Tuesday, September 28, 2010

if you're going to san francisco...

We love that bridge now :-)

If you are going to San Francisco...buy a travel book.  We had a couple but it still didn't feel like enough.  

Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge!  The tops of our hands were sunburned and swollen for WEEKS after!!  ha!

To sum up our honeymoon in three words:  it wasn't great.  It was actually pretty bad...so bad that we hate referring it to our honeymoon and have decided to think of it as a "trip" and will take a REAL honeymoon someday in the future.  Of course, you will see us smiling and having fun in these pictures...because we did smile and have fun...but we shared a lot of laughter over how miserable everything was!

At first, we felt bad about not having a good time...we felt guilty about complaining to each other about how miserable we were...we didn't want to be ridiculous for not making the best out of our situation.  Then we realized that it's OK if it wasn't the dreamiest vacay we've ever been on.  We aren't big complainers when it comes to life - the two of us are easy going, and easily amused....so clearly....the sucky honeymoon must have really sucked.

First of all...the moment we stepped off of the airplane, I got sick.  Like, SICK.  Like I couldn't breathe through my nose, I had the most painful wicked bad cough that made my body shake, my abs sore, and my throat raw and nearly swollen shut....my joints ached, I lost my voice completely, and I was freezing 99% of the time (I had no idea that summer in San Francisco felt like Phoenix in the winter...I literally needed a coat!)  Oh, and I was exhausted.  I think all of the running around I did in those moments leading up to our honeymoon finally caught up with me.  What with the excitement of our wedding, followed by my last minute classes/tests/paperwork for graduation, AND packing like crazy people for our big cross country move...ohmygod...my body needed to rest.  I had reached my limit. 

My fave day - spent in Napa...enjoying a picnic, a bottle of wine, a baguette,  and some delish cheeses with my love.
Touring the wineries was such an exquisite experience...I would love to do that again someday!

As lovely as we thought San Francisco was...it was not what we ended up wanting out of a honeymoon.  After our crazy lives of non-stop action for the month leading up to the honeymoon, all we REALLY wanted was to sit, lounge, kiss, romp, and drink lots of pretty alcoholic beverages with little umbrellas in them...and to just relax.   We didn't want to wake up to hit the pavement for site-seeing...to battle crowds...to get elbowed on buses...to get lost every 5 minutes...especially my sickly self.  (We did stay in a beautiful hotel...it was rather lux and I considered never leaving the warmth of the fluffy bed...but I didn't want to miss out San Fran...and I didn't want Tommy to miss out on San Fran.  We would venture out in the early afternoon and spend a few hours exploring...and then I'd have to go lie down...it was sad.)

So now, we recommend tropical honeymoons to those that ask us our opinion.  It's funny because we  NEVER even considered a tropical honeymoon.  You see, we aren't traditionally "sit on the beach" kinda people...we kindof thought that a tropical honeymoon would be a "waste" of a trip.  We wonder where we got that logic to begin with...I have no idea...but we now know the error of our ways.  A sexy romantic relaxing honeymoon in the arms of your beloved in a warm tropical paradise sounds pretty perfect to me.

Of course we did some rad stuff -  ate ourselves silly for one (I pretty much ate soup.)  We gathered with some of our best friends a couple of times, toured Alcatrez on a night cruise tour, explored Napa Valley (oh how romantic!), did the whole Giant's stadium, biked across the Golden Gate Bridge, did some beautiful art museums, hit up the Exploritorium, walked in the pretty parks, road the trolley's, and did I mention we ate ourselves silly?

At the jazz club down the street from our hotel...probably drunk.  Notice the tops of our hands?  burned from bike riding.  Doy.
In the dug out at AT&T Park (beautiful ball park!)
Of course we had to go to Alcatraz!
We ended up liking San Fran, of course, it's a charming city...and I would love to go back!  I wonder where we will go for our REAL HONEYMOON?  Any affordable tropical locations you guys would recommend?  (I am thinking Punta Cana.)


  1. I totally hear where you are coming from. We postponed our honeymoon until after I finished for the semester. We sorta decided on a half and half honeymoon- flew into Mexico City toured for 4 days then flew (really cheaply) to cancun and took a ferry to isla mujeres (if you are planning on going tropical I'd say go with isla mujeres all the way). As much as I am obsessed with Mexico city it was really nice to do nothing but drink tropical drinks for a few days :)

  2. I know what you mean about feeling a beach holiday is a wasted trip, but in the end we decided to just go with the traditional paradise island honeymoon and it was total bliss. We did so much ourselvs too in the lead up to our wedding that after the big day all we wanted to do was lounge adn kiss and cuddle on a beach. It was blissfully awesome. We're thinking New York next winter (once we've recovered from this summer of weddings!!) to do the sight-seeing style trip!! XX
    ps. the hands look so so sore! Poor you! x

  3. My husband and I honeymooned in Punta Cana. We LOVED it and would recommend it in a heart beat. Super affordable trip that you will not forget. We stayed at the Excellence Resort and enjoyed just relaxing on the beach or at the pools with fruity drinks in hand.

  4. I'm sorry your honeymoon wasn't everything you hoped for. My husband and I went to St. Lucia which was amazing and was the perfect tropical, loungey, relaxing type of honeymoon which is what I knew I would need after the stress of the wedding. It's a fabulous island and I totally recommend it. As for cost, it's not the cheapest place to go, we were only able to go b/c my brother paid for it as his wedding gift to us. But you might be able to find some decent deals.

  5. I too understand what you mean by wasting a trip, but tropical beach vacations are for people who are exhausted.

    Supposedly Mark Twain said "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."

    Well, there's no evidence that he said it, but he should have. ;)

  6. I know exactly what you mean! We went to Alaska which was a once in a lifetime adventure so of course I felt guilty complaining, but it was cold & rainy every day, I felt tired and run down, and same as you- I just felt like something relaxing and romantic (and warm)! We definitely made the best of it though and just enjoyed having time off together, and we just booked a "2nd honeymoon" carnival cruise for this winter which was pretty affordable.

  7. Awww, I'm so bummed out that you didn't love your honeymoon! But I'm going to give you a hard time here: A honeymoon isn't defined by where you go or what you do or how long you're there or how much you spend. A honeymoon is a really just a matter of timing. In short: It's the first trip that you and your spouse take following your nuptials.

    So technically - you don't really get a do-over. You guys can take the biggest, best, most relaxing tropical vacation of your lives, but your honeymoon was still your honeymoon, and it's OK that you didn't love it.

    Sorry. Just a little bit of a personal pet peeve, is all. Like when people say they're taking a "mini-moon" right after the wedding with a "real" honeymoon at some later point, as if going somewhere relatively close-by, or relatively inexpensive, or for a relatively short duration somehow disqualifies that first married trip from honeymoon contention.

  8. That is really, really good advice! I didn't want to take a relaxing honeymoon, but the hubs insisted. I was SO glad we had some time to decompress after the wedding and just lay on the beach!

  9. i just love your honesty about your "honeymoon/vacation..."!

    wait a bit and hold each other on some isolated beach somewhere... don't move unless absolutely necessary.

    enjoy the newly wed experience!

  10. Aw, sorry to hear that you had a rough time in SF! It'll be here, and someday you guys will return and laugh at that crazy, horrible trip you had right after you were married.

    We DID do the beach vacation - after Patagonia - and while it was warm and lovely, it was also kinda boring. I was glad that we had the 'real' trip first, even though it was cold and wet and exhausting. It's hard to win on the honeymoon, which has just as many expectations as the wedding wrapped up in it.

  11. @ Michele - whereas what you say is technically correct...I'm not so into labels...so we can call our next beachy relaxy vacay our REAL honeymoon if we want to :-)

  12. Relaxing honeymoons are the best kind. Eat. Sleep. Stay in bed. Relax. Read. Repeat. :)

    I'm sure you'll have many opportunities to take other trips together in the future...although next time you may have a babe in your arms.

    I'm curious: Did you get pregnant on your honeymoon?


  13. We went to Costa Rica this summer and had a great time. It was gorgeous, relaxing, private, rustic, amazing -- and affordable! Let me know if you want more info, I loved the hotel we stayed at and can give you other tips: jenkehres@gmail.com.

  14. our honeymoon experience was similar. we are big on adventure, not much into beachy vacations. so we went hiking in switzerland. we packed only what we could fit in backpacks and we set off. except that we didn't really plan it out very well (meaning didn't have reservations anywhere except the first night) and didn't realize that hiking in the swiss alps is intense (as in scary, steep and not at all relaxing like hiking in the mountains we are used to). after 2 days of hiking we could hardly walk. i had only 3 shirts and frequently had to wear them all at once just to stay warm.

    so i agree with you, relaxation is indicated after the excitement of a wedding. adventures are great for a break from life, but we would have done well to relax on a beach somewhere too.

  15. Ah I wish we could say we got a real honeymoon, but kind of like with everything else that happened with our getting married, we kind of ditched the traditional stuff and while I enjoyed our trips to Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone they weren't nearly long enough and def. not romantic enough. Maybe someday we'll have a real honeymoon, honeymoon but life's life and you gotta take what you get and not throw a fit. ;)

  16. My husband and I are not beach type people either. If we get a week off, we'd rather be hiking or skiing or something active. For whatever reason, we decided that we would do the beach honeymoon. It was really nice to be able to sit and relax. i don't know that we'll ever really do it again b/c, like I said, we aren't beachy people, but, it was really nice to relax. As new parents and living a resident life-style, I have no doubt that you will find yourself in a place where you will need, and thoroughly enjoy, a relaxing, beachy real honeymoon together so start planning so that when the time comes, you'll have a really cool trip ready to go. (We were in St. Lucia at the Stonefield Estates and I'd defiantely recomend it for relaxing- you get a villa with your own pool and fantastic views, check it out)

  17. I know, honeymoons. We tried a ski trip 6 months later. Just.not.the.same. I always recommend a beach week to people now because after all that planning, etc. etc. you just need a break... a lux one. A LOT of people actually do get sick the week after their wedding. It must be bliss to drop on a beach after all that wedding craziness and just drink a Pina Colada. It must be why everyone on the planet is featured on their honeymoon at the beach. I totally GET IT!!

  18. Oooh I so relate to this!!! I was so stressed from planning the wedding and starting a new job that my body just broke down.

    I mean really broke down. I got Mono a day into our honeymoon and ended up being really sick for FOUR months.

    Worse, we honeymooned in Scotland. On an island. In a remote village. We were young and wanted to feel independent and adventurous (we'd been to Scotland while studying abroad but wanted to "do it on our own"). Um, yeah. So much for that idea.

    But we went back to Scotland this summer for a do-over to celebrate our 5 year anniversary and it was awesome!

    I totally understand and I think honeymoons are overhyped. To be honest, after seeing so many loved ones at our wedding I didn't WANT to be alone with my husband..I wanted to stay and visit with friends and family. Something for other couples to consider.

  19. PS If you found a deal, maybe you could do a babymoon? Have you heard of those? Some couples take a relaxing mini vacay before their first baby is born. I know you'd be drinking virgin drinks but still--umbrellas! Something to think about.

  20. My husband and I married when we were 20, and right smack dab in the middle of college. The day of the wedding was the day after we finished finals, so needless to say, with wedding, family, school, work, EVERYTHING! we were SO tired. We're not really beachy people, so instead we booked a secluded, wooded, middle-of-nowhere cabin. We didn't do anything except nothing (movies, little day-hikes if we felt like it, bbq one night, sleeping in) for a whole 5 days. It was bliss after so much stress, I highly reccomend it to people like us who just don't connect with the beach. Mountains, woods, and the love of my life...can't beat that!



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