The Sparkler Honeymoon Revealed

I think a lot of you will be surprised at the destination we ended up choosing for our honeymoon. Everyone else sure seemed to be! What it eventually boiled down to for us, was finding a balance of everything we wanted: ultimate relaxation, while still having the opportunity to go site-seeing and be adventurous. Oh, and getting a nice tan. Yes, a tan”¦ I really am being that shallow right now.

Sparks and I reached our decision through the process of elimination. First up on the chopping block?

Spain :(

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Chopped image via SoGoodBlog

It broke my heart to eliminate Spain, but I knew it wasn’t the right destination for our honeymoon.

Sparks was right, if we ended up in Barcelona or Madrid, I would want to see everything. I would be up at 7AM every day, running the streets like a crazy person. Like I said in my last post, Spain has been my dream trip since I was 17. I’ve been building it up in my mind for 10 years”¦ I can only imagine the insanity that would be unleashed if I actually got to go there. Not exactly the relaxing trip we had in mind. So we said “Adios” to Spain as a honeymoon candidate, and Sister Sparkler and I pinkie-promised (over g-chat) to backpack the country together before she got married. DEAL.

(It’s also killing me that Sparkler Bro is traveling and living in Spain at the moment and I can’t visit him. Why did he have to go to Europe the year I’m saving for a wedding?! Grrrrrr”¦)

So it was narrowed down to Italy and Hawaii. Two COMPLETELY different, yet perfectly fabulous choices.

First up was Italy, and Sparks and I were pretty much sold. We planned out our destinations and researched travel options from each location. We narrowed down hotel choices, and *someone* may have even changed her computer desktop image to the hillsides of Positano. I’m not saying who.

But as you can probably guess, we didn’t choose Italy.

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What happened? Well, as we did more and more research, Sparks and I realized that our budget for an Italian honeymoon wouldn’t allow for the trip we’d imagined when we started planning. We felt a little selfish for even thinking it, but we wanted to be a little pampered”¦ even a little spoiled, on this trip. It was our honeymoon after all! And while we wouldn’t exactly be staying at a hostel while in Italy, we knew we couldn’t afford the nice hotels that we dreamt of after budgeting for travel from city to city.

So we started to consider Hawaii. Why had we written it off so quickly anyway??? Sure, it was part of America, but we had never been there. It was exotic to us. Plus, Mom Sparkler was born in Hawaii, Sparks’ parents honeymooned there, and my grandparents lived there for years while my grandpa served in the Navy. And each and every one of those people had long and successful marriages”¦ perhaps it was the Hawaiian breezes? Or maybe the warm waters? Either way, once Sparks and I realized this coincidence, we had a hard time putting Hawaii out of our minds.

Hawaii also offered the perfect compromise for all of our vacation worries. It was the ultimate place to relax on the beach and do nothing, but it still offered an exciting night life and plenty of excursion opportunities if we get bored (which will happen after two days of sitting on the beach”¦ we’re restless). Our budget would also stretch MUCH further in Hawaii since we wouldn’t be traveling long distances once we got there. AND there’s a direct flight from Chicago to Honolulu! Once we heard that, we were sold. Sign us up!

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So Hawaii it is! And I am SO freakin’ excited, you guys. If you had told me a year ago that I would go to Hawaii on my honeymoon, I wouldn’t have believed you for a second. I would have been too worried about planning the ULTIMATE VACATION. And that’s ridiculous! A honeymoon isn’t a normal vacation! And my advice for anyone planning right now is to do what you and your fiancé want! This is the time to be indulgent and selfish and not give a crap about what everyone else thinks. :) We still want to go on the ultimate Spain and Italy vacations, and we will! Sparkler Sister and I are sticking to our promise to backpack Spain, and Sparks and I are planning to go to Italy for our one year anniversary (or five year”¦ we’ll see!).

Where are you going for your honeymoon? Is anyone doing Italy or Spain? How about Hawaii? ;)

BLOGGER

Mrs. Sparkler

Location:
Chicago
Wedding Date:
September 2011
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comments

  1. Guest Icon Guest
    Molly, Guest @ 4:49 pm

    I just came back from Oahu (a surprise 30th bday trip for my hubby) and and a GREAT time! If you want any recommendations, lemme know :) Have fun!!!

  2. Member
    R.Elliott 1011 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:52 pm

    Better do a Lost tour while you are there! And tell us all about it!

  3. Member
    snowcone 1141 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:55 pm

    I’ve been to all three (including a semester abroad in Spain), and I think I would’ve picked Hawaii, too, for a lot of the exact reasons you outlined. Plus, now you don’t have to worry about converting your money or blowing out your hair dryer with voltage issues!

  4. Member
    Ms. Sparkles 746 posts, Busy bee @ 5:02 pm

    We had the same dilemma, we anted the ultimate trip and wanted to go to Austrilia or Greece. But we know we won’t relax but go tour crazy. So we opted for a fun and relaxing HM in Maui! We are super excited…counting down the days til we are at the pool and not worrying about the wedding. :) 26 days and counting!!!

  5. Member
    Knubbsy-Wubbsy 2397 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:08 pm

    We’re going to Hawaii! Originally it was because I didn’t want to get a passport required to go to the UK or Norway- but then I decided to go to Guatemala for a month so now it’s just because FH’s parents were stationed there with the Army, and my cousin went to Norway for her honeymoon so we can’t copy, right?

    First two weeks of August we’re exploring Maui, Oahu and then San Diego (different state but still new to us!)

  6. Member
    Charcole2011 303 posts, Helper bee @ 5:08 pm

    we are doing Italy – but not until our 6 month, or maybe even 1 year anniversary. I just started a new job and can’t take as many days as we’d like, and just like you said, if we were going to Italy, we wanted to really do it right (i.e. take 2 weeks, stay in fancy hotels, etc.) – not feel rushed to jam things into a one week vaca. so we’re doing a minimoon in Mexico right after the wedding and a big trip to Italy later on (plus, agreed on the more budget friendly option, especially right after the wedding!)

  7. Member
    tynabee 286 posts, Helper bee @ 5:18 pm

    I love that you put the Dharma logo on your FI! Cracks me up! Hawaii will be fun! Good choice!

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Ms. Bicycle Samurai, Guest @ 5:23 pm

    Before I ever visited Hawaii, I would have thought a Hawaiian honeymoon was the biggest cliche in the world :-) However, FI and I have been there twice on vacation and can’t wait to go back for our honeymoon, despite the fact that we have both done much more “exotic” travel, including Italy (which is fabulous). But there is a magic and warmth to the Hawaiian islands that I hadn’t expected, and it’s tough to beat for relaxation. We considered Costa Rica and Belize, but in the end our biggest fear was that we would end up feeling like “we should’ve gone to Hawaii!” Great choice and have an amazing time!

  9. Member
    Lighter 68 posts, Worker bee @ 5:23 pm

    I backpacked in Europe with my sis too.. TOTALY recomend it!!!

    I’m going to Disney and then a cruise to the caribbean :) we too want to relax and have beautiful sights :D we are super excited!! 10 days to go!

  10. Member
    Chai Tea 46 posts, Newbee @ 5:23 pm

    Yay!!! You couldn’t have gone wrong with any of the choices. We’re honeymooning in Hawaii in September as well, 5 nights in Maui and 5 nights in Kauai. I can’t wait!

  11. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 5:28 pm

    It sounds like you made the perfect choice! I’ve heard so many great things about Hawaii!

  12. Member
    biscuit 627 posts, Busy bee @ 5:58 pm

    We’re doing Italy! I’m actually writing a post right now about it :) . Hawaii is great as well. It’s super pretty :) .

  13. Member
    ferriswheel 356 posts, Helper bee @ 6:07 pm

    We totally chopped Italy and Spain as well. You’re gonna have a great time in Hawaii!

  14. Member
    candy apple 1877 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:15 pm

    I’ve been to all 3 as well, and Hawaii is a fab, sunny, warm, relaxing, wonderful choice :) yay honeymoon!!

  15. Member
    JBelle7757 204 posts, Helper bee @ 6:55 pm

    I LOVE that you put the Dharma symbol on his shirt in the last picture :)

  16. Member
    jneden 642 posts, Busy bee @ 8:08 pm

    We are going to Hawaii too!!!!!! Where are you going to stay??? I have been looking at expedia, Bookit, etc obsessively for the last week trying to figure out the details!

  17. Member
    peachplum09 732 posts, Busy bee @ 8:45 pm

    Yay for finally figuring out your honeymoon plans! One more thing to check off the list!

  18. Member
    Crown 578 posts, Busy bee @ 8:48 pm

    Congrats, Sparkly, for choosing Hawaii as your honeymoon spot! Mr. Crown and I will go to Paris on our first anniversary, but will have a mini-moon in Montreal the week after our wedding.

  19. Member
    piglover 319 posts, Helper bee @ 11:11 pm

    Kauai is amazing! There is so much to do there.

  20. Member
    tartlet 3227 posts, Sugar bee @ 11:15 pm

    My parents vacationed in Hawai’i last summer and loved it! Mr. T and I definitely want to make it over there sometime. :) So excited for you!

  21. Member
    eli11 195 posts, Blushing bee @ 11:59 pm

    Good choice! We are going to Hawaii too. Spain is so awesome, however you would need at least a week in Barcelona, there is so much to see, plus it wouldn’t be relaxing, and beaches in Barcelona are just ok

  22. Member
    msseal 1179 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:38 am

    I think we’re doing Hawaii too. We briefly considered a Eurotrip but it’s just not in the cards for us immediately following the wedding—both for financial reasons and just the added stress of it all. I’ve lived in Spain and *love* it, but the thought of going there for a week or two, though exciting and fabulous sounding, doesn’t sound relaxing…and I think after months (or years even) of planning a wedding, most married couples need the honeymoon to de-stress…and Hawaii sounds like an easier way to do so. AND WHOA…DID I JUST WRITE A NOVEL OR WHUUUT?!

  23. Member
    laaiinn 464 posts, Helper bee @ 2:12 am

    we’re going to Maui…caaant wait! look at deals through AAA or Costco, they can bundle hotel, air and rental car for much less that you can find it individually.

  24. Guest Icon Guest
    Angie W., Guest @ 6:24 am

    How very exciting! I never thought I’d ever have the chance to visit Hawaii, until last Christmas when my fiance’s parents informed us that they wanted to send us on our honeymoon and Hawaii could be an option. When we heard that we were also SOLD! And to Hawaii we shall go in October. I’m soooooo stoked!
    Good luck on your trip! :)
    Angie

  25. Member
    Chai Tea 46 posts, Newbee @ 7:58 am

    @lainsayssup you’re right. We found Costco to have the best pricing/package deal and got our travel agent to price match.

  26. Member
    snowcone 1141 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:45 am

    @Miss Seal: bahahaha good ending, Seal.

  27. Member
    Futures Golden 27 posts, Newbee @ 8:52 am

    Hawaii sounds like such a blast! My friend is going there for her honeymoon this June. My fiance is unfortuantely NOT a beach person (poor kid gets sunburned through the car window in the fall)….so we decided on IRELAND! I am so excited and figured there wouldn’t be many other opportunities to splurge on such a vacation so we are going for it :)

  28. Member
    ostrich 2402 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:10 am

    Yaaaaay. :) you know i’m the poster child for Hawaii anything and I promise you the Sparks duo will have a marvelous, uber relaxing, crazy romantic time in paradise…
    PS – there’s a great airfare deal going on Hawaiian Airlines right now. Not sure if this airline flies out of Chi town (but i’m guessing it does bc that airport is gigantic!), but you should definitely check it out!

  29. Member
    futuremrsloveday 518 posts, Busy bee @ 10:56 am

    Yes! That was my guess. I would love to go there someday. And to see where Lost was shot, of course!

  30. Member
    ToBeMrs2011 98 posts, Worker bee @ 11:15 am

    We too are honeymooning in one of the last places we would have thought. We went through all the dreaming of Fiji (um, really, we don’t have that much money), considered Hawaii too, various locations in Europe…then all-inclusives in Mexico. But we ended up choosing an all-inclusive in the Dominican Republic…fun, relaxation & maybe some pampering too. Now we can’t wait!!

  31. Member
    eeper 129 posts, Blushing bee @ 3:15 pm

    Great choice!!! Not that there was a bad choice out of the 3, but you will be so happy. I thought we would do an Italian honeymoon, but my husband really didn’t want to have to be stressed out with language barriers, and intense sightseeing. He really wanted to relax and sit on a beach, so despite my thinking that a Hawaiian honeymoon was a cliche, we booked it. Best decision ever!!! We got to relax but we did a TON of stuff too. Plus the Hawaiians are used to honeymooners and will work to get you upgrades and other perks!

  32. Member
    hyena 2537 posts, Sugar bee @ 4:06 pm

    Hawaii is gorgeous and fabulous – perfect for honeymooning! Y’all will have so much fun!

  33. Guest Icon Guest
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