It is highly frowned upon for teachers to take a vacation during the school year. In fact, it just doesn’t happen. So even though Ed and I decided to get married in October, we didn’t take our full-blown honeymoon until my Spring Break. Which ended up being very practical for reasons I will explain in just a minute.
Ed and I were married on October 12, 2002. It was a beautiful Columbus Day weekend, and since I had no school on Monday, we spent two days in downtown Chicago for our first honeymoon. We acted as tourists during that weekend, even though we live only a few miles away from the Loop. We had dinner at the top of the Hancock building in the Signature Room. We rode on the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier. We swam in the swimming pool on the top floor of our hotel. And we walked along the shore of Lake Michigan, holding hands.
Delaying our honeymoon for a few months gave me time to legally change my last name, and we both were able to get passports in plenty of time. One of my mom’s friends was a travel agent, and she was able to help us get a great deal on a Caribbean cruise. Instead of just sitting on the ship, we tried to pack as much as we could into the days at port. In Jamaica, we signed up for river tubing, but we wanted to do something else as well. So we jumped into a taxi and went to climb Dunn’s River Falls. Once we got there, it seemed very disorganized and we didn’t quite know where to go. A tour guide was shouting out “Couples over here!” so I grabbed Ed’s hand and pulled him over. We were a couple, right? Then it dawned on me that “Couples” was the name of a resort on Jamaica! We tagged along for the climb up the Falls anyway. The weather was not what we had expected for Jamaica. It was a cloudy and chilly day. The water was so cold!
After climbing the Falls, we caught up with the tour group we were supposed to be in, and took a taxi up a mountain to go tubing. The driver drove those mountainous roads a little fast and every time he came to a curve, instead of slowing down, honked the horn loudly! We miraculously made it up to the river, and leisurely floated down. Even though the day was not warm, we were in Jamaica, mon! Somewhere along the way, we bought jerk chicken at a roadside stand. It was good, but both Ed and I thought the taste must have been toned down for tourists. It pretty much tasted like roasted chicken we would buy in the U.S.
At another port, we explored the Mayan ruins in Tulum, Mexico. The weather was much better in Mexico. Strolling along the ruins, we saw iguanas sunning themselves on top of the rocks. The ocean shone below, the water gleaming in various shades of blue. It was a beautiful place.
During our last day at sea, we spent the day wandering the boat, trying every activity that we could. We skated in the ice skating rink and played mini-golf. Ed went on the rock climbing wall, which I was too chicken to try.
Upgrading to a room with a balcony hadn’t been that expensive. It was our honeymoon, after all!
I still remember waiting on the ship, waiting for our number to be called to get on the shuttle to the Miami airport. I was feeling rather blue; our honeymoon was over. But the next few years of marriage were full of happiness. Now, coming up to our tenth anniversary, I can definitely say that I was wrong. The honeymoon isn’t over.
For more honeymoon stories, visit Gretchen at Second Blooming!