It’s time for the Camel honeymoon recaps! In case you missed it, we visited the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo with a short stop in the city of Paris on our way home. I will include a mixture of pretentious Instagram photos and “real” photos from my DSLR. Sorry if you get photo overload, but I took a lot on this trip!
The night of our wedding, Mr. C and I stayed at a place in downtown Athens called Hotel Indigo. It’s only about 15 to 20 minutes from our venue and we had a limo ride there. One our our coworker’s wives upgraded our original reservation to the presidential suite. It had three rooms, a bathroom the size of our apartment bedroom, a baby grand piano, a living room with a giant flat screen TV, a second entryway bathroom—in short, it was enormous and absolutely ridiculous as we’d only really be spending a few hours there. I actually woke up around 4:00 am, my head abuzz with wedding day emotions, and was only able to fall back asleep as dawn crept into the windows. Around 10:00 am we checked out of our decadent room and met up with my dad, step-family, grandma, aunts and uncles for breakfast at their hotel down the street. We also ran into Mr. C’s dad and stepmother who were also staying at the hotel.
We eventually said our tearful goodbyes and returned to our apartment which had exploded in a chaotic mess of wedding decor; it was one big sad, deflated wedding mess. There were presents, cards, boxes of milk glass, a bag of uneaten macarons, a trash bag full of flowers from our beautiful table decor. We sat down and began sorting through the mess. We opened cards and presents, broke down large boxes, took out several bags of trash. Our apartment started to return to normal, slowly but surely. Then we had to return to the venue to retrieve a pair of corn hole boards that were accidentally left behind. It was sad and surreal to return to the venue where just hours earlier there had been one big, amazing party held in celebration of our love. I started crying almost immediately! But we got the corn hole boards and returned home to finish packing.
We had a late start out the door and as a result barely made it on our 11:00 pm flight to Paris. I think because the flight left so late in the day we kept thinking we had more time than we had in reality. I travel all the time and I really, really should have known better (hangs head in shame)! We had to play the sad honeymooners card just to let the ticketing agent let us check in (it was past the hour check in time required for international flights). Honestly, I couldn’t believe she was so nice, as usually us non-revenue passengers are treated like scum, honeymoon or not. The downside is that to make it in time, Mr. C had to park in the daily parking deck so we ended up paying $16 a day for parking. Ouch. But it was that or miss the flight. We could have tried again the following day but we weren’t sure what the flights looked like or if we would be able to make it out. We rushed down to the terminal and were the last passengers on. We made it in business class and sitting next to each other—a rare non-revenue luxury. I say non-revenue, but we paid for our plane tickets, just not a lot. The business class seats were a godsend because after waking up so early the previous night (plus all the post-wedding emotions and cleanup), I was absolutely exhausted. After dinner I passed out and it was easily the deepest sleep I’ve ever had on an international flight. Usually I’m excited, nervous, or my brain simply won’t shut off long enough to let me rest on a plane. This time I was too tired to care.
My eyes were totally puffy from exhaustion/tears but I was so happy we were finally on our way!
When we landed it was dark, cold, and very rainy—not the scene you want to see when landing in Paris! I was terrible and did not pack many warm clothes (a mistake that would haunt me the entire trip). Unfortunately Europe has been experiencing a lot of rain and uncharacteristically cool weather this summer. Anyway, we left a day early for our honeymoon as we were not sure that we would actually make it to Paris on the first try (again, the risk of traveling non-revenue). But we did! But we didn’t have a hotel. We spent about three hours in the airport on the internet (per hour paid WIFI) trying to find a hotel that was not $500 a night and not already booked. I meant to do this before leaving, but I think with all the craziness of the wedding and cleaning and packing afterwards it was de-prioritized. I figured it would not be difficult to find something last minute. This turned out to be a pretty tall order, thanks in part to the French Open which we had no idea was taking place at the time. Actually, I’m still not sure if that was the issue, but for some reason every single hotel in Paris was completely full for the night.
After much stress and fretting I finally found a reasonably priced business hotel off the Place d’Italie metro stop in southeast Paris. After an epic ordeal trying to find it, and dragging our luggage around the streets (I’m sure we looked ridiculous), we eventually checked in. We were on the top floor in, I think, the only room with a balcony, which wrapped around the entire room. We could see the tip of the Eiffel Tower along the skyline, miles away. The room had been a last minute cancellation, hence my ability to book it when everything else was packed. There wasn’t much time for us to see or do anything in the city, which was fine since we would be back
|The streets of Valletta, Malta|
The next day we were back at the airport and on our way to Malta—a little island just south of Sicily out in the Mediterranean. You can read all about why we chose Malta and Gozo as honeymoon destinations here. It was a short two hour flight from Paris. From the airport we took a crazy, bumpy bus ride to Valletta, the capital and location of our hotel. When we finally arrived the main street was dark and lifeless at 9:00 pm. I was surprised how quiet and utterly closed up it was! Most Europeans like to eat dinner late, like 9:00 pm late (which I love). This place was obviously much different and definitely something to keep in mind if you plan to visit Malta or Gozo. We found our hotel, but not after another exhausting strut around the city with all of our luggage as we struggled with locating our hotel (this will become a honeymoon theme, unfortunately). It really makes you love and appreciate your phone and data plans as at home we could have just pulled up Google Maps and been done with the business in seconds. We stayed at the Hotel Osbourne which was a converted palace—a very cool place and with decent sized rooms.
The streets of Valletta, Malta
In my next post I will have something more than Instagram photos and some details about what we did and saw on Malta!