Monday, April 21, 2008

And I said what about Breakfast at Tiffany...

It seems like lately, every time Nick and I have to make a together-y decision, we have vastly different ideas.

It could be something as small as breakfast or as large as forever. Lately, we disagree. We had a huge disagreement about smoothies the other day. Smoothies. Wtf?

We are people who want to be together, who really like doing things together. But recently our ability to agree has taken a vacation.

On a lot of things, I'm fairly easygoing. I don't tend to care which restaurant we choose for dinner. Or what music we listen to. Often, if you have a really strong preference on something, I'll be fine with it.

And this leads people to think that I don't have extreme opinions on things. Because until you've seen me really want or really not want to do something, you have no idea how stubborn I can be. People are often shocked.

Most of the time, I'm happy to go along. If asked, I could voice a preference, but it's often not an strong one. But when there's something I really want to do, I'm not going to try to convince or cajole you into doing it with me. If it's not your thing, I'll do it without you.

I see no reason to drag or guilt someone into going to an exhibit or event that doesn't interest them. Or going somewhere they don't particularly want to. I am perfectly happy to go on my own or with friends.

But it turns out that when you're getting married, there are a lot of together-y decisions to be made. Like, for example, everything. Including the honeymoon. Which you are not going to do on your own.

My beloved, it turns out, would be more than happy to spend the two weeks on the Chesapeake, relaxing and poking around small towns. As you may imagine, the idea of getting a couple hours away from home for two weeks excites me about as much as counting the same 25 green marbles over and over and over.

Nick hasn't taken two weeks off in almost a decade. Two weeks is wild extravagance. And I know for dead certain it won't happen again any time soon. Not only because he works all the time, but because our best case scenario entails getting knocked up as fast as possible post-wedding and buying a house. Which means money, time, and energy-wise, we will not be able to go anywhere for years.

And so my goal for the honeymoon is to get as far away and go somewhere as exotic as possible. Considering where I grew up, going to Angkor Wat is not crazy.

But most people think I'm nuts.

The woman I work for now laughed out loud when she asked where I wanted to go, and I said, "Cambodia!"

Laughed. Out. Loud.

And then said, "For me, diarrhea would be one of the top things I'd want to avoid on my honeymoon."

Um. Awkward.

But even without bodily function issues to consider, I do realize it's 17 gazillion hours and many time zones away. And that kind of travel is not necessarily relaxing.

But I also have this fear that this trip is it.

It's sort of like wanting to have one last fling, albeit with exotic adventure rather than some hot naked man. Because I have this fear, realistic or not, that after this I am locked into a completely prosaic, baby-diaper and what-should-we-have-for-dinner, sweetie? existence. Our big trips? Will be to Costco.

And it's not that Nick doesn't want to check out Cambodia. He'd like to go somewhere I've never been - which eliminates a lot of places. But it's really far. And we only have two weeks. And he doesn't have a the huge need I do for the exotic. We might want to make a more reasonable choice.

So there's the idea of compromise. We should find middle ground.

My geography sucks, but middle ground between Cambodia and the eastern shore of Maryland? Would be somewhere in Africa, like Chad or the Sudan.

Which is of course exactly where neither of us want to wind up on vacation. I am being literal, but you know what I mean.

Nick has suggested that we each make a top three list and see where that gets us. And if there's no overlap?

Then we just hope Chad is nice in October?


  1. What a difficult position to be in. Cambodia isn't everyone's cup of tea, but there is no way on earth you'll want to take younger children there, on a long flight with multiple connections, is a good time, right? And kids will love the Eastern Shore, or wherever Nick wants to go. You can drive your own car, pack all their things and leave when you or they are ready to go back home. Try to convince him that exotic is good and would make you very very happy!!

  2. "...but because our best case scenario entails getting knocked up as fast as possible post-wedding..."

    :-) :-) :-)

  3. That's a tough one. I'm with you -- the more exotic and out of the way, the better, but I guess not everyone is comfortable with that. What about Morocco? That's exotic and not as far away as Cambodia.

  4. I don't see the prob with going somewhere you've been before. You would already know if the location has Honeymoon potential, and if it's a place that both you and Nick would enjoy.

  5. That's a big decision. Maybe it's b/c I'm a girl, but I say the bride's ideas are always the best and therefore right ideas.

    What about South Africa? We just spent 3 weeks there and it's a good combination of exotic and full of modern day conveniences. I'm dying to go back as soon as possible!

  6. HA.

    Pregnant Lisa. So cute.

    Also, I like Canaan's suggestion of South Africa, but have you thought about Madagascar? Apparently they have great beaches!

  7. i'm sure europe is very passe for you at this point (given how much travel you elude to) but have you been to the canary islands? i'm obsessed with them and that might be a nice middle ground... that or kenya. nothing beats a honeymoon safari.

  8. Susan - You are exactly right. Eastern shore will be a perfect trip with kids, but the far away exotic places will not, at least till they are much older and easier to travel with. And I am working on convincing! :)

    VVK - :) to you! And of course you will be Uncle Vik!

    Wendy - Morocco could be a fantastic choice. I've never been (or not as an adult - apparently I had my first birthday in Rabat, but haven't been back). Exotic, beautiful, but not horribly far. And could go through southern Spain...

    Kerrie - That is true. I think it's more that he wants me to be experiencing somewhere for the first time with him.

    Canaan - I've been to Cape Town and its environs and loved it - completely gorgeous lovely fantastic. But nowhere else in S. Africa. I like the idea that the bride's ideas are the best ones. :)

    Slightly Disorganized - With all my body/weight focus, you've gotta know I am pure dreading being preg. Nooo - haven't looked into Madagascar!

    notsojenny - Oh no, Europe would never be passé for me. I've never been to the Canary Islands but heard they're beautiful! I LOVE Italy, Spain, and France and could never get enough (of Italy in particular)...but with the dollar as sucktastic as it is, we decided to head somewhere cheaper (even if getting there is more expensive). And have never been to Kenya...

  9. Mmmm. Exotic would be at the top of my list. I think.

    You might do this: Insist that Nick read Wendy's post about sleep, and any three posts I've written that are tagged Adventures in Real Parenting. Then ask him if he'd still like to pass up a really fabulous trip.

    The last big fling? I totally get it.

    While you're at it, you might want to rent a kid to test out that rush for house and babies. I have three of various ages I could loan you. Then I could take that exotic trip!;-)

  10. I think I told u I'm planning a trip to thailand, so I'm with you on your choice. However...sudan? Genocide is NOT romantic.

    Might I suggest...COSTA RICA. It's not too too far, it's relaxing and it's got a great eco-tourism industry. A friend went on honeymoon there and loved it. He has fonder memories of it than he does of the marriage.

  11. Forgive me for being a data analyst, but what you need is data and a metric to help with the decision.

    Make a list of places. You choose 5, he chooses 5. Combine both to make one list of 10. You rank the places 1-10, he ranks them 1-10. Independently, no cheating! Then apply a rating system i.e. top 5 recieves 2 points, bottom 5 one point or something of the sort.

    Place with the most points wins.

    Literally, the place wins because you and Nick will be visiting there and that's a good thing :)

  12. I'd suggest northern Brazil with gorgeous beaches and many options for adventure (hmmmm, the Island of Fernando de Noronha is my definition of paradise), but then again, I'm biased...

    My perfect honeymoon would be somewhere by the beach (can you tell?), but Cambodia sounds like a great time too, I gotta say. Exotic vacations sound great!

    Why not make your way down to Patagonia? Or check out the pyramids in Egypt?

  13. How about these three rules:

    (1) Someplace you've never been

    (2) Somplace not in North America

    (3) Someplace with a fun name. Like Galapagos. Because then you get the fun of saying it over and over in intervening months. Galapagosgalapagosgalapagos. See?

    I bet it makes agreeing easier. :o)

  14. DCup - Yes, please, send your kids up! We will do a test-drive of children having. And then Nick will want to take the rest of the year off to travel. :)

    HIN - No, genocide is not romantic. You make an excellent point. I've been to Costa Rica and absolutely loved it. But that takes it off the list of places Nick wants to go for this adventure.

    HKW - I adore you! This is not something I'd have thought of, but maybe you are right and a metric is exactly what we need!

    Beach Bum - Neither of us have been to Brazil, and those beaches look so beautiful. Plus every Brazillian I have ever met has just been so friendly and so much fun.

    Dag - I like those rules! Which, unfortunately, rule out Galapagos. Which I would totally go to again, because my goodness, so amazing!

  15. "Uncle Vik"

    I like the sound of that... I can't wait until my nephew starts talking.

  16. I'm thinking that the sudden abundance in disagreement is only a product of the overabundance of decisions that need to be made right now. I mean, between the wedding, honeymoon, moving and conforming your lives into one...the decisions can be overwhelming. So, I wouldn't worry that it's going to be a regular thing.

    I think the list would be a great idea. You just might have a place in common that you haven't thought of. I'm sure there are quite a few places that are a mixture of exotic and relaxing. Good luck.

  17. i bet that you won't have body issues once you get pregnant. because your body is WORKING hard at something, and I would see you as being able to appreciate that.

  18. Ideas:

    1. Belize: I thought about living there instead of Costa Rica for while. Decided on CR, but it looked fabulous. We're not going anywhere near there soon, so we can live vicariously.
    2. Morocco: Orrrrr, I'll second the suggestion--- John did his honeymoon in Morocco, which, even considering the way that ended, he did enjoy. And I LOVE love LOVED visiting Morocco, though that was short while in Spain.

    And diaper changing and what we're having for dinner isn't so bad! Although I do admit to identifying with this guy sometimes:
    I especially appreciated his visual aid.

  19. get the man drunk, seduce him with some nice lingerie, and get him to agree to anything :-)

    with two weeks for a trip, i'm with you. i'd go as far away as possible. and you're right, do it now!!! because after the little one comes along, time flies in a mess of diapers and baby fascination :-)

  20. VVK - I'm going to call you Uncle Vik when I see you. :)

    Amisare - I think you are right, and I appreciate your viewpoint. Because we are having all of these uncharacteristic disagreements.

    SD - That is reassuring to hear, and I hope so, I really do! Because the idea completely freaks me out.

    Janie - Ohh, and Belize is supposed to have good diving, which would be cool! And Morocco - I do find it really intriguing. I know that there will be huge upsides to baby, and Avery is so fun, but I do get wrapped up in ugh what if it's all diapers and mundane decisions.

    MrsMac - Ha ha ha ha ha! I know - I do feel like NOW is when it has to happen.

  21. I'm going to weigh back in on the side of Cambodia. And I can even make a suggestion of how to do it in 2 weeks.

    Fly direct to Phnom Penh. Get a flight/accom deal with a top class Hotel for 2 -3 nights to recover and enjoy a honeymoon extravagance.

    Take the ferry up the Tonle Sap river from PP to Siem Reap (assuming there is enough water - otherwise take the bus). 4 - 6hours, $25. You can fly, but you miss out on photo opportunities along the way.

    Consider not booking accomodation in advance. Wander around a little, get a feel for the place... Try not to be typical Americans, fly in, travel in an air conditioned taxi to an air conditioned lobby and never actually feel the air and smell the markets...

    BTW - Siem Reap is a dirty little city compared to others in the area... rubbish seems to pile up... but you would be used to that I expect, Lisa...

    Three days is more than enough to cover the main temples of Angkor, and Siem Reap town itself is nothing to write home about, so that covers Cambodia. And you've been in the country a week.

    You then have a choice. Take an overland taxi to the Poi Pet -> Aranyaprathet border crossing. The journey is 90km over one of the worst roads in the world - poor visibility, pot holes you can lose a bus in, bridges out... It typically takes 4 - 6 hours. Hey, its an adventure!

    Once you get to the border, you can take an air-conditioned bus to Bangkok - another 4 hours.

    Of course you can fly out of Siem Reap.. but its horribly expensive and where's the fun in that?

    Now - Bangkok.. not my favourite town, its a BIG city with snarly traffic and pollution. My advice would be to use BKK as a hub. Choose between flying down to Phuket / Krabi for a week in the sun - make sure you visit Kho Phi Phi Don (THE Beach from the diCaprio movie) OR fly north to Chiang Mai and spend a week with Hill Tribes, elephant rides and jungle trekking...

    Stupid Americans ... 2 weeks vacation is a piffle! Take a month!


  22. GaryQ - You completely rock. Thank you so much for this input. As for the two weeks...I know. America sucks ass re: taking vacation time. I can take three, but there's no way Nick can.

  23. I'm running a little late on reading this one, but it just so happened that it coincided with another article, so please make sure Chad isn't like the Congo. :-P


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