Sunday, October 19, 2008

Waking Up in Paradise

View outside of our room...sigh.

Our spot on the beach

Beach view of Cap Juluca

Taking life in

The sand was like walking on marshmallows. Obviously I've walked on them before.

Pretty flowers in our room!

Champagne & Strawberries. Why can't I always have these when I walk through the door?

View inside our room

Breakfast ring shot

Pretty Moorish Architecture

Mmm. I want to go back. Now.

Me pre-haircut. That's right...I didn't even make it through the honeymoon before chopping my hair.

Ryan making a run for St. Maarten. I spell it the Dutch way, because it looks cooler.

I McLove Him

Yay we're lobsters. He's my husband for life.

Just because I'm married, doesn't mean I have to stop being a goofball...

Yay, now everyone knows he's taken (yes I still get giddy about this...maybe it's the possessive oldest child thing)

Ok, so where did I leave off....oh yes...

"We're goooiiinnnnggggg to ANGUILLA!!!" I fervrently texted all of our friends as soon as I found out. Seriously, not knowing your honeymoon is super fun. When you are planning your wedding, you know everything...the dress, the food, the music, the exact minute you should probably schedule a bathroom break...everything...because well, you are a bride and you are supposed to be super neurotic about all of those details. So, having something that you don't know about is just like extra amazing icing on top of your oh so fabulous wedding cake (or cupcake in our case). It didn't matter that my friends were probably like me and had no idea where Anguilla was...they had spent the last year trying to guess just as much as I had, and now was the moment for the big reveal :0)

After spreading the news in every way possible, I was dying to know where we would be staying. Sadly, I would have to wait through 2 flights and a layover in Puerto Rico, where all the women tried to hit on my hot husband because he speaks Spanish like he grew up in South America...well, that plus he's hot. After finally arriving at the super tiny Anguillan airport, we took a taxi across the island to Cap Juluca. Side note: The taxi drivers in Anguilla who pick you up to take you some place are the same ones to come take you just tell your hotel or restaurant hostess who your driver is and they call them for you. I found this amazing after having spent the last four years in D.C. bargaining my late night rides home from Adams Morgan.

Upon arriving, we were greeted with a yummy tropical drink and a cool mint towel to freshen up. Nothing classes up a smelly three stop airport girl like a mint towel. Bring on the five star hotel world! We were then taken to our room, where there was an absolutely beautiful floral arrangement for us (my pics do it no justice) along with champagne and fresh strawberries. Sigh. And just when I didn't think it would get any better, I flung open the doors and saw the absolutely amazing beach view.

"ALLLLMOOSSSTTT PAAARRRAADDIIISSSEEE" I started singing in my best pina colada induced 80's love ballad voice. Stop. I'm mid-twenties, and on a tropical island with a very handsome man who is now my husband. This is paradise, silly. Short lived due to previously explained illness, but a girl has got to take heaven when she can! And I even got to live out one of my life long dreams...a nice long massage on a tropical island at sunset. Whoot Whoot!

I cannot say enough good things about our stay at Cap Juluca. The staff was absolutely amazing from the day we arrived until the time we checked out, and the beach was just wonderful. It is definitely the place to go when you are looking for utter relaxation. I also love the fact that the resort, if not the whole island, is seclusive without trying to find ways to obtain the status. If there is one recommendation I can give though, it is to get out and enjoy all of the unbelievable restaurants on the island. As a girl whose heart resides in her stomach, I cannot say this enough. The restaurants rock...and I will take you to some of the best on my next review!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Anguilla....Like Vanilla (British West Indies)


Here is where I begin our honeymoon re-cap! I will be going in reverse order, and going over the details of our honeymoon first, and our wedding second...

When it came to planning our honeymoon, the one thing I was sure of was that I wanted it to be a complete surprise. Sometimes, in my weaker moments, I would try & convince Ryan to tell me where we were going. I was also absolutely convinced that we were going somewhere where the native language is Spanish, since Ryan is fluent & loves to use it whenever he can. So I would blurt out every Mexican/South American country I could think of & watch for a reaction (Spain was out because of the euro). He held strong though, and in the end it was completely worth it! Finding out was like waking up after the best day of your life to a big Christmas morning (does that make sense? I hope so!).

I do have to admit though, when Ryan finally did tell me, I really had absolutely no idea where Anguilla was, and it took me two days to even pronounce the name correctly (hence the title). Luckily, Ryan is accustomed to my semi obsessive compulsive ways, and had a packet made for me with all sorts of articles about where we were going. It even included articles from People about the celebrities who have vacationed there (again, the boy gets me...good thing I married him). Sadly, it is where Jen & Brad had their break-up vacation...but lets focus on all the happy times you can have there! It seriously is such an amazing place...extremely secluded, unbelievably relaxing, and there are tons of amazing restaurants! It was the perfect place for us after such a crazy year.

Here is an overview of the island from iExplore:

What Anguilla lacks in size, it more than makes up for in that much-sought Caribbean asset: pristine, powdery beaches. Boasting 12 miles (19km) of white coral coastline, Anguilla’s calm and polychromatic waters are enough to lure any potential visitor. Anguilla also comprises Sombrero, and numerous other smaller islands and cays, which are even more secluded. Many call Anguilla 'tranquility wrapped in blue'. Surrounded by blue skies (Anguilla has an average monthly temperature of 80°F/27°C) and vivid blue ocean, Anguilla offers the perfect cocktail to absorb and relax in.For those seeking an altogether different type of cocktail, nothing can beat staring out at a Caribbean sunset while sipping an Anguillan tipple. Those who like their food need not worry either, since restaurants on the island are excellent and offer a mixture of cuisines, with a natural emphasis on seafood. Al fresco dining is everywhere, with roadside barbecues and beachside bistros and grills speckled all about the shoreline. The nightlife is centered on the hotels and the tourist areas and has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Accommodation ranges from luxury-class resorts to guest houses, apartments, villas and cottages. Some feature the latest in spa and wellness facilities, services and treatments to further guarantee you unwind. If you ever get bored of relaxing, there are a myriad of activity choices. Many resorts and hotels are situated on the beach and offer boating, snorkeling, fishing and scuba diving equipment for adventurous types. For the culturally minded, Anguilla, despite its diminutive size, has around 15 art galleries to stroll around and observe Anguillan talent.The name Anguilla was given to the island by the Spanish and means ‘eel’, in reference to the island’s eel-like shape. It is therefore only apt that Anguilla slips out of any attempts to ‘define’ its appeal as a destination. Whether in pursuit of adventure, relaxation, romance or vibrancy, Anguilla has it all. It is little wonder that Anguillans are fiercely proud of their island, having first fought their way out of British control in 1967, and then out of a three-island self-governing entity with St Kitts & Nevis, which formally ended in 1980, when Anguilla emerged as an independent British Overseas Territory.

Geography- Anguilla, the northernmost of the Leeward Islands, also comprises the island of Sombrero, lying 48km (30 miles) north of Anguilla, and several small islets or cays. The nearest islands are St
Maarten, 8km (5 miles) south of Anguilla, and St Kitts and Nevis, 113km (70 miles) to the southeast. The islands are mainly flat (the highest point, Crocus Hill, is only 60m (213ft) above sea level) with, arguably, some of the best beaches in the world.
Coming Up...
- Somewhere you can fall asleep & awake to paradise
- 2 foodies eat their way through Anguilla
- Exploring & Recommendations
*Lots of pics to come in the following posts! Promise!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Love Is This...

This is one of my favorite non-pro wedding pics (I still have to go through all of the pro ones, and i've been procrastinating because I love them all and can't narrow them down).

One of my best friends emailed me from England today asking how married life is. Truthfully, we've had one of the roughest starts you can probably have. I ended up in the hospital 3 days after returning from our honeymoon, and was admitted for about a week for an internal rupture that caused abdominal bleeding. I have since spent at least 1-2 days a week at a doctor, specialist or in the ER for additional issues. It has been unbelievably scary, frustrating and not to mention freakin' expensive. At the current moment, I seem to be ok but I'm in a constant state of "lets wait a week or two and see if this works" with the doctors.

I know that I would be ok going through this on my own, but I have been so unbelievably blessed to have Ryan by my side. He has been my optimism when I'm frustrated with everything, my shoulder to cry on, and my advocate when I couldn't be one for myself (like the time the first hospital aka the bad one we'll never go to again left me in the hallway on an ambulance stretcher for an hour and a half). He has gone above and beyond to make sure that I have the right foods to eat (currently I've been assigned the non-gluten, non-corn, non-alcohol, non-caffine, non-dairy, and non-chocolate diet by the GI docs), sat through numerous girly movies when I've been stuck in bed, brought flowers for me to make me smile, and has even dealt with me taking my frustrations with everything out on him when I'm so tired and angry at not feeling better.

When we said in sickness and in health, we never thought we'd have to act on it this soon. R has seen me at my absolute worst, but still manages to wake up every morning and look at me the way he did in that picture. I probably tell him 20 times a day how much I love him, but it still never seems like enough. So while our start to married life hasn't been easy, it still has managed to be the best experience ever.