Wednesday, July 10, 2013


The Monday after the wedding, we set off for our honeymoon in Cancun, Mexico. If you remember, we really didn't care where we went, but like everyone says, you have to go right away or you never end up going.
We unfortunately don't have a full-service airport here in Manhattan.  It does fly daily to Dallas and Chicago, but the flight times were just awful to get us into Cancun at a reasonable time. Thus, we flew out of Kansas City and stopped over in Houston.  It made for a rather long day with a two hour drive, arriving two hours early, a two hour flight followed by a three hour layover and finally another two hour flight.  But we did arrive at our hotel, Krystal Cancun, by dinner time and started cashing in on our all-inclusive resort!
The view from our balcony
We didn't make any reservations or plans other than the hotel and airfare.  With all of the wedding planning, we decided that the honeymoon was going to be unplanned and spontaneous. I did look up some places to have some ideas, but it was so nice to leave it up to the moment to decide what we wanted to do, if we wanted to do something.
The hotel had plently of day beds and cabanas, so we found ourselves sitting around outside with frozen drinks in hand quite often.  Since I am a textbook dermatological nightmare, we spent lots of time in the shade and under a layer of sunscreen!
I also got to drink my favorite Mexican beer that I cannot find in the United States. After I graduated from college and spent a month living in Chihuahua City, MX, I was hooked on this guy!
All in all, we did end up doing some fun things and we both had an awesome time.

We went to the alternative US embassy, Wal-mart, by bus. The Cancun bus system was pretty awesome.  For 9 pesos you could get a ride around the hotel zone or downtown, equaling about 75 cents.

On our second to last day, we went to this park called Xplor, about 30 miles south of Cancun.  In our hotel, there were some travel companies there each day.  We made friends with an Alberto and we bought our park tickets through him.  For an extra $15 each, his company came and picked us up with their shuttle and took us and another two couples to the park and back home. We also used them to get to and from the airport which was much cheaper than a taxi and just as easy!

Xplor was cool because it was in the heart of the jungle, just off the coastline and was based around some caves that were discovered. 

Ziplining (this was the ending of one of the circuits)
Paddleboats through the underground river (with Adam doing all the work!) 

and ATVing through the jungle
There was also a river that you could swim through the caves, but I didn't bring my camera for that one!  Overall, we had a lot of fun and was great to do something more adventurous than sit on the beach and drink alcohol all day!  We definitely slept in the shuttle on the ride back to the hotel!
On our last full day in Cancun, we decided to go parasailing.  We went back to Alberto to see if he could hook us up and he did not disappoint.  It was nice because we could pay him with a credit card and he could give us a prepaid voucher that we could take to the vendor.   We waited on the beach for awhile and then we were taxied out to the actual boat with a smaller boat.  And up we went...what a view as my dad would say.

Bridesmaid H recommended parasailing and I'm so glad that we went.  We were up in the air for about 15 minutes and it was so neat and calming.  I'm not a huge fan of heights, but it was very manageable. We took off from the boat and landed back on there as well so the only time we got wet was getting into the little "taxi" boat.

Before our last day was up, we did visit the Cancun Maya Museum.
That area has tons of archaeological sites to visit (remember when I went to Uxmal last year?) so walking through the museum was not only a great break from the hot, humid air, but it was cool to see all the artifacts and some small ruins outside.

And that was basically our 6 day/5 night trip to Cancun, Mexico.  We took lots of naps, relaxed, did some exploring, spoke some Spanish, and ate/drank a whole bunch.  We both were really happy with the choice we made and we even left a few things to do in the event that we ever come back. 

The only downside?  The food.  I wouldn't call myself or Adam picky eaters, but we were really disappointed with the food that our hotel served.  I didn't really have high expectations going in, but the main hotel restaurant served the same buffet foods everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner(respectively) and had a rather limited selection.  We did order room service once, but it wasn't super fresh either.  On our last day, we found a burger stand at the far edge of the hotel that had the most amazing cheeseburgers and fresh french fries, but it was a little late by then (and completely Americanized)! Since it was all-inclusive, we didn't want to eat out anywhere else because we were already paying for our foods.

The hotel did have a dine-out option that we did use for two of the evenings.  You can pick between three different restaurants and order off a very limited menu (like 5 items - cheeseburgers, caesar salad, sandwich, etc) but tip and drinks weren't included so you felt obligated to order a drink or dessert to help the waiter out.   We ventured to Senor Frog's and the Hard Rock Cafe.  Hard Rock definitely won the competition because it didn't have people coming by your table asking to take your picture or make you a balloon hat for a fee!

And my advice for future honeymooners -
Take lots of pictures
Milk the fact that it's your honeymoon as much as possible
Don't expect everyone to speak English (something that really surprised me...most of the guests in our hotel were other Spanish-speaking families)
Take time to relax and just enjoy each other's company
Take naps
Be informed about where you are going, but don't micromanage your trip
Enjoy the first few days of married life!

Where did you go/are planning to go for your honeymoon?  Any other advice or suggestions to add?

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Gifting

Sounds like a movie title about aliens taking over your mind, eh?

But rather, let's talk about wedding party/family gifts. Note:  I am a terrible blogger when it comes to this post as the only pictures that I have are from the bridesmaids' gifts.  Sorry.

For our parents, we wanted to do something sentimental and also something that they could use.
1. For my mom/step-dad, we gave them tickets to the local Discovery Center (they've been wanting to go together) and also a plate that I wrote on with Sharpie and baked in the oven.  A picture would be great here, but it said:
"For all you've done,
For all you've been.
For all you are,
Thank you"
It also had some parenting words written on the edges like love, guidance, caring, etc. and then had
our names and the wedding date at the bottom.  My parents have several plates on display in their house similar to this.  When my brother and I were both born, they ordered some with our birth information on it and they also received one as a wedding gift when they got married.
2.  For my dad/step-mom, we got them an Omaha Steaks gift certificate and a picture frame.  The frame had three 4x6 openings so I put a picture of my dad and I when I was little in the first one, a poem about Dads in the second one and drew a picture of stick people in the third one saying, "Lindsy-Dad wedding picture goes here." My parents divorced when I was three, so I imagine that Dad doesn't have a whole lot of pictures of me from when I was little. He really seemed to like it and mentioned how long it had been since he had even seen that picture.
3. For Adam's mom, we also made a plate for her and then got her a gift certificiate for a massage.  We struggled with what to get her, but it seemed to go over well.
4.  For Adam's Dad, we also had a rough time.  Adam's dad doesn't have the greatest living situation, so chances are, to get him something nice, he either doesn't have a place to put it or it will get lost and broken. There is one wall where he hangs all of his pictures and things so we wanted to give him something that could be put up there.  We went to hobby lobby and bought a wood slab.  We then found a Dad poem that was more fitting for a son and wrote it on there/decorated it with a fine-tipped sharpie.  We bought some mounting hardware and slapped that on the back.  We also got him a book because he loves to read (Game of Thrones, of course!).
For the groomsmen and ushers
Adam and I went to Wal-mart and bought large beer mugs.  Adam tried to engrave the mugs with etching cream, but he's not as OCD as me and didn't want to take the time to do them like I did for the Will you be my bridesmaid gifts.  He did etch their first initial into the bottom of the glass free-hand.  We then went to the liquor store and bought a variety of mini bottles of alcohol and then filled the mugs with tissue paper and liquor. 
For my 17-year-old brother, however, we got him a bottle of sweet tea and attached three $10 Chipotle gift cards to it.  He wasn't disappointed.
And for the bridesmaids (finally, pictures!)
I bought 5 tote bags off Amazon for about $5 each (with shipping).  I wanted to make them a goody bag with some different supplies for the wedding. 
I bought some iron-on transfer paper and made a design that I wanted to add to the front.  I decided to use their first initial and use a variety of shades of blue so that each girl had a slightly different color.
I did have to reverse the image so that it would iron on correctly!
I followed the instructions on the iron-on paper (melting the tote bag a little!), and we sucessfully had 4 bridesmaids tote bags:
I filled their bags with flip-flops from David's Bridal that matched their dresses, a make-up bag with deodorant, lotion and chapstick, their bracelets and necklaces that I made them for the wedding day, some granola bars and chocolate to help cure their hunger for the day and a couple mini-bottles of alcohol as well (just in case!). I also told the girls that I would pay for their hair updo's or or any other salon service of equal price (since only two bridesmaids did get their hair done) as the rest of my gift to them.
So there are our gifts!  I am so glad that we only had 4 bridesmaids/groomsmen because they can certainly add up!  Having a few extra sets of parents didn't help either, but by making some of the gifts ourselves, it made them more personal but also helped us save some money!
What did you do for wedding party gifts?  Any cool ideas for me to regret missing out on?

Saturday, July 6, 2013 the Bathroom?

I'm back...
...and feeling a little more married! 

Since the final days before the wedding were a little crazy, I have a few tiny projects that I was waiting to share (or didn't have time to share).  Once we get the official wedding pictures back, we'll start doing some recaps!

Bathroom Baskets:
Since I've come across them, I've always thought bathroom baskets were a cool idea.  It's nice to have an extra hair tie lying around or some gum just to freshen up.  I went to Dollar Tree and bought three wicker baskets, two 3.5x5 picture frames and all the contents from there and also Wal-mart. 

Between the frames, baskets and contents, the total came to about $50.  A little expensive in my mind, but I have all the leftovers to use myself.  The girls and I all got ready at the reception hall (since there wasn't anywhere to do so at the church), so it came in handy when we were getting ready to have an extra bobby pin or make-up remover, or safety pins in Bridesmaid H's case!
The men's basket

...and the women's

Each basket had a sign beside it in a small 3.5x5 frame like you see below (except without that pink heart!).

Here are the contents for each basket in case you are wondering:
Spray deodorant, bandaids, tide to go pen, day quil, ibuprofin, tylenol, antacid, disinfecting wipes, antibacterial soap, kleenex, lint roller, scissors, pen, q-tips, nail clippers, hand lotion, eye drops, contact solution, mini-toothbrushes, flossers, chewing gum, breath strips

Women's (in addition to the men's basket):
Bobby pins, hair ties, hair spray, static guard, wrinkle releaser, nail kit, pads, tampons, safety pins and a sewing kit

So there's my very common, very stolen idea for the bathroom baskets. Very few items were actually opened or used, but I feel like it was a nice and fun touch to add for our guests.