Pre-Wedding-Moon? Yes Please!

I've only mentioned that Jase and I are taking the long way home about a gazillion times, but I just can't help myself! The reason this trip makes me so happy {aside from visiting lovely places, of course} is because it's one that I get to share with the boy, with just the two of us. Aside from little long weekend trips to places like Paris, Zurich, Bruges, Copenhagen & Prague, the last BIG trip we took together was New Zealand back in 2006.

Did you know that my amazing fiancĂ© has not taken a single day off work in the entire time he's been in the UK? Not a day. Not a sick day, not a half day, not a vacation day, nothing. He's a contracter, so he gets paid a higher daily wage but doesn't reap the rewards of sick pay, holidays or fancy benefits - so it's in his best interests, money-wise, to work as much as possible. There's that. But there's also the fact that he's the most super hard-working person I've ever met, and he's worked his butt off to be able to support us a) here in London, b) while I've been off work myself and c) for us to be able to have saved some income to take home with us.

I've been spoiled since arriving here. I spent six weeks in America in 2008, roadtripping with my best girlfriend. And in just a couple of months, I'll be doing it all over again, this time through Europe - all while the boy continues to finish up his contract and get everything in order here at home & is a single cat-daddy.

Say it with me now: luckiest. woman. alive. I know, I know. I'm super blessed in the travel {and fiancĂ©} department!

So I am thrilled that now it's HIS turn to do some stress-free travelling on our way home. I've jokingly started calling it our Pre-Wedding-Moon, because this sort of trip would be perfect for a honeymoon, you know, if we were actually married yet! But since we're up in the Northern Hemisphere already and flights are so cheap, we're doing it now. And when it comes time for the actual honeymoon, we'll find somewhere with a smaller budget that is closer to home back in Sydney. Not many couples get to have two holidays away together in the space of a year.

Anyway, onto our trip.. this is what you call us taking the long way 'round back home to Sydney.

First stop: Orlando, Florida!

Jase and I will be flying separately for this part of the journey {remember this post?} so the boy actually lands in Florida a day or two before I will. We're spending six days in a Disney World resort and plan on doing nothing but relaxing, enjoying each other's company and nerding it up at the theme parks. I stopped by Florida as part of the whirlwind USA trip, but we only managed to get one day at Magic Kingdom and one day at Universal Studios then, and hardly got to see anything. This time around, there'll be plenty of time to take it all in with just the two of us.

{Photo by ME!}
And... this is the part where I get all wheezy and start making squeeing noises that leaves the boy rolling his eyes... it gets better. We'll also paying a visit to Universal Studio, and you know what that means? I will be releasing my inner geek at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!!!! Yes, that warrants bold text and yes, that warrant a barrage of exclamation points. In fact, I think it needs some more. {!!!!!} I can't even tell you how happy this makes me. So happy that I'm planning on holding a movie marathon of all the Harry films before I leave, just to bring Jason up to speed. He doesn't know about that yet. I'm sure he's going to be thrilled.

Next Stop: Las Vegas!

I spent ages figuring out this part of the trip, because I wanted it to be awesome for Jason. He's only been once, as a kid, and he was keen on the gambling aspect of it all - plus checking out all the hotels. I found a great deal on flights, so we booked it! And, best of all, I found a discount for hotels mid-week, and scored four nights at the Bellagio - talk about fancy! I've never stayed in a hotel that nice before. I can't wait to see what it looks like on the inside.

We'll be doing a day trip out to the Grand Canyon on one of our days here, because it's another amazing place the boy hasn't been to and I can't wait to share it with him. I've already started researching other random things to do in Vegas, but we're open to recommendations. I know I want to do some serious clothes shopping, and it looks like there are quite a few malls near the strip. Any ideas for me?

Next stop: Vancouver!

This is the part of the trip that we're really looking forward to - because neither of us have ever been to Canada before. Initially we weren't going to have enough time to spend in Vancouver, but since Norway was a bust, we quickly locked this in instead. A few people asked why, and to that I respond with this:

Beautiful city, gorgeous harbourside and scenic mountain ranges - why wouldn't we want to visit here? We are boring tourists who like looking at scenic stuff, and it'll be pretty in winter. Looking forward to a lot of walking around downtown Vancouver, spending a day in Victoria, and hopefully hitting up Grouse Mountain and the Capilano Suspension Bridge, if all goes well. It looks like my kind of city.

Next stop:
Calgary and the Rockies!

This is the only leg of our travels that is slightly organised - because it's winter in Canada when we're there at the end of November, we couldn't find any of the cross country scenic rail journeys in operation. Instead, we're hopping on a short flight over to Calgary and joining a coach tour that will take us around the Rocky Mountains and National Parks. Weather permitting, we'll be stopping at lodges in Jasper, Banff and Lake Louise.

It's going to be coooold, and I really need to invest in a waterproof jacket. It should also make for some stunning scenery. Maybe I'll spot a moose! Or a bear! Or maybe just a whole lot of snow. Well, it'll be beautiful regardless.

Next stop: Waikiki, Hawaii! 

So we're going from an arctic winter to a super mild tropical vacation - I love it! The way I see it, we're gradually increasing our temperature from freezing to mild, ready to be thrown into a stinking hot Australian summer. You guys, we're going to be spending four lovely nights on Waikiki Beach before heading home, which is going to be fabulous. This alone is worthy of a pre-wedding-moon, yes?

I intend on drinking a whole lot of cocktails here, enough that I feel brave enough to don my swimming costume and lie on the beach. {I've spent hours google mapping the hotel location and ogling the blue, blue water.} We're planning on being good tourists and doing a luau while we're there, but also a day trip down to the Big Island to check out the volcanoes and national parks. I wish we had more time to spend in Hawaii so we could see the other islands too, but unfortunately we have to be home to pick up Oscar-cat.

After recuperating in Hawaii, we'll be flying home back to Sydney on a direct flight which I scored free for both of us, thanks to our frequent flyer miles. {Score!} And then, it'll be straight back to reality.. back with our parents for a little while as we find a rental apartment, find cars, find jobs. But we'll be
home.
And home will be just lovely.

You made it to the end; well done! Any suggestions for things to do in any of our travel locations?


29 Comments • Labels: , , , , , ,  

29 comments:

Jess said...

I'm sorry, I have no suggestions for you because I'm too busy wiping the jealous drool off my chin. THIS LOOKS AWESOME.

Amanda said...

Wow! I've never been to any of those places, so haven't got any recommendations for you. We were actually planning a family holiday to Florida next year, but it looks like that won't happen (and honestly, it's probably for the best. Jay's brother can be a bit, umm, moody). So I'm jealous that you get to go to Disney and Harry Potter, that's awesome! I love Vegas (from watching many episodes of CSI), and Vancouver has always appealed.

What an awesome trip!

Katelin said...

holy crap woman that is one hell of a trip!! i don't really have any suggestions either except have so much fun, wow. love it.

Emily Jane said...

You're stopping at Calgary and NOT coming by Winnipeg? *Pouts* lol those sound like AMAZING travels - you guys are going to have the best stories and photo albums ever :) This is so exciting!!

Alana said...

YOU ARE COMING TO CANADA AND YET WONT BE ANYWHERE CLOSE TO WHERE I LIVE. THIS IS NOT OKAY.

(Other than that, sounds like an amazing trip!!!!)

steph anne said...

Wow, I'm soo jealous! You are SO going to love Hawaii and good thing you saved that for last! :)

Sian Kummer said...

Holy!! What an incredible time youre going to have!!
The Bellagio is the perfect spot to stay in Vegas - its halfway to everything plus its freaking amazing!!
Im jealous. And I dont get jealous of travellers!! :)

Britt said...

Yay!! So excited for you! Grouse is amazing and you must go. :) Also, I'm horribly jealous about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I want a butter beer at the three broomsticks!

Lara said...

Wait, when are you going to be in Vegas? That's where my family lives, and I just might be there at the same time! We could do dinner! :)

Megan said...

Wow! Sounds like an absolutely amazing trip. I've been to Disney a couple times before (because I'm from Florida), and I always remember it being fun. Epcot, in my opinion, is the best park because they have foods from all over the world. I'd have to say Magic Kingdom would be my second favorite because of the castle and fireworks. (Epcot has some awesome fireworks, too.)

I went to Vegas for a week for my aunt's wedding, but I was only seventeen, so I wasn't able to do much of anything. It was still fun, though!

CuppyCakes said...

BLAH! Jealous!
Now Europe just seems like a support act.

Mrs. Higrens said...

Looks like a wonderful trip! I wish I could sneak into your suitcase, and ride along on your vacay, but guess I'll have to settle for impatiently waiting for pictures and one of your excellent travelogues.

janet said...

Wow that really in an epic trip. I'm most jealous of Canada, and Hawaii. Forget it, I am totally coming with. Save room for me in a suitcase darling! :)

Chantel said...

Wow what a pre-wedding-moon! That all sounds absolutely fabulous. You could write tour brochures!

Or, job idea - travel agent?

You've sold me! And you do sound super organised :-)

Can't wait to hear about your trip back home :) x

audrey said...

That sounds amazing! You're going to have such a great time!

When you're in Vegas, you should go see a show if you can swing it. I personally am a fan of cirque du soleil, but there are a lot of incredible shows there.

Also, I can't speak from experience, but I've heard that taking a helicopter to the top of a volcano in Hawaii and bicycling back down the mountain is pretty cool.

Becky said...

Is it okay if I hate you just a teenty tiny bit?! :)

I was going to mention the Harry Potter theme park - so glad you're going (it's supposed to be awesome!) and a movie marathon sounds great before you go! Also, Epcott has always been my favorite of the Disney parks - definitely go there.

Is Waikiki on Oahu? I can't remember. I've been to Oahu and two things you need to do there are go to the Polynesian Cultural Center, and hike up Diamond Head, a non-active volcano. And by hike I mean climb the stairs - it's not really a "hike," (although it is a lot of stairs!) but the view from the top? Ah-mah-zing.

SO jealous! You two are going to have an incredible time!

Nathan Pralle said...

What an incredible trip! Very, very jealous. ENJOY IT.

heidikins said...

This is fantastic!! I'm so happy for you both!

I love Hawaii--such a fantastic place. If you have time to make it up to the Polynesian Cultural Center (in Laie, on Oahu) I would totally go. It's one of the most incredible places for Polynesian and South Pacific culture in the world. And they have Luau's. ;o)

xox

KT said...

Sounds AWESOME.

I loved Vancouver. I was only there for two days before leaving on a camping/hiking trip in the Canadian Rockies/Alaska but it was great and I would definitely go again. I didn't have a car or anyone to travel with so I mainly stayed in the city.

The Rockies should be absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I went during the summer, but snow covered mountains are amazing. I would totally go back again.

And Hawaii? Very cool. I have only been to Maui so no suggestions, but I enjoyed both hiking the National Park and lots of fruity drinks by the pool/beach.

elise said...

I was gonna say exactly what Jess said :)

But really, my best suggestion is to agree with what you already noted: It will be cold in Canada, cold but beautiful. But COLD! So get ye some warm clothing, some hand warmers, some feet warmers...anything else clever you find as warmers...and enjoy!!

instatick said...

I'm so excited you get to to Harry Potter World. Andrew and I will be there for Halloween weekend for his 30th birthday and I CANNOT WAIT! So excited!!

And also? SO JEALOUS AND EXCITED FOR YOU!! This trip is going to be absolutely amazing and I know you both are going to have the time of your lives!!

V Theater said...

When you go to Las Vegas make sure to check out VEGAS! THE SHOW at Planet Hollywood. Its a new show and it is amazing :)

Angela Noelle said...

So amazing! Y'all are going to have such fun :)

Hillary said...

oh my word this trip sounds amazing!
I'm a Vancouver blogger - email me if you'd like some Vancouver tips :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds amazing !!! You will have a ball. In Vegas give the outlet shops at the southern end (Excalibur end) a miss, total CRAP. Didn't go to the northern end ones. Hire a car and go to TARGET - absolutely awesome - I could buy the whole store. Also find a Old Navy store - cheap and very nice. There is a great bus that goes up and down the strip and you can buy a pass and travel as much as you like - a great investment ! Goes to 2 outlet stores _ the crap one and one other. Also goes to a shopping mall which my friend highly recommended.

Kathy

~Mum~ said...

sounds amazing baby girl

you're one spoilt young woman !!! you will have the most amazing time.

Vegas - do shows - and go to all the free shows in the casinos .... there is 'half price ticket' stands you can find and they get you last minute tickets 'cheap'

go to Kmart and play the slots there - just so you can say you did !!! i won $100 in a car wash playing slots ;-)

love love love

thoughtsappear said...

You're going to Hawaii?! That's awesome! I've never been there, and I'd love to go. I'd love to go to Las Vegas, too. I hope you have a wonderful time.

Karen said...

I have honestly not been to a single one of those places, so I have no advice for you except one thing: this trip would be infinitely more awesome if you fit me in your suitcase! Hah. Color me jealous. Have a blast!

Catt said...

i LOVE disneyworld!!!! i stayed at animal kingdom lodge both times i've been. I have been to Vegas twice - staying both times at the New York New York and its awesome!! I am heading back there in 7 weeks and we are staying at ARIA this time. I've been to Waikiki, Hawaii and it was amazing!!! On Waikiki look for a yellow and red catamaran boat thing with sails - $20 cruise - anytime.. sunset is nice and they cruise on out to see and it is ALL YOU CAN DRINK!!!!!! is Oscar-cat meeting u in Sydney?





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