Monday, September 7, 2009

A Glorious Honeymoon

At the risk of getting too gooey, I'm going to just post a few fun honeymoon pictures as well, and just suffice it to say that I'm so wonderfully in love with my wife. We had a great time in southern California for six days, and I'll provide my report in bulleted fashion as in the previous post. (FYI, Julie has also posted on the honeymoon, which can be read here, and as before, I plan on uploading many more pictures on facebook, so check out more of them there if you're interested.)

  • We stayed the first night in Little America in Salt Lake City until catching our Sunday morning flight to LAX. The hotel provided a lovely set of newlywed surprises including chocolate-covered strawberries, a bottle of bubbly, and a souvenir key engraved with our names and the date of our wedding. The room consisted of a king-sized bed, a killer view of downtown SLC, a living area with a big desk (and complimentary wireless internet), a plush sofa and a dining area, a mounted plasma-screen TV, a an iPod compatible clock radio (both of which we didn't even touch) and a really nice jacuzzi tub with glass doors. It was such an awesome hotel, maybe the nicest I've ever stayed in, and we would have loved another night there to check out the pool and other amenities, but Delta called...
  • We flew into LA on Sunday morning, picked up our car at what might be the most ghetto rental establishment in California, and drove to Long Beach.
While waiting to go to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, we did a little sight seeing on the nearby pier, had some dinner and watched Julie & Julia at the local Cinemark. The aquarium was fun, and had lots of fish. I overcame my fear and touched sharks. They were itty, but they could still probably have eaten at least two of my digits at once.

Later we checked into our moste excellente suite in the Anaheim Residence Inn Maingate, which also came with a delightful newlywed bundle, including a bottle of wine (we felt bad they went to the trouble, but they can use it for the next lucky couple I guess), and some Disneyland newlywed paraphernalia. It had a full kitchen and a living room.
  • On Monday we had an open day (I made sure not to overplan--the last thing I wanted was an unrelaxing honeymoon), so we went to Huntington Beach and enjoyed the freezing cold ocean. Julie initially seemed hesitant to visit the beach ("What do you really DO there?...") but in the end the sand and the surf won her over and she was the one who wanted to dive in and swim out to the slightly deeper water.
I like to call this picture "Mission: Accomplished."

Later that night we dressed up and went to Downtown Disney for a little shopping and dinner at the Rainforest Cafe (WOW, the ribs there...).

(No, we didn't fork out the cash for these novelty hats that we would most likely never wear again. Luckily we were able to take perfectly suitable photos, and have the memories regardless.)
  • Early the next morning we went to the famous esplanade and joined the crowds lining up to enter the Happiest Place on Earth.
Shame on you for touching that golden apple when it clearly warns not to touch it!
Then you had to suffer the punishment of spooky thunder noises!

It had only been almost three months since we had visited previously, but it seemed like it had been forever. We were able to see all our favorite attractions and eat at the Blue Bayou (despite them having no openings for the whole day), where we were served a special newlywed dessert.

Honestly, we're never going to Disneyland again without deciding on something to celebrate and obtaining the appropriate buttons. It's so much fun to get the congratulations and occasional surprise special treatment from Cast Members and fellow guests. We hit a sort of wall in the afternoon and headed back to the hotel for a couple hours (it was so deluxe to be staying 10-15 minutes away from the entrance to the parks) after which we came back to see California Adventure in the evening, and then Disneyland again at night.

Of course, why did I never think of making the C into a G?

Fantasmic is back and still super cool, but the new, much-hyped Maleficent dragon was not yet in operation. Maybe next time!

  • The next day we woke up later than planned to head back for Day 2 at Disneyland.

Both days were really fun, but by mid-afternoon we realized that we probably never want to visit in mid- to late-August again. You can still get a lot done, and if you avoid the 12-3 pm time period, it doesn't get TOO hot or crowded, but that's a key bit of information I have gleaned (which gleaning I expected) from this trip. On this day we were also ever so fortunate enough to eat at the ultra-elite and super-secret Club 33. I had never been there, and learned right away that they are serious about their dress code (don't you dare show up with flip-flops, regardless of the overall effect and quality of your ensemble. You can wear the tackiest of tourist apparel and cut-off shorts as long as you have closed-toe shoes). It was worth the trek to the hotel and back in mid-day, though, when we spent a couple of the hottest and most crowded hours of the day in an out-of-the-way, lavishly furnished restaurant discretely located above New Orleans Square. There wasn't any particular newlywed bonus here, but the chateaubriand was delicious, and the salad and dessert bars were quite remarkable. We only regret that we didn't enjoy more of the crab claws and lobster tails.
We rounded out the day by watching the new fireworks show, complete with not only flying Tinker Bell, but flying Dumbo. It was awesome. But so crowded. So we altered our plans of hitting a few more select attractions during the Fantasmic lull and headed home. We were even ushered backstage with the post-fireworks crowd. It was like a flashback to winter 2002, being backstage again. It was also a much quicker, but much less scenic, path down Main Street, USA. We bid a fond farewell to Disneyland, vowing to go back again soon as can be.
  • The next day was another delightfully unplanned day, which was spent enjoying the awesome hotel breakfast buffet, watching TV, and resting our feet from the previous two days. I had one more surprise for Julie, and informed her we had to check out because we were staying somewhere else for our last night. I didn't tell her where yet, but we packed up and did a little shopping (where our rental car was backed into by some other out-of-towners, but we were luckily at no fault, so the insurance should cover it completely) until we were able to check in at the famous Disneyland Hotel. It's always been a dream of mine to stay there, and what better time than your honeymoon?
The theming and atmosphere was expectedly magical, and despite a few hiccups (random people trying to enter our room without knock or invitation), maintenance pestering us a couple times, unwarranted phone call charges), it was a really nice place. The room was really fun and the pool was heated and Peter Pan-themed. We went to Surfside Beach at sunset, where we found a nearly deserted shore of rough sand, tall crashing waves and even a dead pelican, washed up on the beach.
The waves really liked Julie.
Which way to the beach? THAT way!

It was really nice, but turned a little chilly as darkness set in, so we headed back and found some dinner (after an unsuccessful walk through Downtown Disney, we settled for the local favorite Jack-in-the-Box).
  • The next morning we packed up our stuff, took a few last pictures, bought a few last souvenirs, and headed back down to L.A. The traffic was horrendous, but we spent an hour or two at a nearby art museum, after which we turned in the car and headed to the airport. A couple of hours later, we were back in the land of mountains and 90 degree heat (it was soooo nice in CA, go figure). Although the post-vacation fatigue, the L.A. traffic, the trouble with the rental car and the desire to start living life with The Wife made me really glad to see the Beehive State again, we were both already wishing we could go back.
And there you have it. Probably more information than you ever wanted! But I hope you enjoyed it. Three weeks later I'm even more in love. Married life rocks.


  1. looks like you two had the funnest time ever

  2. I do declare it was the best honeymoon ever. Let's go again!