It has been such a challenge remembering the details of our past vacations to add to our travel compilation – all jumbled and out of order. I keep hoping to find the time to blog about Europe, but not before finishing part 2 of the honeymoon blog.
Believe it or not, I jotted some notes on my phone throughout the trip so I wouldn’t forget. They look like this:
Day 1: Fly to Vancouver, no sleep, AirBnb
Day 2: Embark the ship
Day 3: Seasick
Day 4: Alaska…
Not exactly syrupy sweet, but I was trying not to get our days jumbled up. Here are some of the details (and of course, advice) in hindsight.
We ended up cleaning our house until about 3am since it was being rented while we were away. Our taxi took us to the airport at 4:30am, so we began our trip pretty exhausted. I suggest planning further ahead than we did, but practice makes perfect. For the record, Uber and Lyft are way less costly (and smelly) than a taxi, but at 4:30am, none were available. You also can’t service Uber or Lyft FROM the airport so when leaving the airport you should devise another plan if you want to avoid a taxi ride. You could take a hotel shuttle to a hotel you aren’t staying at, then Uber/Lyft from there. I may or may not know that from experience… Moving on…
Being the penny-pinchers we are, we packed everything for a cold, 7-day trip in ONE carry-on each. How we managed that you ask? We didn’t worry much about appearances and I recommend buying a pair of these bad boys (or something similar). I wore mine to the airport and didn’t pack a single pair of shoes. Great for walking and waterproof. Comfort trumps everything on vacation, and Timberlands always win in my book. We rolled the rest of our clothes tightly, left the hair dryers/straighteners at home and layered light clothing. Impressed? I was.
We rented our very first AirBnB at our first stop in Vancouver and besides falling in love with our apartment, we fell in love with this city. Definitely a place I can’t wait to return to some day. Since AirBnB logs all your previous stays (I love looking back at all the places we’ve gone) you can see our apartment here.
Now, for my take on cruises. The following morning we rolled our luggage to the cruise terminal and stood in crazy lines like a cattle call. We were stoked to relax when we got to our cabin, but then we both got a little sea sick. Sometimes we weren’t hungry during meal times and sometimes we wanted to leave our fancy dinners before they were over. The food was subpar and buffets freak me out. I don’t care for comedy clubs or casinos. We had to talk to strangers at the dinner tables (my least favorite thing) and I kept getting the movie times/places wrong and missing them. If you know how much I love movies, you can just envision me melting down on the final cruise day when I missed Gone Girl and ripped up the itinerary in my not-so-proudest moment. Guys – I hate cruises. I will always hate cruises. Some people LOVE them. You have to take one to find out which people you are.
Positives: The weather was amazing. There were people in their swimsuits on an ALASKAN cruise. Alaska was amazing. While we didn’t make it up to glacier territory or see any wildlife, we did a 4 days cruise early in the season and didn’t expect much more than to set foot in Alaska for a few hours, eat some seafood (their fish…yum) and head back. Which is what we did. I had been on cruises before, so for what we paid and what we expected, we were not in the least disappointed (except for when I missed Gone Girl). 😉
After a 4-day cruise, we ventured into Seattle for the remaining 3 days. One of the highlights for us included a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island. The views were phenomenal, the food at Fork and Spoon was yummy. We saw the typical touristy stuff like the Gum Wall, Pike Place Market and the Space Needle. Best sushi of my life to date was at this hole in the wall and we just enjoyed our time on foot and without an itinerary again. Seattle was especially relaxing since we chose a hotel with plush robes, a huge shower, pool and hot tub. Not exactly our style, but it’s our honeymoon so “Go big or go home,” right?
One of the things we learned about ourselves on this trip was humility. Every day on our walks together, someone would approach us asking for food or money. Chris met a homeless man named Michael who sold newspapers on the street and another man named Chris who was struggling who he shared a Starbucks breakfast with. My husband is pretty cool when it comes to reaching out to people who just seem to want someone to listen. I already mentioned my lack of desire to interact with strangers, but Chris is pretty good at it. We would get back to our room every night and wonder if it was okay to drink wine in our plush robes watching TV after a $50 meal when so many people had asked us to share a few dollars throughout the day. How do we keep from judging or trying to assess the needs of these people? Do we try to do more than take them out for breakfast to help them? Even if we give them a few dollars, have we turned a blind eye to their truest needs? Do we say “yes” to every single person who asks?
I know – it’s a little heavy for honeymoon talk, but it was one of the things we’ll always carry with us – the fact that travel always has a way of changing our perspectives and shaping us. It was the beginning of learning how valuable traveling was to both of us.
PS, always watch your email while in Chicago O’Hare. We ran until my lungs nearly exploded, and it wasn’t the first time.
Happy honeymooning to all you honeymooners out there. Until the next blog.