Thursday, February 4, 2010

From Blizzards to Beaches...

I don't know about you but now that I've had my lovely winter wedding and my once in a decade snow fix last weekend, I now proclaim that I am officially OVER winter. February has just never been my favorite month - I'm over wearing sweaters and tights, I'm over having to heat up my car in morning (but thank goodness for heated seats!) and I'm over soups, chilis and stews for dinner. And with the groundhog once again predicting six more weeks of dreaded winter on Tuesday and freezing temps forecasted yet again for the next few days, I've decided it's time to put a little sunshine in my life, in the form of a little recap of our honeymoon. And yes, I realize the honeymoon photos are coming before the wedding photos. I'm just waiting to get them from my photographer. Who is kind of a slowpoke and driving me a little bit crazy these days. Which is an entirely different post. Anyway.

So take a little trip with me down to the El Dorado Maroma in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Also known as Heaven On Earth. No really, Maroma Beach was voted one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world by Travel Channel. And you're about to see why! Our place was a boutique-style hotel, rather than one of those huge, sprawling resorts with a thousand things going on. It was Adults-Only, and All-Inclusive, which I assure you is the only way to go. At first we were both kind of shell-shocked, because it was so far removed from anything we had done before, and we've both never taken a solid week off of work to experience total downtime. I'm talking no cell phones, no computers, no TV (in English, at least), nothing. But I must admit, we acclimated nicely.

Now let me preface by saying that while some newlyweds (ahem, my friend Marcie) like to be on the go doing all kinds of adventures, Mr. T and I were just fine doing absolutely NADA, and chose this location with that specifically in mind. We had experienced a few absolutely insane weeks (and months, really) leading up to the wedding, and then after we both came down with some awful funk just days before our big day, all we really wanted was some rest and relaxation. We honestly couldn't have picked a better place for doing just that. It was absolutley wonderful to be doted on by the staff (I've truly never seen a place with better customer service - they were on their A-game with the "right aways" and "with pleasures"). Not to mention we had five solid days of 80 degree temps in the dead of January, parking it on the ocean with a beach butler to bring us anything our heart desired, while our Nashville peeps froze back home in 10 degree weather. Nothing like coming home to that with a tan and a new straw fedora. :)

I hope you guys enjoy this post because man, y'all are a lot of work (again, ahem, Marcie). My most dreaded thing about this blog is the nightmarish amount of time it takes me to upload photos. So pretty please be kind enough to send me lots of lovely little comments (does anyone else get sad when they don't get any love in the comments section?) so I'll know you really do care. That can be your early birthday present to me...a little bitty bit of blog love. Not that I'm thinking about the big 3-0 that is coming my way on March 11. Oh my goodness, the end of an era is really here. I must say though, my twenties have been a solid decade.

OK, back to the honeymoon. And away we go...

OK, first things first. This is probably the single most attractive thing I've ever seen Mr. T wear. His wedding ring. And believe me, the boy looks good in a lot of things. I seriously smile everytime I see this picture. As you can see, I took it on the plane the minute we sat down and I looked over and saw it on his hand. I just kept saying "look! we're married!"

This is what we laid eyes on the first time we ventured outside our room. Which was about 48 hours after we arrived. Not a joke. We were that tired. And all that lovely lingerie I received? Didn't get worn until after those first two days. Sister wanted a cotton tank top - I needed some comfort!

And the second thing I laid eyes on was this... I believe it was called Caribbean Breeze. I call it muy delicioso!

In fact, I decided to turn a cartwheel I was so happy. What can I say, I'm a gymnast at heart.

This next sequence needs a bit of background. So we decided to take a little walk down the beach one day, which turned into a long walk. As in a five miler. Two and a half miles to the next resort, that's how nice and secluded we were. It just doesn't seem that far when the breeze is blowing in your hair and you have this to look at. Just look at those white sandy beaches and that turquoise water - aren't they calling your name? Well, we ventured out for said walk about 10 a.m., and returned around noon. I am a self-admitted sun worshipper and soak up the sun any chance I get. My new husband, however, is more of the vampire in our relationship and prefers his SPF to have a much high number than I do. All this to say we left with nothing but our bathing suits on, and Mr. T returned with a sunburn like you've never seen. Don't worry, that photo is coming.

I mean, wouldn't this make you want to take a walk?

Impromptu photo shoot of the Turmans. Take one.

Whoa. Way off kilter. Might be the fruity drinks. Take two.

Much better. Of him at least. I look like I need a shower.

One of the lovely bungalows we discovered on our walk down Maroma Beach. I noticed lots of European influence. Apparently this area has gotten lots of interest from the folks overseas.

A resort we casually strolled into during our escapade...the Secrets Maroma. Swanktastic. And lots of topless sunbathers. I believe this is one in the photo but she will be happy to know she was censored.

As for me, I definitely decided to keep the top on. And maybe I thought I was a Victoria's Secret swimsuit model for a second. Or maybe I was just really happy to be on a beach.

Back at our resort after our impromptu hike, not knowing the extent of Mr. T's sunburn at this point. I mean, it really is hard to tell when you're out in it!

Our resort also happened to be next to a marina, so they had sailboats, deep sea fishing boats and jetskis for the guests to enjoy. Too bad they weren't included in the all-inclusive package.

But the one thing we did splurge on was an oceanfront couples massage! It was so relaxing to hear the waves crashing while the Mexican masseuses worked out all our post-wedding tension!

See, don't we look refreshed with our post-massage glow?

One day we decided to take a little excursion to Playa Del Carmen, about twenty minutes from our resort. I think this is at a little outdoor bar, where we decided to try a couple of caparinhas.

As you can see, we found them to be quite tasty!

On 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen, which is supposedly the shopping mecca of the town. Let's just say 5th Avenue on New York City has a little more to offer. But I did try on lots of hats!

Back in our swim-up suite, Craig demonstrated one of his favorite concoctions.

See a pattern here? The guy is all man, but loves his fruity drinks.

While I demonstrate my lovely view. The pool is right in front of me and the ocean is right behind it. The best of both worlds. Now that's what I call bliss.

Here is the lazy river that takes you to the larger pool, complete with a massive swim up bar!

Here is better view of our little setup. And yes, that's an outdoor bed you see in the corner. They truly thought of everything!

Posing in front of one of the pools. P.S. I just re-discovered that dress just before we left. It's from Old Navy and one of my all time favorites. I just don't think you can get much better than a white cotton sundress in the sunshine!

Oh! So Mr. T's birthday is January 5th, which fell on Day Three of our honeymoon. Here we are after our oriental dinner, with Mr. T looking like he might have had more Japanese beers than he should have. Give him a break - the old man was celebrating 35 years!
I asked the "mesero" to bring him a special birthday dessert!

And also had them draw a bubble bath for two for the special occasion!

And speaking of special occasions - you know my Alabama Crimson Tide played in the National Championship on January 7 - day 5 of our honeymoon - right? Well imagine my delight when we discovered it aired on ABC and that just so happened to be the only channel in English that we got! I just don't think it would have been quite as exciting in Spanish. So we asked our concierge if we could have the game played in Rick's Bar, which has a projection screen TV. Not only did they do that for us, they also had sliders, wings, and other "American futbol" food ready for us upon arrival! I'm telling you, we had the star treatment. And we also had the bar practically to ourselves!

This was right after we won - see the big smiles? Now why didn't I throw up my #1 sign?
Note: I really didn't think I couldn't have a better year than I did in 2009, but I must say my 2010 started off with quite a bang. A wedding on the 2nd and a National Championship on the 7th! Doesn't get much better than that.

So here we are on Day Six at the El Dorado Casitas Royale, one of the sister resorts and just as fantastic as ours. We arranged for a site visit and were treated like VIPs - the concierge gave us a tour of the entire property in her golf cart - and we even scored some fresh strawberry gelato along the way! This picture shows us at the Presidential Suite, which is a bit pricer but so worth it. You are right on the ocean, and even can have the chef come cook dinner for you! I could get used to that.

I'm 99% sure we'll try this one next time, because of the next few photos I'm about to show you. Man, that concierge knew exactly what she was doing...

Care to take an outdoor shower? Right this way.
Or just relax on the uber-comfortable canopied bed?

Marble jacuzzi bath? Vessel sinks? Yes please.

And a lovely view to boot.

One of the main reasons we liked this place was the oceanfront bars galore! Is it just me, or do we sound like total lushes in this blog post? I guess planning a wedding will do that to a girl...

Cheezing on the back of our golf cart.

A pretty little place for a vow renewal, don't you think?

I got a serious case of camera fever - the place was just too beautiful to describe.

Back on one of the Cabana beds at our resort. There are lots of these poolside - genius!

Our last dinner. Like my new dress? It's from Target (like $20) and oh-so-comfy.

See how happy it makes me? (And please notice how we didn't even touch that bottle of champagne in our room - I had enjoyed my fair share at our New Year's Eve party). This is while we were packing to go home. I'm surprised I was smiling, given how sad I was to be leaving...

And finally, here we are with my favorite picture of the whole trip. Does that make me mean? Maybe. But just look at my guy's sunburn. Ouch. And how hilarious. And ouch.

Our last morning, boo hiss. I posed poolside with our favorite mesero after a lovely made-to-order omelet and bottomless coffee. The man was on his GAME! He was precious.

All the pesos left in our pocket. But really, I think we spent a grand total of $160, since most everything was already paid for. Not bad for a seven day trip.

Enjoying one last meal at the Cancun airport. Ironically, it was Bubba Gump Shrimp and it was fantastically done. Notice I finally found a straw fedora, and I rocked it the whole way home.

And just because I want to end on a better photo, me and my babe. Love that boy.

Adios, Riviera Maya! See you next January for our anniversary trip!

P.S. That was hands down my longest post ever. Don't I deserve an award for that?


  1. Looks like it was an amazing trip....I mean how could it not be in such a beaututiful place!!! I heart Mexico!!! Although we did not go there for ours, it makes me want to go back on our honeymoon, it went by so fast!!!

    Love the pics, can't wait to see some from the wedding!

  2. I LOVE all these pictures!!! Sunburn is HILARIOUS. The carribean breeze drink looks fabulously delish. I heart your VS bathing suit...I want that massage with that background...I could spend hours in that lazy river...the bed is KILLER! And where did you get the hottness that is that blue dress??? I want more pictures!!!

  3. Ashley Bussey WoolleyFebruary 06, 2010 11:41 AM

    Oh, I want to go there! Looks fabulous! And you are too cute with your earrings and bathing suit!!!

  4. Your pictures of the warm sunny beach, super cute sundresses, relaxed smiles, Craig's sunburn and fruity drinks:).....reminds me of why being bundled in Teddy's camo, standing outside in 25 degree weather, spray paiting a cupcake stand is going to be SOOOOOOO worthwhile in a couple of weeks! Loved the post! xoxoxoxo -Tera

  5. Great honeymoon pics!! It looks like ya'll had so much fun! I wish I could go on my honeymoon again :(

  6. A few observations from these pictures:

    1). I'm as tan as the snow outside on the ground

    2). Fruity drinks have a higher % of least that's how I justify drinking with 1 pinkie raised

    3). When your wife tells you that you don't need sunscreen, wear 50 SPF

    4). If you can't tell your sunburnt, don't get a massage from a 60 year old woman with hands as smooth as sandpaper

    5). My wife is damn hot

  7. I love the honeymoon pictures!! SO BEAUTIFUL!! We loved the Riviera Maya for our honeymoon and want to go back soon! Thanks for posting all the pictures and all of your hard work!! You are amazing Lillian!!

  8. Just found your blog and your pictures make me SO excited for my honeymoon in June! My fiance's brother and SIL stayed at the El Dorado Casitas Royale and we seriously considered it, but are staying at The Royal in Cancun instead. I'm so excited! I'm definitely going to start following your blog. :)

  9. Love that Craig has learned the lesson of laying out with Lil - when you ask, Am I a little red and she pulls the sunglasses down and goes, "Nah" - put on a long sleeve shirt and wide brimmed hat! i.e. Point Clear 2007!


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