Monday, June 13, 2011

Guest post: Kim from Wedding in the 920


Why hello there! I've just gotten back from horseback riding in the rockies and am wrapping up my last full day in Colorado. But enough about me, I'm pooped! So the lovely Kim is going to take over and tell you all about the amazing places her and her fianc√© might honeymoon! 
And the cool thing, Kim and I went to the same school! I think she is the only blogger I actually know in real life which makes me even more honored to feature her!
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Hello, readers! As you probably know, Jamie is away on what I’m sure is another fabulous adventure of hers, so in the meantime she’s having guest bloggers like me fill in the space on Memoirs of a Pilgrim. I’m super excited to be writing, and to tie my own blog into Jamie’s travel theme. My name’s Kim and I write a wedding blog called Wedding in the 920 - where I write mostly about my experience planning our wedding, but also about marriage and life in general. I’d be honored if you check it out, read a few posts and leave a comment telling me what you think!

Now…on to the guest blogging. When I offered to guest write for Jamie, she suggested “honeymoons” as a topic idea that marries the themes of our two blogs, weddings and travel (pun intended, obviously). I was more than thrilled at the suggestion, because I’m super excited about our honeymoon plans. Or…lack thereof.

Let me explain. We plan to travel for our honeymoon. Both my fianc√© and I want to see the world (as much of it as we can), so we’re not going to pass up the opportunity to see somewhere fabulous as long as our budgets allow. But we’re doing something a little non-traditional. We’re getting married in July, but will honeymoon in December (when it’s cold in Wisconsin so we can go somewhere warmer and enjoy the nice weather!) And in addition to that, Shaun is going to surprise me with the honeymoon destination.

I’m bad at surprises. I pretend to love them, but really I’m a control freak who needs some say in things…or at least to feel like I have some say in things. So Shaun promised that I could submit to him a list of my top 7 honeymoon destinations that he’ll consider when making the final plans. (Why 7? We’re getting married on July 7th…and I might have a mild obsession with the number.)

So here it is! In no particular order, this post is officially my list of dream honeymoon destinations. Some are practical, most are not…but I hope you enjoy!

1. Italy 
It’s simple: I love wine. I was raised Catholic, so even if I don’t really follow that particular faith anymore, I would still love to visit the Vatican (technically a different country, I know). It’s romantic to the max, and I feel like we could probably have a wonderful(ly frustrating but hilarious) time trying to speak to the locals while we tour different places and see the sights.

2.  An African Safari
At the UW, I earned a certificate in African Studies during my undergrad…but I never got to study abroad or travel to actually experience the culture like many (most?) of my classmates. I think a safari like one of these (http://www.africansafarihome.com/packages/honeymoon) would be a perfect blend of experiencing “real”Africa for me, while keeping it low-key and safe enough for Shaun’s piece of mind. They even offer “honeymoon” packages that include romantic hotels in addition to the safari! It’s one of the pricier suggestions I’m making...but a girl can dream.

3. A Mediterranean Cruise
Normally I’m the type of person who would like to stay in one place for an extended period of time to really get used to its culture and atmosphere. But I think that Shaun and I would love a Mediterranean cruise because: we don’t really speak the languages even a little, we’d get to see more places and try more things and Shaun would still get his fix of relaxing on a pool deck, sipping adult beverages and not doing anything. If we were to do a cruise to a foreign place (aside from islands in the Caribbean), I think I would like it to be in the Mediterranean.

4. The Bahamas
More specifically, I would love to stay at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort. Disneyland of the Caribbean. This resort has a lot of features that are family friendly, but I think it would be super romantic and would, again, fulfill Shaun’s desire for beaches and relaxation. We would hopefully get to escape the cold Wisconsin winter with a break in the Bahamas too!

5. Australia
The Sydney Opera, the Great Barrier Reef, gorgeous beaches, and awesome animals like kangaroos and koalas have convinced me that Australia would be a wonderful vacation destination for Shaun and I someday…so why not our honeymoon? Since most everyone there speaks English (or some form of it), we would be able to avoid the communication barrier and see more of the city we stay in than we might somewhere more exotic where we can’t speak with locals.

6. New Orleans
After a lot of pricey, exotic destinations, I figured I should end this list with a few places closer to home. The first US destination I think Shaun and I would love for our honeymoon is New Orleans. Great food, great culture, great music and warm weather. A bunch of my friends got to explore this city when the Badgers went to the Sweet 16 last year, and they loved it. I’d love to stay in a historic hotel in the French Quarter and our mutual love of seafood definitely would make this a great honeymoon for us.

7. Napa Valley & San Francisco
And finally, this is Shaun’s primary pick (from what he’s told me so far) and probably the most budget-friendly of the options. Because I do love wine, he suggested we use our honeymoon to see San Francisco and Napa Valley, although in December it might be cold in northern California. This is a great option, though, if we decide to stay in the United States.

What do you think of my list? If you’re married, where did you honeymoon and why? If you’re not, where would be the top places on your list? Would you want to be surprised with your honeymoon destination like Shaun is surprising me?
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