Wedding Week – After the I do’s

Our whirlwind wedding was over and our stress levels were higher than ever.  My sweet boyfriend was put on antibiotics the day of our rehersal dinner (he had a nasty sickness) and the one thing that the pharmacist said would help was REST.  Well, that was exactly our plans.  We were looking forward to our 10 day adventure in Mexico just for the chance to shed the stress and tension of weddings, ceremonies, families and get our BEACH on. 

After a quick flight and a subsequent drive, we pulled into a beautiful exotic hotel in the Riveria Maya.  It was called the El Dorado Royale and we had booked a casita suite (which is technically just a shmancy name for stand-alone hut).  Our room had an outdoor shower, a lounging pool and a swim up bar.  Since it was October (hurricane season) we ended up being one of the only folks on that side of the resort.    

The low number of vacationers actually benefited us…we got great service, were able to walk into any of the eight included resturaunts without a wait and got a different towel-animal on our bed each night.  I mean, we were practically celebrities :) And just so you know, if I ever was rich enough to hire a housekeeper, I would ask them to be fully educated in a diverse array of towel-folding.

One of our favorite parts?  The beaches.  We were able to spend three outta the ten days plopped down on the beach…doing absolutely nothing…not even retrieving drinks since we had a beach boy (not a famous singing beach boy…just a normal non-singing one) whose main job was keeping our cup full.

And we were able to detox from all things marraige – related.  There were no questions about processionals or photos or whether or not the reception facility absolutely forgot to refill table twelves sweet tea.  It was divine. 

But in the midst of all that relaxation, we definitely had planned some excursions.  Afterall, we were in Mexico and wanted to be able to take in as much of the beautiful country as possible. 

One of the days we visited XCaret – which was basically like a zoo with gardens and a show at the end. 

This was also the place that we booked a session to swim with the dolphins.  Let me explain something very important…I used to swim.  Not like in a normal sense…it was hard core swimming.  Literally, my summers in highschool involved me hitting the pool at 6 am and having three to four practices A DAY.  The kids in our family didn’t change outta our suits.  And during the winter, Sundays was the only day that we didn’t don a Speedo.  So for the better part of my teenagehood, I believed that I was a human dolphin.  I know that is weird.  But I also used to believe that I could breathe underwater and I would take naps in the pool…all that to say this experience was perfect for me.

After swimming with them, the trainers told us that they would come behind us and push our feet.  Then we could ‘ride’ through the water.  First was Jeremy.  The whistle blew signaling the dolphin to start zooming through the water and Jeremy rode the entire length of the pool.   

Then came my turn.  I waited and waited.  Then I turned around looking for the trainer to see what was holding up the whistle.  Then all of a sudden, my crazy prankster dolphin started launching me through the air…needless to say, I was slightly surprised.  I knicknamed him Bart Simpson after that.   

Our other highlight from XCaret was snorkeling in the underground river. 

Although the water was a little chilly (it was raining a little that day which made the water colder), we both got a kick outta swimming along the long tunnel and seeing the ground above us and below us.  Very cool.  pun totally intended. 

After our visits with all the different animals (we saw everything from anteaters to oxes) and the water adventures – we got ready for dinner and a show. 

The production was amazing.  The entire thing explained Mayan history and traditions and helped us understand their culture and beliefs (which came in handy during our other excursions).  Plus, anytime I get to see grown men twirl with giant paper mache plates on their head, I am game.  

Even our server was in the spirit of things.  Please note that this is the only time that I have accepted food from a half-naked sweaty man.  Although, I would consider doing it again…but next time, deodorant would be necessary; anti-persperant optional.  

The next day, we went on another excursion…this time it required a few hours in a bus. 

But the drive was well worth it when we got to see this:

That is Chichen Itza…a New Seven Wonder of the World.  This temple and the surrounding ruins are an ancient Mayan city.  They include a ball court (where the winner got his head chopped off.  I know.  I would totally throw that one too.) and a bunch of carvings of human skulls, the Platform of Venus, and a Temple of Warriors (who got their heart cut out if they were the best…needless to say, these people were very dedicated to being on top of their craft). 

On the way back from Chichen Itza, our tour group stopped at this cenote (giant water hole).  It was beautiful from the bottom and the water was FREEZING. 

The next excursion was my absolute favorite.  It was a Mayan Adventure.  We started out kayaking through an alligator infested swampland.  Then we hiked through the jungle, got blessed by a Mayan before swimming in a cenote (that required a rope to climb in and out of), then we got to a giant cavern. 

That is where we got strapped in and went ziplining.  Being scared of heights had us both sweating buckets…but it was so worth it.  And yes, that is a stick I am holding.  It was my brakes for when I got to the end of the line so that I didn’t slam into a tree :)

After our zipline craziness, we got to repel down onto the floor before having a handmade Mayan meal and bicycling through the jungle to see more ruins.  And when I say we had mountain bikes, I mean…we literally had bikes that the parts were found on different parts of the mountain.  One girl pushed down on her pedals and the bike crashed into a pile of parts.  She was left there holding the handlebars while I laughed myself silly.  It was awesome.

One of our excursions (whew!  what happened to the rest and relaxation?!?!) was to Xel Ha – a large natural aquarium that urges snorkeling. 

The fish were unreal.  Arnold Schwarzenegger fish.  They were huge.  Like they had been eating steroid plankton fortified with growth hormones. 

After we swam all over Xel Ha, we hopped on another bus and spent the rest of the day at Tulum…which is where the Spanish conquistadors first contacted the Mayan people.  The walls of the ancient city were right on the cliff that overlooked the ocean.  I can imagine that the Mayans saw the ships on the horizon and probably dropped the f-bomb.  I mean, seriously, this place was crazy beautiful and they knew that their best warrior would have to cut out his heart if he survived the fight!  

I would be remiss to forget one of the best parts of our vacation – THE FOOD.  Since our resort was all-inclusive (and we aren’t big drinkers) we decided that the best way to exploit the hotel would be to eat our weight in food.  Some nights we would hit up to three resturaunts for dinner.  I’m honestly surprised we didn’t gain twenty pounds…because we did our best to gorge ourselves at every meal.

The last two days we switched hotels.  We ended up leaving the southern coast and heading north to enjoy Cancun.  Here was our view from the Hilton suite (which was AMAZING!):

While we were in Cancun, we hit up the Hard Rock cafe (which we also visited when we got engaged) and Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville (where I got pulled up on stage to dance!).  And I met these two fellows…I think Jeremy had a tinge of jealousy…because I know wearing a tiara and having a fairy wand is totally his style.  Kidding honey!

We also took a dinner cruise…which I highly recommend.  We got to see the sunset and eat dinner with a very fun couple from Scotland.  And yes, I did attempt to speak to them in their native tongue.  And they thought we sounded funny with our accents :)

It was the perfect ending to our wedding celebration and the best beginning for our new lives together.  And yes, I did attempt to stuff a pool boy in the luggage to take home…c’mon…HE COULD FOLD SWAN TOWELS AND BRING ME PINA COLADAS…basically the recipe for a perfect man.  I probably could have fit him too…if only I didn’t buy that dolphin towel!

So now tell me…where did you honeymoon?  What was the best part?  Spill those moonin’ details (heehee…moonin’….like bums!)



  1. Lori in OR says

    We went to Germany for our honeymoon. We stayed in Munich for a romantic week, and then spent a month in youth hostels all over Bavaria. Why? Because we are thrifty-as-heck, and you can only stay in hostels in Bavaria until you are 26, so it would be our last chance! We went to every out-of-the-way town we could, even staying in a couple of hostels that did not have private rooms, so we were put in separate single-sex dorms – there’s romance for ya! It wasn’t a restful, pampering honeymoon (except for that first week), but it was a trip full of fabulous memories.

  2. ErinEvelyn says

    After spending a college semester in ’94 as a student & intern in London and getting to know the city without having the time & money to do many touristy activities, I decided to “take” my new husband on his first trip to Europe for 2 weeks on your honeymoon in ’02. (International travel was still light from the US due to 9/11, so airfare & accommodations were unusually affordable.) In & around London (and a short jaunt to Scotland) we went to shows, concerts, gardens, museums, historical landmarks, restaurants, pubs…. took tubes, buses, boats, trains, taxis…. and covered miles upon miles of pavement on foot. It was exciting & romantic & educational &, for us, relaxing!!! Neither of us have had the desire to spend time on a beach…. we’re so obviously made for each other! :)

  3. Jessica says

    My husband and I are leaving in a month for a week at El Dorado Royale! I was so excited to see your pictures and hear your great reviews. I was already excited to go, but now I can’t wait :) We weren’t really thinking about excursions -just how soon can we get to the beach?- but I think we will look into a few of the ones you mentioned now! Thanks for posting!

  4. says

    Holy smokes that makes me want to go back and have a second honeymoon! We rented a cabin in North Carolina, and my hubby learned how to snow ski. It snowed the day of our wedding (in FL) so we were welcomed to fresh white fluff. I loved it :)

    Also, I need to take up swimming… you look amazing!

  5. says

    We totally stayed at the same place! El Dorado Royale, or EDR as we affectionately called it. We loved it! Although we did not do nearly as many excursions as you, we definitely enjoyed the sun, sand, casitas, pina coladas at 10 am, hotel staff on bikes, and the FOOD. So, so good!

  6. Sada says

    We actually just got back from our honeymoon on Tuesday!! We went to Fiji…aka paradise. We went to two small islands – Malolo and Navini. On Navini there were only 10-15 total guests on the entire island! Our schedule went like this – eat, snorkle, read, eat, nap, snorkle, read, eat, sleep. It. Was. Amazing. Ha! Now I am sitting back in a office…sigh.

  7. says

    We are going to the Riviera Maya this Holiday season! Cannot wait! Stumbled upon your blog and liked all the fun stuff that you did. We were a little worried about the safety but it seems like lots of people have recently traveled there with no problems…
    We went to Hawaii for 2 weeks on our honeymoon (Kauai and the Big Island). We almost went back one year later, that is how awesome it was/is.

  8. says

    Oh my gosh! This is exactly where we went for our Honeymoon. We stayed in a casita and gorged ourselves and everything. We actually just got back on Sunday and let me tell you I’m noticing all that gorging as I sit at my desk today.

  9. Kate says

    So…I’m just now stumbling onto your blog, and I love it! I’ve been stalking a lot of “young+married+house” type blogs, because that’s my life right now, but I read your honeymoon post, and my hubby and I are going on our belated honeymoon at the same resort! I’m so glad to hear your positive feedback–very comforting. You guys are adorable! Good luck with the new house!


  10. Iomay says

    We actually stayed at the occidental flamenco Xcaret when we went for our honeymoon in ’09! We thought about doing the Xcaret trip but we didn’t have a lot of time to pack it in. Next time!!

  11. says

    I just found your website via Sherry of Young House Love, and as I was browsing your archives, I realized we got married on the very same day (10/06/07!) and went on almost the same honeymoon! We stayed at the El Dorado Seaside Suites (I think that’s different than the Royale, but I’m not sure) and we went to the same Dolphin Swim…I’m going to have to check my video to make sure we didn’t meet! Small world, this Internet thing is :)

  12. Casey says

    What? Get out of here…my husband and I literally almost did the exact honeymoon as you two! We stayed at El Dorado as well for a week, then headed to Cancun for the last three days, we went to Xcaret, swam with dolphins, toured the pyramids. We even have a picture of the dessert that says ‘Happy Honeymoon’! Dude it was like I got sucked into the twilight zone when I was reading this, ha ha! I wish I would have seen this before our honeymoon actually, because the zipline tour looks like it would have been amazing. I keep insisting to my Hubby that we need to get remarried every five years (I loved wedding planning and trying on dresses) and then go back to Mexico. :)

  13. says

    Was reading your post today that linked way back to this one, and got HOOKED! My twin sister got married a month ago at the El Dorado Royale, and I’ve been editing her wedding video ever since. I LOVED that place, and am going through serious withdrawal. Just spent way too long (considering I’m at work…) looking through this whole post to see what I recognized!

    You can check out the video here if you like revisiting the location as much as I enjoyed revisiting it through your post!

    and this one (more of the fun/evening footage)…

    Thanks for a great distraction from my work, and another perspective on the same resort :)

  14. says

    You are so adorable. Like I want to squeeze you. And I started to tear up at the end of this and I have no idea why. Seriously. I think it was the plate with writing. What’s wrong with me?!

    I want to go to Mexico and eat. my weight in food. But all those adventures? I would need two weeks- I was exhausted just reading about it!

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