Well, it’s official. On Saturday, October 14, 2006, Jenn and I finally
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
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
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.