Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Life is so bizarrely fascinating!

Tonight I printed out all our wedding thank you cards. All we need are our pictures and then we’re going to pick out a really nice one of the two of us and print those out and attach them to the front. I feel good having a big portion of the job taken care of. I actually really enjoy writing out cards. I even felt myself getting choked up after I read the one I wrote to the staff of the yacht we were married on! I am so sentimental these days, weddings will do that to you I guess!

Jackass (that’s my new name for a certain someone) is such an a-hole that he wouldn’t do us one tiny little favour in order to help us get our pictures, which HAVE arrived but clearly are in the wrong hands. I am so mad I could spit. Spit fire in his face that is. Or worse. I am so freaking angry at him that it’s as beyond funny as it could get. I have always agreed with the notion of doing unto others as you would wish them to do unto you. And while I plan on continuing to uphold that value for the most part, it’s going to be a major challenge for me to think that way with regards to Jackass. I sometimes wonder if I’m coming to the point of no return with him. He has pulled so many stunts over the years and I am thinking of just letting go. I have no choice but to have contact but it has to be minimal unless he basically becomes a different person. It’s sad it has to be that way because things could be so much better than what they are. But why would I make an effort when all I’ve ever gotten was abuse? And that’s honestly what it is. I’m tired of seeing him constantly get away with his ridiculous, childish behaviour. It makes me want to throw up in my mouth.

It’s funny (not really, but…), he called me poison once right to my face (along with a slew of other really nasty things) right out on the sidewalk on Davie Street – literally everyone on the street turned to stare at the spectacle he was making of himself, and, unfortunately, of me. I will never forget all he said to me that day. He has said many terrible things to me over the years but that day beat all. What’s funny (not really, but…) is that HE is the one who is toxic to pretty much everyone he comes into contact with. He can be like a cameleon and you’d think he could get along with absolutely everyone. But when it comes right down to it, you can see right through him and everything he does is for number one. He only thinks about himself, he has made that quite clear. And tonight confirmed it for the last time for me. Once I have my precious pictures I am going to take a deep breath and let him go.

On a happier note…other than that scandal I am actually quite happy at the moment. I’d been feeling restless and strange for days and last night it came to me that it probably had something to do with the full moon. I really believe in the power of the moon’s effects. Truly. I have seen evidence of it on many a full moon day! It has to be more than coincidence. And my body is quite sensitive right now so I just know that the moon was affecting me badly. Hopefully now I’ll be able to rest easier.

As I tried to go to sleep the other day for a bit of nap (which I wasn’t successful at, but whatever), I got to thinking about my place in the universe and I could envision this vast amount of space all around me, going on forever, and then the earth and me on it laying there on my bed and it felt so bizarre. I realized how tiny and insignificant I am and yet that made me feel more content somehow.

Life is so bizarrely fascinating!

No wedding photos yet, so these will have to do

As the title of this posts says, we haven't got our wedding photos in the mail yet (I think our photographer lied about when he mailed them, to be honest)...I'm a little upset about it. But trying to stay positive that they'll arrive today...

In the meantime, here are some pics in no specific order. Mostly of a little walk James and I took at English Bay this past Sunday. So without further ado:

This next picture is a picture of a picture! It's James and me up at Paradise Point in St. Thomas, USVI. I wrote about these birds in my post about our honeymoon. I absolutely love this pic! It represents such great memories for me.
A little random hello from yours truly :)

This is the cutest cake topper ever that was SUPPOSED to be atop our gorgeous Cupcakes wedding cake, which we will hopefully have pictures of soon. They messed up and 'forgot' to add our cake topper to the cake, despite that I confirmed twice that they had it and were using it! BUT what can ya do, that was the ONLY real mishap at our wedding so I can't complain! And since we paid so darn much for this little trinket, I thought I'd put it on display for a while :) It looks a lot better in person...It's so cute, I love how the groom's pant legs are rolled up - very beach wedding themed, that's why it would have looked so perfect on our cake!
Hydrangeas, at the end of their peak for the summer. I had beautiful blue hydrangeas in my bouquet, but I love a hydrangea in any colour!

You take the good, you take the bad

I can’t stand it when young people who could be using email don’t. I don’t understand how you could not check email for weeks on end, or ever for that matter. It just doesn’t ‘compute’ with me that people could be turned off to that whole world in the 2000s, at least young people anyway. And if you’re determined NOT to jump on the internet bandwagon, at least, for the love of gawd, answer your gawd damn phone!

I also can’t stand how men (not all men but a lot of them) sit with their legs so freaking wide apart. I don’t care what they do when they’re in the privacy of their own homes or even if they’re doing this in their office chair at work or elsewhere where no one is sitting right beside them. But why do they have to do it on the bus when they’re sitting beside someone else? Bus seats aren’t entirely roomy to begin with but it’s a lot worse when you’ve got a man beside you who insists on sitting practically ‘spread eagle’ for lack of a better way of putting it. It’s really distasteful, not to mention annoying for the person sitting there trying to squish to the other side of the seat to avoid having to get intimate with his leg that’s half way over onto her seat. And put 2 men, one on either side, doing this and the person sitting trapped in the middle starts to wonder if it might be worth it to just get off at the next stop and walk the rest of the way, even if she only just got on at the last stop and has a ways yet to go.

Another thing that REALLY peeves me is people who only think about themselves, all the time. There are a few people in my life I can think of who are like this. People who are so self-absorbed that they forget what might be important to other people. They are so self-focused that they fail to realize that other people also exist and have feelings. If it weren’t for the fact that such people are family, I would not have anything to do with them. And it would be their own fault too, because I would like to be able to get along with them and have a proper relationship but they can’t be all take take take all the time and never give. They love to blame for things that haven’t even happened and that’s so crazy that I turn away from having much to do with them. It drives me insane the way they try to turn everything around like they’re the most innocent little creatures this world has ever seen when they are anything but. Own up to things once in a while! Take responsibility for your actions! Quit playing the woe is me card because it’s getting old.

I could go on and on but I won’t.

Now that I’ve shared 3 things that really bug me, I should even things out with 3 things I find really superb.

I love dogs and I love seeing them out on walks in the neighbourhood. I really believe in the healing powers of animals. I totally get why they bring dogs into hospitals to light up sick people’s days. Dogs just have this way of being that brings a smile to my face every time I see one. Some dogs definitely have more of an effect on me than others, the same goes for cats, but for the most just about any of them could tear at my heart strings, in the bestest of ways!

I love calling James my husband and hearing him refer to me as his wife. We both grin every time we say or hear it because it’s still so fresh and new. We love loving each other and I love that, probably more than anything in this world!

I also quite enjoy the little emails and messages sent between me and a few of my co-workers at work. We’re often just discussing silly little things but sometimes they’re so funny, I have to fight from laughing out loud and looking like a complete jackass to the people sitting near me. I love those moments because they make long work days more bearable.

And now that my break is over…I’d best get back to it!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Yes, I would like some cheese with my whine, thank you.

Today is one month since James and I tied the knot. One whole month! We had our toast (the sparkling wine variety, not the crispy bread kind) and mini celebration, it wasn’t much but it was something. We were both too tired from work to do a whole lot, but that’s ok because like James said, “Spending our lives together is a constant celebration!”

Despite the goodness of the day, which there were good parts, don’t get me wrong, but…I’m in a bit of a funk


I feel so BORED.

And that makes me feel so GUILTY.

Because I know there are a million things I could be doing, I shouldn’t even know the meaning of the word bored. But I feel as though I do and I am bored of it!

Ugh. I don’t know, I am in a bit of a lull right now. I’m very tired but I haven’t been sleeping well at all since we got back from our honeymoon. I toss and turn and have weird dreams and when I try to take naps I can never fall asleep. I’m not sure what’s causing this but I think maybe my lack of sleep is catching up on me. Feeling so tired makes me lack ambition. It makes me look around and see all the million things I could be doing but it strips me of the energy that I need to ‘get up and go.’

Ho hum.

I know, it could be MUCH worse. I’m just whining because I’m bored and that’s what I feel like doing.

Now to change the topic, for sanity’s sake:

If you could choose just one thing to put in a time capsule, what one thing would you choose? I just came up with this question, I’m going to have to think about it before I answer it myself. It’s a tough one because just one thing means it has to be pretty darn good.

Here’s a little questionnaire thingy too, just cause, well, cause I’m bored, remember?

1. favorite candy
I love maple candies! Hard candies made from real Canadian maple. ‘Usual’ candy would consist of a chocolate bar though, right now my favourite is Kit Kat.

2. favorite ice cream
I know it sounds boring but I love vanilla ice cream! Add Smarties and it’s even better!

3. favorite book
I don’t have just one favourite…it’s impossible to choose.

4. favorite magazine
I don’t often read magazines but I do like Veg News and other veggie based rags.

5. favorite memory from childhood
Gawd this questionnaire is so SPECIFIC – how can I have one favourite memory from childhood?! One thing I loved was playing in the backyard with my brother – my parents would fill up our kiddie pool that looked like a turtle and had a mini slide in it and we’d play out there for hours on hot summer days, without a care in the world.

6. quality you most admire in your spouse and/ or best friend
I love how genuine James is…In fact, I love everything about him!

7. favorite way to spend your day
Going to the spa is always nice! But more realistically I enjoy a morning walk at the beach, taking photographs of random things along the way…sipping coffee and chatting with James…lazing about and enjoying each others company, knowing we have the whole day to spend together just doing whatever.

8. how may meals you eat out each week
Lately, too many…Usually around 1 or 2.

9. how many kids you'd like to have
2, and I want a girl and a boy!

10. how many traffic tickets you've had
Zero. I hope I never get one, I just know I’d feel dreadful getting pulled over!

11. best date ever
A picnic in the park in the afternoon and an evening stroll through the neighbourhood, pointing out the buildings we like or might want to live in – sometimes the simple things are the most romantic.

12. favorite local eatery
I love Baguette Time.

13. suggestions for a free, fun, family day
Picnic in the park or at the beach – Don’t forget the Frisbee!

14. one place you'd like to visit
I want to go back to Bermuda so bad!

15. favorite drink
True Blue – I like them all but lately I’m into the Blueberry Blackberry.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

So many things to think about

I’m trying not to let the Sunday night blues get the better of me.

I’ve been working on a digital scrapbooking project and it has been SO fun! I love it. I’m still learning so I haven’t created the greatest of masterpieces yet, but I’m getting there. I know there’s so much more you can do with it than what I know how to do…but I’m having fun all the same!

This weekend flew by. We enjoyed the Saturday market (and eating what we bought there!), a drink at The Kingston, a swim in the pool, a walk along the beach, Sunday brunch, and lounging like lazy bums. It was great but too short!

It’s going to be a busy week. Tomorrow after work we’re celebrating one month since our wedding. We’re going to toast the evening with champagne and a bike ride (we won’t have too much champagne – we wouldn’t want to drink and ride! lol). The night will fly by and then it will be Tuesday. On Tuesday night we have to work on a project we were supposed to do today – our wedding thank you cards. Oh and hopefully tomorrow we’ll be getting our wedding photos in the mail so we’ll want to start sorting those! Then on Wednesday night we’ll be doing more picture sorting, since there’s 600 to go through and we want to make a website before our one year anniversary of marriage!!! Thursday I am heading to the island to my parents’ house…Tessa (the liver and white spanny) unfortunately has not been given a whole lot of time. I’m hopeful that what she’s got isn’t what they say it is, so she could have a lot longer live than the vet says. But they’re using the ‘C’ word, and for a 12 year old dog that’s not a good sign. So I want to be there to spend as much time with her as I can. Since I can work from anywhere, I can go there during the week and at least spend lunch times and evenings with her. On Friday James is coming over and we’re spending part of the long weekend with my family. We hope to do some fun outdoorsy things while we’re there, in between doting on the two spaniels!

It might not sound like a lot, but since the majority of the days are spent working, we don’t actually have a whole lot of time to get all our little projects done. I wish we could win the lottery and be independently wealthy! Then we could do all the things we ever wanted. Not that money is the be all and end all, but it would definitely help!

Yeah yeah, I know I know, keep dreaming!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I can't help it - I'm in love!

TIME flies by so fast. I can’t believe that yesterday was 4 weeks since James and I got married. We’re going to celebrate again on Monday since that’s the 27th! Any excuse to celebrate, right? I say celebrate every single day, I mean if you think about it there’s always something to be grateful for =)

That being said…I am currently loving Matthew Good’s new album, Hospital Music. It’s very depressing because it’s largely about what he went through with his recent divorce. So the subject matter isn’t something I’m feeling by any means! But it’s very raw and given all I’ve read about him and his life on his blog, it’s very heartfelt and real. What I’m loving most of all is the background music, he has done some brilliant things on this album.

Our wedding pictures were not in the mail yesterday =( We have to wait till Monday. I had really hoped to have them to go through this weekend. One of the reasons we need them is in order to make our thank you cards. We want to use a nice picture for the front of the card so everyone will have it as a keepsake. To get things rolling despite not having the pictures yet, I wrote out what each card will say and today we’re going to buy the cards so they can be printed. Then we just have to sign them and add the picture once we print those! We have an awesome printer that prints photo quality so we’ll be doing the whole thing ourselves. Thank goodness we only had 32 guests!! I can’t imagine what people do when they had a hundred or more guests at their wedding.

Too bad the weather is supposed to be crappy this weekend. It was so sunny all week when there wasn’t time to get out there and really enjoy it and now it’s grey and dismal. Why oh why is this so often the case? I feel like I’m experiencing a ‘Murphy’s Law’ moment.

I can’t stop listening to ‘All 4 Love’ by Color Me Badd. My brother and his girlfriend used that song (among others) in the INCREDIBLE slideshow they made of James and me, that they showed at the pre-wedding bash they threw for us. The song fit the slideshow perfectly and now when I hear it I get this warm fuzzy feeling inside. I love it!

I can’t say enough how sweet the slideshow was. No one has ever done anything like that for me before, I was so amazed by the whole thing. Seeing the transitions from ‘then and now,’ which was the theme of the whole slideshow – it was so…I don’t even know what, I’m speechless! It was one of the highlights of our wedding time for sure.

I’m sorry if I sound way too wedding-centered these days – I can see how it could get annoying. But on the other hand, I’m not sorry, because it’s the space I’m in right now and it has been a pretty glorious time! I’m just so happy and so in love and thinking back on our wedding is so special because it really did come together without a hitch! Literally the only downside was that our cute cake topper didn’t make it onto the cake, but I called Cupcakes about it and we went and picked up our topper and they gave us a half dozen cupcakes to ‘make up for it.’ Thing is, the cake was such a masterpiece (it was EXACTLY how I wanted it!) that it didn’t even look like it was missing a cake topper, so it really wasn’t that bad of a thing to have left out…

I still feel as though this is all a dream. We waited so long for it all to play out that I guess I’m still holding onto it. And why wouldn’t I? This honestly is the happiest time of my life so far.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Please please please let those pictures be in the mail tomorrow

I’m chomping at the bit waiting for our wedding pictures to arrive in the mail. The suspense is killing me, or at least making me feel a little tired.

Since we’ve been home from our honeymoon I’ve been back to work and haven’t had a chance to get over the jet lag. It was only a four hour time difference but it really seems to have affected me. I wake up super early in the morning and for the life of me can’t fall asleep and I start getting really tired in the early afternoon but of course don’t have time to nap. I’m tired relatively early in the evening but if I want to do anything at night I feel like I can’t go to bed too early. I look forward to this weekend when I can catch up a little on my sleep.

I’ve got a slight bit of post-honeymoon blues. I’ve for the most part been able to shake it off and move on but it keeps looming. I really think I need to have a good long cry and then I will probably get over it. I’ve heard it’s normal to go through this – there is so much build up before a big event like a wedding, and then suddenly it’s all over and you’re left sitting there thinking, Now what?

But for the most part what keeps me from getting really hung up on the fact that it’s over is the other fact: that it was all so very perfect! I can’t help but smile when I think about how everything came together. It has been the most glorious summer of my entire life. I feel so happy on so many levels and I feel as though I really am on top of the world. I feel spoiled with love and care and attention and I’m so grateful for all the wonderful people in my life who think as highly of me as I do of them. Yes, I am one lucky gal all ‘round.

I wish the honeymoon could have lasted forever...

OK, so I'm finally posting about our honeymoon...I have yet to resize all our pics so this is just a sampling of the pictures we took. Wedding photos to come as soon as they arrive in the mail!


Written on August 19th...

It’s going to appear as though there has been a great lull in my writing in the past month. Since getting married, we’ve been on a bit of a whirl wind of doing things, such as going on our honeymoon!

I wrote in a journal daily while we were on our holiday, so it wouldn’t be as tough to re-hash everything once we got home. It’s of course an old school style pen to paper journal – it honestly has been a nice 2 week break from the computer world! And I am happy to report I nearly filled the whole entire journal that I purchased specifically for this trip.

Backtracking a little bit before I start in about our holiday, I have to say that we are still basking in the glory that was our wedding day. We’ve talked to so many people who attended it and everyone seems to glow when they’re going on about how wonderful it was! It feels so great to know that we were able to organize such a memorable experience for everyone we love. It really truly was a magic moment.

The whole party was a success, from the aesthetics like the beautiful hydrangeas and lilies in my bouquet to the cake (even sans cake topper), to the interactions between people you wouldn’t have thought would get along. And people loved the little twists we thought of – for example, the garter switch wherein I took the garter off James’ leg…with my teeth! There were so many laughs and yet so many sentimental caring thoughts shared throughout the evening. We felt so loved and everyone did their part to make our day the most memorable day – at least in my life – so far.

We haven’t got our pictures yet from our photographer but hopefully we will find a cd of all our pics (which apparently are close to one thousand!) in the mail soon. We’re going to make a website of our chosen favourites and we’ll be sending the link out to our families but it’s going to take a while before we will have that up and running, since we’ll have to go through each and every picture and then organize them to our liking. A lot of work, but it will be so worth it once it’s done.

And now for the honeymoon…

I loved how we had such a nautical/beach theme for our wedding, and I love even more that it factored into our honeymoon plans.

We flew to New York on August 2nd to get things started. We got in late – by the time we went to do some exploring (after our first crazy New York taxi ride experience) it was nearly midnight (NY time, although it felt more like 9pm for us, since Vancouver is 3 hours behind).

We didn’t think it would matter much that it was so late though – after all, we’d heard New York is the city that never sleeps. Boy was that information correct! We got to Times Square and the place was bustling. There were people EVERYWHERE. And might I add we went from typical west coast weather, where it was probably between 15 and 18 degrees Celsius in the evenings with a nice cool breeze whisking through your hair…to New York weather where it was midnight and 28 degrees Celsius with a humidity so high you almost mistook your surroundings for a sauna. It was ridiculously hot and humid and there was an insane amount of people. Not to mention the grandiose scale of absolutely everything. Ever heard the rumour that everything is bigger and better in New York? The better part might be something I’d argue with…but there is no arguing with everything being bigger. There are billboards everywhere and they’re giant sized, although it makes sense they’re so big given how gigantic all the buildings are that they’re attached to. You look up into the sky and see that the buildings take up the better half of it. I don’t recall seeing stars in New York – I would say you’re far more likely to spot the celebrity variety of star there than you are the type that rests in the sky!

We had some New York style pizza at a huge pizzeria place in Times Square (all I can say is, thank god for air conditioning!!) before heading back to our hotel on 3rd Avenue and calling it a night. Our original plan had been to get up super early the next morning to go to the Empire State Building before it got too congested but we didn’t feel like heading out the door by 7am. So instead we were out the door by 9am. After a New York bagel with cream cheese, we headed to Central Park where we went for a little carriage ride. It gave us a taste for Central Park and felt like a romantic beginning to what would end up being an extremely wonderful, romantic holiday all around. We’d discussed the idea of a carriage ride in the park so many times, it felt surreal that we were actually finally there doing it!

From there we walked around, saw the giant Apple computer store, went to FAO Schwartz and thought we’d died and gone to heaven…strolled along 5th Avenue seeing Tiffany’s and Co (no I did not ask James to float a loan to buy me something – my god, we went in there and I saw a tiara that was very similar to the one I wore on our wedding day…mine was $50…the one in Tiffany’s was $39,000! How ridiculous is that?! Needless to say, we did not last long in that store!)

It was neat to see all the stores that are here in Canada or in other places in the US but are true to New York, such as Saks 5th Avenue ( we saw the real one that’s actually ON 5th Avenue!), DKNY and so on and so forth…However, you have to have a LOT of money to shop in such stores, so some we took pictures of from the outside, others we just pointed to and passed by without stopping. I was quite excited to go into a store that was more in my price range though – New York and Company. It’s a store I have enjoyed in San Francisco and Seattle in the past, so when I saw the actual New York location, I couldn’t pass it up! James had wanted to buy me a dress on our vacation and I ended up finding one there that I quite enjoy. It looks like it would be expensive but it was the same price I’d be willing to spend on a dress at home. I was thrilled to find that store in New York!

What I really enjoyed about New York most was seeing so many things we’d seen in movies in the past. Or on TV – I saw the Dean and Deluca that I swear they used in filming Felicity. We ended up watching a movie on the cruise and it had a building in it we’d just walked past a few days before – those are the things I found pretty cool about it.

Other highlights from New York…we found a cool place for drinks called Faces and Names where James enjoyed his first Manhattan (fitting since that’s where we were!) and I had a Cosmopolitan – yum! These became our drinks of choice for the next little while.

We looked in tacky souvenir shops, walked along Broadway, took the subway to the Empire State Building…Oh my god the Empire State Building. It was INSANE there. I’m really glad we went because if we hadn’t I’d have always wondered and been disappointed I hadn’t been up there (we ended up on the 86th floor overlooking the city). But I have to tell you, I would NEVER EVER in all my life ever go back up there. And I honestly wouldn’t recommend people bother with it. Unless you got there for 8am when it opens, maybe it wouldn’t be so crazy. But for all the time we waited to get up it and the way we were herded like sheep and treated rudely by the employees…it was not worth the ridiculous price it cost to do. And we did the Skyride thing before it, which was a total waste of money – can we say New York propaganda?! Soooo lame. Again, I’m glad we went because if we hadn’t we’d have always wondered…but it was overpriced and while the views were pretty amazing, it was at that point overcast and I also felt that since sooooo many buildings in the area are so tall, it didn’t really feel like we were up as high as we were.

Other highlights from New York: eating dinner at Carmine’s, a great Italian restaurant with share plates (soooo much food!), LOTS of walking around and looking at the amazing architecture, oh and after dinner we found it…The David Letterman CBS building! Now THAT was exciting!

Otherwise we did a bit of shopping (James got a great outfit at MEXX) and we just wandered around. By this time it was Saturday morning…It was just so unbelievably HOT that we could only do so much and still function. So we had some breakfast at the Oxford Café and went into a few stores (sometimes just to cool down, not to even look at anything!) before it was time to catch a taxi to the pier to catch our cruise.

We went on an 8 day Bermuda/Caribbean cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines.

We were on the Norwegian Spirit and wow what an amazing ship! With 2,000 passengers and 800 staff, there were 10 restaurants, a theatre with a capacity of 900, a beautiful lounge, ok MANY beautiful lounges! A spa, which we enjoyed with a couples massage near the end of the trip…so much to see and do right there on the ship itself!

We got checked into our room, on deck 11 of 13, with a balcony view. It was a gorgeous room. Our room stewards came to introduce themselves and from then on knew us by name and greeted us whenever they saw us. They even left these amazing towel animals on the bed when they put the bed down in the evenings. We got an elephant, a penguin, and a bunny rabbit. I was thrilled to bits every night that we returned from a show to find them waiting for us!

The ship was incredible and the staff soooo attentive, they make you feel like royalty. Everything they do is to please you, they will go out of their way to ensure you are happy at all times. After the mandatory emergency drill thing, we went and got our first drinks of the cruise, going with the special for the day: the Bahama Rama Mama, essentially a rum punch. It was good, not as boozy as we may have liked but good enough for seconds! We quickly realized though that they really get you with the alcohol. Since it’s not included in the price paid for the cruise, they sometimes charge an arm and a leg for what you get…yet for some drinks that are quite expensive, they have so much liquor you really don’t need another so I guess it works out. There was a shot I quite enjoyed for a reasonable price called the Jelly Bean. I would sip it not shoot it and I have to say I had a number of those over the duration of the voyage!

The entertainment on board was also amazing. The hypnotist the first night was so so, but everything else was incredible. Especially Sharkbait, the juggling comedy act. Very original! There was also a very high energy song and dance group, funny game shows, a number of music groups (one of which we purchased a cd from) and on it goes. We were definitely never bored! And I got quite accustomed to checking the Daily to find out what was going on and planning our day around the entertainment! They even held a seminar to show us how to make our own towel animals on one of the last days!

Saturday the 4th we left New York at 4pm, traveling past the Statue of Liberty on our way to our first stop, Bermuda. It was amazing to see the Statue after having seen it 100,000 times in movies over the years. She was definitely a beauty.

All day Sunday we were at sea, so we explored the ship and took advantage of the shows and various things going on throughout the day and evening. There was a party for Latitudes members, and I was invited because I’d been on an NCL cruise to Alaska with my mom a few years back. The booze was free flowing during that party (bonus!) and I won one of the prizes! A Del Sol NCL bag that changes colour in the sunlight, and 3 hair clips that also change colour. Since Del Sol is a store I quite enjoy, I was pretty thrilled. Plus just the fact that I never win anything, it was cool to hear my name get called!

On Monday we arrived in Bermuda at the Dockyard Naval base. We went and rented a moped at Oleander Cycle and after a bit of practice, off we went in search of Horseshoe Bay beach. James had been to Bermuda a few times as his grandfather had lived there so he knew his way around enough to get us from A to B without any confusion. It was such a thrill to be on a motorbike with him! I had never done anything like that in my life, and he’d never driven one himself so it was a first for us both. They recommended we take just one with me holding onto him and I’m glad we did. For one thing it was less nerve-wracking for me not having to drive one myself, and it also felt really romantic to be clutching onto him for the better half of the day!

So off we went, buzzing down the street. What a beautiful country, I absolutely loved looking out at the multi coloured houses and the bright blue water with white sandy beaches. The people seemed really friendly and I just got this really positive vibe while we were there. After about 45 minutes, we arrived at the beach where we enjoyed a veggie burger before heading to the ocean.

We walked a ways down the beach and found a slightly more secluded area where we got ourselves set up. We put out our towels and threw our bag down and ran for the water. It was warm and sandy and so clear. So many big waves came crashing in that we just rode them and laughed and had such a glorious time.

Did a bit of tanning which was a huge mistake…even with 30spf applied twice during the day, we both got seriously burnt on our backs and shoulders and chests. I’m not talking a slight burn, it was baaaaaad. So bad that we had to avoid the sun as much as possible for the duration of the trip, which sucks a bit when you’re in the Caribbean! But we managed. We ended up peeling so badly, I’d never seen anything like it. So we maybe didn’t get as dark of tans as we’d have liked to show off once we got home, but on the other hand we’d rather be healthy than tanned darkly so we played it safe after the initial burn!

We LOVED Bermuda so much though (We HAVE to go back!!). We stayed at the beach a few hours, then rode to their famous lighthouse. I got panicky on the stairs going up and I think I experienced a real panic attack. I made it up there but could barely walk around the thing, I felt like I was going to fall off and die. It was an experience though and we got a bunch of great panoramic pictures so it was worth it. From there we rode back to the Dockyard and bought some famous Bermuda rum cakes before returning to the ship.

We had one day at sea before arriving in Tortola, which is one of the British Virgin Islands. We didn’t actually see much of Tortola itself though, so we can’t say whether or not we love it as much as Bermuda. Instead of going into town, we went on a shore excursion to the Gorda Baths. We went on a small clipper type of boat, it took about 45 minutes to get us to the baths. It was such a choppy ride, it took everything I had to keep from throwing up on the way there. Then it was time for snorkelling…I’d never done it before so it felt really overwhelming. They anchor about 100 yards from land and just tell you to get in and start doing it…you’ve got about 40 feet or so of water below you and you’re expected to just hop in and get at it. Well, needless to say I totally panicked. Got into the water fine without thinking about how deep it was (I had a floaty on so it wasn’t a big deal that way) but I just felt like I couldn’t breathe and wouldn’t be able to do it. It’s hard to all of a sudden adjust to breathing through your mouth and under water at that! So I basically couldn’t do it. But instead of giving the captain of the boat my mask, James took it and he snorkelled while I swam regularly to shore. Just adjusting to the fins was a challenge! But I felt like such an idiot being the only one on the trip who couldn’t handle it. Mind you, there were only 2 other people who had never snorkelled, and one ended up panicking shortly after and had to be brought back to the boat…Still, I felt a bit sad that I wasn’t getting to enjoy the experience.

We got to shore and walked through the caves that give the baths their name. Unfortunately, the Gorda baths back in the day was the place where slaves were taken to be washed, but now it’s a touristy spot, loved for its landscape and warm pools of water, and of course the snorkelling. After our tour through the baths we went back to the water and I was able to try the mask in shallow water. James helped me get comfortable with it and I DID IT! I snorkelled for a good long while before it was time to head back to the boat. There weren’t as many fish as we’d have hoped – it was such a high traffic snorkelling area that I think most of the fish had been scared away, but there were a few reefs with tropical fish swimming about and it was just an amazing experience regardless. It felt so serene and once I got into it, I was loving it. I still felt nervous but it was a thrill nonetheless, and the captain of the ship was so proud of me for overcoming my fear =)

On the way back to the cruise ship we sipped rum punch – oh my god the true Caribbean rum punch is strong stuff! One drink truly is all you need! And James had 3, so you can imagine the state of him after the fact!! Good times.

When we got back to the ship we had a shower and got ready again as we had about an hour and a half before we’d be leaving port. Our little taste of Tortola was taking a meander through a little flea market set up just outside of the ship. There I got a fridge magnet (I collected magnets from each place we went to on this trip) and we bought a few souvenirs and called it a day. Enjoyed some entertainment in the evening and got to bed early, as the next day was our day in St. Thomas, one of the US Virgin Islands.

We arrived in St. Thomas early and the first thing we did was checkout the Skyride we had pre-bought tickets for. It’s a gondola that takes you up to ‘Paradise Point,’ which overlooks the Caribbean sea and the town of St. Thomas. It didn’t open till 9am so we decided to taxi into downtown and take the Skyride later in the day.

St. Thomas is nowhere near short on taxis. Once we found out where to catch them, we were downtown in no time. Their taxis are more like open truck/bus type vehicles with a lot of exhaust coming out the back end and somehow travelling back and hitting me in the face…but beyond that, it was a quick ride at least and we were dropped off downtown. Immediately we were bombarded by people asking us if we needed a taxi or wanted to go on a tour. It was a little overwhelming and kept happening throughout the day. We found a nice little café called Grace’s and had a bite of breakfast as we waited for the shops to open.

I was anticipating more local craft shops and interesting trinkets and was a bit disappointed to find out that 99% of the shops were jewellery stores. I kid you not, there was row upon row of diamond stores, and standing at each store front were 2 or 3 people trying to lure you into their store. It was a bit ridiculous, especially for us, not looking to buy a single piece of jewellery.

After getting our fix of shopping (we bought a few souvenirs) we decided to get out of there with our wallets intact and headed for the skyride.

That was the best decision we made all day!

The ride up itself took all of 5 minutes but we got some great pictures and talked to an employee who was also taking the gondola up. He gave us some insider info about getting Bushwacked. We found out that Paradise Point is famous for their Bushwacker. It’s a Bailey’s based drink that has about 8 or 9 types of booze in it. It’s slushy like a Bellini and oh my was it ever tasty! So easy to drink, despite the vast amounts of liquor! We had 2 each, my first one being in a souvenir mug that looks like the gondola we rode up in – so much fun!

We shared some appy’s and enjoyed each other’s company and the views from above and just as we were finishing up, we heard this woman call out that she was putting on a free bird show. So we went upstairs and sat down and watched the show. There were all kinds of parrots and tropical birds and she had them doing everything from (I’m not kidding here) roller skating, counting, riding a bike, and playing basketball! It was hilarious and I fell in love with the birds. Her shtick for making money is that after the show you can (for a price) have your picture taken with the birds. The set up was great, she had a wall painted green and tropical stuff around so it would look like you were in a rainforest or something. We ended up getting an amazing 8x10 photograph of us with 5 of the birds. I was holding one in my hand, on my shoulder, and I even had one sitting on top of my head! So much fun, I didn’t want to leave them behind!

I looked at that picture a few nights later on the cruise ship and I got so sentimental, I actually started to cry! Not for the birds, but because I was looking at James and myself and it just really sunk in that we’re a happy married couple. It felt so good to know that, to know I have such a loving husband, that the man I married is my very best friend. So now that picture is framed and I will always look at it with the fondest of memories.

Back to where we were though – I did a bit of shopping (just little souvenir stuff and vanilla, because real vanilla from the Caribbean is the best!) and then we headed back to the ship. From what I can remember we got back with little time to spare before we set sail. That was our last port and from there we had 2 more days at sea before arriving back in New York.

The next morning we had our spa experience. At 8am we had a couples massage, which basically just means we each had a body massage while in the same room together. I liked that we were there experiencing it at the same time. It was such a nice massage, despite that our shoulders were still feeling tender from the bad burn we’d got in Bermuda. It was the best way to start the day for sure! I’d been quite sick through the night (I don’t do entirely well with constant motion and I think the movement of the ship, although slight due to the stabilizers, was getting to be a bit much for me) but I felt much better after the massage and some breakfast.

We continued to enjoy the entertainment on board the ship for the duration of the voyage. Before we knew it, we were docking back in New York and had to (sadly) leave the Spirit.

We had all our luggage with us but our flight wasn’t for about 8 hours so we had some time to kill. We caught a taxi to the Museum of Natural History and (after some confusion) checked our bags there and were free to roam the museum hands free (thank goodness!). I’m really glad we chose to go to that particular museum. We didn’t get to see everything because there is just so much to see it’s overwhelming, but we really enjoyed what we did take in. I especially enjoyed having my picture taken with the ostriches! I was just complaining to James that in a museum that size with so many animals they ought to have ostriches and then we turned the corner and there they were, true beauties for my eyes to behold!

It was also interesting seeing what the museum really looks like in relation to what we saw of it in Night at the Museum (with Ben Stiller). (I gave that movie 2 thumbs way down by the way, I don’t recommend seeing it, but still, since we had, it was neat to see the similarities and differences to the portrayal of things in the film compared to real life). The ‘Hey Dumb Dumb Bring Me Gum Gum’ statue was there and it was so funny because I said that quietly to James and then I heard all these little kids yelling it out and running to it! Theodore Roosevelt’s statue is there but it’s actually outside the building…the dinosaur is there although it looked different at least to me and while it’s in the front foyer, it looks very different from in the film. It’s interesting how they’re able to change things up so much in the movies!

After enjoying the museum and having a bite to eat in the café, we decided to leave our bags checked there and go across the street to Central Park for a bit. We walked around and then decided to go back to the main road to find something cold to drink. After buying an iced tea (which to our surprise was sweetened Canadian style!) we went for a bit of a stroll and ended up finding The Dakota, which is the building John Lennon lived in and was shot in front of. Apparently Yoko Ono still lives there but we didn’t see her. After snapping a few pictures we made our way back to the museum, got our bags and caught a cab out to the Kennedy airport.

It was the taxi ride from hell and we both felt sick by the time we made it to the airport. The driver was such a jackass, he wouldn’t let me put the air conditioning on OR open the window and he played super loud Russian radio the whole time. And then he had the gall to ask for a bigger tip! He got a $2 tip and I refused to give him a penny more. He was mad but I was madder at him for thinking he could get away with that!

We had bought a litre of Cruzan rum, made in the Caribbean and seemingly only sold there, for James’ mom’s husband (since our next stop was Halifax to visit with them for 5 days before returning home). We checked our bags and went to security and then realized the rum was in our carry on. Of course we weren’t allowed to take it with us, so we were a bit upset that it had to be confiscated. However, the security guy who took it saw the look of distress on our faces and so he offered to buy it from us! Not sure that that’s actually allowed but we went along with it! Truth be told, we made money on it. It cost us $13.99 and he gave us $20 and said keep the change! So it all worked out, and we’d bought some mini bottles of the stuff so we were able to give mom-in-law’s hubby some of those instead.

Caught the plane and soon enough we were in Halifax, we actually arrived a bit early. Got to their house and got the tour and then sat outside with a glass of wine and enjoyed how nice and cool the air was compared to New York. I much prefer the Canadian climate and it was a relief, truth be told, to be back in our country. I can’t quite explain it but even being on the opposite side of the country from where we live, it felt like we were home.

We went on a whirlwind tour of the maritimes (at least parts of it) during our visit. Monday morning early we left for PEI, driving there over the bridge. I was right in my element – I’ve wanted to go to PEI since I was a little girl and obsessed with Anne of Green Gables. We went to Green Gables and I was a bit disappointed when I realized the house wasn’t the one they used in the movies. I’ve read the books as well but because I watched the movies so many times (I even watched it again right before we left on our trip!) I had it in my head that that was the house. But alas I have no idea where that house is or if it was just a set. But the house we saw was still amazing, knowing it was the house LM Montgomery had in mind when she wrote about Anne.

We also went to Avonlea which was expensive but oh so worth it! I LOVED it there and felt like I could have spent so much more time there. I bought some raspberry cordial (I still can’t believe no one has yet made red currant wine) and enjoyed soooo much looking through the various buildings. They had the school that LMM herself had actually taught in, the church she used to frequent, and the Clifton Manse, which was my absolute favourite of all the buildings. It looked to me to be just like Mrs Lind’s house in the Anne of Green Gables movie. It was so familiar to me. It was actually a tea house that LMM used to frequent. So much history there. And it turns out that LMM had multiple talents – she also took pictures and did a lot of her own developing. It was interesting looking through a room full of her very own photography.

All sorts of Anne of Green Gables and Avonlea characters were there, not only dressed in the part but acting it. So if they stopped to talk to you they were in character mode, it was really quite interesting. I loved everything about Avonlea.

After leaving there we drove to the little cabin at Brackley Beach that we would be staying at that night. James’ mom had a rest while the two of us went and checked out this nifty gallery/gift shop/restaurant. Our plan was to have dinner there and meet up with his mom afterwards but it was a bit of a high end restaurant and didn’t have much of a vegetarian selection so we ended up at this little Irish pub down the street (the only other restaurant we saw in the area). We had a drink and our meal and made our way back to the cabin, where between the three of us we finished off a bottle of wine and some beer and chatted the night away.

The next morning we headed out for breakfast where I enjoyed some PEI potatoes! I found out PEI ships potatoes to something like 20 different countries. The rich red soil is apparently quite good for potato growth. Anyway, from there we drove around some, stopping at Cavendish home to see the foundation from LMM’s house. I enjoyed the little walk to see it, it was worth stopping for. She was such an incredible person and I felt really inspired by her, learning more about her life and her work.

We also went to the Dunelands trail and saw the beach and the famous red sands and of course, given the name, the dunes. It was such a beautiful landscape and exactly as I’d pictured it in my mind (with the help of having watched Anne of Green Gables and Road to Avonlea so many times as a child!)

When we were done there we went to Charlottetown for lunch, after which we perused some of the shops. We also saw the legislation building, which was quite something to see since it’s the spot where the discussions took place that eventually led to the formation of colonies into Canada.

We didn’t have much time after that, as we had a ferry to catch back to Halifax. So off we drove and caught the ferry and made our way back to James’ mom’s where we had some supper and called it a night.

The next day we saw Halifax, going on a bit of a driving tour with Mola (which is what I’ve been calling James’ mom – it stands of course for mother in law!). We saw Bedford and Dartmouth and then we drove downtown where we parked and went for a bite of lunch by the water. We walked around after lunch and looked in some stores, one of which James had bought gifts for me (an oil lamp and two candle holders that look like musicians) on a few of his previous trips to Halifax. Then James and I went to the Maritime Museum while Mola wandered around on her own. I enjoyed the Titanic exhibit and learned a lot about the Halifax disaster, wherein 2 ships collided and blew up, causing a horrific event that left near 2,000 people dead. It sounds grim, and it was, but it was interesting to learn about a major piece of Halifax history.

After the museum we headed back to Mola’s and got changed and had supper. Then we were off to see a Cirque du Soleil show, titled Saltimbanco. What an incredible show! Cirque du Soleil most definitely is worth the money to see. There was juggling, acrobatics, trapeze artists, the whole nine yards of what you would expect to see in a Cirque du Soleil show – we saw it. I can’t pick a favourite part because the whole entire thing was just so incredible. You have to see it to believe it!

After the show we went out for drinks and nachos and chats and got in late. The next morning was another early one as we were off to see Peggy’s Cove. When we got there it was quite foggy, which at first seemed a bit disappointing since the views weren’t the best. But it added to the ambience of the place for us. We took pictures and walked along the rocks and James took a stroll down Lobster Lane – it felt very maritimes for sure! We then drove along to a resort for lunch before driving on to Lunenburg where we fell in love with the quaint little town.

It was so old and beautiful and just as I described it, quaint and lovable. We saw an amazing academy building and so many interesting old houses. We walked around and took pictures and took in as much as we could. We had an ice cream and soon enough it was time to head home, a long near 2 hour drive, to begin preparations for a party being held at Mola’s in our honour.

They had 3 couples over, friends of theirs they wanted us to meet, and a few other people also, including one of James’ cousins I’d never met before. He looked like Nate from Six Feet Under. A really nice, funny guy, someone I know we could really get along with well so we’re hoping he and his girlfriend will come out to Vancouver sometime for a visit. We get along so great with his other cousin from Newfoundland who lives in Vancouver, so so far I have to say I am quite impressed with his cousins! The party went well – we’d been apprehensive about it since it was all their friends and people we had never met for the most part, but everyone was so friendly and they were fawning over me as the ‘new bride.’ I tell ya, I’ve had so much attention lately, some might call it sickening, although it has really been quite special!!

The next day brings us to Friday, our last day in Halifax. We had a bit of a lazy day, with me getting our packing all sorted and James doing some maintenance on his mom’s computer. We lazed about and just spent time with Mola and hubby before we had to head to the airport. Her husband took us each out for a ride in his Smart Car, which was quite fun, and then off we went to catch our flight home. Halifax has a tiny airport so it took no time at all to get to our gate, but unfortunately our flight had been delayed. Only by 20 minutes though, so it wasn’t a big deal. We had a stop over in Toronto so it took a bit of the wait time off from that. We only had about a 20 minute wait before boarding the next plane, but it was then delayed by about half an hour. Then, as we saw from our window the last few bits of luggage get put into the plane, an announcement came on that a suitcase had been put on our plane by mistake so they were going to have to find that before we could take off. They literally took out probably a hundred bags before finding it, so our flight was delayed a good chunk of time. We were supposed to get into YVR at 10pm but instead got in after midnight. The luggage conveyor belts have maintenance done on them at midnight so we had to wait another 20 minutes or so before our bags could be unloaded. A lot of waiting, and of course to us still being on Halifax time, it felt like it was nearing 5 in the morning.

Luckily my parents were there to come and pick us up so we chatted with them and they dropped us off at home and we got some sleep. Not much though – we woke up at 8am and it felt like noon so we got up, went out for brunch with my parents, came home and showed them and my brother and his girlfriend all our pictures (at least the ones we have so far, some were taken with disposable cameras and some are still on Mola’s camera) and then they all left and we started unpacking and napped and the rest is history.

Wow. We have done so much in the past 3 weeks, it’s no wonder we’re feeling so jet lagged and exhausted now! It’s really too bad we have to go back to the grind tomorrow, both back at work once again. It’s sad really, because we enjoy each other’s company so much and I hate that we’re not going to have constant time together like we’ve been having lately.

But I will say that this has been a truly memorable holiday, a time that we will look back on with fondness forever. We were on our honeymoon, I still just shake my head in disbelief at it all. I am married! My husband and I had a glorious honeymoon and we’re absolutely glowing with love for one another.