Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Daily Confessions of an Unintentional Housewife

Brief update: Melissa is now trying out the housewife life, and chronicling her adventures over on her new blog, Daily Confessions of an Unintentional Housewife. Check it out to find out how well we're keeping up with our CSA, what new "from scratch" recipes she's trying out, and what DIY projects she's tackled around the house. It's quite surprising how much she likes the housewife life, now that she's getting used to it. Hope we'll see you over there!

~Melissa & Travis

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Longest Day of our Lives (literally)

So we realized that we never actually finished telling about our honeymoon. A few months late, but here it is:

During our brief stay in Christchurch, we realized that we'd caught up with the travelling Leonardo DaVinci exhibit we missed while it was in Seattle. So we packed our bags and stored them with the concierge before heading out to hit some museums. The DaVinci exhibit was interesting and we're glad we went. The same museum also had fashion through the ages (which Melissa insisted on seeing and Travis put up with). We took a brief tour through the Maori cultural section and headed back out to the city.

Christchurch has been accused of being "more English than England," and it tried its best to prove it. We passed the town crier and the option to go punting on a river on our way back to Cathedral Square. When we arrived the evening before, the square was dark and fairly calm but by mid-morning, it was alive with street vendors and carts scattered about. There was a baked potato cart (with the option of kūmara or sweet potato as well) for Melissa and a sausage sandwich for Travis.

Just off Cathedral Square was another museum/aquarium that boasts a "real, live kiwi" (the bird, not the people). Since we'd come all this way and hadn't seen the famous bird yet, we thought we should do that before heading back to the other side of the world. The aquarium exhibits freaked Melissa out a bit (as might be expected if you've ever been to an aquarium or near water with her). She doesn't like the squirmy, swimmy creatures surrounding her, and they did have tanks in every direction. There was a salmon spawning display (weird to travel around the world to see that) as well as octopus, squid, eel, and snails. It's not that Melissa's actually frightened of any of these things - she just prefers them fried with garlic.

Finally, we got to the kiwi portion of the exhibits. We read a bit about them: there are five sub-species, all of which are now endangered. Although there's not a lot of kiwi hunting, these flightless birds had no predators (at all) until Europeans brought dogs & cats to New Zealand. It's interesting that these islands had such a specialized ecosystem that there was nothing large enough to hunt the kiwi until people brought their pets. Since they're nocturnal and skittish, we had to promise silence & no photographs whatsoever. Just 3 of us, plus the museum staff member went into the kiwi viewing area, which was dark and surrounded by faux woodland. After a bit, our eyes adjusted and we could watch two birds running about. They were ridiculously CUTE! They chased each other and looked for food and the whole time and were just adorable, with their crazy-long beaks and their waddling run and their feathers disguised as fur. Finally, a bird that Melissa likes (perhaps because it's the least bird-like of all the avians she's met?). She in fact liked them so much that she decided to purchase a souvenir stuffed-animal kiwi that sounds just like the real bird when you squeeze it. It's cute, too.

After museums and with a bit of time before heading back to the airport, we bought some roasted nuts from a vendor in the square and people-watched for a bit. There was some sort of bible recitation going on, and a singer with a karaoke machine, and several booths of knock-off designer sunglasses and purses. There was also a busload of children that were apparently on some sort of school trip. Their antics alone were enough for a show. It was eventually time to head back to the luggage and the car for the drive to the airport.

We returned the rental car, went through our traditional re-adjustment of luggage so it all fits within airline limits, and got in line for our boarding passes. The woman at the counter told us our luggage couldn't go on without fees for being overweight until she realized that we fit in the special exemption for domestic flights connecting with international flights. Before she realized that, there were a few moments of worry & discomfort as we thought we might have a replay of our trip to Colorado, where Travis re-packed our suitcases as a line formed behind us. We were fine though and got our passes and headed for the gate.

The flight to Aukland was uneventful (as you hope all flights will be) and kind of boring as a low cloud cover left nothing to look at. Then we took the long walk back to the international terminal and checked our luggage again. The flight back was interesting since we left at dusk on wednesday, watched the sunrise from the plane on wednesday (since we had crossed the international date line), and landed in San Francisco on wednesday at the same time that we were in Christchurch people watching. We decided that any "day" with two sunrises and two sunsets is just a bit overwhelming. After doing the math we realized that we were victims of a 43 hour day.

On our arrival in Seattle we went to our second dinner of the day with Melissa's parents who had picked us up from the airport. The airlines had left some of our luggage in San Fancisco (better on the return trip then the outbound trip) but brought it to our house the next day. When we finally got to thursday Travis got up and went to go get coffee, and promptly climbed into the car, someone had moved the steeringwheel to the wrong side of the car. Our final words of wisdom are if driving from the left side of the car keep right, if on the right, keep left.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday and Tuesday

On Monday, we hit the museums of Wanaka. First: Puzzling World - a place of illusion and tricks. We went into the Illusion Rooms - there's a "hall of a hundred faces" where all of the eyes follow you, a hologram hall and a room that will make you appear huge or tiny, using perspective. There's also a room that made us both a bit sick, where they've tilted the floor but made the room look as if the floor is flat. It messes with your balance, which wasn't any good for either of us. They also have a life-size maze, which we went through. They challenge you to find the 4 corners and then make your way back to the beginning. We made it all the way through, and it only took about an hour or so. In the beginning, we thought this was exactly Melissa's type of place, but in the end, it was actually Trav's cuppa tea.

After Puzzling World, we went to the Transportation and Toy Museum,. It's probably the creepiest place we've ever seen. These photos are for Chris Harris (but anyone can enjoy them) - we thought of you when we saw these robots. It looks like the kind of place Travis would open if he had 80 lifetimes of junk collected. Melissa swears she's throwing out everything we own as soon as we get home. There are all kinds of collections - cars, barbies, legos, smurfs, star wars, snoopy, model cars and planes, tonka, erector sets, (all of which you might classify as "toy"), about 3 warehouses of vehicles of all sorts: old fords, austins, morris, fire trucks, rolls, motorcyles of all sorts, airplanes, and one solar car (all of which you can definitely classify as "transport"), as well as a collection of meat grinders, a collection of heat lamps, several mannequins, and a triple a gun (all of which start to get creepy when you look at them in collection). Of course, there's also just the creepy factor of tons of dolls in one place, or of so many snoopys looking at you. All in all, there was just so much STUFF! Including this Honda - anyone know what that is?

After Toy & Transport, we went to the New Zealand Fighter Pilots' Museum. This one was pretty interesting - it chronicled the exploits of all known New Zealand Fighter Pilots in every war they've participated in. Travis checked out the airplanes & guns and whatnot while Melissa read the soldiers' accounts of the wars. All of their airplanes are in flying condition and they prove it every two years with their "Warbirds Over Wanaka" Airshow. In 2004, they had special guest Buzz Aldrin (who happened to have stayed at Wanaka Springs Lodge while he was in the area).

For dinner, we went to Wanaka's only Mexican restaurant, AmiGos (yes, that's how they spell it - I don't know why the "g" gets capitalized). We were cautioned by Lyn & Murray that it was "Europeanized Mexican," which made Melissa wary & Travis curious. Apparently when you Europeanize Mexian food, you get rice pilaf instead of Spanish Rice and everything gets the same spices. On the way back to Wanaka Springs, we discussed that the spices they used would have been good in a fish dish, but just didn't jibe with Trav's beef burrito or Melissa's chicken fajitas. The margaritas also left a lot to be desired, although we know we're a bit picky when it comes to those!

Tuesday morning dawned and we reluctantly left Lyn & Murray's hospitality and set out for our longest road trip in New Zealand. Travis was a little nervous about driving on the left for so long, but it turned out fine. Not too far outside of Wanaka, we got snow going over the pass (that's this photo). The road conditions didn't really get bad, but it was nice to see actual snow falling since we'd only had clouds both our mountain days and sun/rain down in the lowlands.

Further down the road, the ug-fest continued, with more lakes and mountains to spoil our views. They have some interesting foliage in New Zealand - check out the orange in this tree:

Travis kept practicing his "arm photos" and we both think he's getting quite good:

Along the road, we stopped to check out some Maori rock drawings. Several of them were removed from the rock face in the late 1800s in the name of science or research or museums, and broke during excavation since they're on limestone. Some of the drawings also had graffiti around them (lame), so they now have fencing up all around the rock art. Here's a sample that's still in reasonable condition:

We stopped for lunch in one of the towns on the way - Turkish Kebabs, but we ended up getting wraps instead. The food was great and plentiful and probably the cheapest we've had the whole trip. We apparently made it just in time for lunch, since the owner locked up after we were finished.

We took a somewhat longer route (about 1/2 hour longer) than google suggested to get between Wanaka and Christchurch. Our goal in doing so was to get on the coast earlier in our trip. We did see the Pacific, but only briefly. Now we're on a coastal town, but we're not exactly sure how to get to the water! Ah well, we have the rest of tonight and most of tomorrow to explore so we'll see how it goes!

Finally, we made our way into Christchurch for the last of our nights in NZ. We're staying at yet another Heritage Hotel, this one is in Cathedral Square and we have a view from our room of said Cathedral. This hotel is pretty swank and we have tons of room to re-pack our bags and get ready for the airplane tomorrow. A bit funny that we've got more room tonight than we've had at any point in the trip but at 7:30 tomorrow, we'll once again be squeezing ourselves into the airplane seats that will bring us home... Of course, the rain this morning brought out some home-sickness in Melissa but that always happens when it rains and she's far from the Pacific Northwest (although the Pacific Southeast has been nice as well).

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Weekend

So we left Queenstown by midday Saturday. This is a picture from the road. Since we'd already been halfway there via the Crowne Road (see Thursday), we decided to go the "long way" around (instead of over. This brought us to Gibbston Valley winery where we had lunch and toured their wine cave. They actually blasted out a huge section of hill, and then sprayed cement all over the inside so it wouldn't have dirt & rocks showing. They oak their wines in the cave because the earth controls the humidity and temperature a lot better than anything they could build.

Next, we made our way down the road. This is just an example of how driving on the left changes everything. If you can't zoom enough, it does read, "Keep Left Unless Passing." They also paint arrows on the roadway near photo ops & turn-outs to remind us tourists which side of the road goes which way. We've heard that they don't do this so much on the North Island (population 3 million), because there's always someone wherever you drive, to remind you. But here on the South Island (population 1 million), it's a lot easier to forget.

So we arrived in Wanaka. It's also a town on a lake, surrounded by mountains. The ug-fest continues. This first shot is from the top of the hill behind our B&B ( Wanaka Springs Lodge - highly recommended to anyone that plans to be in the region). It's run by Lyn and Murray Finn, a wonderful, warm couple that has created a beautiful B&B that's both welcoming and luxurious. It's a perfect place to include on a honeymoon! Although we definitely enjoyed our time in Queenstown, it seems that Wanaka is a bit more our speed. And Travis definitely loves the cocktail hour that includes chatting with other lodgers!

Here are some more views from near our B&B:
On Sunday, for NZ Father's Day, we went snowboarding once again. The views were fabulous:
They also had PARROTS as their version of camper Jays. It was crazy!
Unfortunately, spring conditions in NZ don't mean what they do in Western Washington. So it wasn't 70 degrees out (no bikini day here). It was pretty slick, and there are several cat-tracks on this mountain, so it was pretty tiring and we called it a day early on. We did use this opportunity to enjoy one of our most anticipated moments this trip (second to the Canyon Swing). Right after the mountain, we climbed into a hot tub and relaxed for awhile. It was nearly heaven. Of course, we had to look out at the views surrounding Wanaka, which is always lame as you can see. But we suffered through.

After our hot tub, we wandered into town and had lunch at the movies. Cinema Paradiso is the local theater, and they have a cafe attached. So we had cheesy garlic bread, Hawaiian pizza (yes, we are doing a lot of pizza while we're here), and beers. We watched the new Batman from the inside of a car, inside the theater. This wasn't our first choice seating, but it was the only place left inside that could seat two by the time we got there. It was nice to be able to sip our beers while watching the movie, and we did get to hang out with quite a few locals in the process. The punk kids on the couch in front of us tried to tell us we were speeding. I told them I thought that the drinking might be more of an issue, if they're going to give us a ticket for something...
Tomorrow, the weather's supposed to be bad, so we're planning on checking out some of the local museums. There's a fighter plane museum for Trav & a puzzle world for Melissa - should be fun!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


So here's what we did today:


The drawings we needed just so we could jump:

Then we wandered over to Dux de Lux for lunch - sizzling bleu cheese mushrooms to start and then Travis had a burger and Melissa had a pizza (though no avocados this time!). Although we hadn't been impressed with the beers last night, we did really enjoy the bottle of chardonnay we had with lunch. After the adrenaline, the food and the wine, we stopped for ice cream cones and then hiked back up the hill for a nap.

There's a little trail that leads up the hill, and we hadn't tried it yet. Turns out to be a super-steep mountain bike trail. There are hiking trails as well, but those don't lead back to the hotel. So we hiked almost vertically for part of the trip. We did get a few good photos though.

Wednesday & Thursday

So on Wednesday we were going to go do the canyon swing but it was raining pretty hard so we decided to check on the snow in the mountains, no luck. We were experiencing a “Nor-Easter”. If you were on the east coast of the U.S. that would mean it’s going to get cold; here in the South Pacific on the other hand, it means warm and really wet. So we spent the day doing Melissa’s favorite extreme sport, SHOPPING. Travis was scared, but he didn’t want to chicken out so he did his best. Travis did really well at it, he bought a hat and a belt (sort of had to, the one he was wearing broke so he was wandering around with his hands in his pockets so his pants wouldn’t fall off). We then went back to the hotel and did another of Melissa’s extreme sports, DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE. Once again Travis was scared but figured if Melissa’s willing to put up with the boring stuff he wants to do (Canyon swing, bungee jump, maybe make an early departure from an airplane) then he will try to do these sports as long as it’s safe.

So for dinner we went to “The Bunker”. Melissa found it online when looking for good places to eat in Queenstown. It also appealed to Travis in that if you don’t know where it is you aren’t going to find it or even stumble into it. This place is great but you have to walk down an alley and go into the wood door, the first time we heard about it we were told that there is no sign, or anything else to give it away, it’s just a wood door on the alley. They have added 1 inch letters above the door now. The food was excellent. Travis had the local cheese and salad to start, Melissa had a pumpkin, truffle soup. For the main course Melissa had the lamb (that was also Travis’ first pick) and Travis had the Duck, we also had a bottle of pinot noir with dinner from a vineyard not far from here. Both the duck and lamb were exceptional. The restaurant is just the sort of place that Barry would love; actually it’s just the sort of place that Barry would open. Also the music that they played was amazing, it was rock, punk, and reggae tunes that had been re-recorded as lounge jazz (Roxanne by the Police, The “can’t find a better man” by Pearl Jam, a Sex Pistols song that I can’t remember the title of).
Then back to the hotel and call it a night.

So on Thursday we had thought we would see what the weather was going to do. Travis got up got dressed and then looked out the window to see it had snowed during the night, not quite where we were but the snow line was only about 300 feet above us. Only one thing to do, change clothes, pick the resort to go to, and go snowboarding. So we changed clothes, jumped in the car, drove to Starbucks to get coffee and breakfast, and we were off to Coronet peak. So the map said it was about a 35 minute trip, and as Travis is driving, following the prompts from Melissa the navigator, he begins to think that this is a long 35 minutes. So Travis says to Melissa “This sure seems longer than 35 minutes” and Melissa says “yeah it does” and begins checking her maps. The problem was that the navigator expertly guided us to Cardrona, not Coronet. So at the turn off to go up the mountain we discussed our options and decided to go back to Coronet since we would be closer to Cardrona when we were staying in Wanaka. the road this trek took us on is known as the Crown Road, and connects Queenstown & Wanaka, across the tops of the mountains instead of by going around. Here is a picture of the winding path up the hillside, as well as one of us near the top!
After parking at the mountain and all the other requirements to go snowboarding we hit the slopes. Unfortunately visibility was only about 20 feet, and not knowing the mountain at all it was a bit disconcerting. So we stopped for a while and it cleared a bit so we went back and hit the slopes. Again, if only it were pretty around here…
When we got back to town we went out for dinner, first we went to Dux de Lux but we were not impressed with the hand-crafter beer available so we went to a pizza shop called Hell. If you can’t go to Hell, they deliver. Melissa ordered a pizza called “Damned”, it was a vegetarian pizza that was quite good except that Melissa had read one of the ingredients as artichoke, when it was actually avocado. Artichoke, Avocado, Coronet, Cardrona, it’s all the same right? That about covers Thursday, tomorrow the canyon swing!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Honeymoon: Travel Day

Here's the overview: SeaTac to SFO, SFO to Auckland, Auckland to Queenstown. The first leg was pretty uneventful, so let's skip to SFO:
Once we hit the ground in San Fran, we got some replacement sunglasses for Melissa (her original ones lasted for quite some time, but they disappeared sometime during wedding weekend after the BBQ at the park, and there’s no way she was going snowboarding without them). The Sunglass Hut fortunately had the exact same pair of Ralph Laurens that she got years ago – at $20 off, so now she’s set.
To switch from the domestic terminal to the international terminal in SFO, there’s a bit of walking and you actually leave the security area. So back through security again for us (which meant we had to chug the bottles of water we’d bought in Seattle). Travis set off the metal detector, and we’re not sure if it’s because he had splinters of steel in his hand from grinding off part of a truck that morning or if it’s because his shoulders are so broad they almost brush the edge of the detector or if it’s because cargo shorts have a ton of metal in the various snaps and buckles they sport. We got through eventually though. We had a 3-hour layover, and we’d made it through security so we stopped for dinner: Mexican food, margaritas, tequila shots – our kind of dinner! The only disappointment was that our favorite tequila (the blue & white bottle we bought in Mexico) was only there for show – the bar tender was willing to pour from that bottle, but it was definitely not the same thing! At the bar, we met someone who was also en route to NZ, going to visit his girlfriend’s family for the first time. We think our reason is a bit more fun.
We finally boarded the huge 777-200 plane: it had tall enough ceilings that Melissa didn’t actually get claustrophobic (which was a worry with 13 hours stuck inside the thing), retracting luggage storage above, and a TV screen in the seat ahead. On the television, you could select from tons of different movies or TV shows to watch, play games, or if you didn’t want to use your eyes, you could listen to books on tape, cds or radio stations (although they were recordings from radio stations). Melissa enjoyed three different romantic comedies that Travis would have hated and Travis watched Top Gear and World Cup Racing (that’s cars, not sail boats). So we were both happy. Melissa then moved on to play Tetris, but she’s definitely lost some of her skills. She made it to level 10 every time, but then the shapes just piled right up. They served us both dinner and breakfast on the plane – chicken with pasta and ricotta for Travis and beef with sautéed onions and mushrooms for Melissa. Both meals came complete with unidentified foods: some weird fruit and vegetable salad as well as some kind of pudding for dessert (and we’re talking some weird baked good, not Bill Cosby’s kind). Breakfast was a more mundane fruit platter with yogurt & juice (although we actually knew everything on the plate that time).
When we landed at Auckland, we had to go through customs, retrieve our luggage and then go to the domestic flights terminal. Seems easy enough, right? We’ve already been through security so many times, this is just once more… Except what Aunt Judy quoted from their NZ pilot: “Welcome to Auckland; set your clocks back 20 years,” is true. Everyone at the baggage claim was getting their luggage carts (although they’re known as “trolleys” here). Travis decided we didn’t need one (these Kiwis just must be lame); we had our rolling suitcase that we can strap both the carry on & Melissa’s purse to, and he’d just carry the snowboard bags. So we went through customs (they’re really concerned that you’ll bring foreign dirt into the country – we had to declare our snowboarding boots and then when our luggage went through the “biosecurity” x-ray, they asked us if we used our sneakers to go hiking) and we went out to the main lobby area of the airport. We followed the first set of signs to the domestic terminal – the signs that said it would be 12 mins (no, that’s not some weird, metric distance measurement – that’s minutes). We followed the blue & white line outside, across streets, through parking areas, and finally into the domestic terminal. We took this picture so you could all see what the Auckland airport international to domestic trek looks like:
We were passed by a nice Kiwi couple that told Melissa there were trolleys available – so helpful when your husband refuses them! We checked our bags and then had just a scant 4 more hours until our flight to Queenstown. We enjoyed coffee from the airport espresso bar (they all have “flat white” as one of the coffee options – what New Yorkers would call “light” and Seattleites call “drip with cream”), got some NZ dollars out of the ATM, and Travis called work since he didn’t put in for vacation prior to actually landing in New Zealand.

We got some Burger Rings (full on burger flavor) out of the vending machine. They taste nothing like burgers. They mostly taste like fake cheese and a beef bullion cube (especially the salty part). The bag says “no artificial flavours or colours,” and on their list of ingredients they list corn, vegetable oil, and then “burger rings flavour”: obviously from the native New Zealand “burger ring flavour plant.”

We also enjoyed our first New Zealand breakfast (thank you, Stephanie & Jamie!): Miso Ramen soup – Melissa had roasted chicken and Travis had steak. It was really good soup, with lots of flavor and definitely some serious garlic going on. Melissa’s chicken was huge chunks of chicken breast (more than she could finish).
We finally meandered through security which is really lax on the domestic flights, and ended up in the gate area, waiting for our flight. This whole time, we’d been hoping to run into someone chatty that new more about NZ than we do. But everyone that wanted to chat with us had either never been there themselves or was a tourist as well. This time, we were in luck. We were sitting, reading and waiting for our flight to be called when a grandmother and grandfather who live just outside of Auckland sat on the same bench as we were. She told us all about how she was flying to Queenstown because her daughter-in-law that lives in Sydney is turning 40 on Wednesday, so she’s bungy jumping for her birthday. But being a native Kiwi (not an Aussie), she was determined to do the original, A.J. Hackett Kawarua (harder to say than it looks) Bridge jump. So the “littlies” (grandchildren) and son & daughter-in-law had flown into Queenstown for a celebration & grandparents were going to meet them. She had a cooler bag full of the food her littlies had asked her to bring – baking and home-cooked treats they normally only get when going to Nana’s house. She chatted with us quite a bit, about the hurricane (“how can they possibly evacuate so many people – what town can take them?”), about what we’re doing on our honeymoon, about all the great things in New Zealand we’re missing out on, and we got an ear for the accent (finally!).
There was some turbulence on our flight to Queenstown and Travis had already read that landing in Queenstown was “a bit dodgy,” which he neglected to share until after we landed. It was only iffy because of how they actually fly between the mountains that surround the area. Really. There were mountains out the windows on both sides of the plane. Melissa didn’t notice until Travis pointed it out. It might have made Melissa nervous considering there were gale force winds happening while we were landing. The turbulence wasn’t as bad as they led us to believe, but there would have been some concern about being blown into the mountains if she’d known. Here's the view of the air field after we'd landed:
We got our baggage for the final time, and loaded it onto a trolley (Travis had agreed after the last time that anytime everyone around us is using them, we will too). The car rental area was right next to baggage claim (even closer than they are in Seattle), so that was easy. We got a little lost getting to the right parking lot, and ended up with our trolley on the wrong side of some fencing, but we just took it through the street instead; no harm done. After we’d found the car and loaded the luggage in, Melissa went into the building to ask where we leave the luggage cart. That was a little lost in translation: “Are you done with your car? Got all the luggage out?” “Oh – not car, cart. Ummm… trolley?” “Oh, the trolley – just take it out the lot and leave it on the grass right round the corner. The guy will come round and get it up.” There are apparently lots of people that come to NZ from “drive on the right” countries – they feel the need to sticker the speedometer:
We can’t actually blame them: driving on the wrong side is definitely nerve-wracking for both of us. At least it is through town: the highway’s not bad, but in town with traffic (and traffic circles all going the wrong way) it’s a bit harrowing.

We checked into the hotel and unpacked and enjoyed our first showers after so many hours of travel – so nice! We have a bit of a view from ourbalcony:

After that, we took the shuttle back into town for lunch/dinner at Winnie's. They're a great little brick-oven pizza place with cold beer on tap and a retractable roof above the fireplace seating. Bruschetta was huge and the pizza was really tasty. We settled on splitting the steak pizza with homemade barbeque sauce and bacon; a little different than anything else we'd had before. We stopped in at the one Queenstown Starbucks for coffee, and walked around downtown, acquainting ourselves with the sprawling metropolis (6 blocks by 3 blocks). We hiked backed up the hill to the hotel and settled down for reading & tv for as long as we could stay awake. We’re trying to get more solidly on the NZ schedule, but it’s a bit hard to tell what that is, since the sun rises at 7 & sets around 7, but the bars are still open at 5am. Every business in town says that it’s open from whenever “until late,” whatever that means! We hope to figure it out while we’re here!

The one thing we keep telling each other is, "I wish we'd picked somewhere pretty for our honeymoon..." here are some pictures so you all can see what an ug-fest we're in the middle of: