The Royal Wedding
Well, it’s official. On Saturday, October 14, 2006, Jenn and I finally got married.
The ceremony was held at the beautiful Empress Palace at noon, followed by an on-site reception with some of the greatest food ever. If you’re thinking about getting married, do it at the Empress Palace - the staff there is amazing, and the price can’t be beat for the loads of stuff that comes in the package. And go with Premiere Catering for the food - it’s awesome (I can’t tell you how many positive comments we got about how great the food was, which is key - crappy wedding food makes a lame wedding).
After the reception, I, Jenn, and some close friends and family went back to our place for leftover cake and conversation, gift opening, and general celebration. It didn’t run too long, though, as early the next morning Jenn and I left Portland for Aruba.
I’ve never been anywhere before, and when I say that, it’s not hyperbole. I’ve never been to Canada or Mexico. I’ve been to Hawaii once, a long time ago, and to Washington DC even longer ago than that (so long ago I barely remember). Other than that, I’ve stayed on the west coast of the US. For the honeymoon, Jenn and I figured we should break out of that, so we went for Aruba.
We flew first class on Continental Airlines, which is also a first for me, and I have to say I’ll never fly anything but first class again. It’s not just the seat size, it’s the service. Suddenly you’re a person. Doesn’t hurt it’s all-you-can-drink mimosas in the morning, either.
Aruba is wonderful but hot and humid. I’d never really grasped the whole difference between “wet heat” and “dry heat” before, and having been to Las Vegas several times, I thought I understood heat. I was sooooo wrong. Aruba heat - humid heat - is a whole different beast altogether. It really just takes it out of you, and I can see why island cultures like that shut down business for two hours midday and just don’t open on Sunday. You have no energy.
Iguanas run around on Aruba everywhere. Walking down paths at the resort (we stayed at the Divi Aruba All Inclusive), it was hard to avoid stepping on all the baby iguanas running around. Full-grown iguanas are out there, too, but they stay more clear of the paths. That’s something Jenn and I never did get used to - just walking around and seeing an iguana sitting out in the middle of everything.
We took the local bus (the “Arubus”) from the hotel to the nearby city of Oranjestad a couple of times ($2US round-trip per person), both times proving to be exciting and educational. The bus in Portland has clearly marked stops so you know where to get off and get on; the Arubus is more a situation where the driver lets you off wherever you want, and if you want to get on, you just hang out into the road and flag the bus down.
Oh, and it rained every day we were there. Not much most days, but it did rain. One night it rained so much our room flooded (about a half-inch of water on the floor). That was pretty crazy. The manager told us they weren’t really prepared for rains like that. They had a pump that had to drain the swimming pool because it overflowed. The entire island was on some odd “alternate schedule” because of the rains. The buses ran on different roads because the main roads had water knee-deep on them. It was pretty crazy, but didn’t ruin the trip. Rather, it made it more of a story to tell. I’ve never seen rain like that.
All in all, we had a great time for six nights in Aruba, but we’ve decided that we’re not “do-nothing-but-relax-on-the-beach” kinds of people. We loved visiting and wouldn’t mind going back for a three or four night stay, but we really are weak when it comes to heat tolerance and we need to be entertained.
I think the next vacation will be to a big city like New York. Or maybe we’ll hit Washington DC now that I’m old enough to appreciate the things to see there. Regardless of where we go, we’ll be in first class. It’s the only way to fly.
As far as the marriage is concerned, I don’t think it’s really hit me yet. Jenn and I have been together for like six and a half years now, so getting married didn’t really change much. The novel stuff is in helping her change her name on her paperwork and updating my paperwork to reflect my new marital status and her name. When I get back to work, I’ll have a lot of insurance-related stuff to update. Probably in a year, when it’s our “first anniversary,” then I’ll really “get it.”
Regardless, it was great, and I’d like to thank all the folks - close friends and family - who were able to make it to the wedding and share our day with us. We had a great time, and we hope you did, too.