You know how you don’t know how badly you need a vacation until you’re actually on one? That is totally what happened to us. I thought we were doing really well and truckin’ along like normal people, but turns out that not sleeping for the past ten months has taken a bit of a toll. Like the kind where after only two nights of full sleep my husband looked five years younger and I started understanding complete sentences again. I had one of those moments a couple of days in where I remembered THIS is how I used to always feel – energized and excited about doing things rather than feeling like fun takes serious effort. Maybe I’m not an inherently lazy person but I’ve just been insanely tired for the past three years? Hallelujah!
But I’m getting off track because what the week was really about was these two gorgeous people (Spoiler Alert: the wedding went off without a hitch and they looked this good the entire week.) Chad is one of my lifelong, dearest friends and when I found out he was going to marry the lovely Hilary, there was no way we were going to miss it. Lucky for us, they are incredibly organized and once we purchased our plane tickets, they literally took care of all the details. Buses got us where we needed to go, our accommodations were all set, drinks were gently placed in my hand every night – it was the easiest trip I’ve ever been on and I plan on letting them organize all of my vacations from here on out. Because, to say they did a fantastic job is a huge understatement. I mean, we drove up and this is what we saw. Why, yes, I will take Angelina Jolie’s life for the weekend, thank you very much.
All weekend I kept expecting someone to yell “Cut!”, Hacienda el Carmen was so perfect. Ancient aquaducts nestled behind the world’s most gorgeous flowers with daily sunshine and blue skies. And, because we were the only guests onsite it was intimate and cozy, and we had a chance to get to know everyone who came down.
Because Hilary is a musician and singer, the weekend was full of singing and dancing and live music – a mariachi band, her friend La Tanya, Hilary herself – it was so inspiring. So much so that at one point, I found myself singing “Let It Go” in front of a group of people when I suddenly realized I am belting a rather difficult ballad in front of a world-famous jazz singer and I need to stop immediately. She very kindly never mentioned it again.You know how when you just know a couple’s got it right? That’s how it felt with these two. Their ceremony was completely them – personal, funny, emotional, full of love. No doubt, their life together will be the same. I may or may not have cried at this part. More than once throughout the weekend, I wished I was still a wedding blogger. I mean, will you look at this venue? The things I could write on those arches alone! I think it’s safe to say we had a good time. Had I ended the story here we would have all been pretty satisfied, right? We both got some sleep, drank plenty of margaritas and even got a little reading in.
But, darling, we are just getting started. The lovely couple invited a bunch of us on their honeymoon. (Yes, you read that right.) Now, frankly, this was a dicey proposition – I mean, inviting your closest friends from different parts of your life, most of whom do not know each other at all, to hang out in a house for several days is either going to end up “Big Brother: Mexico” with alliances and people getting kicked off the villa or a serious bonding exercise where you talk about repeating the adventure every year. I’ll let you guess which happened. We ended up at Punta el Castidio, a small set of villas outside of the small, fishing village Platinitos, which is about two hours outside of Puerto Vallarta. The town was very sweet, and had a lovely beach, and most everyone went on an astounding fishing tour where they saw whales up close and personal. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t see much of it because I was pretty busy looking at this: Oh, that’s just our oceanside Pool of Perfection where it was always a balmy 80 degrees with a light breeze and, strangely, I always had a beer in my hand.
And once I finished with the pool, I’d stroll on up to the house where two lovely ladies made us three meals a day. Can I repeat that just because it is delicious to type? Someone else made us three meals a day! I can’t underscore enough how this changed our vacation. All the time we normally would use heading back and forth to the store, figuring out what to eat, cooking and then cleaning up the mess was instead used on the very important task of relaxing. It was HEAVEN.
On top of that, there wasn’t any Internet access, which was stressful for about five minutes (how will I know if wide legged jeans are actually back?!), and then was scarily liberating. There was literally nothing to do about anything, which left us free to chat, play Charades and Celebrity, take our time over dinner, read. It was such a gift. The best part, though, was the people. I wish I had better photos of everyone to properly showcase the wide range of talents, humor, and spirit we were surrounded by, but, honestly I was so busy massaging my face from laughing I completely forgot. If a person’s friends give you insight into their inner workings then Chad and Hilary are in excellent shape.
I’d like to say that I’m still riding the rested high of full night’s of sleep, but, weirdly, sleep is not bankable. Good thing our kiddos are adorable.
-Their lovely wedding was held at Hacienda el Carmen.
-We honeymooned at Punta el Custodio.
-You should, without a doubt, be listening to Hilary and La Tanya, and watching Cassie’s web show.
-One of my favorite wedding photographers EVER, Jose Villa, shot the wedding. Once the links are up, I’ll let you know.
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