Honeymoon Diary : Novice Wife
I am very excited today for our second-ever Honeymoon Dairy by Novice Wife partly because she and her husband visited Tulum, Mexico (which is the very same part of the world Scott and I got engaged in), and partly because it is a very funny account of how the little snafus make the best memories.
So here’s Novice Wife, talking beach bungalows, life without electricity, bribery, margaritas, and human sacrifice…
My absolute favoritist thing about getting married was getting to take our honeymoon. It was the first thing we planned, because we were both so excited about it, and it also sort of became our mantra when the stress of the wedding planning or the wedding itself threatened to overtake us: “Soon, we’ll be lying on the beach drinking margaritas . . .”
We settled on Tulum, Mexico because the hubster could only take a week off of work and we didn’t want to waste a lot of that time flying or being jet-lagged. Additionally, with all the accumulating wedding expenses, we wanted somewhere that we could do on the cheap.
When I found a resort with individual cabanas on the beach and no electricity, I figured it was perfect – I could much more easily pry my beloved away from his beloved (his blackberry) if its battery died and he couldn’t charge it. Of course, almost as soon as I had confirmed our reservation, I got this call:
Hubster: You’ll be so excited, I got something for our honeymoon!
Me: Cool! What’d you get?
Hubster: It’s this awesome device that allows you to charge all your electronics off of solar energy!
So, there we were, the hubster, his blackberry, and myself, deboarding the plane in Cancun, feeling almost giddy with the relief that we had made it through the wedding weekend. Honestly, it was a bit like being the teenagers who managed to sneak away from all the adults with maybe a bottle of something from their liquor cabinet. Not that I would know anything about that.
And then we stood in the immigration line. For 30 minutes. 45 minutes. An hour. And a half. With TV’s everywhere talking about how Cancun had recently won some award for being-the-most-awesome-airport-ever. I think they broadcast that just for the sheer irony of it all.
We finally made it through, picked up our rental car, and headed south for about an hour on the most boring strip of highway ever. We hit Tulum – which is tiny – and promptly got lost. There were lots of stray dogs. And almost no street signs. My first piece of advice for everyone heading out on their honeymoon? Look up the darn directions and print them out before you are actually in the country. I know. I’m insightful.
But when we finally found our cabana and stepped out on the deck—it was breathtaking.
Yes, we had cheesy towel arrangements of swans and hearts on our bed nearly every day, but the honeymoon cabana was so totally worth it. The view from our deck, where we had a wooden hot tub to lie in, was of beautiful light-blue Caribbean sea and white sand. We were high enough on a cliff to get the breeze and watch flocks of pelicans fly by just out of reach every morning. We even had our very own rustic stairway allowing us direct access down to the beach and allowing a steady stream of margarita-deliverers direct access up to our hideaway.
After a good day of simply lolling around in sun and bliss, we finally roused ourselves to head into town. Here is what the town has to offer: margaritas, the best mole sauce I have ever eaten, more margaritas, purses made from wrestler masks, a bar upon which stands a Virgin Mary statue, lots of identical straw hats just so you can make sure everyone properly identifies you as a tourist, margaritas, and boogie boards for $10. We were not very good at the boogie boarding that afternoon. It may have had something to do with the margaritas.
But the next day I was determined that – by God – we were going to do something to better ourselves. So we dragged along our hotel manager (who we had befriended by plying with margaritas) and set out for Chichin Itza, which I have always wanted to see. I think it has something to do with a love of Indiana Jones and a morbid fascination with human sacrifice. Let’s not pry into that too deeply, shall we?
Here’s the dirty little secret about driving in Mexico: once you get off that main highway that is well-trodden by all Cancun tourists, the police are out to get you. First, the federal police will pull you over quite frequently to check the car for drugs/guns/being stolen. Second, the speed limits purposefully change very, very quickly and the local police simply stand by one of the signs that drastically decreases the speed limit and pull over all the tourist vehicles (they are looking for bribes). Our hotel manager happily explained all of this to us after talking the police out of given us a ticket – he was also drinking buddies with them.
We didn’t make it to Chichin Itza that day (too many detours and police stops), but we did eventually manage to visit the Tulum ruins, the Coba ruins, and Chichin Itza. A quick synopsis for anyone who’s interested: Coba are the oldest ruins and, frankly, the least impressive. Additionally disappointing? Evidently at this point, the Mayans were still relatively peaceful folk and not practicing human sacrifice. Boo. You do, however, get to ride bikes.
Next in history (and furthest away from Tulum), comes Chichin Itza, which is (rightly) a world heritage site, location of human sacrifice, and completely beautiful and dramatic. (They also have a totally cheesy light show at night that I really, really wanted to see but the hubster vetoed because he was too worried about how many times we would get pulled over on the way back to Tulum.)
Last in time came Tulum itself, where the ruins are actually the ruins of a town (instead of a religious site) and located on a cliff overlooking a beautiful beach where you can swim once you’ve had your fill of culture.
Culture summarily accomplished, we headed for the water. I love scuba and the hubster had agreed to accompany me on a “discovery” dive so that I could attempt to convince him to pick up the habit. To be honest – it could have gone better. The instructor essentially left all “instructing” up to me, the water wasn’t very clear on the shallow dive we were doing, and I kicked the hubster in the face with my fin. (I told him that it was an accident but he still keeps threatening to refer me to family services.)
Having washed out at scuba (ha!), we headed for the cenotes. I have been told (and done absolutely nothing to verify) that the asteroid that killed off all the dinosaurs actually hit in the area around Tulum. (Seriously – don’t tell me if this isn’t true, I like the story too much!) This caused the earth to develop sinkholes (cenotes) which filled with freshwater. Cenotes have the benefit of allowing you to escape from sea/sun/salt when it all gets to be too much (and your wife kicks you in the face) but they are also, frankly, a little dark and creepy. Does anyone else wonder what may be lurking in the shadows?
Despite the few moments that we wondered fleetingly if we were going to end up in a Mexican jail (there’s actually a place on the way to Chichin Itza where you can buy handcrafts made by prisoners) and despite the hubster now flinching whenever I move too quickly around him, Tulum really did wind up making our wedding totally worthwhile.