Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Going Dutch

Things are still relatively quiet. We are waiting on some details on music and will most likely finish up phase one here in the next week or two. Fingers crossed.

When this all started (read: when I started this all by proposing to H), it was made very clear to me that my duties entailed planning the honeymoon and going to the tasting. I thought this was a fair trade. And while the scope of my duties has changed, er, expanded, a bit, I still get to plan the honeymoon. Which is nice.

I am not a very well traveled guy. I have been out of the United States exactly 5 times - twice to Mexico, twice to Canada and once to the Bahamas. I was 30 years old when I finally traveled West of Iowa City (we went to San Francisco for our anniversary). My friends make fun of me behind my back and to my face about my reluctance to travel (some play on the words "Bruce Horsnby and the Traveling Wilburys). I have been called "boring in the car," "hard to travel with" and a host of other things. My passport - suffice it to say - bears no stamps (all my travel occurred in a pre-9/11 world)(I know...shameful).

Also - not counting the time I had strep throat in 2006 - I have never taken more than two days off from work in a row.

Thank god I love to plan things.

I explored pretty eccentric options first. I was all about Croatia for a little bit. Apparently, there is a part of that country that is like an hour from everything. I think I heard the words "new Monoco" in relation to it. Alas - there was no way I was going to take a 12 hour flight. That limited things and it soon became clear that we were going South. After heavily researching hurricane season and all things hurricane belt related and quickly checking Wikipedia to detremine the political stability of some countries in South America (read: Venezeuala and Peru), I found it - Curacao in the Dutch Antilles. Its close enough so that we can take full advantage of the trip. Its warm. Its below the hurricane belt. Its a Dutch Colony - replete with euros and smoking in public, terrific little league baseball and a fondness for all things Oranje - including Robin van Persie. Best of all - apart from a Marriot - it seems totally Un-Americanized. In fact, the travel agent we used (thanks to H's step-dad) hadn't even heard of it.

Picking a hotel was slightly more difficult. We kind of earmarked 3 or 4 hotels at the beginning. We wanted proximity to the beach. Nice rooms, and an authentic feel. Each hotel seemed pretty great. But, aside from the marriot (300+ reviews!!) for every 30 positive reviews, there was a review that shook you to the core - I think one hotel had a 2000 word manifesto about how a hotel tried to kill was crazy. Naturally, I don't take the extremely negative reviews seriously. I think there are people out there who feel that if they spend a dollar, they should be treated like Oprah. H and I are not those types of people. Those type of people are frightening. They are always angling for free deserts - because they didn't have water in the first 30 seconds at a new restaurant. I hate them.

We settled where we started - on the oldest hotel on the island. The Avila Hotel kind of fits the bill for us - its on the beach - apparently a rarity. It is close to the Capital city. And, it looks like it can afford us the opportunity to relax after a long planning process.

Verwezenlijkte opdracht!! (which, I think translates to mission accomplished).

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