Honeymoon Recap, Part 4: Under the Sea

3 Aug

At the end of my last honeymoon post, I left you with a picture of a sea turtle. If you guessed that our next adventure was snorkeling, then you guessed right — well, sort of! On Thursday morning, Jordan and I got up bright and early to drive to Makena for a 7:15 am kayaking and snorkeling trip. I have a fear of sharks, and was nervous about the trip, but I knew that I needed to overcome my fear and do it for Jordan (funny enough, I’m the one who booked the trip :)).

Unlike a typical snorkel trip on a big boat, this kayak and snorkel trip was just us, a family of four and two tour guides, in the middle of the ocean in kayaks.

Jordan and I shared a kayak, and paddled out to our first location with the rest of our group. Once at our first location, we put on our snorkel gear while sitting in our kayaks, then got in the water to explore.

This particular area is known for sea turtles, and several swam right underneath us while we were in the water! Jordan also held a sea urchin.

 I passed on that one :).

After swimming around our first location, we got back in our kayaks, paddled across the ocean some more, and went to another snorkeling spot. This continued for about 2 hours. Though it was fun, I felt seasick every time we anchored our kayaks and were floating on the waves. I know for next time, take Dramamine when kayaking in the ocean! Our trip was actually cut short because one of our guides was feeling sick, but it ended up being the perfect amount of time for me, since I was feeling nauseous. After our tour, our group ate lunch on the beach, and then we were on our way. 

We explored another beach in Makena, after hearing it had some of the bluest water in Maui.

Once we got back to where we were staying, we spent the afternoon lounging by the poolside bar and soaking up the sun.

Not for too long, though, because we had to get ready for our next big event of the day — a luau!

We went to ‘The Feast at Lele’ luau, right on the water in Lahaina. Jordan and I had a table for two with our own waiter (rather than buffet-style), which made for a romantic setting. We were served a five-course meal representing all of the Hawaiian cultures, and while we ate, we watched the show.

Just one of the five courses!

They also had an open bar, and they came to take our drink order with every course that was served. Neither of us are big drinkers, so we had to pace ourselves!

By the end of the night, I thought Jordan was going to have to roll me out of there because we’d eaten so much food! It was a very cool experience though; everything took place right on the beach, and we had a perfect view.

To avoid feeling bloated from the night before, I began the next morning with a 3 mile run (while watching ‘Boy Meets World’ — I loved those treadmills!),

and then we were off on our next adventure — this time, high in the sky.

Do you know what we were up to next :)? I’ll be back with the next recap on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Have you ever snorkeled?

Are you more of a beach person or a pool person — or both?

 

 

 

Thursday Thoughts

2 Aug

I’m going to take a break from my honeymoon series to give you some insight into my life, post-wedding. I’ll be back tomorrow with another recap!

1. I think I may be suffering from the post-wedding blues. I’m pretty sure this is a real thing, just ask a few recent brides. It’s not that I’m unhappy being married, or that I’m sad because I’m back home from Hawaii (okay, I’m a little sad about that), but I’m just kind of bummed that one of the biggest events in my life is over. No more texts, no more emails, no more being the center of attention. It goes by so fast.

2. I am currently unemployed. Ugh, I hate that word. While Jordan goes to work every morning, easing his way back into a routine, I have a much simpler days, which usually consist of making the bed, doing laundry, hitting the gym if I feel like it, and washing some dishes by hand — just because I have the extra time. I’m guessing that this is why my post-wedding blues are more magnified — I don’t have anything to distract myself from them.

3. Being unemployed means having plenty of time to watch the Olympics. Yesterday morning, I watched the girls’ gymnastics team win the gold, and I was so happy for them, I almost cried. I seriously don’t know how those girls do it. I took gymnastics when I was in elementary school, and I could barely manage a cartwheel. A career in gymnastics was definitely not God’s intention for me, though every time the Olympics is on, I so wish it was ;).

Source

5. Speaking of careers, at this point in my life, I thought I would have one. I had dinner with two of my friends last night, both who just accepted teaching positions and start their full-time careers next week. While I’m so happy for them, I’m also frustrated that I’m still sitting here, wondering what it is that I want to do. I have multiple passions, that’s the problem…

Can I be a professional fro-yo eater…? No…?

6. I begin my half marathon training plan on Monday! I decided to go with a plan I found in Runner’s World, which consists of three days of running per week, plus cross training. It might not always be easy, but it’s definitely doable, and I’m excited to get started!

7. My sister is coming over today to eat lunch and go swimming. I can see these dates becoming a common occurrence as long as it stays as hot as it’s been — in the 90s for 40+ days straight. I’m excited to get some fresh air and spend some time with my sis!

Have a great Thursday!

Have you always known what type of career is the best fit for you?

How long after college did it take for you to find a career that you love?

Honeymoon Recap, Part 3: Rest and Relaxation

1 Aug

When I ended part 2 of this honeymoon series, Jordan and I were just going to bed after a very long day of traveling. Though our jet lag seemed to come in waves throughout the trip, we were still able to muster up enough energy to get us through our relaxing and adventure-filled days.

We had to rearrange some of our activities when we arrived in Maui because of the flight changes, but we were able to have a complete day of relaxation on our first day there, which is exactly what we needed. We started the day with an ocean view breakfast, included in our honeymoon package (it saved us from buying breakfast from expensive restaurants every morning – definitely a plus).

the view

Breakfast was one of my favorite parts of the day, because the resort area wasn’t too crowded yet, and we were able to relax and enjoy each other’s company. On some days, we had to leave the resort right after breakfast for one of our scheduled activities, but on the first day, we had the whole day to ourselves. Soon after breakfast, we took a walk along the boardwalk, and then we hit the beach.

This view never got old.

As you might be able to tell from the way Jordan has his hat covering his entire face ;), the sun would eventually get too hot to handle. We split our time between the water and the sand, before taking a break for lunch.

We ate at Leilani’s, a bar and grill right on the beach, where the food was amazing. I wish we would’ve had the chance to go back one more time before leaving, but when we tried to go back for dinner, the wait was a little too long.

We also did a little shopping at Whaler’s Village, an outdoor mall within walking distance of our resort.

This was one of my favorite places to walk around when we couldn’t stand the sun at the beach or pool anymore. Jordan was a good sport; he may or may not have been rewarded with Haagen-Daz on multiple occasions ;).

We learned that the pools are much less crowded in the evening, so we usually spent some time there before heading to dinner — and that is exactly what we did on our first full day there.

Jordan could stand the cool pool water longer than I could :).

Dinner that night was at Lahaina Grill in Old Lahaina Town, recommended to us by another couple on our flight to Maui. It was a little bit more fancy than what we were expecting, but the food was excellent.

Especially the dessert (ice cream pie made with Kona coffee ice cream)! You may notice that splitting dessert became a habit of ours. It’s okay, though; we were on our honeymoon ;).

That first day was over in the blink of an eye. We had an early wake-up call the following morning, because we were going on an adventure, the first of several.

Can you guess what we did :)?

Honeymoon Recap, Part 2: The Resort

31 Jul

So where did I leave off? Oh yeah, I had just thrown a fit in the airport ;). The good news is, everything was basically uphill from there. We did have to make a few calls to our travel agent (thank goodness for Travel Leaders), but they were able to extend our stay and change our return flight without any additional charges. If you’re traveling anytime soon, I definitely recommend using a travel agent and purchasing traveler’s insurance — without insurance, we would’ve lost a whole day of vacation after we’d already paid for it!

After the travel agent worked out the details for us (thank you, Michelle!), we were back at the airport, and finally on the plane. As I said before, because of all of the changes, we were upgraded to first class! We were newbies to first class and felt a little funny, but we enjoyed drinking from real glasses and eating a good meal.

 

Our entire day of travel was about 14 hours, and we had a time change at nearly every stop, so by the time we got to Maui, I was happy to be on the ground, but ready for a nap. Fortunately, my excitement started to kick in and got me through the rest of the day. Around 2:30 p.m. Hawaii time, we got off the plane, made a quick pit stop at Starbucks, and we’re greeted with (very pretty!) leis before grabbing our luggage.

Since we flew first class, our luggage was the first to come out, which was such a relief. There’s always a fear of losing something along the way! Picking up the rental car was not as speedy. For 30 minutes, they tried to convince us to upgrade to a Jeep or convertible (“because it makes the experience so much better”), but we stuck to our guns and ended up perfectly content with our Ford Fusion. Actually — our car had major problems on the way to the hotel and they had to bring us a tow truck and a new car — but that was the last of the unfortunate events :).

Once we finally arrived at our hotel, I was so happy to be there. We stayed at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa in Ka’anapali. It had an open air lobby, and I was immediately impressed by the views.

The view from our room was just as pretty, and we didn’t wait too long before changing into our bathing suits and exploring the resort grounds!

We decided we were too tired to swim that night, but we did check out the pools, the koi pond, the outdoor and indoor workout rooms, and the beach.

After exploring for a while, we realized that it was already beginning to get dark outside, and it wasn’t even 7:00 p.m. — one of the biggest differences from Indiana, where at this time of year, it doesn’t get dark until 10:00 p.m.

That evening, my body was confused by the time difference, and I didn’t know whether to eat, sleep, or explore some more. We decided we’d both feel better if we ate dinner, so we went to the hotel’s restaurant, ‘OnO Bar & Grill. I had the fish tacos, quite possibly my favorite dish of the whole trip.

And since we were on our honeymoon, we just had to split dessert. We shared the macadamia fudge pie, which was amazing. So amazing, that we went back for it two more times while in Maui.

We also visited ‘OnO a couple of more times on our trip. The prices were reasonable, it was a 2 minute walk from our room, and there was a never a wait since it was primarily for hotel guests. We quickly learned that most restaurants require reservations, and the food is not cheap in Hawaii (but it’s so, so good).

On our first night, we went to bed at 9:30 and woke up at 6:30. Even though we were still dragging a little, I think we did a pretty good job of adjusting to the time difference! The next day, our first full day on the island, was dedicated solely to relaxing. Our Hawaiian adventures were just beginning :).

To be continued…

Honeymoon Recap, Part 1: The Delay

30 Jul

Over the weekend, I uploaded a total of 413 photos to my laptop. So, as you can imagine, unless I show you 413 photos in one blog post (and I promise that I won’t), these recaps will have to be in parts. Since I want to wait until we get our wedding pictures back from the photographer to recap our big day, I’m going to start with our honeymoon. Our honeymoon had to get bad before it got better, but it all worked out in the end. Let me explain…

After the wedding, we spent our first night in our apartment, and the next day at home, packing and shopping for last minute travel items. Since our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:15 am, we decided we’d stay downtown the night before, closer to the airport, and begin our honeymoon in Indianapolis. On Sunday night, my family took Jordan and I downtown to Buca di Beppos, before dropping us and our 100 pounds of luggage (literally) off at our hotel, the J.W. Marriott.

We were in a corner room filled with windows on the 33rd floor. It had a gorgeous view, and unless we can afford to make it an anniversary tradition, it was probably a once in a lifetime experience — we tried our best to take it all in! We couldn’t take it in for too long, though, because a taxi was scheduled to pick us up outside of the lobby at 3:45 a.m., meaning we had a 3:15 a.m. wake-up call! It was a little sad to leave, but we were also excited since our next destination was Maui, Hawaii. Or so we thought.

Our friendly taxi driver picked up our luggage just before 3:45, and we hopped in the car, ready to go. We were sporting our Bride and Groom shirts, ready to enjoy the honeymoon experience.

Since it wasn’t even 4:00 a.m. when we arrived at the airport, we were basically the first couple in line at US Airways, except for one other couple, who seemed to be throwing a fit at the counter. At the time, I didn’t think anything of it, until Jordan scanned our boarding passes…

After scanning his pass, a message came across the screen stating that our flight had been cancelled, and we needed to speak with an attendant about the details. Assuming it was a mistake, as we had just double checked the flight before we went to bed, I scanned my pass, hoping to see a different message. No such luck. That’s when I started eavesdropping on the complaining couple — who, apparently, was on their way to Hawaii for their 25th wedding anniversary. Sure enough, our flight to Phoenix had been cancelled.

At this point, it was 4:15 am, I hadn’t had more than five hours of sleep in days, and after hearing the disappointing news, my adrenaline was wearing off. Thankfully, Jordan is much more patient than I am. He spoke to one of the ladies at the counter, and she handed him a business card, telling him to call the number listed in order to reschedule our flight. The reason she gave us for the cancellation? One of the flight attendants called in sick. We were then sent to wait in a line with a bunch of other angry people. My blood was boiling I was on the verge of tears.

Thank goodness we got to the airport so early, because we were at the front of the line and didn’t have to wait too long before being helped. After finding out that US Airways had nothing else available for that morning, we were sent to American Airlines, who supposedly had an available flight. We waited in line for 45 minutes, found two seats on a flight to Dallas, weighed our bags, and were just about to leave for security when… the attendant notified us that the flight to Dallas was delayed — there was no way that we would make our connecting flight to Maui. At this point, I was ready to scream. We were sent back over to US Airways to figure something else out, where there was a line of about 100 angry people — apparently it was a full flight, and they had to make new arrangements for everyone. 

This was when the tears started rolling. Yep, there I was, in the middle of a semi-crowded airport, tears streaming down my face. I was kind of grateful for my ‘Bride’ shirt at that point, because brides are allowed to be dramatic, right ;)? By the time we got to the front of the line again, we were told that everything was booked for the day, and there was no way we would be going to Hawaii on Monday. After waking up at 3:15 am, leaving our expensive hotel super early, paying for a cab, and realizing that we might have to do it all over again the next day, I had a meltdown — in the middle of the airport. Thank God for Jordan. Sleep deprivation does nothing for the already over-dramatic me.

Jordan talked to the lady at the desk for 15 minutes, trying to work something out. I sat on the floor with a bunch of other people, and cried. By that time, we should’ve been boarding our plane. When Jordan came back with the news, I wasn’t happy. The only available flight was the next day, Tuesday, at 5:15 a.m., and we’d have a longer flight, having to make two connections instead of one. We had to take it — they had a line of angry people to deal with, and there was nothing else that they could do for us.

If you’re still reading, you’re probably thinking that I acted like a brat. And maybe I did — but getting married, leaving a childhood home, moving into a new apartment, and waking up at 3:15 will do crazy things to a person. My emotions were out of control, and all I could do was cry. We had to make the call to our parents, and Jordan’s dad came to pick us up. Back to our apartment we went, where we both slept for a good four hours before finding the motivation to do anything.

When we did wake up, my emotions were more in check, and we decided to make it a fun day — technically, it was still our honeymoon!

Chipotle and ice cream sundaes were eaten, and I made sure to get in a run at the gym for my sanity (and Jordan’s). It was another night with an early bedtime, because Jordan’s dad was picking us up at 3:30 a.m. to go to the airport. This time, we made it onto the plane with no problems — we even got upgraded to first class because of all of the changes! And yes, we did wear the same outfits, because I bought those shirts for a reason, darnit 😉 — one of the airport employees remembered us because of how upset I was the day before – oops!

We had a 12 hour flight ahead of us, but we were finally on our way to Maui.

To be continued…

Has your flight ever been cancelled?

Have you ever cried in a public place?

Jet Lagged

26 Jul

Aloooha (that’s how the locals say it ;)). I’m back!

I can’t believe it’s almost been two weeks since I’ve talked to you last! In the past couple of weeks, I’ve gotten married, traveled to Hawaii, turned 24-years-old, and traveled back home — with a lot of little adventures along the way.

I can’t wait to tell you all about our wedding and honeymoon, but I am going to keep this quick since I’m currently writing from my parents’ house, as Jordan and I are still without internet.

Until then, I will be trying to rest. I am currently on Hawaii time — 6 hours behind Indiana time — and my body hasn’t caught up yet. I’m hoping I feel better tomorrow! Catch up with ya then :).

 

How to Find Your Dream Job

26 Jul

Today, Stephanie from Natural Beauty Mark is here to share her tips for finding your dream job — something that I am still learning to do, and I think you will enjoy her tips too! Thanks, Stephanie!

The hunt for your “dream job” after college can be a very daunting one. I know from experience, because it took me quite a while before I found a career that I am very happy with. My story is quite different than most, but I hope that my experiences will help to motivate and inspire you! There is no reason that just because you are young, you cannot land an awesome job that you will really enjoy!

Like I mentioned, my story is different than most. I went to college and studied what I was absolutely passionate about, which for me is Dance. I could not see myself spending countless hours learning and studying anything else. The thing I get asked most by people is ‘why?’ and my answer is always, ‘Why not?’. My reason for majoring in Dance, is definitely not because I thought I would become rich as a dancer. It was because, I knew that studying this would make my life richer, and it has. What I do now career wise, is a far cry from Dancing 8 hours a day, but I want to tell you how my college career and past experience helped me land this job.

This job I am referring to is a Social Media Strategist within the Travel/Hospitality industry. My job basically allows me to use Facebook and Twitter all day, blog, travel and work from home sometimes as well. Sound pretty awesome? Let me tell you how I got here. (Don’t worry all, I also perform with a Dance Company in San Diego). Here is the brief bullet point list: 

  • Graduated from CSULB in 2009
  • Could not find work in Long Beach, so I moved home to San Diego
  • Worked as a Dance teacher (which I loved) but my hours kept getting cut
  • Found a job as a telemarketer that I hated, but I stuck with it and learned what I could.
    • The company sold websites to REALTORS®
    • I worked my way up and began coaching REALTORS® about online and social advertising.
    • I was just tired all the time, doing the same things over and over, teaching the same things over and over. My life felt like it was repeating day after day!
    • I didn’t even want to wake up in the morning knowing I had to go and be bored for 8 hours a day!

So, I started searching for jobs online in Social Media, because I had enough experience, and I was just so tired of what I was doing. I found the job posting for the job I currently have on http://www.Monster.com! I sent in my resume, and got a phone call 1 hour later. The lady I spoke to, informed me that they received over 200 applications, and mine stood out because most other applicants had no social media experience, just basic marketing. This was in November 2011. Here are the things that helped me land the most incredible job I have ever had!

  1. Persistence – The position was posted in November 2011, but I did not get interviewed until February 2012. I stayed on top of them, I knew I wanted this job and so I just kept reminding them every week that I was still here, waiting for an opportunity.
  2. My Dance Degree- the fact that I majored in something creative was very attractive to them. They needed someone with creativity and spunk for this position. Also, someone very social, and Dance has made me a very open and friendly person.
  3. My Past Experience – When I got hired, they didn’t even know anything about social media, so the fact that I had worked at the previous job that I hated but that taught me how to teach others, was a big selling point.
  4. My Energy – I knew I was right for the position, so I made sure I told them that. I was confident in my skills, and knew I would be a great asset to the team.
  5. My Blog – Yep, my little ‘ole www.NaturalBeautyMark.com blog. I use it to ramble, post reviews, give workout and eating tips, and motivate others! My employer loved what they learned about my personality and writing skills by reading my blog, and that was one of the key factors for them hiring me.

So after months of being persistent, 2 interviews and a phone interview, I finally got the job. I have already traveled to our resorts in Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit and Cancun Mexico. While in Puerto Vallarta, my boyfriend came also, and proposed to me there, so now we are getting married next year, with our honeymoon (in Riviera Nayarit) being paid for by my employer. I am not saying this to brag, just saying that sometimes life throws you curveballs and you have to know how to catch them and throw them back.

Hopefully this will inspire you whether you are a recent college grad, or stuck in a dead end job. There is no reason you need to be unhappy. And even though my ultimate dream would be to dance all day, I have found something that pays my bills and that I love! I have been in your shoes before, and I know what it feels like to be stuck. Just be persistent and don’t give up, and you will be on your way to making your dreams come true as well!  

Stephanie Saum is a Writer, a Social Media Strategist and a Dancer. Her blog, www.NaturalBeautyMark.com, was created in 2011, and is meant to share her own experiences in fitness, wellness and nutrition. Stephanie is also planning her wedding to the love of her life, and they are hoping to eventually become Certified Personal Trainers together.