So the honeymoon was a pretty smooth operation all around. I took notes the whole time, so that I’d have the ability to write a very thorough recap of the whole experience.
Tuesday, September 7th
The alarm went off around 0230 or 0300. Something like that. We left the house for the airport at 0400. For you civilian types, that’s “cold and dark”. It was raining a bit when we left home. I checked in from Foursquare at the airport, and putzed around on Twitter, steeling myself for a ten day span without the Interwebs. When we got to our layover in Atlanta, I was in Foursquare again and saw a listing for a Chick-Fil-A. Stoked! Alas, it wasn’t listed on the map I looked at, so I settled for Dunkin Donuts instead. On the Atlanta-Jamaica leg of the trip, I started reading Cory Doctorow’s For the Win on the iPad while Kate was all stoked about her Kindle. In Jamaica, I was very surprised at just how casual customs were. Within minutes of clearing customs, we were whisked off to the resort. We unpacked, changed into beach clothes and took a walk on the beach before having dinner at Bayside. We were floored by the quality and presentation of the food, something that we would learn was normal, not the exception. We passed out early, due to being exhausted.
Wednesday, September 8th
We got up and had breakfast, which was buffet style every day. By 1030, we were making our way out to the beach. I got roped into playing sandpit volleyball, which was alright. I definitely was feeling my lack of conditioning and the fact that I hadn’t played in almost a decade. After the game, I resumed beach laziness with Kate, where I started to dig into Outliers, since I was hesitant to bring the iPad out in the sand. After a bunch of reading, we took an long afternoon nap, then went and had dinner. After dinner, there was a native drum show, and then we did “suicide karaoke” where they were picking people at random, picking the song at random, and looking for the worst singer. I’m glad I didn’t get picked — not because I’m a poor winner, but because I’d have embarrassed the shit out of myself. We took another walk on the beach that night and spent some time by the fire before heading in.
Thursday, September 9th
As usual, I woke up before Kate. I finished reading For the Win before she woke and we went to breakfast. Right back to the beach after that, of course. Our first planned photo shoot with the staff was delayed by rain, and ultimately we cancelled it. Sometime thereafter, Kate went off to have a massage at the spa, and I took a very long nap. After the spa/nap stuff, we spent some time by the pool, where I finished Outliers.
Back at the hotel room, I figured out the orientation lock on the iPad. Man, I am a quick one. After putzing around with Final Fantasy, I took up reading Bike Snob for awhile before we headed out for a romantic dinner on the beach.
Dinner was fantastic, to say the least. Lots of stars overhead, quiet, away from people. During the main course, Kate said to me, “We have an unexpected guest.” I turned and looked and there was a skinny little tuxedo cat, looking at me. She was quite polite about her begging. When she realized I wasn’t going to give her any food, she went to Kate’s side of the table and looked at her for a bit. When that didn’t pan out, she came back to me, before wandering down the beach toward the next table (some 100 yards away). The cats were very polite.
After dinner, we went to the sports pub so I could watch the Vikings game. The game sucked, as you Minny fans well know, but we did meet a bunch of Minnesotans. I didn’t feel stupid for having packed my Vikings jersey (#28, Adrian Peterson). After the game, the group of us hit up the swim-up bar/pool, and began drinking heavily. Around 0230, Kate and I had outlasted the twenty-somethings, and decided to head for bed. When we got out of the pool, the drunkenness hit me like a ton of bricks. We passed out again.
Friday, September 10th
HANGOVER. OH GOD. We left bed briefly in mid-afternoon to get food. We went back to bed. We napped. I finished reading Bike Snob. I briefly was jonesing for a net connection. I read all of Chabon’s The Final Solution and started on Taleb’s The Black Swan before going to bed that night.
Saturday, September 11th
My notes here are somewhat limited: beach time, Kate and I discussed parents and boys’ names. I got sunburnt. Watched some crappy TV.
Sunday, September 12th
Most of our day was chewed up by going to the dolphin swim, which was a helluva good time. It wasn’t my first experience, but it was Kate’s. We got the dorsal fin pull around the pool and then we had them come up and push against the bottoms of our feet. The force results in you standing up in the water and flying across the pool on their snouts. It was a pretty awesome experience. There were a lot more stray cats here, and one of them was all friendly with Kate. I finally broke down and fed her, as she was a skinny little thing and it was breaking Kate’s heart to see her that way.
At home that night, we read a little more — I started Doctorow’s Eastern Standard Tribe. Sometime during the evening, I came down with a bit of heat rash.
Monday, September 13th
Woke up before Kate as usual, and was happy to see my heat rash was gone. I finished reading Eastern Standard Tribe on the iPad before rousting her for breakfast. It was our first overcast day, so there was a lot of reading. I made more headway on The Black Swan and Kate continued to devour stuff at an alarm pace on her Kindle. I also started Doctorow’s Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, one of the most surreal books I’ve read in awhile. Some minor TV, and then we got down to the beach. We had our first nice dinner at the Italian place, and I was pleased that the stuff I had was on-par with or better than some of the eating I’ve done in Italy.
Tuesday, September 14th
I started playing Final Fantasy on the iPad while Kate slept in and read a ton of Someone Comes to Town… and The Black Swan. Rain interrupted our beach stay and the forecast was for rain throughout the rest of the week. We went back to the sports pub and played Scrabble at the bar. The bartender helped Kate by spiking my margarita with gin, which was surprisingly tasty. I got hammered drunk again, and it came on out of nowhere.
Wednesday, September 15th
Somehow, I had no hangover when I woke up. I finished reading Someone Comes to Town… before we went to breakfast, and was feeling about ready to go home by this point. We got down to the beach. It was nice, warm, and a good day. We went to the spa in the early afternoon and we did a couples’ massage, where we learned how to massage each other. After that, I was ready to turn into a puddle of goo and fall asleep for the next month. We played beach chess, using the huge chessboard — the first game, I obliterated her in ~8 moves. The second, she shredded me rather effectively. After that, a little more reading — The Black Swan, which has been the most challenging read I’ve encountered since college. We ate dinner at the pub again, and we played Scrabble again. She kept it much closer than normal and we had a good time. After dinner, we went to the native drum/dance show again, and then did suicide karaoke again.
Thursday, September 16th
I woke up with a hangover, which is sad, because I barely drank the previous evening, and I was starting to peel. Our last full day, we planned to be up early to get as much beach time as possible. That didn’t happen, as someone sleeps late (not me). We got out by about 9:45, and set up shop. Then I got roped into beach volleyball again.
Volleyball was both good and bad. Good in that I found my serve again and the old reflexes were sharpening up. Bad in that it was seriously hot outside and I was sweating buckets. I had to take a time-out midway through the second game, where I pounded down four glasses of water. We got back to it, finished the second game, and then I went and drank most of a large pitcher of water. After that, we made our way to the shade by the pool and spent some serious downtime there.
In the afternoon, we packed and I finished reading The Black Swan. We had dinner at the Italian place again.
After dinner, we did the “couples’ game show”, where the women were taken off-stage and the dudes had to answer five questions. The women were then were brought back on and had to answer the questions. Each right answer = 1 point. After Kate finished answering, we were about middle-of-the-pack in the rankings. I came back out, and cleaned up, getting 4.66 out of 5, and we won, beating couples who had been married for years. Our prize? A bottle of rum.
To nod off, I started reading Alastair Reynolds’s House of Suns, which has been one of the best sci-fi books I’ve read this year.
Friday, September 17th
So we’d planned on a 0730 wake-up to start preparations for our departure. That plan changed at about 0345 when our smoke detector went off. We leapt out of bed, got dressed, and booked it out of the room to find…nothing. We went back in. Smoke detector had stopped. Then it went off again. Out we go, and we go looking for some staff to address the issue. Nobody. Nobody at all at the front desk. Security phone number dumps us to voicemail. The resort is literally unstaffed. What. The. Hell. We go back into the room and the smoke detector is silent. We crawl into bed. About an hour later, it goes off AGAIN. And it would continue to chirp throughout the morning. We finally had it addressed by housekeeping (low battery, but the case was locked), but by that point we were awake, showered and getting our shit together.
It was another HOT day — too hot for the jeans I was wearing for the trip home. Fortunately, the A/C in the airport was pretty stout and we were fine. The flight left Montego Bay airport on time and we got to Atlanta on-schedule. In Atlanta, we went through customs, which was a cake-walk. On our way to the concourse, we stopped and I got some Dunkin Donuts (again), and then, en route, there was a beam of light from the heavens and angels sang: it was Chick-Fil-A! HOLY. CRAP.
So while we sat at the gate, our flight was delayed by about 20 minutes, and I didn’t care because, well, Chick-Fil-A, duh. I had time to scarf it all down, making me fat and happy. And then we boarded the plane. And then we sat. And then they asked for people who spoke Arabic or were from Morocco. And then the deboarded the confused old Moroccan woman. Then the pilot deboarded. Then they both re-boarded. Then we were on our way to Minneapolis, about an hour after we got on the plane.
In Minneapolis, it was midnight — cold and dark, of course. We drove home. The cats were all over us. We went to bed, tired and happy.