All You Can Eat Honeymoon (#76)


I wanted to go to England for our honeymoon. Andy wanted to go lie on a beach.  Since Andy yielded to me on pretty much all the “Autumn in New England” wedding details, I gave in on the honeymoon.

rh_lobby_400We flew from Boston to Mexico City to Playa del Carmen. We stayed in a very beautiful, very pricey resort called The Royal Hideaway. (Hopefully they won’t mind me stealing all their website’s pictures, because this is the most ringing endorsement they’ve had since Star Jones visited.) The floors were marble, the grounds were lush, and the beach was only steps away.

Other resorts gave their guests wristbands to make sure no interlopers snuck in.the-main-pool How plebian! Our resort’s security apparently memorized all the guests’ faces; they ferociously chased off even the most expensive bikini bottoms that attempted to intrude via the beachfront. But even when Andy and I returned from frolicking in the waves utterly bedraggled, they smiled at us, asked if we’d had a good swim, and handed us towels.

The Mayan ruins of Tulum and Coba were close by. We did not visit them. (I know, I know, I can hear the shrieks of fellow historians and every single adventurous expat who reads my blog. Trust me, my shame knows no bounds.)

There were a multitude of shops minutes away. A free shuttle bus ran from the resort to the town. We never rode that bus.

We could have snorkeled with the sea turtles in Akumi. We let them eat in peace.

The resort offered to arrange a dive off the world’s second largest barrier reef. We declined. (I swear, I can hear avid diver BAP’s howls of outrage all the way from San Francisco.)

Parasailing? No.

Swim in a cenote? No.

Do you know what we did?


And it was glorious.

Well, not quite nothing. I mean, we did lots of what all newlyweds do on honeymoons. We also read books. We swam in the ocean. We lifted weights and got our cardio.

But mostly, we ate. Honestly, I think we only worked out so we could regain our appetites and eat some more.

Unless you’ve been a horse jockey or a fashion model or danced competitively, you probably can’t understand the joy that comes from being able to eat whatever the hell you want. For an entire WEEK. Andy and I had put our expensive dance hobby on hold to cope with wedding expenses. I no longer worried about fitting into a skin-tight catsuit or a wedding dress. Add to this my baggage from a somewhat starved childhood, and I MAY have gone a little crazy.

Andy went crazy with me. The Royal Hideaway was “all-inclusive.” Andy was determined to get his money’s worth by bankrupting the buffets.

In the morning, we had two options. There were exquisite ala carte meals in the main dining room — eggs Florentine, anyone? Perhaps with some crème brûlée-stuffed French toast? Or we could hit the breakfast buffet by the beach: huevos rancheros, refried beans, fruit, pancakes, bacon, sausage, or omelettes to order. With flan to cleanse the palate. 203562190We ate it all and then staggered back to our room. We’d read or doze until the food coma had passed, and then I’d drag Andy to the fitness center.

Lunch was an impossibility, but we might manage a few chocolates from the four pounds of See’s Candies that Andy had brought. (My new husband knew me well.)

Then we would head to the beach, and the very attentive cabana boys would appear. 10509_16_royalhideawayplayacar_fsa-gI would order a piña colada, “sin alcohol.” (Without alcohol.) “No!” our server would shout in horror. “No sin alcohol! Double alcohol!” he would insist. I held my ground, though, and probably downed at least three virgin piña coladas every day. I don’t remember all the drinks Andy had, and neither does he, because all his were “double alcohol.” Possibly triple.

By 4 PM, we would be hungry again. Perfect!  The resort served a lovely tea on the patio. Tea meant cucumber sandwiches, fruit tartlets, petite fours, and, of course, real tea in your own little teapot. The other resort guests were almost all Americans – mostly newlyweds years younger than we were, probably sent to the resort by their rich parents or their trust funds. Andy and I were the only ones who showed up for tea until a Canadian couple arrived.

For dinner, you could make reservations at the Asian restaurant, the Mexican restaurant, the French restaurant, or the American/ steakhouse restaurant. There was also a dinner show. Andy and I went once. The food was good, but the dancing was so painful we never went back. (That’s us, foodies and dance snobs.)

Did I mention that there was twenty-four hour room service? In case we were too lazy to get out of bed in the morning or we needed a midnight snack. And we were definitely too lazy. We were too lazy A LOT.

Our honeymoon was the most relaxing vacation Andy and I ever had. It’s probably the most relaxing vacation we ever will have. No meals to cook, no dishes to do, no dogs to walk, no cats to feed, and most importantly, no family to worry about. (We didn’t tell anyone where we were going. Best decision ever.) Since we both lived 3,000 miles from our home states, we spent our vacations in Hawaii or on the East Coast with relatives. We loved our families (mostly), but Andy’s family expected him to cook and help his father with home improvement projects when he went home. My family also expected Andy to cook, and often my siblings would pull the “I’m just going out for a quick bike ride/ run/ walk/conference call with work” and leave us with their offspring. For FOUR HOURS.

There was only one problem with our honeymoon (besides the hurricane that blew through because, yes, of course it didn’t just rain for me, it rained buckets, though there was not much damage).

The morning of our departure, neither Andy nor I could fit into our regular clothes. And though our intense workouts couldn’t save our waistlines, they did save us in another way.

At least we could wear our sweatpants on the flight home.


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Autumn Ashbough

WF writing about the humorous perils of life with Chinese-American significant other.

41 thoughts on “All You Can Eat Honeymoon (#76)”

  1. I also went to Playa del Carmen on my honeymoon, a million years ago in another lifetime. (That marriage is long in the past.) I remember researching all the different resorts and reading about the Royal Hideaway but our budget wasn’t quite big enough for it. We stayed at another resort, the name of which I have long forgotten, which was very similar to what you’ve described here. Anyway, thanks for bringing back those memories! It was a nice honeymoon despite the ultimate outcome. (Sorry for the ramble.)

  2. I bet you did more adventurous stuff! Like Tulum! 🙂

    It’s not a ramble — well, not anymore than my post. I have to admit, I enjoyed reliving that week, even though it’s not as entertaining as other posts. Such a lovely, stress-free week, when you only decision is where you should eat.

    1. We didn’t go to Tulum but we did do Chichen Itza. It was really amazing — back then you could actually climb up the pyramids and go inside, which was unbelievable to me because it seemed incredibly hazardous for the tourists and also quite damaging to the pyramids, I thought. I think the pyramids are cordoned off these days.

      1. They are. This was a great disappointment to me on my much more recent honeymoon, both as the holder of a history degree and a fan of Jim Butcher’s DRESDEN FILES series.

          1. The fact that I couldn’t to the top of the pyramid was disappointing. Everything else, except my cranky stomach, was awesome, especially the bus back from the ruins, where we did tequila shots and drank Corona.

  3. A bubbly welcome
    A romantic gesture
    Wake up to wedded bliss
    No point eating like a squirrel on your honeymoon.

  4. I had a similar experience on a cruise. I worked out every day and ran around the top deck’s track many, many laps. But, when I was asked if I wanted to participate with other guests in a fashion show I said no. I knew no amount of exercise would offset the food and (sin alcohol) pina coladas I consumed. But, once in awhile? Why not! Glad you and Andy had a relaxing honeymoon. Planning a wedding’s exhausting. And, you can snorkle and parasail another time

  5. What a perfect honeymoon! Too bad you missed Tulum, the cenotes and the dives. But, oh well! It sounds like you did exactly what you wanted to do.

    I love those all-inclusive resorts on the Mayan Riviera. They’re amazingly luxurious, and there are so many. I don’t remember the names of the resorts we stayed at–we went three separate times when my grandchildren were younger–but they were all a little south of Playa del Carmen. I too am a big fan of pina coladas.

  6. I have never been on a honeymoon yet, but knowing me… it will probably involve visiting tons of places and it will not be relaxing at all xD

  7. That sounds like the best honeymoon ever. Not telling families where you were going – that’s the genius touch. Kudos to you and your husband for such a brilliant move 😉

  8. I love it! A vacation where you veg out and eat – think of nothing and forget that the rest of the world exists. And not telling your families where you went – priceless. I’m sure while you two were away they were debating it out where you and Andy went. I’m sure someone guessed correct…

  9. Sounds like you had yourself a proper holiday. Good for you! But I would have gone to the Mayan ruins…former archaeologist and all. Hahahhaa. Hugs 😉

  10. I’m all for cultural stuff and hitting up the sites, but every once in awhile it’s nice to have a vacation that’s a true vacation (which to me, means not doing or worrying about much of anything).

    My honeymoon kind of sucked. I had recently had minor surgery and my Chinese doctor instructed me not to swim, drink cold drinks, eat spicy food, or participate in any bedroom activities until fully healed. Did I mention we went to Thailand? I pretty much couldn’t do anything.

      1. Well, we’ve since taken a few pretty awesome vacations together (including 3 weeks in Europe several years ago) so I can’t complain too much. . . .

  11. I don’t know why my comments aren’t posting. I left you two good ones on this post and your new one. Also happened on another blog I follow. 🙁

    1. Ugh! I hate that. So sorry! I don’t know what it is with my blog and various subscribers. 🙁 Jocelyn’s does that to me after I’ve composed freakin’ dissertations on history and propaganda, so now I write it up as a document and paste the sucker in!

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