West is Best (Planning our Honeymoon)

Those who are close to us know we didn’t take our honeymoon right away.  Just to paint a picture of our wedding day, I polished my toenails on the concrete slab of our house in my wedding gown.  Just days before, we were living in a hotel while the asbestos removal continued and month before, a few loads of laundry ruined our floors.  Far too much backstory for a blog dedicated to travel.  For now, just know we spent the week post-wedding laying tile in our kitchen and postponed our honeymoon to sometime before our one-year anniversary.

It seems that honeymooners typically choose some place tropical.  Chris and I had just returned from the beach with my family and he knows I won’t get in the water anyway (it’s a fear of dying thing) – so we both just wanted to choose a place on our bucket lists neither of us had ever been to.  Chris has seen the Grand Canyon, Vegas and Los Angeles (I haven’t) and I’ve been to San Francisco, Mexico, the Bahamas (he hasn’t).  We had both been to New Orleans, New York and countless beaches, so our decision was pretty easy. We swoon over pictures of the Northwest and being the closet Grey’s Anatomy watcher I am – Seattle was looking pretty satisfying.

Once we decided where we wanted to go, we let our pocketbooks dictate our decision making (not always smart, but sometimes necessary).  Unbeknownst to me, a 7-night stay in Seattle (plus plane tickets) is pretty comparable in cost to a trip to Africa – okay, maybe not that expensive, but I was surprised…  So I started trying to get creative to make it possible.  Cruises to and from the area were just beginning for the season and even though I am not a fan of cruises (I had been on two before) they are appealing to the budget-conscious traveler.  Chris had never been on a cruise, so the idea earned points for trying new things, and we also had the opportunity to cross Alaska and Vancouver off our bucket lists in one fell swoop. We found a 4 day cruise (nice a short for the non-cruiser) from Vancouver to Alaska to Seattle for $299 a person – tax, entertainment (sort of), food and lodging included.  The “I’ll go anywhere with you” mentality was in full-swing when I thought about being on that boat.  Whether you love them or hate them, most people feel strongly about cruises.  My thoughts on this later.

After the cruise was booked, we booked our hotel stay in Seattle and made no plans except to follow our feet when we got there.  This is how I prefer to vacation, for the record.

For today’s piece of travel advice, a lucky happening for Chris and I was when we realized we were going to be on our honeymoon during the Kentucky Derby.  The Derby is such a big deal around Louisville, we thought we could pretty easily rent our home on AirBnB (which we’d heard of but never used) and to my surprise, it rented less than an hour after we posted it.  That day changed our travel lives for one, because we learned to use AirBnB for more affordable and more comfortable stays and two, renting our home while we were away paid for a large portion of our trip.  We have since used AirBnB (both to rent and host) many times and will never go back to hotel vacations.  If you’ve never used AirBnB, search the website for your next getaway and get a $35 travel credit on me.  🙂

Next, we fly…

 

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