Thursday, September 30, 2010

As I mentioned before, it was the slow season in Costa Rica during our honeymoon, so when we went out on our all-day Adventure Tour (beginning with zip lining), it was just us and one other woman.

We spent the day with Mellissa, a woman from Atlanta on what she called a "closure tour."

Mellissa: I was supposed to get married in Costa Rica a year ago. So, I decided to come down here by myself and try to find some closure.
Sarah: I see.
Mellissa: Yeah, you get it. Women get it. Although you may not.
Me: I think I get it.
Mellissa: Men don't seem so big on closure. Women say they want closure and men say good luck with that.

I don't know if Mellissa found what she was looking for in Costa Rica, but she seemed to have a good day zip lining and tubing. When things got especially intense or scary or exciting, zooming through the trees or crashing through the rapids, she would laugh and yell out, "Closure! CLOSURE!"

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My ring, by the way, is wood. Cocobolo, I think. I ordered it online.

Maybe I do have some kind of complex about my fingers being fat, because I somehow ordered a ring that was too small. It was relatively inexpensive, though, so I ordered a second, slightly bigger ring, and it arrived before the wedding.

So I have two rings. My wedding ring. And my skinny ring.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mom sent us some pictures in the mail of our wedding.

I remember the morning of the wedding, maybe the morning before, calling my parents' hotel room and talking to my dad. I must have been complaining about all the last minute errands. I said, "Apparently, getting married is a lot of work."

Dad chuckled and said, "Being married is a lot of work."

I could hear my mom laughing in the background, which I took as a good sign. A sign that it might be true, but that it's not the whole truth.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A number of Sarah's friends gave us the exact same wedding cards, and we eventually noticed that on the back, if you put them together, they make a map of our lives and relationship. Two seprate lines beginning with "Arnie Being Born" and "Sarah Being Born" that eventually converge into one line, following us as we "Date," "Move in Together" and "Get Engaged."

Very cute. The only odd thing is that the dotted lines that represent our lives from birth onward... don't continue on past "Get Married" but come to a complete halt.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sarah: Is it petty that I secretly think it's pretty cool that two people couldn't make it to our wedding because they got hired for Saturday Night Live?
Me: No. That's normal. It is cool. [beat] Although... didn't they both decline the invitation before they got hired?
Sarah: Shut up.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Our first full day back in Chicago as husband and wife.

It's a new session of classes for Sarah and the only class she could fit into her schedule was an intensive five Saturday 9am to 4pm class on The Psychology of Death and Dying. Starting today.

Here's Sarah with her textbook, "The Last Dance." The painting on the cover sort of looks like a wedding reception.

Sarah: First class went okay. I guess we're going to spend the next five weeks writing papers about coming to terms with the inevitability of our own deaths. [pause] It wasn't too bad.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A very sweet airline employee at the ticket counter slipped this note in with our flight tickets.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I don't know if it's the fact that the wedding is over or that this is the longest vacation I've taken in quite some time, but I find myself walking through the jungle or sitting on the beach thinking, "This is my life now."

Not this as in being married to Sarah, this as in... I guess... being on a honeymoon. Romantic massage overlooking the jungle. Outdoor shower. Howler monkeys swinging by the yoga hut. This is my life now.

It's not a "I could certainly get used to this" vacation feeling. I'm thoroughly enjoying the trip, but this occasional feeling I catch myself feeling is more of a resigned, "this is my life now and I'm just going to have to adjust" feeling. "This is it. This is who I am now. What is past is past. And now it's just me and my wife and this infinity pool and these free drinks. Ambient music in the morning, piano music at night. Hyacinths blooming outside my window. In time this will seem normal, it's already starting to. This is me now."

We fly home tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

We were the only guests at Los Altos de Eros for several days and when we heard that another couple was coming in to stay, we were both excited and trepidatious. It might be nice to talk to someone, anyone... but who would these people be. As mindblowingly wonderful as the resort is, what kind of guests does it attract? Pretentious old weirdos?

In reality, many of their guests are probably a lot like us. Young-ish couples spending just a bit more money than they should because it's their honeymoon.

So, now we're sharing the resort with two newly married lawyers from Denver. They're fun and seem to share a number of our current interests, like drinking, talking about our weddings and throwing rocks into the trees to see if we can knock down any coconuts.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Adventure day.

After a week of lying around and drinking, we've decided to try some more exciting activities.

Today we zip lined through the rain forest. I've never zip lined before but this course seemed especially intense.

Zip line. Zip line. Zip line. Rappel. Tarzan swing. Rock Climb. Zip line. Zip line. Zip line upside down.

That was just the morning.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I was always a pool kid. I grew up swimming in pools, and although I still love to swim, natural bodies of water make me nervous. And the ocean?! Yikes.

We went snorkeling today.

Sarah: Should we be worried about sharks.
Captain [who was essentially a 25 year old kid from California with a giant tattoo reading, "September 18, 2009: Without Jake, Brad and James I Wouldn't Be Alive Today"]: Don't worry. If a shark attacks you you'll never know.
[smattering of nervous laughter]
Captain: No. The reason we swim here is that there haven't been any shark attacks in THIS bay.
Crew Member 1: You want to see? You want to see what a shark bite looks like? [points to Crew Member 2] Show 'em. Lift up your shirt.
Me: Oh no.
Crew Member 2: [silently lifts up shirt to show a blanket of scars along his left side]
Crew Member 1: [smiling] Shark bite.
Sarah: When did it happen?
[Crew Members 1 and 2 speak to each other in Spanish]
Crew Member 1: 5 years ago. [laughs] And the crazy bastard still works in the water. A shark bite me? See you later.
Captain: Okay, here are your goggles and fins...

We swam for a while, with me trying to act cool, until I noticed the crew cleaning fish on the boat and throwing the bloody guts into the water. That's when I decided to get out.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

We've split our honeymoon between a bigger, cheaper resort and.... well... this amazing little place where we are now. Los Altos de Eros. A five room luxury resort overlooking the rainforest.

Wonderful food. Wonderful staff. A little more erotic art than is probably necessary. And for now... we're the only guests.

It feels like some eccentric billionaire is letting us stay in their home while they're away. Or a very pleasant tropical version of 'The Shining.'

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It is the "green season" in Costa Rica, which is the euphemistic way of saying it's the "rainy season." And it has been raining a bit, but not much. An hour or two a day and then beautiful skies the rest of the time.

It's worth it if you ask me. Everything is cheaper. Everything is less crowded.

Although, the fact that nine people have been killed by lightning in Costa Rica so far this year (according to one of our drivers) does give me pause.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Being sunburned in a tropical paradise isn't the end of the world. There are umbrellas and fancy canopies everywhere for us to huddle under.

As the day goes by, though, we have to carefully move our limbs to avoid the creeping line of approaching sun, like vampires in a stupid horror movie where only direct sunlight kills them, and for some reason they spend a lot of time pressing their luck in the daytime.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Relaxing. Drinking. Reading. Playing a Monopoly card game.

The card game is surprisingly fun, like the board game, only, you know, not endless. Still... a game of intense resource management ("Well, I don't have any money left in my Bank, I guess I have to give you my property") is maybe not the best way to unwind from wedding planning.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Still waiting on Sarah's luggage, we decided to venture down to the beach briefly... without sunscreen. Only for a half hour or so. We'd be fine, right?

Oh wait... we're ten degrees from the equator?

So, day two, we're both burned.

The view is spectacular, though. Someone on the beach trying to sell us a tour told us that Michael Jordan owns a home "over there." Oddly, during one of our trips to Galena, someone told us that Jordan owns a home there as well.

Micheal Jordan seems to be stalking us. Or maybe if you tell someone you're from Chicago, they tell you Micheal Jordan has a home there. Or... maybe Michael Jordan has a home everywhere. Any of these could be true.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Costa Rica.

We haven't slept. Our flight was at 5am, so we needed to be at the airport around 3. So we just stayed up all night. That seemed like a good idea at the time.

Also, the airline lost Sarah's suitcase. No toiletries. No sun screen. Almost none of Sarah's clothes.

This is somehow still pretty relaxing.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Packing for Costa Rica, looking at pictures from our wedding as they trickle onto Facebook.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

We had originally planned to stay in our hotel room in Galena one extra day after the wedding. Stay behind as everyone headed back to Chicago or back to Ohio or various other locations. But I talked Sarah into driving back today, to give us a little time to prepare for our honeymoon.

Our first married negotiation.

Leaving town, though, she seemed sad. Maybe she wasn't ready to leave the wedding behind just yet.

We stopped at Oak Hill, the farm that had housed our ceremony and reception to pick up some things we'd left behind. After loading up the car we walked back into the tiny chapel that the day before had been full to bursting with family and friends but now was empty and quiet. We stood in the aisle for a moment, looking around. Sarah's eyes teared up a little.

"I'm going to miss our wedding," she said. "I feel like I'm already forgetting the memories I'm making."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

And... we're married.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Crashing in Meador's hotel room tonight, so Sarah and I can do the whole not-seeing-each-other-before-the-ceremony thing.

Meador seems ready to officiate. Here he is with his Certificate of Ministry.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Our wedding suite in Galena.

We drove out early, in theory to get some time to rest in town before the wedding, but it's looking more like a mad dash to the finish line.

Still, the hotel is nice, they left us a nice gift basket, including a special hotel-branded bottle of champagne, and in two nights we'll be married.

Let's take a moment...

The blog is far from over, the good still is all ahead, but, well... things are going to be pretty busy for a bit. So, expect a considerable delay. But you'll get all the details as soon as possible. Thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I called my Grandma Anne today, who, sadly, won't be able to make the trek from her nursing home in Ohio for the wedding this weekend.

She sounded tired and out of breath, making it difficult to understand exactly what she was saying. But I think she had a tough time understanding what I was saying too.

Me: Hey Grandma!
Grandma: Oh hello. It's been a long time since I've heard from you.
Me: Yeah. I know. Sorry. We've been busy with the wedding. But we got your card, it was very sweet. And we're heading out of town tomorrow.
Grandma: Out of town? Where are you going?
Me: Uh... we're going... to the wedding...
Grandma: You're getting married tomorrow?
Me: No, no... Saturday... but we're heading out of town tomorrow...
Grandma: You're getting married Saturday? Why [hard to understand]?
Me: Um... we're going out of town for the wedding...
Grandma: I didn't know [hard to understand]...
Me: Yeah. Saturday. You sent us a card.
Grandma: Who is this?
Me: It's Arnie.
Grandma: Oh! Arnie! I thought you were one of Kenny's kids. He's getting married but I didn't think it was this weekend. But you're getting married. I know. I keep your card up on my dresser so I can think of you and pray for you.


Grandma: Do you have a house yet?
Me: A house? No. No.
Grandma: I hear there are a lot of house to buy.
Me: Maybe after the wedding we'll start saving up for a house.
Grandma: You can have my room.
Me: [laughing] That's not a bad idea.
Grandma: No. You wouldn't like it. I don't like it. Sometimes I stare at the ceiling and think, "Is this me?"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wedding meeting to go over the ceremony.

We're having two officiants. My friend, Meador, and Sarah's friend, Stacey. They both signed up online with the Universal Life Church to be "ministers." Basically, what everyone does when they want a friend to marry them.

Me: Which one of you was saying that the front page of the website says that you can't marry pets?
Stacey: It says it a number of times. They're very adamant about it.
Meador: Really?
Stacey: But they're not talking about marrying your pets to each other. You can't have your pets marry you. Pets can't officiate.
Meador: So you can't sign your pet up to be a minister and have them run the ceremony.
Me: I'd like to see that though. Just a dog up front. And the people getting married doing the dog's voice.
Meador: Father Scruffles.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Late night ribbon run.

We need MORE ribbon? Yes, we do.

This ribbon tied to my wrist is my reminder/color sample.

No one ever told me there was so much ribbon involved in getting married.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Now that we're within the ten day forecast window for the wedding, I've been monitoring the weather in Galena more seriously.

And... it may rain.

For a while it was looking like it was going to rain on Thursday and Friday but be sunny on Saturday. But then it shifted to just raining on Saturday, like a cartoon storm cloud over one man's head.

But it could change again. Right? There's a lot of time for it to change again.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sarah: It's really happening! Oh my god! It's really real!

One week.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sarah's dress, all finished, is in the apartment, hidden in a garment bag and under a scarf.

Sarah: What if I have to poop?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sarah's put all our wedding music (which we've compiled ourselves, placing it into several different playlists) onto her ipod.

Sarah: Tomorrow I think I'm going to listen to our reception music while I work out.
Me: It's all pretty upbeat so I guess it would be good exercise music. But won't you think about our wedding the whole time you work out?
Sarah: Oh yeah. But I already always think about the wedding when I'm working out.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sarah: [stumbling wearily to bed after a very late night of wedding craft] Do you think they make a button like this that says "Tired Bride"?
Me: I bet someone probably does. Or they should.