Honeymooning in Mexico!

Time to wrap this Wedding Week up- if you’re new to the scene and just checking in now, here’s what we covered this week: how we celebrated one year, the wedding day play-by-play, how we asked the bridal party, and the ins and outs of all the wedding details. Today we’re bringing this party home with a few Honeymoon adventures.

We ended the night with lots of dancing and celebration- oh, and a TON of rain.Wedding Day!Everyone headed home after the party and bright and early the very next morning, we were on a plane to the Riviera Maya, Mexico. We landed and found our bus that took us to the resort we stayed at. Originally, we had wanted to find somewhere other than Mexico to visit because it seemed like everyone always honeymooned to Mexico, but we found a great deal on Bookit.com and couldn’t pass up saving that much money for the trip. So Mexico it was!Ocean CoralWe stayed at the Ocean Coral and Turquesa and it was beautiful. The resort was definitely a highlight for us. We loved that we didn’t have to worry about cooking meals, had the option to hang out at the pool or beach, and could take day-time excursions to wherever we wanted.Beach in MexicoEven though we wanted to see and do as much as possible, we were physically and emotionally drained from the weekend, which meant that we also had to take time to relax. For this reason, we decided to pick two excursions to go on and hang out at the resort for the rest of the time.Ocean Coral

Our first was a boat trip to la Isla de Mujeres (or the Island of Women). On the boat, we got to do some snorkeling and experience the spinnaker, which was definitely one of the more thrilling parts of the trip. Essentially, spinnaker-ing (is that a word?) is like parasailing except that you sit on a rope swing that’s semi-reinforced with a rolled up towel and the only harness is your own arms. Oh yeah, we signed a waiver for this one.0924131159Once on the island, we got to spend some time looking through the shops and exploring the town- we found a stand selling the best tacos we had all trip! Check out those wedding nails… 🙂

TacosAnd then it was back to the boat for the ride home.0924131413

The other excursion we took was a two part trip: the first to see Coba, the Mayan ruins and the second to visit Xel-Ha, an interactive aquarium. The ruins were awesome- we chose Coba because we wanted to be able to climb to the top… and the pictures looked cool on the brochure. Once there, we got to admire the ruins from the ground…0926131033And then started climbing…09261310370926131046

The view from the top was spectacular! Just don’t look down…0926131043a

By the second half of the day, we were pretty tired, but determined to try as much as possible at Xel-Ha. We got to do some ziplining,0926131441a

cliff jumping,0926131506

snorkeling, and trail walking. It was a neat experience, but overall it felt very touristy. We were glad that we did it but felt like once was enough. This also could have something to do with the fact that we were just so exhausted by that point.

In terms of food, we LOVED eating at the different restaurants each night- the French Creperie was definitely our favorite and I think we went back there every night for dessert. My favorite was the strawberries and nutella and Mitch’s was the blueberries and cream. I’m drooling just thinking about it…0922131922 - CopyOther than a few adventures and a lot of relaxing, it was a pretty uneventful week (which was a good thing). We did take a walk into town one day that we were told would take 45 minutes… it took us an hour and a half and I consider us to be fairly fast-paced walkers. On top of that, Mitch ate something funny on our excursion the day before and was sick to his stomach the whole time. Needless to say, we took a taxi back to the resort and took it easy the rest of the day.

0925131416aWe both agreed- the trip was great, but we were definitely ready to come back home. So ready, in fact, that we called an audible and switched our flight to a day earlier. It was just time to go home and start life.Our First HomeSo that’s that. If you’re looking for more Honeymoon photos, you can check out the book we made of our trip here.Thanks for taking a quick trip to Mexico with us, but more importantly, thanks for joining us this week as we relive the fun of September 2013. It means a lot that you would stick around and enjoy memory lane with us… until next year, we’re saying “so long” to Wedding Week!PortraitsHave a great weekend, everyone 🙂


One Year: What We Did, What We Gave

About a month ago, Mitch and I celebrated our one year anniversary of marriage. Hooray! It truly is crazy how fast time moves along… one year already?! I know we’re checking in kind of late to the one year party (the actual day was Sept. 21st), but better late than never. In honor of the milestone, the blog will be diving into… wedding week!_R7A6292-47This week, we’ll cover:

  • What we did and gave each other to celebrate one year
  • The Big Day overview- how it all went down
  • How I asked the Bridesmaids
  • 3 ways we personalized things to make it feel like us
  • Honeymoon!

Sooo… let’s get right to it. Before we enjoy a blast from the past and take you through an overview of the day, I figured we’d start with the present. Our anniversary is September 21st and while we definitely made an effort to do something special, we kept the partying casual and low-key (which is kind of our style anyway). IMG_0682

It was kind of tempting to merge our vacation, which happened earlier in September (see posts about that here, here, and here), with our anniversary because they were so close together this year, but we wanted to keep them separate and enjoy each in their own time and space. Really, we just wanted two “parties”. Like if you’re birthday is close to a holiday and people try and kill two birds with one stone by getting you a “this is your birthday and Christmas” gift… totally sympathizing with those of you out there. 🙂

IMG_0905We actually spread out the festivities over some time (not totally on purpose), with the last of them happening this past weekend even! Awhile back, we had decided to adopt a practice that we learned from our cousins (they made an “appearance” here and here and have since had their healthy baby girl!!!) regarding anniversaries. Essentially, we trade off planning the celebration each year. So every year, one of us chooses and plans (and surprises) the other with what we’re doing. It was really fun and added an element of anticipation to everything. We’re thinking this will also force help us to put some thought into commemorating each milestone instead of just having to hastily decide on a restaurant to eat at last minute. That’s the hope, at least.IMG_0932This year was Mitch’s year. He had the day all planned out for quite some time before we actually went (which makes me want to start planning mine now…) and the only info I was privy to was this: We’re doing something in Lancaster. Ok, cool- I love Lancaster! As soon as I knew that, I immediately requested that we start our day at the infamous Shady Maple Smorgasbord for breakfast.

House 027If you live in the area and haven’t been for a breakfast, you.are.missing.out. I wholeheartedly expect their waffles to be an everyday menu item when I get to heaven. God and I have spoken about this. Needless to say, Mitch did not need much convincing as Shady is a fan favorite in our house, so that’s where we started our adventure. Waffles at Shady Maple

And of course, outside Shady they were selling mini pumpkins so I HAD to get few…House 029House 024And THEN we were on our way. Mitch took us to Pottery Works- one of those places that you can paint your own pottery and then they fire it for you and you get to take it home. Neither of us had ever done it before, so it was a great surprise!

House 031We worked together to make one thing that we could display in our house to remind us of the last year. Here’s the semi- before picture: House 044Painting at PotteryWorks

And all finished and ready for firing…House 048

Such fun! After that, we headed back in the direction of home, only stopping for… MORE PUMPKINS!House 049We worked together to pick the best ones, but I’ll hand it to him- Mitch did most of the heavy lifting…House 052…while I managed quality control.House 053It was an awesome day- totally relaxing and carefree. Best kind of way to celebrate one year if you ask me. 🙂 We finished off the night with a trip to the grocery store (romantic, eh?) to get some things to make a surf and turf dinner at home (better, huh?). I won’t subject you to the obligatory picture of our food (I did take one, of course), but it was yummy. The night even ended with a surprise question in the mail… and I SAID YES!House 057I get to be a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding next summer- HOORAY! Great day, great company, great adventures. But what about gifts?? I know that’s what you’re thinking. At first, we thought about doing no gifts this year, just going on an adventure together. Then we toyed with the idea of getting something bigger for the house as a joint gift. However, that would be more exciting to me than to Mitch and we wanted it to be mutual. So, this year we gifted ourselves/each other with…Go Ape 059…memberships to the YMCA! Hysterical, I know, but we have already used it TONS of times and are loving it. So that’s that in terms of gifts.

The other thing we did was meet up with a good friend of ours (you can call her Ally) to get some pictures taken. She did a great job and we had a lot of fun traipsing through Valley Forge National Historic Park. We had a minor run in with the law park ranger, but other than that, it was an easy going day! Here are a few favorites from the shoot.IMG_0769IMG_1009IMG_1022IMG_0995IMG_1101IMG_1065Want to see the rest of the photos from that day? Check them out here. On a similar “housekeeping” note, the blog has gone through some restructuring. We’ve taken down the “Galleries” page, but replaced it with something a bit more interesting and helpful if you’re trying to get to know us better. Visit the new “Our Life” page for a run down of all of the major events that have made up, well, our life. You can still access various galleries of photos via that page- it just looks a little different. And is now more complete. In addition to the Engagement shoot from way back when, we’ve added the wedding (coming soon!), vacation, and our first year shoot. Happy browsing!

So there you have it- One Year and lots to celebrate! Speaking of celebrating, stay tuned for the a post all about THEBIGDAY coming tomorrow… oooh, the suspense. 🙂

Vacation Superlatives: 2014

We’re wrapping up a week of vacation-y posts, highlighting our adventures (and misadventures) in Bethany Beach earlier this fall. Just stopping in now? Check out seven beachy things that can be an easy DIY back at home here and a video montage of our trip here. To bring it all home today, we’re putting a spotlight on the best and worst parts of the trip. Soooooo, without further ado, I bring you our Vacation Superlatives of 2014!

Coolest Antique Store: The Pelican Loft, located on the Rehoboth boardwalk. This place was awesome. Think cool, vintage-y things for reasonable prices. A novel idea, I know. They had a great mix of antiques and modern decor. You can see some of the things we saw in this post, but I couldn’t resist grabbing a shot of what was probably the first ever penny board. Shout out to all you Ocean Grovers… you know who you are.Vacation 210

Most Allergic: Mitch- to the horses we rode! It was his first time riding a horse (apart from carnivals) and even though it was an awesome two hour ride, Mitch ended up with red, itchy, puffy eyes. I don’t have a picture of the goods- you’ll just have to take my word for it… it was bad. Even with all that though, Mitch still said he enjoyed the ride and is glad he went. What a trooper.

Best “Beachy” Store: Sea Level in Bethany Beach. Remember that sentiment about wishing I had a beach house so that I could fill it with shells and driftwood? Well, this store might have fueled that fire…

Vacation 078The great part about this store was that there was something for everyone- they had sea shells for $3 and mirrors for $250. It was nice to see such a great variety of items.beachy stuff from Sea LEve

Biggest Let-Down: Not getting to go parasailing. It was suuuuuper expensive and closed down for the season. Bummer.

Largest Crowds: The Delmarva Bike Week was happening and I can say with confidence that I’ve never seen so many motorcycles in one place in all my life.

Largest Chair: This HUGE Adirondack in front of Justin’s Beach House… after hunting for a photo of it online (I forgot to take one of my own), I found the story behind this house and it’s pretty incredible. Check out that link above to read more about it.biggest chair

Biggest Regret: Not buying a $7 watercolor from a local vendor. It was a tiny, beautiful picture of a sailboat, but I didn’t want to spend $7 on a printed copy of the original. The vendor wasn’t budging, so I went on my merry way but am since regretting not getting the pretty keepsake.

Most Random Landmark: This totem pole, sitting right in the center of town. I wonder if there’s a story to it… if anything, it was incredibly helpful in navigating around town our first few days.Vacation 069Best Deal: Renting bikes for $5/hr. We spent two hours riding around town (and got yelled at by some grumpy people for riding on the boardwalk) our second day and it was one of the highlights of our trip. We rented the bikes from a Bike Shop located in the Marketplace at Sea Colony on Sea Coastal Highway (Rt. 1). They don’t have a website, but the owner was so friendly, they had a lot of rentals (boogie boards, umbrellas, etc.), and the price was definitely right. We highly recommend.Vacation 062Most Educational: Leslie learning how to play tennis.Vacation 022Worst Tennis Player: Leslie. I’ll spare you a picture of me and give you a shot of this previous tennis player back in action…Vacation 020Most Relaxing: Reading on the front porch. Ahhh to have the time to read for fun… sounds like vacation to me!Vacation 011Best Muscles: Mitch holding up this shirt:Vacation 046Cutest Breakfast:These smiley “homemade” waffles…Vacation 055Best Breakfast: The Kool Bean Bistro… I had an AWESOME pumpkin waffle. Yumm! Oh, and their style/decor… so fun. Just check out this fireplace/chalkboard combo that greets you as you walk in:Vacation 221

And this is where I leave you, folks… the best and worst of Thomas Family Vaca 2014. Have a great weekend and we’ll see you next week!