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.
We 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. 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.)
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. We 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. I 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.