the honeymoon planning.

The last issue in our way of taking a honeymoon right away after the wedding was one Bryce had to figure out. Since our wedding was in August that meant that our honeymoon would fall right in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season, which typically lasts from June to November, and the Atlantic Ocean has some of the prettiest honeymoon destinations with clear blue water and white sandy beaches – exactly what I was craving!! While we didn’t mind that it would be rainy season for almost any beach-y destination at this time of year, we didn’t want to get caught in a hurricane on our honeymoon.

I told Bryce that I only had two requests for our honeymoon. My first request was that we go somewhere with clear blue beaches. It seems like many newlyweds like the idea of traveling around Europe and sightseeing, but Bryce and I tend to enjoy more natural scenery instead of visiting historic buildings and fancy museums. Since we would just finish a gorgeous trip to Breckenridge with mountains and forests, I wanted the opposite and to visit a beach and stare out at the endless ocean while sipping on pina coladas. Plus, I had never seen a beach with clear water and it seemed like the ideal exotic honeymoon destination.

My other request was that the honeymoon last long enough that we be bored by the end of it. Most of the trips that Bryce and I have taken have been go-go-go and we spend so much time driving and traveling that we don’t get to spend much time really soaking in the location and relaxing, so I wanted to make sure our trip was long enough that we actually had time to enjoy the middle part of it between all the traveling.

Unfortunately, it didn’t look like Bryce would be able to fully meet our first requirement for clear blue beaches since most Caribbean destinations would be a risky bet with the hurricane season. Hawaii, Bora Bora, and many other exotic honeymoon destinations were out of the question because they were just too expensive for our last minute honeymoon plans.

I initially told Bryce that since he was doing the honeymoon planning and research that he could find a destination and keep it a surprise from me until the wedding. However, in typical Bryce fashion, he spilled the beans right away that we would be honeymooning in Costa Rica.

I didn’t know anything about Costa Rica, how it looked, or if it had the blue beaches I was craving, but it sounded so exotic and exciting! I decided that I didn’t want to know any further details about where we were going in Costa Rica or what we were doing.

Bryce and I took a trip to Havasupai Falls in the Grand Canyon last summer and I spent so much time researching our destination and peeking at previous traveler’s gorgeous photos of the clear blue waterfalls that when we finally arrived at the waterfalls in person, I wasn’t as amazed as everyone else who was pretty much seeing them for the first time ever. I knew that I didn’t want to ruin our honeymoon in the same way so I didn’t peek at a single picture of Costa Rica before we took our honeymoon.

Later, when I found out that the honeymoon itinerary would be as much of a surprise to Bryce as it was to me — due to the fact that Bryce did absolutely no planning on what activities we would do there — I was still reluctant to start looking in guide books of Costa Rica for ideas on activities because I didn’t want to spoil the trip by seeing photos of what it looked like there. This was really hard for me because the planner and less-adventurous-than-Bryce personality in me really wanted to do some research and be prepared!

Turns out that for a vacation like this, you really don’t need to plan ahead and make an itinerary. In fact, vacations like this are best enjoyed when you figure things out as you go along.

This idea of a “day by day adventure” left me out of my comfort zone since I had not travelled around the world like Bryce and wasn’t quite prepared for this type of vacation. I especially didn’t like not knowing where we were or where we were going or that the road ahead of us was filled with many more surprises like gigantic potholes, unmarked streets, one-way streets, bicyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists carrying surf boards, dogs, cows…. and best of all, that sometimes the road ahead was narrow and not even paved. I didn’t like being dropped off in a city that did not look the honeymoon destination I had envisioned for several months.  I found out Costa Rica, mainly San Jose, would be a good test of how strong our new marriage was and whether it could survive crazy adventures such as this.

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