Back in the day when our wedding planning still mostly consisted of elaborate fantasizing, Mr. O and I had BIG plans for our honeymoon. He and I both love to travel, and we saw the post-wedding vacation as a chance to get crazy-extravagant and take the trip of a lifetime. We talked a big game about touring Asia (specifically Japan and Thailand), hiking to Machu Picchu, or eating our way through France and Italy. Sigh. Swoon.
At this point, though, our plans have been revised significantly. Reasons?
1.) Financially, we are tapped out. The money for a lavish (or even a modest!) international trip simply does not exist at this point.
2.) I suspect (and many of my recently-married friends have confirmed) that we will mostly want to veg out and unwind after the wedding, and if we were to travel abroad, vegging out would not be on the agenda.
3.) But mostly the money thing.
We really didn't want to completely forgo a honeymoon, though. I feel like it would be so jarring to jump immediately back into working without any time at all to rest, relax, and be mellow after the huge fuss of the wedding. So, we decided to take a minimoon!
Here were our minimoon criteria:
* Fairly short (four-ish days)
* Modestly priced (under $2,000, and substantially under that if at all possible)
* Non-beach (am I the only person who has very little love for beach vacations? Also, our wedding is in late September, and ain't no beach in New England I want to lay on in late September)
* No flight required (precious money and time!)
Based on all that, we've got an agenda that I'm really excited about! First, we're going to spend an extra day in Pittsburgh hanging out with our families. The original plan was to leave the day after the wedding, but I got schooled at Bridesmaid Erica's April wedding. That weekend, we spent an extra day lounging, snacking, and napping, and it was deeeeeee-lightful. I'm actually really looking forward to having that extra, low-key day with my people.
Then, once we return to Boston, we're turning right back around for our little Northeast minimoon road trip through Vermont and Montreal! Vermont was my family's go-to vacation destination when I was little, and I really, really, really love it. Mr. O hasn't really been there, but he's trusting me on this one, and I think the scenery of touring Vermont in late September/early October will not disappoint him (to say the least!). Neither of us have been to Montreal, but we have heard many, many great things; it's been on my "To Visit" list for years.
First, we're driving to Bennington, Vermont, and staying in The Four Chimneys Inn.
This is our room. The bathroom has a floor-to-ceiling marble shower with two showerheads. Don't mind if I do. (Source.)
Incidentally, Lonely Planet indicates that there is a really nice spa in Bennington. YES PLEASE!
After Bennington, we're heading up to Burlington, VT, and staying in Lang House.
Sorry for the crap-ola picture, it was the best I could find! Distract yourselves by looking at that Jacuzzi tub in the back. (Source.)
Finally, we're crossing the border into Montreal and staying in Auberge Les Passants du Sans Soucy.
Surprisingly for me, I have resisted the urge to plan every last daily detail of this trip. We have a few definite activities on the agenda (Magic Hat brewery tour, here we come!), but I'm trying to get into the honeymoon spirit by keeping it very low-key and laid-back. Mostly, the plan is to eat a lot of good food, drink a lot of beer and wine, roam around a little, and see what happens.
Here are the stats on our minimoon: it's going to be five days long (that last day will mostly consist of driving back from Montreal), and I am expecting that it will cost about $1500, including hotels, gas, food, and activities. That's including the fact that we specifically chose fairly upscale/pricey lodging and will be going out of our way to have more than one special/elegant dinner. Not bad!
Also, just as a little aside, here's a vacation tip I swear by: always try to stay in independently-owned bed and breakfasts when you can. The rooms are usually comparably priced and of equal quality (although, style-wise, often quite a bit more old-fashioned) to other nice hotels in town, but typically include a giant, delicious breakfast, books and DVDs you can bring to your room for free, Jacuzzi tubs, and some kind of snack and adult beverage in the afternoon. Can't beat it. I booked all the b-and-bs on our trip specifically because they include all the amenities I mentioned. Hello, daily multi-course breakfasts. Can't wait to meet you in person.
I do have to admit that it took me a little time to let go of the fantabulous, decadent vacation I was dreaming of, but I'm fully on board now. After all, the point of a honeymoon is to spend quality time with your new spouse, right? That's exactly what we'll be doing, in a beautiful setting, with ample opportunities to relax, unwind, eat tons of tasty food, and enjoy each other's company. It will be calm and lovely. I also sorta love that we're taking a honeymoon road trip; he and I have taken more road trips together than I can even count over the years, so it's kind of fitting that we're doing it again for our post-wedding vacation.
Is anyone else taking a minimoon? Or, does anyone have any recommendations for Bennington, Burlington, or Montreal??