I can see why newlyweds go on honeymoon. Not to spend romantical time together as man and wife, but to recover! Weddings are exhausting, the planning, the arranging, the nerves, the excitement. I can honestly say that when me and my new hubby turned the light off at the end of our wedding and snuggled up to sleep as a newly married couple, I have never felt so exhausted. A day later it’s 6am and we’re en route to Heathrow Airport. 26 hours after that, yes, a whopping 26 hours, and we’re in the hotel room in Turtle Bay, Oahu, Hawaii, and about to fall into bed once more, and again completely and utterly shattered.
But the long journey was worth it. On waking up the next day we were greeted by blue skies and sunshine which eased the aches and warmed our tense shoulders to the bone. We strolled along deserted sandy beaches, spotted the biggest turtles I have ever seen and drank smoothies by the pool. Utter bliss. The second week of the honeymoon was the opposite and the first thing we did when we landed in New York was buy huge furry hats because it was so cold. Brrrr. The next six days were spent walking, walking, walking some more, exploring, sightseeing, shopping, drinking eggnog and watching ice skaters in Central Park.
We very nearly didn’t make it home because of the snow and ice-led chaos at Heathrow Airport but apart from a nerve-wracking last couple of days wondering how we’d get home for Christmas, those two weeks with my new husband were a perfect way to start our married life together. It wouldn’t have mattered where in the world we were, we’d have had a great time, but Hawaiian sunshine was the perfect way to relax and New York holds some magical memories for both of us. We avoided playing the tourist too much, Hawaii was for relaxing and New York, where we’ve both been twice before, was for reliving old memories and getting festive. Here are some of the highlights:
Stumbling across a huge turtle on the beach and watching their little heads pop up in the sea. Amazing. Romantical walks along sandy beaches just rock.
A trip to the Polynesian Cultural Center and a Luau. Hawaiian dancing, a pig roast and a huge dollop of culture to boot. We watched a guy crack a coconut with his bare hands and start a fire using nothing but twigs; a fantastic day.
Blueberry bagels with cinnamon butter for breakfast. Very bad for you but boy did they taste good.
Reading books on the sun loungers by the pool, supping the best fruit smoothies I have ever tasted and exchanging longing looks with my other half, to the sound of Hawaii’s awesome crashing waves.
Watching the surf. Hawaii has the biggest waves I have ever seen, in fact I found the sea altogether a bit scary, but watching the surfers do their stuff was amazing.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall was filmed at Turtle Bay and it was fun spotting where all the different scenes took place. An episode of Murder She Wrote – my all time favourite TV series – was filmed there too.
A meal at Ola on the Hawaiian coast, the waves almost lapping at our feet as we tucked into seafood and cockails.
Chilling out on a deserted beach, tucking into a mini picnic, and being surrounded by loads of little crabs.
Eating shave ice, a Hawaiian specialty, which is like a very high quality slush puppy in the most amazing flavours.
Shopping at Macy’s in New York at 11pm.
Drinking the best eggnog New York has to offer, at The Waterfront Ale House.
Three trips to Washington Square Café, which serves the best eggs benedict, carrot cake and coffee in New York. In my humble opinion. We went there a year ago and the food was just the same and just as good.
Walking around Central Park, finding “our spot” by the lake and tucking into hot chocolate with whipped cream and foot-long hotdogs while watching the ices katers at the Wollman Rink.
Eggnog lattes! Yum yum, pig’s bum.
The Christmas tree outside the Rockefeller Center, awesome!
Hooking up with friends Ellie and Greg for the New York Knicks v Boston Celtics game at Madison Square Garden, a super exciting and close-drawn match, and the dodgy Korean meal we attempted beforehand.
Dinner at The National on our last night, scrummy food, great atmosphere and two happy people.
A romantic meal at One If By Sea, Two If By Land in New York. The tasting menu was to die for, and also a tad expensive, but worth it. And I had a Grey Goose vodka and tonic – defo the best vodka I’ve ever tasted. Yum!
Pizza and pasta in Little Italy, New York. Yummers!
Walking past Sarah Jessica Parker’s house in Sex And The City, on Perry Street, possibly the prettiest street in New York.
Admiring the lobby of the Plaza Hotel, where Kevin McCallister stayed in Home Alone 2.
Buying polar bear pyjamas after a wicked and sun-filled trip to Central Park Zoo on our last day.
Buying NYPD hoodies from the Rockefeller Center.
Champagne delivered to our room in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel (where we got upgraded to an amazing suite, yay) and congratulating Mr and Mrs Slingsby, ha!
Couples massages in the wonderful spa at Turtle Bay. Utter bliss!