Wow, we're finally here. Utila, a tiny little island off the coast of Honduras in the Caribbean--a scuba diver/backpacker haven. For now, this is home. We've been on the island for a week and we found an apartment, jobs--Andy is a dive master at a local dive shop and I'm waiting tables, and our plan is to be here at the very least, for one month. You can walk the main street of the island end to end in about 20 minutes, and along the way you will pass local shops, vendors, hostels, dive shops and hear languages from across the globe spoken as you pass people.
This sign pretty much reflects the vibe of the island.
Picking the music for our wedding was by far the most time consuming, stressful DIY thing I did. However, after it was all said and done, all the music perfectly set the mood I was trying to create throughout the wedding and reception. Here is a sampling of some of the music I chose:
As guests were being seated:
Sweeter than this--Katie Herzig
Can't help falling in love--Ingrid Michealson
You and I--Ingrid Michealson
You and me--Dave Matthews
The Bridesmaids walked down the aisle to:
Your hand in mine (Strings Version)--Explosions in the Sky
I walked down the aisle to:
Son of a Preacher Man--Dusty Springfield
(this got tons of laughs...because his dad performed our ceremony, who is a pastor)
Only you--Joshua Radin
We are man and wife--Michelle Featherstone
No Ordinary Love--Sade
New Soul--Yael Naim
Don't let me fall--Lenka
No one--Alicia Keys
Father Daughter Dance:
Mother Son Dance:
What a wonderful world--Louis Armstrong
You are the best thing: Ray Lamontagne
Single Ladies: Beyonce
Pour some sugar on me: Def Leppard
(This is a very small sampling--I'm traveling abroad and don't have my computer, so this was just some of the songs from memory)
My Girl--The Temptations
Just Dance--Lady Gaga
I gotta feeling--Black Eyed Peas
You can't hurry love--The Supremes
Brown eyed girl--Van Morrison
Sexy Back--Justin Timberlake
Jump Jive and Wail--Brian Setzer Orchestra
Shake it--Metro Station
Nothing can change this love--Sam Cooke
Crazy for you--Adele
Let's get it on--Marvin Gaye
I hope this is helpful with some of your song selections!
Our first stop in Nicaragua was beautiful San Juan Del Sur. We found a quaint little hostel and spent a couple of days at the beach and the rest of the evenings reading, playing scrabble, cards and lounging in hammocks!
Then we rented a car and drove out to Grenada for the afternoon. This is an absolutely gorgeous city with lots of history.
There are boat tours of Las Islatas in Lake Nicaragua, just outside of the city--there are over 100 little islands that you can buy and build property on. There were some amazing homes out there...anyone want to buy an island?
I completely forgot to post about our short stay in Costa Rica. We didn't stay long because I had traveled there before and my husband for most of his childhood grew up there; plus it's super expensive in comparison to most of the other Central American countries. But we did want to stop in La Fortuna, which reminded us a lot of Boquete, Panama. It was quite the experience getting there...we loaded our backpacks on the bus and then grabbed some food to eat...only to return and find out the bus left without us! Yikes! We hailed down a cab and after stressful ride, we finally caught up with the bus and hopped on. Oh, the adventures of traveling! I could have titled this post: When things go wrong: Part IV.
The jacuzzi tub on the patio
Once we arrived, we totally lucked out and found the sweetest deal on an amazing little casita with a jacuzzi tub on the garden patio. Compared to the hostels we had been staying at, this was a 5 star resort! It was a short stay...we pretty much lounged around town for a few days, visited a popular hot springs site and then moved on to Nicaragua.
My husband has lead short term missions trips to Nicaragua for years. He had one scheduled before we ever met--and it was the catalyst to why we are in Central America in the first place. He knew he didn't want to leave the states without me for this trip he was leading, so we planned our wedding date for one month prior and decided if we were going to go to Central America for a missions trip, we might as well make a honeymoon out of it; and then we decided, we might as well sell everything we own and make an adventure out of it and travel until our money runs out!
My husband with two local pastors in Sandino; Pastor Alejandor and Pastor Justo
We arrived in Managua, Nicaragua after about 3 weeks of traveling. 13 students from Washington met us here and we were off to work. My husband is involved with a church and an orphanage in a small town outside of Managua. We helped with building a community center and traveling to schools with the church's drama team to spread the word of God. It's amazing to see the culture and life here; to see the joy in those who have so little; and to regain perspective on how blessed we are. God is so good.
A few of the students working on the wall of the community center.
The incredible drama team, Generacion de Luz performing for a local elementary school
I think about my wedding day daily. Andy and I have been married for one month and the best feeling in the world is waking up next to him. I remember looking forward to that so very much. I distinctly remember being introduced as Mr. and Mrs. and knowing that I was going to wake up to that man every morning for the rest of my life...my husband. I think you can see the joy on my face!
If you were to ask any of my guests what they remember most about my wedding...they would probably say the tremendous amount of laughter throughout the ceremony. I can´t help but laugh thinking about it!
While Andy´s father (who lead the ceremony) was reading scripture, my sweet, sweet husband to be started to get the giggles. There are a select few who know he laughs when he is nervous...I could see it start and I kept looking down so I wouldn´t start laughing too. But at one point he just erupted. I could see him trying to hold it in...his face was bright red...cheeks blown out...and his knees giving way...and then it just happened---and it didn´t stop for a good two minutes or so. After the initial shock and horror from the bridal party and guests, and them seeing that I was laughing too, the entire congregation was in hysterics.
This is me trying to hold it together...staring at the ground!
After all the laughter settled down, Andy´s dad continued with the ceremony...but then another hiccup. The last wedding that Andy´s father lead--the brides name was Caroline...which was also one of my bridesmaid´s names. His dad referred to us at one point in the ceremony as Andy and Caroline...his dad didn´t realize the mistake until Andy started laughing again, and once again the laughter erupted. (His dad made sure to mention that Andy had never dated a Caroline at the end of the ceremony!) It definitely made the ceremony memorable...the groomsmen were sure to dedicate a song to Andy´s dad at the reception...Sweet Caroline.
I feel a litte wierd posting photos of just me...but I feel like I am not doing my amazing photographer justice if I don´t post them because when I look at these photos, I think she did an amazing job of capturing my happiness, joy and peace. Plus...you can get the upclose shots of my DIY hair and makeup! You can see more of my wedding on her blog.
Note to self: Spit gum out before taking pictures!
So far, this has been my favorite little spot in Panama. Boquete is a small town up in the mountains full of life and culture. There are a fair amount of retired gringos here, but the amazing coffee, great food, and cheap accomodations are helping me overlook the old white men wearing socks with their sandals.
Andy and I rented a scooter to explore more of what this quaint town has to offer. We've stayed here for three days so far and we don't really want to leave. This is a place where we can see ourself settling down in the future. If you are planning a trip to Panama, do not skip over this precious gem!
Coffee Break...the coffee is REALLY good here.
A quick stop at the Gardens.
It was quite the adventure to get to the hot springs...but we made it and it was worth it!
By the time Andy and I reached our wedding day, we had known eachother approximately 7 months. Instead of settling down after marriage, we sold everything we had, and stuffed the rest into backpacks and decided to travel/possibly move to Central America. We have truly had a magical time so far full of romance and adventure. However, traveling together for an unknown amount of time, going hostel to hostel, not knowing the language (thank goodness he is fluent), dealing with sickness and all the unknowns of traveling without a game plan definitely can put a lot of pressure on a relationship. Add PMS, a painful flare-up of sciatica (yes, I have all sorts of health issues), and conflict is bound to happen. And it has. And I am so thankful (after some time of course). It really has brought us closer together and has helped us really realize what are weaknesses are; and that has allowed us to be more prayerful about being a better spouse and serving eachother's needs. Conflict seems bigger when once you're married, but the resolving part is so much more meaningful...and fun (hehe).
After leaving Panama City we were looking forward to getting away to the beach and relaxing. What we found was a little isolated gem called Playa Las Lajas. We literally stayed in a hut on the beach. There was nothing but a bed, shelves, and the ocean at the front door. Who could ask for more?
Wow...it's still hard to believe that all the planning and details are over. To wake up and not have to think about checklists and ideas is still a little strange. It helps that I'm in Central America and don't have internet access whenever I wan't it, otherwise, I'd probably still be scouring sites just for the heck of it. Instead, I stalk my photographer's blog and Facebook waiting to see more wedding pictures! In the meantime...I'm enjoying relaxing and loving on my new hubby. It's exciting to know that we'll be on the move and traveling for an indefinate amount of time.
The first part of our honeymoon began in Flagstaff. We recieved a very generous gift of a time share and got to play house for a few days. It was pretty cold and snowy...fortunately we had no where to go!