16 July 2010

wedding recap: the afterparty


It's been so fun recounting our wedding that I decided to recap our wedding "afterparty" (i.e. delayed honeymoon) too.

(WARNING: This post will definitely read like a travel agent's ad for the resort where we stayed, because we loved every second of our stay there and really could not have asked for more. But as the general disclaimer, we have not been compensated in any way for this endorsement. Though, in this case, if they would like to pay me or offer free accommodations in exchange for posting nice things about them, sign me up!)

Because our wedding itself (read about it here and here) was its own mini-honeymoon, and because Mark's work revolves around elections and fall of 2008 was kind of, well, a busy time for him, we decided to take a delayed honeymoon. Since we also didn't want to interrupt ski season (we're more than a little obsessed), we decided to wait until April. So April 2009 was our honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas, down at the southern tip of Baja in Mexico.

The Los Cabos region itself is stunning in its beauty. Desert and rocky cliffs with all that unbelievably blue ocean and white sand beaches. But the town of Cabo San Lucas has a reputation as more of a party town (spring break, tequila body shots... you get the picture). We wanted the natural beauty with out all of the shenanigans. Lucky for us, a little internet sleuthing turned up the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica, a "holistic resort" on the other side of the mountains from the town of CSL.




Would it have been nice to go someplace more exotic like, say, Tahiti? Sure. Would it have felt more like "travel" if our flight to our honeymoon destination had taken more than two hours? Definitely. But we hit the jackpot at the Pacifica.

Just check out the pools and grounds, with all the cool sculptural elements (obviously we could not stop ourselves from photographing them).



Keep reading/viewing after the jump...



But before we even got to see any of that, we walked into this lobby. And the first thing that hit us was the scent: Lavender. That pool in the center of the room is gently gurgling lavender water, and the water runs throughout the resort, giving you these wonderful wafts of lavender wherever you go. So dreamy. It's almost like they spied on my yoga classes (I spritz all the students with lavender water during relaxation at the end), and created the perfect resort to suit me.




When we arrived, we learned not only that we got to spend a whole week in this amazing dream world, but that our room came with a butler. A BUTLER. Yep, apparently every suite comes with a butler at the Pacifica. (Yeah, we splurged on the suite... it was our honeymoon! But we did get a great deal.) Naturally, we made good friends with our butler Lucas, and he and Mark still keep in occasional contact.



Mind you, at this point we haven't even seen the room yet, and we're already over the moon. But that room... oh, it was worth the wait.


I'm pretty sure we ate 95 percent of our meals that week out on that amazing terrace, including perhaps the prettiest and most sculptural food I have ever been served, the "side of fruit" that came with my breakfast one day.



When our friends Jeff and Lauren sent us a congratulatory bottle of champagne, we got that nice surprise out on the terrace too.


I could have sat on that balcony for months without getting bored. So, so indescribably beautiful and relaxing, and with a view to die for.


Have you noticed how long this post is already? And I haven't gotten to activities or food yet!

Once we realized how perfect the Pacifica was, we pretty much lost all interest in leaving the hotel. So we ventured out exactly three times: twice to the hotel next door for dinner (it had multiple restaurants), and once for a zipline tour which didn't allow cameras (not tragic... the coast is much prettier than the inland stuff). But we did enjoy some morning yoga in these totally serene cabanas, along with massage inside the hotel's excellent spa.


So the food... this is where Lucas the butler comes in. Every morning, we'd order breakfast (no room service surcharge + world's most awesome terrace = no brainer for room service breakfast every day), and Lucas would arrive along with the food to ask us what we'd like to do that day. Every day, we'd say, "Eh, probably stay here, not do much, you know..." and kind of trail off, hoping that he wouldn't pressure us. (We were a little uncomfortable with the whole butler thing, until we became BFF with Lucas and realized that he really wanted to make our trip special.) But he would at least help us make dinner plans every night, and we ate at the Pacifica restaurant every night except two (the aforementioned ventures out to the hotel next door), enjoying the fantastic local seafood. (I had no idea red snapper could be such a revelation.) Though the Pacifica has only one restaurant, it has several different seating areas and a separate sushi bar and tequila bar (think scotch bar, not Cabo Wabo), so it never felt repetitive. And every evening's meal featured some special touch that Lucas had arranged for us, usually in dessert form (a man after my heart). But the best surprise (actually, the second best... keep reading...) was when we went to the hotel next door to eat at La Frida, their upscale Mexican restaurant, and the piano player sang "Michelle" by the Beatles just for us, because Lucas had happened to overhear that I like the Beatles. Awwwwwwwww!

The most memorable food from the trip was definitely the world's most amazing shrimp taco (Baja style taco with plump, juicy, battered shrimp), served by the Pacifica's outdoor cafe. We definitely ate these in mass quantities, quite a few times over the course of the week. When we were getting ready to leave the hotel, we both said, "We have to go get one last round of tacos!"


But now for the best surprise of all, and why Lucas will forever be in my heart (not like THAT... i'm cuckoo for Mark). All week, he insisted that we let him arrange a very special dinner for us for our last night there, and that's an offer that we would never refuse. So we knew the meal was coming. But to be honest, by the end of the week, we were kind of wondering what they could possibly serve us that we hadn't already eaten that week, and just figured that we'd be happy to repeat dishes since everything was excellent. But Lucas had KEPT TRACK ALL WEEK of what we had eaten, by checking with the restaurants (even the ones at the hotel next door!), and so the chef knew exactly what he could serve us that would be new to us. And these words were music to my ears: "We know you've already had the red snapper two times, but the chef thinks it is so special that he would like to serve it again. He has made up a new preparation just for you, based on what will pair well with the wines that he knows you enjoy." Swoooooooooon.

Here we are, swooning at our last meal.


Those little pieces of paper on the table are special menus they made up for us with our names and the date and all of the courses... we have them safetly tucked away in our little wedding memories box.

After talking about what a magical week it all was, it seems so trivial to end with pictures of Mark being his usual goofball self in photos. But so be it. Here's Mark, doing his thang.


So there you have it. Our perfect-beyond-words honeymoon, and certainly my longest post ever. If you ever need an amazing, peaceful getaway, and you're willing to brave Mexican customs, check out the most lovely Pacifica.

6 comments:

  1. Now THAT's a honeymoon! I'm DYING over these pictures - the combination of the camera and the setting and it doesn't even look real!! Dude, we're so going to Cabo next!

    This place looks amazing! I just can't get over it! In fact, I'm totally going back to re-read this post. :-)

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  2. Do it. Cabo is beautiful, and the Pacifica is amazing... so romantic and tranquil.

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  3. Stunning stunning stunning!!!!

    Wish I was there...

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  4. Love, love, love, love it!

    That's all I can think of to say.

    Sounds like it was beyond blissful.

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  5. Hi Stephanie and Emily -- It truly was stunning. A once in a lifetime experience... unless we can find a way to do it again! ;-)

    xoxo,
    tanja

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  6. Is it weird that I am most impressed with the side of fruit! :) We also honeymooned in Mexico and found it perfect! Though I have been there before and would have preferred a new location, having a butler, those infinity pools, and being okay with lounging all day instead of acting like a tourist ended up being perfect!

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Thanks for taking a moment to leave a note! I would love if you would leave your email address so I can write you back! But no pressure. :-) (No anonymous posts, please.) xoxo, tanja

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