It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…just kidding! You’re probably wondering, “how does someone have two honeymoons?” Well, when you get married the week of the COVID shutdown, you become very adaptable and possibly get two weddings and two honeymoons. As Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, it got me thinking about the past couple of years and what I am grateful for.
2022 has been a whirlwind of a year.
The markets hit record lows since the pandemic, and supply chains are still very backed up, and yet there is no shortage of international turmoil. It’s enough to make you want to throw away your phone and go live somewhere where no one can call, text, DM, or tweet you. While I don’t think you should get rid of your phone or go entirely off the grid, there may be more healthy coping methods to deal with the chaos that is our everyday life. Thanksgiving is a great reminder for us to stop and take in moments of gratitude. We don’t want to lose sight of this amazing blink in time we’ve been given on this earth. You might as well enjoy it! Today’s question is: what are you grateful for this year?
I’ll start by sharing the tale of my two honeymoons because one of them was not so dreamy, and our other one was one of the most amazing trips of our lives.
As we previously mentioned, our wedding happened to be five days after the Florida shutdown for COVID back in 2020. Months of planning were completely turned around in the span of 5 days. So we did still have our wedding; it was a small, outdoor ceremony with our close family and friends. That is another story for another blog, though. At that point, it was June or July 2020, and we had yet to have a honeymoon. My husband, Dustin, and I were perplexed as to what a 2020 honeymoon would look like since there were very limited options. A few months later, we received this offer for one of those timeshare weekends in the mail. Let’s do a “minimoon” until we can do the real deal honeymoon. We thought it was a great deal; all we had to do was sit through one of those 90-minute presentations, and then we had the rest of the weekend to ourselves! Big mistake!
While it was nice to get away, we arrived at this “resort” by the beach in south Florida that will remain unnamed for the purpose of this blog.
It looked very dated, but in our minds, we were more in it for comfort and just excited to have a getaway by the beach. We ended up with a room that had a scenic view…of the parking lot. We went out to the beach for the few hours we could those days because it ended up raining constantly. Restaurants were hard to come by; we ended up waiting over a couple of hours for dinner one night. Our weekend getaway consisted of mostly Trader Joe’s snacks and binging Brooklyn Nine-Nine episodes. Oh, and the 90-minute presentation was what you would expect it to be, definitely the least romantic part of said minimoon. For those of you thinking, “did they sign up for the timeshare?” That was a quick and easy NO. All in all, it was not the worst, but definitely not your idyllic “minimoon.” We both still chuckle about that weekend at how we thought we were so smart.
Fast forward to 2021, the world is slowly starting to open up to the idea of travel again, and so are we.
We decide we need to redeem our very unexciting minimoon. Another advertisement came in the mail, and it was for a Mediterranean cruise. So we start doing our research and found the perfect cruise for us. The cruise lines were offering all kinds of incentives; they were desperate for people to start cruising again. We found our dream trip that goes along the coast of Italy, France, and Spain in May of 2022. Finally, two years and two months later, we were able to have the honeymoon we were wanting all along. We stopped in Barcelona, Mallorca, Florence, Rome, and so many other destinations. We walked and ate throughout all those countries.
I saw the things I had only read about in school in my history textbooks, like the Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Napoleon Bonaparte’s hometown, and Pompeii!
These places had been around for centuries, even millennia. Some of these places were the very foundation of civilization as we know it today. It makes you realize how your lifetime is just a blip in the overall grand scheme of things. We went to places we would never have thought to stop at. We enjoyed meals that lasted over a couple of hours, not in the span of minutes. I returned from our honeymoon, I had an overwhelming sense of gratitude for my everyday life and this special time together. There is something extra special about getting out of your norm and being somewhere completely different that makes you hyperaware of the things you take for granted every day.
While 2022 has been a wild year, look for the beautiful moments.
The author Janet Fitch once said, “Life should always be like lingering over a good meal.” As you celebrate your Thanksgiving, take the time to linger and be present in the special moments that this season has to offer. What are you grateful for this year?