Greetings from snowy Minnesota. The forecast looks pretty brutal with snow and sleet the next few days, and my mind is drifting back to 3 years ago when we escaped the cold for a tropical getaway.
Yes, even we go on vacation sometimes! A honeymoon to be exact.
While winter may not be the ideal time for a Minnesota wedding, it is definitely the perfect time to leave for a honeymoon. Since we picked it, I’ve always felt a perk of having a February anniversary would be the possibility of warm weather getaways.
JR and I absolutely knew we were going to take at least a week-long honeymoon, and we wanted more than just a beach. Europe looked enticing, but even with off-season prices it was an expensive trip on the heels of a wedding.
We’d both been to Europe, so we decided a return trip over the Atlantic would have to wait a few (or more) years. South America looked exciting, but flights got pretty spendy and lengthy.
We were both intrigued by the idea of a cruise, and when we found the right one in late February that left from San Juan, Puerto Rico we clicked “buy.”
Farm logistics dictated we couldn’t leave until a few weeks after our wedding, but it was actually nice to have the time to regroup, pack, and look forward to the trip.
The historical sights and places of Old San Juan were what attracted us to that specific port. We stayed in a little nook of a boutique hotel in the heart of the old city for 2 nights before the cruise departed.
Part of this was a cushion in case a blizzard delayed our flight, but luckily we left MSP right on time.
We got to explore on foot for 2 days, wine and dine, and get our history nerds’ fill of info at the forts and castles.
And then it was cruise time. We were not going on a week-long cruise to be sequestered in a claustrophobic closet each night, so a balcony was deemed a necessity.
This definitely came in handy later…
Our first day was a day at sea, which we purposely picked to give us time to relax and explore the ship before we started visiting ports.
Good choice. Or not.
We’d both been on short 2-3 day cruises during our college days, so neither of us worried too much about getting seasick.
When we arrived on the ship we promptly gorged ourselves at the buffet, and then we were pleased to learn our room was already prepared for check-in.
So far, so good.
We awoke the next morning looking forward to a day on the ship, and breakfast was awesome from what I remember.
Then, the seas started getting a tad rough. Not crazy, but even some crew members remarked it was rougher than normal.
Before long, my stomach started to churn.
JR was fine and we’d mostly eaten the same things, so I doubted it was the food.
I tried to keep it together. I was not going to let a little upset stomach wreck our day.
We were walking through one of the main atriums when I needed to sit down. I grabbed the closest chair I saw at the little wine bar just off the staircase, and I tried to breathe slow and deep.
Not working. Soon an unsuspecting waiter was being implored to find anything – a bowl, bag, or tray – for me to catch the contents of my unhappy stomach.
Yes. In the middle of the ship. I narrowly managed to throw up in a small bag.
I’m sure all the gawking passengers thought I’d overindulged in something the previous night, but not so. I was definitely seasick.
My stunned husband helped me back to our room where, thank goodness, I could open the doors to the balcony and fresh air.
I took some ginger pills to try and calm my stomach, but those came back up about 5 minutes later looking much the same as when I swallowed them. I feared it was too late for Dramamine as well.
My head was also throbbing, and I knew sleep was the best relief I could hope for. Poor JR was left to fend for himself, so he made his only visit to the ship’s casino. Multiple hours and about $75 later (not bad!) he was back, and I was feeling like I may survive.
I think I managed to stomach some supper that night, and by the next day I was almost back to normal.
It did feel great to get off the ship in Aruba though!
When I look back at this photo I’ve got to wonder why I chose to dress completely in pink? I like pink, but top AND bottom?
Grenada awaited us next, and we honestly had the world’s best tour guide as we navigated around the “spice island.” (Truly. If you’re ever headed there I’ll give you a recommendation.)
I’m still cooking with the nutmeg and other fresh spices we bought there too.
Happily, nothing else on the trip was quite as noteworthy as my turbulent stomach on day 1. We did get an awesome fill of history, nature, and lounging (and of course, food) on this little Caribbean excursion.
So as winter starts showering us with snow and cold again, at least I can look back to the beauty – and rainforest waterfalls – from only 3 short years ago!
Have you ever been seasick?
What is your favorite vacation memory?