Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Helpful Honeymooner Hints

It's the final Wedding Wednesday friends!  Don't worry, I have something fun in store to take over Wednesdays from here, and we'll talk about that at the bottom of the post.

So, last we left off, we were talking about the honeymoon.  Specifically for today, to wrap everything up, I wanted to leave you with some helpful tips that The Mister and I learned the hard way in reagards to our honeymoon.  I suppose you could relate these points to any vacation you plan, but I wanted to throw them out there in relation to the honeymoon specifically, because if you're anything like us, the wedding took up so much of your mind space up until the big day that the honeymoon is an afterthought and some things were missed that would have helped us out.

Without further ado:

KpQuePasa's Helpful Honeymooner Hints
in no particular order.  except the first one.  the first one is crucial.

1.  WEAR SUNSCREEN.  Or more specifically, remember to PACK sunscreen.  Not just because you don't want to burn to a crisp on your trip, but also because the resort knows you do not want to burn, and also that you're more or less trapped in their resorty-resort-ness.

A normally two dollar bottle of sunscreen will cost you thirty dollars in the gift shop.  

If you decide "forget it, we speak Spanish, we will take a cab into the nearby city and buy sunscreen at a market! ha, beating the system!" you will be informed by the hotel concierge that a cab to the city and back costs ninety dollars.  And then you and your Mister will get SUPER grumbly with each other, one whole day into your marriage, for no other reason than SUNSCREEN.

You will eventually shell out the thirty bucks at the gift shop, and you will also spend the entire rest of your time on your honeymoon eyeing the carts that the housekeepers wheel around.  You know, just in case someone checked out and left sunscreen in their room and the housekeeper put it on their cart while going through the room.  You think maybe you can steal it from the housekeeping cart for free.  This will work once except you'll get all excited just to find out that you covertly snagged tanning OIL, which is less than helpful.   True story?  You betcha.

2.  Along the lines of what to pack, see if you can remember to pack your contacts.  Or make sure your new husband miraculously has the same eye prescription you do, and that he remembers to pack more than enough of his own daily contacts.  Because then everybody wins.  Yup, I wore the mister's contacts for a week.  I'm darn lucky that worked out, because I can't imagine how awesome a tan-line of my glasses would have been on my face.

3.  Say 'yes' as much as possible to each other.  I don't know how to further explain that.  It's just a good practice.  If you have no other reason to say "No" than you don't feel like it, then you're already failing at that marriage thing.  I think the most helpful thing the Mister started that got me to really try at this tip is when he started calling us "Team McDermott."  (I don't know why but this always makes me want to sing "We're allllll in this together!")  Say yes.  What could it hurt to be a little silly and follow a random suggestion?  You will probably enjoy this far more than you would have originally thought.

Zip-lining?  Terrifying but still pretty boss.  Hour long couples massage?  Yeah, it might be expensive, but wow I can't think of anything more worth it.  And then, see if you can't keep doing that when you get home and the suggestions turn into more practical things like "should we move the guest bed into a different room?"

4.  Try the local cuisine.  I felt sorry for the tourists at our resort who spent their time lined up in front of the dude making grilled cheese sandwiches.  For the most part I gathered these people were scared of all those myths about bad water and getting food-sick, or maybe they were just stuck inside a comfort bubble.  And maybe if you have a delicate stomach, that might be true.

People, "when in Rome..."  I can tell you which food is going to taste better than you've ever believed:  It's not the Wonderbread that was imported to the country a week ago, or the over-pasteurized and over-preserved slices of American cheese in that sandwich.  It's the mangoes that someone picked this morning and brought to the restaurant, and the fish that was caught out of the ocean 20 feet from your honeymoon suite 15 minutes ago.

Let me tell you, I ate exactly that, mangoes and fish, for a week straight and felt like a queen.  The Mister was also nice enough to buy a coconut every day for me from the little man on the beach towing a wheelbarrow.  He'd slice it open, stick a straw in it, and oh my gosh that was heaven (not to mention a great hangover cure/ the coconut doubled as a glass for afternoon piña colada refills.  fantastic!)

5.  Going to an all-inclusive?  BEST IDEA EVER, Bravo.  That said, bring some money for your service staff.

Yes, I know.  In theory, you do not HAVE to tip those servers.  It is not mandated.

However, here's what you can learn from a bartender if you care enough to strike up a conversation past snaping your fingers and barking for a rum and coke:  All the staff live on the property.  Just them.  Not their families.  Their families live in the city.  The staff get up every day and work 12 hour shifts serving people who may or may not treat them like dirt.  Those tips go toward the expense of taking a bus home to see and care for their parents, or in many cases their own children once a month, and even though tips are not guaranteed, they're the best bet at making this separation worth it for their situation.

I'm not trying to get onto a Sally Struthers soap box here, but even a small tip goes far.   It's appreciated, and that reflects in the amount of service you get.  We had a server in the resort's restaurant that looked out for us every day to make sure we sat in his section.  He pulled out chairs for us, he made polite conversation, and kept our glasses full.

Now, those are all things that he would do regardless as part of his job.  When we showed appreciation for those small acts with a tip, he went out of his way to pick fresh flowers to adorn our table top, he made sure the Mariachi band visited our table for a song, and made sure that someone was ALWAYS watching to make sure our morning coffee was filled.  He told us what were the best and freshest foods to check out, and what entertainment was going on that day.  Did you know the restaurant doesn't actually serve piña coladas?  Only the pool bar does that.  But our server liked us enough that instead of telling us they don't do that, he walked to the bar, got me a piña colada and brought it back to my table for me.  He didn't have to.  He was just a nice guy.

I guess whichever route you want to think about tipping staff, just be a grateful person.  No one deserves to be treated like something you stepped in, no matter who you are or where you are.

6.  Are you somewhere on an ocean?  Go in the ocean.  I don't care that there are nice pools all over the resort, go in the ocean at least once you ninny.  And to that same effect, at least once, go with your significant other and sit on the beach at night.  Listen to the waves and stare at the most clear sky full of stars you'll ever see.  If you think it sounds mushy and stupid, you're missing the point.  Just try it.

7.  Ladies, do you have a piece of clothing that says "Bride" on it?  Because WEAR THAT.  WEAR THE EVER-LIVING CRAP OUT OF IT.  Everyday.  Even if you're not a bride on your honeymoon, get a shirt that says otherwise and make sure people see it.  You get free things.  You get better service. You get first class flight upgrades.  DO IT.  I'm wearing one the next time we go on a vacation for darn skippy.

8.  Dress up and be fancy for each other.  See if you can make it special.  No one else you know is going to see you, and your significant other clearly thinks you're attractive.  Put in the effort to look nice and let them appreciate you.

I can't tell you how much I love the smell of the Mister's "going out on the town" cologne.  He put that stuff on every day for me even though roughly 15 minutes after he'd put it on we'd wash it off in a pool.  It was an extra touch that I knew was solely for my benefit.   We had one night where we made a point to really gussy up for each other.  Didn't I just see him in a tuxedo?  Yes, but this was still awesome.

To that effect, I wore this dress that night:

Which you may note is entirely made of sequins, backless, and notably shorter than I would usually opt for.  That said, I'll be damned if I didn't enjoy the adventure* of it, and to a greater extent, the attention.
 like when this guy from the resort asked me to do some crazy flamenco dancing with him.

I also wore a bikini.  Do I think that's a fashionably forward thing that I will ever do in an audience of my peers or share pictures of?  Nope.  But I pushed that out of my head for the week with two simple thoughts - A) The Mister was beside himself that I would do that for him.  and B) Someone else out there looks worse.  Ladies, don't pretend you don't automatically look for someone who looks worse in a swimsuit than you do when you go out.  It's comforting.  

*Stupid story that will make me feel better to get off my chest:  The night we dressed up like this, the entertainment at the resort was a Burlesque show, which we both thought was going to be fun to watch.  Before each nightly show they usually have a small game of audience participation type things.  

Unfortunately this night they asked The Mister to participate, and I was all about it until I realized that the game they were playing was to bring a random woman onto the stage and have all the male participants do a strip-tease for her.  I was actually recording the game for The Mister and you can hear me in the back of the video going "wow, I really, really don't like this game."  

Because you know what?  It's my honeymoon, the last thing I want to see is the dude I JUST married being all schmexy for someone else, even if it is in jest.  Particularly if I just spent a hour+ squeezing into a backless, sparkly dress.  If I have one criticism of the staff at our resort, it's that when the Mister saw how upset I looked sitting in the audience and backed out of the game (MAD bonus points to the Mister), the staff told me not to be so uptight.  Maybe recognize your audience is all I'm saying.
Am I totally off-base and over-reacting there?

I know you, my fair readers, 
may not have gone on a honeymoon, 
but you all HAVE been on a vacation at the very least.
Did I miss anything?  
Tell me in the comments!

And that, my friends, concludes the run of Wedding Wednesdays.   It's been fun to relive all this with you!  Thanks for coming along on the ride.

What's coming up next week?  Well folks, as I mentioned in Monday's post, I'm looking for some fun things to teach Mac, since I'm totally a professional trainer now.  If you have a good suggestion for a trick to teach my pup, hit me up!  From now on, we'll be showing off Mac's mad skillz on Wednesdays.
sending you off with some well-timed wiggles today.


Danielle said...

I'm not getting into the ocean and you can't make me =). It's icky in there. Tried it once, realized I was NOT the biggest thing lurking in the waters and rolled out as fast as I could. Plus, a little splashed into my mouth and it tasted nasty. =) Thanks for the tips! These were good ones.

Kate Y said...

I would recommend making some friends. There was a lovely couple on the shuttle ride from the airport on our honeymoon who had also just gotten married. We struck up conversation with them there and they became our resort buddies. We still stay in touch via Facebook. It was nice to have another couple also celebrating to have some fun with. Not that my hubby and I couldn't have had fun on our own, but it added another level to it!