Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Destination: Forever

After dealing with the blood, sweat, and tears that is planning a wedding, Mr. G and I were more than ready for the sweet victory of the honeymoon. We took off from Columbus on Monday morning following our wedding and flew through Newark, NJ to San Juan, PR and then on to Antigua.

After a grueling bus ride through pitch black, no-man's land we arrived at our Sandals Resort and dropped our bags. Immediately, a wonderfully friendly resort person introduced himself, greeted us with chilled glasses of champagne, and told us to have a seat in the huge overstuffed chairs in the indoor/outdoor lobby. Perfection.

He checked us in, filed all the necessary paperwork, and showed us through the jungle and pool areas to our room. I remember feeling in awe of the beauty that surrounded us. It was difficult to take it all in. There were gorgeous and smooth terracotta tiled paths leading us through towering palms and chest-high exotic flower bushes. We could hear the sounds of the waves crashing on the beaches nearby, and feel the breeze off the ocean stirring our hair. One of the many pools in the resort flanked our room, and was lit softly from below, empty and beckoning us in with it's coolness.

We entered our room and immediately noticed the huge four poster mahogany bed in the center covered with mounds of soft, cream pillows. A great gold and mahogany fan spun lazily overhead, creating a nice breeze. There was a large, white tiled bathroom and an adjacent mirrored dressing area. Our room had a front entrance onto a common outdoor hallway, everything here was outdoor, and another back entrance to our own private deck. We were on the first floor of two floors and so could step right off our deck and onto the pool path. Though you couldn't see the pool just a few feet away, because the foliage was so encompassing of the walkway.

The staff and support people of the resort were so friendly, I felt like they were in on a big secret with us. They would stop what they were doing to ask us if we would like our picture taken, or did we need anything? I felt so emotional coming off such the incredible high that was our wedding that I immediately felt as if the staff were family, and I wanted to share my vacation with them. Each day we would return to our room after lounging at the pool or on the beach to find it in pristine condition, everything put in it's proper place, with flowers by the bedside.

And even more special than the sand, the sun, the people, and the food was that complete relaxation that only occurs so many times in your life. Being in such a beautiful setting with the man I had just vowed to spend the rest of my life with, enjoying every minute of every day, that was the Honeymoon. Making each other laugh over the impish details of the wedding, and realizing how wrapped up in it we undoubtedly got, made us appreciate each other's sense of humor that much more. Rising together, eating together, walking, swimming, sleeping together made every day feel like a commitment to each other. No interruptions, not one soul who even recognized us. We promised each other everything from the smallest of possibilities to the most outlandish plots ever dreamed up.

After spending so much time there, it was difficult to leave it.

I understand why people return to their honeymoon destinations for years and years to follow. And it has nothing to do with the resort.

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