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?
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.
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!
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?