Navigating the Airport With Your Spouse

 Photo by  Matthew Smith  on  Unsplash

Photo by Matthew Smith on Unsplash

By Maggie Reimherr

There are two types of people in the world. The first like to roll up to their flight gate at the last possible second, avoiding unnecessary airport time. The second like to arrive to the airport 2 hours early, snacks and magazines, and have a drink or 3.

The odds are good that you will marry your opposite.

I’ll admit it. Anything that has to do with schedules or being on time sends me into an anal-retentive tailspin. Once I book a flight, you know I’ve thought through all contingencies standing between me and my vacation. I will get to the airport early, and I will be on that plane with my seat buckled before Zone 2 is even called to board.

I’m sure you can guess Derek is the exact opposite. He likes to saunter to the gate, even when he knows the boarding process is well underway. I’ve tried to teach him to at least power walk. No dice.

In an attempt to be less of a high-anxiety person, I’ve tried to adjust to Derek’s airport ways.

Last spring, we went on a trip to Mexico and our travel plan ended up being very convoluted. We booked the trip when we lived in Boston but then moved to Atlanta. We realized changing our international tickets would be more expensive than buying new tickets to Boston and taking our original flights.

On the Atlanta leg of the journey, I took our local transit system to the airport (that’s pretty much all it's good for). Derek beat me there, and I remained cool as a cucumber, breezing in to check our bags and head to the terminal.

Then I got the grand idea we should go to the Priority Pass lounge to grab complimentary dinner and drinks. Thanks for the perks, Chase Sapphire credit card. Our flight was out of Terminal C. The lounge is in Terminal F. But we had some time to kill, so it was going to be totally fine.

 My ideal airport setup - chilling with a beverage, passport easily accessible, not rushing. 

My ideal airport setup - chilling with a beverage, passport easily accessible, not rushing. 

I was almost finished with my second beer when I got a notification saying our flight was boarding. My heart started beating faster.

“Derek, we have to go. NOW.”

He rolled his eyes and collected his belongings. Derek then decided to make a pit stop into the restroom before we left the lounge.

This filled me with pure, blind rage.

“YOU COULDN’T HOLD IT??? WHERE IS YOUR IMPULSE CONTROL? WE HAVE TO GO.”

In a huff, I took off, and Derek followed… still rolling his eyes.

Because we’d never taken the ATL “plane train” from Terminal F, we got turned around trying to find it. Somehow, we ended up in the back hallways of the airport, walking between terminals.

This is fine, I assured myself. We’ll walk fast.

Apparently, Derek didn’t get the memo that the situation necessitated speed walking. He kept telling me, “Hey, slow down. It’s going to be fine. We’ll make it.”

“No, I’d prefer to walk fast. Do you not understand that if we don’t make this flight, our entire trip to Mexico is TOTALLY SCREWED?!?!”

“Maggie, calm down. Breathe.”

...Oh no, he did NOT just tell me to calm down.

I decided, by force of sheer will, the best course of action was, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

So instead I passive-aggressively huffed and puffed all the way to our gate.

At this point Derek was pissed because he was sweating like crazy, I was being rude, and he knew in his heart that he was right and that we were making this flight.

But DO NOT tell an uptight traveler it’s going to be fine. In our minds, it’s already doomsday. We’ve missed the flight, there’s no way we’ll make it on another, and we’re destined for a staycation at Six Flags instead of 7 days of sun and fruity drinks and tacos in Mexico.

We finally got to our gate. It was almost cleared out by then, but they were still boarding. Blessings and praises.

Here’s a fun thing about me: once I see that the danger has passed and everything is going to be fine, my mood changes. I can flip a switch and pretend I wasn’t acting like a speed-walking lunatic 2 minutes ago.

Derek is always baffled by my sudden change in behavior, and it usually makes him mad.

We settled into our seats on the plane, and I acted like nothing was wrong. I began snuggling against him and telling him how excited I was for the trip.

He stared at me in bewilderment and said, “Hey, please don’t act like the world is ending if we’re not at the gate when boarding starts. Ever again.”

My only suggestion? “Maybe let’s get to the airport at different times and make our way to the gate separately from now on. It’s better that way.”

And with that, we settled into our free Wifi journey on Jetblue. We didn’t speak to each other again until we were about halfway to Boston.

Here’s the big picture: in a year and a half of marriage, we’re still figuring it out and adjusting to each other’s quirks. In many ways, Derek and I are incredibly similar. This is what makes us compatible and what makes our marriage so good. In other ways, we couldn’t be more different. Learning to adapt, and sometimes take one for the team by doing things your spouse’s way, is good. But sometimes, you just need to arrive at the airport separately and do your own thing.

We haven’t done that yet, but if anything like this happens again, it’s worth trying. For now, I’m trying to change my ways and freakin’ relax. Derek is giving me more wiggle room so we can actually take our time at the airport. This is one of those cases in which marriage takes some compromise. And every bad airport experience is a learning experience.

 Also my ideal travel situation. Apologies to the man in the background.

Also my ideal travel situation. Apologies to the man in the background.

Everything You Need to Know About Cheap Caribbean's Deal of Fortune

By Maggie Reimherr

If you've been following along on Instagram and Facebook, you know that we got a killer deal on our Mexico vacation. The catch? We didn't know which resort we were heading to until a week before the trip. We chose to book through Cheap Caribbean and rolled the dice on their Deal of Fortune.

I wrote about the process of deciding to throw caution to the wind and book this mystery vacation over here a while back. (Side note: check there for my booking tips.) To recap: we decided to book a Deal of Fortune because I read every review on the Internet and thoroughly researched each resort option in the package we chose. We chose the 5-Sun Cancun deal specifically because we were cool with landing at any of the hotels listed.

Now we’re home from the trip. Did we like it? Was it an amazing find or a scam? Let's find out…

We got an email a week before revealing we'd be staying at Secrets The Vine Cancun, ranked #3 among every Cancun hotel on TripAdvisor. We knew we liked the Secrets brand because we stayed at Secrets Maroma Beach for our honeymoon last year. We also knew this was another resort that people rave about in this chain of properties. We were stoked. Side note: we’ll publish a separate post reviewing Secrets the Vine and comparing the 2 resorts in case you're booking a Secrets vacation soon and having trouble deciding.

So to give y'all a sense of just how good of a deal it was, let's talk numbers. We were at an all inclusive resort. That means unlimited food and drinks (yes, alcohol, too) were included in our package. Also included? A “run of house” room, fancy wording for “cheapest room we've got.” And finally… our price through Cheap Caribbean included airfare. I've priced it out below:

Full price 7 night trip for 2:
Run of house room booked directly through Secrets the Vine: $4500/week
Airfare (BOS to CUN to compare because we booked this out of Boston): $1200
Shared round trip transfer from airport to hotel: $60
Total: $5760

Our Cheap Caribbean Deal of Fortune 7 night trip for 2:
Total for run of house room, all inclusive food + drinks, airfare (BOS to CUN), shared round trip transfer: $2800

Yep, you read that right. We got a half price trip.

So should you book a Deal of Fortune even though you won't know where you're going until a week before? HELL yes. Spice up your life and save mucho dinero, folks!

Derek and I kept talking about how the trip felt like stealing because it was like, “Are they making any money off of us?” We honestly don't know how the finances work on their side. But we do know that as long as the Deal of Fortune exists, we will never, ever, ever book a full price resort vacation again.

The cool thing about getting such a stellar deal is that the pressure is off to get alllllll the bang for your buck. You want to lay at the pool all day, every day and participate in 0 activities? Go for it. Want to go to bed early and skip the evening show? Done. Wanna head up to your room at 3 o'clock and binge watch an entire series on Netflix? You're free to do that (and… guilty. We watched all of 13 Reasons Why on this trip).

On the flip side, you made it to a luxury resort in the Caribbean for half price. So live it up! Eat nachos by the pool, drink those unlimited margaritas and Coronas, go to the tequila tasting at 4 o'clock in the afternoon (#didthat), sing along to the cover bands at the evening shows, and order a 5-course meal just because you're on vacation.

I shared booking tips in my previous post about choosing the Deal of Fortune, so to figure out how to book, head over there. Now time for some DoF/all inclusive resort tips for when you're actually on vacation…

TIPS:

  • Bring cash to tip. You scored an awesome deal. Don't be stingy to the waitstaff.
  • If you're a honeymooner, be aware that the “run of house” room might be 2 queen beds. If your heart is set on enjoying your honeymoon on a luxurious king bed, set aside extra money in your budget and see if you can upgrade to a king suite once you get there. They offered us the upgrade to a king room in the "preferred club" section of the resort (which also would've allowed us access to an additional pool and breakfast/lunch restaurant) at $90 a night. We declined and took the 2 queens. And yes, because they knew this trip was for our anniversary, they left rose petals on one of our queen beds the first night. 
  • Also, honeymooners… I don't know if this is the standard across all resorts, but at both Secrets we've stayed at, the toilet was in a room that was basically just a frosted glass closet. So beware that not only are you adjusting to being married to a person, but you're also gonna have to get real comfortable with bathroom stuff real fast. Good luck.
  • If you're planning on a truly budget-friendly vacation without any extra activities, 7 nights may be a little long. The daytime activity schedule is fairly repetitive each day (but the entertainment staff is fantastic!), so you may feel a little bored of 7 straight days poolside. We booked an excursion, and I'm super glad we did to get away from the resort for a day. (Cancun specific tip: y'all have to go to Isla Mujeres. Book a catamaran excursion like we did - if you’re a Cheap Caribbean customer, you can book through your Amstar rep in the hotel lobby - or just hop on the ferry over to the island. Rent a golf cart. Barter for souvenirs with the locals. Eat an authentic Mexican meal, but take it from us - taste the sauce before you douse your burrito in habanero salsa and plz don't set your mouth on fire like we did.)
  • Bring a laptop for show/movie watching on lazy nights. We had a smart TV in our room but the smart part didn't actually work, so we ended up watching Netflix on Derek’s laptop a few nights.
  • Don't overpack. No, Maggie, you did not need that second pair of wedges.
  • Along those lines… if you don't regularly work out, you aren't going to start on vacation. Leave the 5 Fabletics outfits at home. Drink your pina coladas and pay for your sins when you get home.
  • If you need something, just ask… but know that it might be slow getting to you. All-inclusive resorts tend to run at their own pace. So when you order a water and a margarita from the pool waiter, you may not actually see those things for a half hour. Be patient. You're on beach time.
  • Eat your vegetables. It's so easy to let nutrition go by the wayside when you have an array of DELICIOUS foods at your fingertips 24/7. But trust me, if you don't eat your veggies, you won't be feeling good. Derek and I skipped karaoke night, which I would NEVER NORMALLY DO, because we were physically ill from eating too many carbs all week. Oops.
  • Stock up on sunscreen and other essentials back home. You don't want to pay resort gift shop prices for that SPF.
  • Take advantage of the onsite entertainment options! Last year, we went to a Beatles cover show at Secrets Maroma Beach that we’re still talking about. This year, we loved the Jersey Boys show at The Vine. 
  • For airport transfer… we booked shared transfer through Amstar and lucked out. We ended up having a van to ourselves on the way to the resort from the airport. On the way from the resort, we shared with one family. It cost us about $100 less than private transfer would, but I've heard it's a bit of a gamble... you could end up on a bus and stop at every resort along the strip before you get to yours.
  • Check ahead of time to see if the resort offers honeymoon/anniversary perks. Secrets brought a complimentary bottle of champagne to our room to kick off our stay as a little anniversary gift.

So all that being said... Cheers! Your vacation awaits! And now we want to hear from you… would you book the Deal of Fortune now that you've read about our experience?! And resort veterans - what are your all inclusive travel tips? Leave us a note in the comments or on social media!

A Whirlwind New York Trip

By Maggie Reimherr

Derek and I recently went on a whirlwind trip to New York City. We rode in on a Megabus (because we’re *frugal*) and arrived at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, December 28. Then we hopped on another bus at 7:00 pm the next day to head home.

Our goals for the trip were the following:

  1. Give Derek a first glimpse of New York. This trip would determine whether or not he’d want to return to the city to see more.

  2. Keep it cheap. Cheap is a relative term here, because y’all, New York is expensive. But because it was a first time overview of the city for Derek, we skipped some of the touristy things that you’d typically shell out more cash for. We didn’t take any tours or ride around in any double decker buses to see the sights. We didn’t go to the top of the Empire State Building. But we still had fun!

Here’s an overview of our 30 hour trip to New York City.

 

Where we stayed:

Cosmopolitan Hotel in Tribeca - This little boutique hotel was the perfect spot for us. Located right next to a Subway station and a Starbucks, we had everything we needed. Our room was tiny but clean, cute, and comfortable.

What we saw:

9/11 Memorial - This was a beautiful tribute to the lives lost in the biggest national tragedy of our lifetime. The reflecting pools were incredible and massive. One thing I was disappointed in here was that so many people were taking selfies. It felt really inappropriate and disrespectful. Put away the iPhones and pay your respects, y’all.

Battery Park - The park provides great views of the Statue of Liberty. However, your statue selfie game will not be on fleek, as you can see below.

Take a selfie with the Statue of Liberty: ❌

A photo posted by Derek Reimherr (@derekreimherr) on

Times Square - Because, duh. We’re tourists.

Back from New York and just want to give a shout out to our selfie stick for making photos like this possible.

A photo posted by Maggie Carter Reimherr (@maggie.reimherr) on

Falsettos on Broadway - If you know me, you know I love musicals. So this was a non-negotiable part of our New York trip. Yes, tickets are expensive and definitely didn’t help us with keeping this trip cheap, but to me, Broadway is always, always worth it. The show was beautiful, and the cast was a dream. Sadly, it’s a limited run, so unless you’re in New York before January 8, you’ll miss this one. However, I’ve truly never seen a bad Broadway show, so you can’t go wrong with whatever you see.

(Side note: We bought our tickets on TodayTix at a discounted price. It was such an easy process - a liaison met us outside the theater and handed us our tickets. If you’re heading to New York anytime soon, use my referral code BWPWM for $10 off your already discounted tickets!)

Outstanding show with one of the most talented, accomplished casts I've ever had the privilege of seeing live. I ❤️ New York.

A photo posted by Maggie Carter Reimherr (@maggie.reimherr) on

Bryant Park - This park is just super cute. Since we went during the holiday season, vendors were set up in the Winter Village. I wish we’d gone before Christmas, since it would’ve been a perfect place to shop for gifts!

New York Public Library - Beautiful public library with pristine public restrooms, which is very important when you’re spending a day traipsing all over Manhattan.

Rockefeller Center - I have to admit, I had romanticized Rockefeller Center at Christmastime, and it was rather anti-climactic. We didn’t ice skate (I’m scared of ice skating anyway), and I think I was over the hordes of people at this point. Next time, I think we’d take a tour of Rockefeller Center and head to the Top of the Rock.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral - I’m just going to leave this tweet here.

Central Park - Sadly, it was raining the day we went to the park, so we didn’t do as much walking and exploring as I would’ve liked. But it still amazes me that this giant, beautiful park is in the middle of Manhattan.

Found the NYC Stone Mountain.

A photo posted by Derek Reimherr (@derekreimherr) on


Where we ate/drank:

Chelsea Market - If you’re not irritated by throngs of people or eating standing up, this is a great spot to grab a really delicious lunch. There are tons of unique options. We selected Num Pang Sandwich Shop and ate pork belly sandwiches.

Havana Social - We wanted something unique and a little off the beaten path for a pre-theater dinner and found this spot in Hell’s Kitchen on OpenTable. It was fantastic. We split 3 tapas and a delicious beef entree. Also, Derek’s craft beer was only $3 at happy hour!

Zucker’s Bagels and Smoked Fish - Because who goes to New York and doesn’t get a bagel?

The Plaza Food Hall - Such a fun experience browsing the different food vendors here. We had donuts from Doughnuttery and grabbed a couple of beers.

Tavern on the Green - Highly recommend grabbing a seat at the bar and having a drink here. We planned to split appetizers, but we’re not made of money and didn’t feel the need to purchase a $20 flatbread. However, being here made me feel very refined and New York-y. This is Derek’s sophisticated face:

We also went to a little pub for dinner, but I can’t for the life of me remember the name of it. I was just very hungry (and a little tipsy from the aforementioned beers) and grateful for my sliders.
 

What we’d do next time:

For my 16th birthday and again for my 18th birthday, my grandparents took me to New York for a week. We saw a show every day we were there. Good news - Derek wants to go to New York again! And good news - next time we go, we’d like to do the trip the way I did with my grandparents. We’re thinking 4-5 nights with more time for sightseeing and lots of Broadway.

Also, next time I will eat an authentic New York hot dog one day for lunch. Clearly, I have regrets.

Overall, we had a wonderful time in this short, busy trip. I can’t wait for our next adventure!

A Marital Sales Pitch: How I Got to Book a Second Honeymoon

By Maggie Reimherr

Whether we’re aware of it or not, Derek and I spend a lot of time selling ideas to each other.

“How about sushi for dinner? I’m seeing that we have $50 left in our restaurants budget on Mint, and there are only 3 days left in the month. We can do this.”

“Would you like to go to an improv show on Sunday night? This is one we haven’t seen, and the tickets are only $15.”

We present an idea to the other person and back it up with hard support, convincing the other that we have a good idea. These are pitches.

I recently played the long game on a sales pitch to Derek. This longform pitch was to convince Derek that in lieu of other, previously pitched ideas, we should go to a tropical resort and sip margaritas for a week for our anniversary. I knew selling this to him would take some time, but I was up to the challenge.

The idea arose when we got back from our honeymoon. We’d just had a perfect vacation, and I was experiencing some post-wedding blues. I was longing for the ~unlimited luxury~ of a resort. I casually looked into *hypothetical scenarios* to compare prices on a similar vacation in the future.

On our honeymoon, we sat through a 2 hour timeshare presentation for $100 spa coupons. (Was it worth it? Idk, you be the judge.) During the presentation, we were shown a list of partner travel companies of our resort chain. One in particular caught my eye - Cheap Caribbean.

The name lived up to its promise. I dove into the array of travel deals offered on the site. Soon, I had a “hypothetical vacations” email folder containing itineraries for nearly 30 different trips - all roughly 50-60% cheaper than our honeymoon.

I initially presented my idea to Derek in a casual way, forwarding him one of the hypothetical itineraries and saying, “Check out how great this deal is!”

He replied, “Wow, if we had the time off of work to spare, I’d go right now.”

The door was open. I could proceed with my pitch. Over time, I brought up the idea with more seriousness until finally making my stance clear: “I think we should do this for our anniversary.”

Derek’s reply: “I like this idea, but I want to look at all of our options. How about you compile some more options at a few different price points, and we’ll discuss all of them?”

I compiled a Google Doc comparing the following vacations:

  • Lowest Price Point (Base Price Point): 3 nights in New York

  • Middle Price Point ($500 more): 4 nights in San Francisco OR 4 nights in New Orleans

  • Highest Price Point ($1000 more): 7 nights at an all inclusive resort in Mexico or Caribbean via Cheap Caribbean OR 5 nights at Disney World/Universal Studios in Orlando

When Derek saw that 7 nights at an all inclusive resort in Mexico would cost the same as 5 nights in Orlando for Disney and Harry Potter (our other most frequently discussed vacation option), he was sold. “If you feel good about this, let’s book it,” he told me.

Still cautious, I did more research. In digging, I found a few negative reviews for Cheap Caribbean. After reading, I concluded that the bad reviews derived from unrealistic customer service expectations… especially for a website that has the word “cheap” in the title. Derek said, “I trust you.”

From there, I started honing in on specific deals. Cheap Caribbean rates resorts with 1-5 “suns.” 3-sun rated resort prices were impressive, but their reviews weren’t. I knew wanted more bang for our buck. However, more suns means more dollars, and I wasn’t about to exceed our budget. I started banging my head against the wall trying to find a happy medium of luxury and price. Here enters the “Deal of Fortune.”

In this deal, Cheap Caribbean guarantees you’ll be placed at one of a few specified resorts in a similar location within a certain “sun” rating. After more research, I learned 2 things you must accept to go along with this deal: 1) Being placed in the “worst” of the resort options offered and  2) not having a premium room, like an ocean view.

If you’re skeptical, so was I. But I read review after review and forum after forum, discovering traveler submitted pros and cons. From what I read, I learned that deals like this exist because resorts aren’t typically filled to occupancy. They make money by offering a lower priced vacation for flexibility - at the benefit of the resort and cost of the traveler.

My research sold us on the Deal of Fortune. We went with the 5-sun option, because that was the only category in which the “worst option” remained quite luxurious. You’re highly likely to be placed in a Secrets Resort, which is where we stayed on our honeymoon (score!).

From there, I narrowed down the location we wanted to book our trip to, making pro/con lists of each of the resorts we could possibly be placed at. TripAdvisor earned its place in my most visited websites during the research process.

After this intense due diligence, we sat down one night and booked our vacation. I am very excited to say we’re returning to Cancun in April for our second honeymoon! We’ll be staying at one of the following resorts: Secrets The Vine Cancun, Secrets Playa Mujeres, or Le Blanc Resort and Spa. We find out which one 7 days before we travel. The best part is that this vacation is less than half the cost of our honeymoon for something pretty similar.

We still have 7 months to go until this vacation, but when we do, I’ll follow up with a review on how the trip goes. For now, I’ll be counting down the days until I’m lying in the sun with a Corona in hand.

In Sickness, In Health, In Drama: A Honeymoon Story

By Maggie Reimherr

On March 26, 2016, Derek and I promised to love each other in sickness and in health, among other things. On March 27th, we were off to start our marriage in the beautiful Riviera Maya, a tropical land that I still think about on a daily basis. (#takemeback #ineedavacation) Within 24 hours of our wedding, Derek was hugging me while I cried over a bleeding appendage. Romantic, right?

I had been looking forward to the honeymoon as much as the wedding. I’d never been out of the country, and I’d become obsessed with looking at our resort’s website, dreaming of long days by the pool, sipping on frozen fruity cocktails and treating myself to all-you-can-eat gourmet meals. All of my hopes and dreams were resting on this honeymoon.

We arrived at the dreamy, beautiful resort, and I fell in love immediately. They gave us each a cold towel that smelled like lavender. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, so I put it around my neck. I felt like Cleopatra. 5 minutes in, I had a pina colada in my hand. I was in heaven.

 Hey Derek, can we go back yet?

Hey Derek, can we go back yet?

We were soon escorted to our room, which was almost as big as our apartment. There was cold champagne and a plate of apples set out for us in our sitting area. Such luxury.

Later that evening, we decided to dig into the mini fridge, which came fully stocked because all-inclusive resorts are a gift from God. All I wanted was to enjoy a glass bottle Diet Coke while lounging in my fancy bathrobe. I went to open it using the wall-mounted bottle opener in the bathroom. I guess I yanked at it a little too enthusiastically, because with one pull, it had shattered all over my right hand, which was now bleeding profusely.

DEREK!" I cried out, applying pressure with the resort's very nice, very clean, white towels to stop the bleeding. "I RUINED OUR HONEYMOON, AND WE JUST GOT HERE. Am I going to need stitches? Will I get an infection? I DON’T EVEN KNOW IF MY HEALTH INSURANCE WORKS IN MEXICO!”

"Maggie, it's okay. But please, stop using the white towels on your bloody hand.”

I grabbed a roll of toilet paper and wrapped the entire thing around my hand while Derek called the front desk.

"Hi, yes, my wife is bleeding everywhere. Can we get some bandaids?"

Derek sat me down on the sofa, nursed my wounds, and attempted to calm me down. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. A stranger with a first aid kit walked in, and I was looking helpless in my bathrobe. When I dreamt of the first night of my honeymoon, this wasn’t exactly what I pictured.

"Un poquito Ingles," he said.

"Un poquito Espanol," replied Derek.

The resort paramedic set up on our coffee table, which now contained both medical supplies and two empty bottles of champagne from our arrival (no judgment please). He unrolled my toilet paper bandage looking confused, checked my hand, and said, "Mucho sangre."

"Lots of blood," Derek translated as I willed myself not to cry or pass out.

“Mucho sangre. Mucho sangre,” he repeated, as my stream of consciousness went something like, “WE GET IT. I AM BLEEDING PROFUSELY.”

After the paramedic spent time disinfecting, bandaging, and repeating, I was pleased to find out that I was not actually dying. Who knew? All it took was the help of my husband and a kind stranger (who I doubt were fearing for my long term health).

That evening, we learned an important marital practice: help each other, and when the going gets tough, call in reinforcements - even if that means a kind resort staffer who doesn’t speak English. Like Derek couldn’t bandage me up without someone else’s help, we can’t make it through life without our friends and family supporting us and whole lot of help from Jesus.

After the paramedic left the room, Derek presented me with a fresh, unshattered bottle of Diet Coke. I don’t think I even looked at that bottle opener again for the next 6 days.

More on Millennial Marriage:

A Newlywed's Guide to Honeymooning
10 Lessons Learned in 3 Months of Marriage
We Didn't Meet on Tinder, But They Did.

Do you have a funny honeymoon or marriage story to share? Email us, and we may feature you on the blog!

A Weekend Guide to Boston

By Maggie Reimherr

Derek and I recently had some friends from Georgia visit for a long weekend. They wanted a true Boston experience, and I'm not one to shy away from creating itineraries. I love lists and plans and organization...and being in charge. Therefore, I bring you this guide for a first-time weekend visit to Boston. As we continue to host friends and family members in town, Derek and I plan to publish a series of “weekend guides” sharing the most fun things we’ve done around the city with our guests.

This first weekend guide is 2 days in Boston (and Cambridge) for first time visitors. It’s packed full of fun activities, and you’ll truly get a feel for the city.

What you’ll need:

  1. Comfortable shoes

  2. Clothes that are cute enough to go out to dinner in but comfortable enough for some mild physical activity

  3. The OpenTable app on your phone

  4. 7-Day Link Pass, purchased from a kiosk at any MBTA station - $21 gets you train rides for the whole weekend. You may not be in town for 7 days, but it ends up being a better value with how much you take the train (the “T” in local lingo) around Boston.

  5. A sense of adventure

  6. A sense of humor

  7. A healthy appetite

 

Day 1 - Cambridge

Morning

Take the red line T up to Harvard Square. If you’re looking for breakfast like a true Bostonian (or Cambridgian), look no further than the Dunkin Donuts at the T station. Once you’ve grabbed your donuts and coffee, exit to Harvard Square. You are now in a beautiful land of academia and history.

Stroll around the Yard and take it all in. When our friends visited, I acted as the unofficial tour guide, spouting my limited knowledge of Harvard buildings and history. If you want to hear true experts, check out an official, student-led walking tour. It’s free and about an hour long.

After walking around campus, head to Harvard Square. If you have time, stop in at some of the stores, including the world’s only Curious George store. You can also get a "Hahvahd" shirt. You may not have gone to Harvard, but you can still wear the t-shirt.

Lunch

You’ll need some fuel for your next activity, so I’d recommend lunch at Felipe’s Taqueria. It’s cheap, and it’s delicious. Don’t skip the churros.

Afternoon

After lunch, hop back on the T going south to Kendall Square. Once you’re there, walk to the Charles River Canoe and Kayak rental station on the Charles River. One of the best ways to see the city is from the water so go paddle on the river!* Be sure to bring a water bottle with you on the kayak, especially if it’s a hot day.

*Pro tip: If you want to avoid arguing with your significant other over who’s pulling the most weight on the kayak, just rent single kayaks. You’ve been warned.

After you drop off the kayak, there is, conveniently, a biergarten right next door to the rental station at Commonwealth. Have a beer or two. You’ve earned it.

Dinner

(This is where the OpenTable app comes in handy. You can make dinner reservations with the click of a button and earn points for free food! I’m a sucker for rewards systems and free food.)

Make a reservation in advance at Cambridge Brewing Company, and walk on over there at dinner time. They have a ton of different beers, each of which are amazing. Their food menu is best described as upscale pub food (it’s delicious). Since you’re probably famished from kayaking, treat yo’self with an appetizer - we got the CBC Buffalo Chicken Tenders. Another selling point of this spot: they have a patio, so you can dine al fresco on a nice evening.

Post-Dinner

Walk to Central Square, where an evening of comedy awaits you. Purchase tickets ahead of time for the 8:00 pm mainstage show at Improv Boston. This show is entirely improvised and relies on audience participation. If you like attention (I do), you can volunteer to be part of the scenes.

At the show, they *may* offer you free entry to the 10:00 pm show that night. You should totally go if they do, but first, walk around the corner to Toscanini’s for some of the best ice cream in Boston. Their menu is full of strange and unique flavors. You’ll have trouble choosing just one.

Go get some shut eye. You earned it after this jam-packed day.

 

Day 2 - Boston

Yesterday was in beautiful Cambridge - today you’re going to mostly be in downtown. Slap on those walking shoes and don your patriotism; you’ll be walking the historic Freedom Trail. This self-guided (or paid, but it’s really not necessary) tour follows the footsteps of our founding fathers and shows you the historical parts of the city.

Brunch

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Before you head out on your historic adventure, check out the South End, one of Boston’s coolest neighborhoods. For brunch, try South End Buttery or Tremont 647 (these are places you’ll want a reservation for).

All Day

Head to Boston Common, and if you want, go crazy and drop $3 on pamphlet explaining each stop on the Freedom Trail at the Boston Common Visitors Center. Otherwise, follow along by downloading the app or going to thefreedomtrail.org.

(Optional: Before heading out on the Freedom Trail, walk around the Boston Common and Boston Public Garden. You can even take a swan boat ride. Do it for the insta.)

Walking the Freedom Trail is simple: follow the red brick road. There’s a line of red bricks leading you through the city to each destination. If you want to make up your own song (“Follow the red brick road”) we won’t judge.

Some stops have paid entry ($10 at most), and it’s up to your whether it’s worth it. We popped into Faneuil Hall for a free presentation on the history of the hall (totally worth your time) and Paul Revere’s house in the North End (worth the $3.50 price of admission). Don’t waste your time at Quincy Market next to Faneuil Hall - it’s basically an outdoor mall.

Late Lunch

Along the Freedom Trail, there are 300+ restaurants, so feel free to take your pick. We love Saus near Faneuil Hall, and it’s the kind of hearty food you need on a walking day.

But if you find yourself in the North End at lunch time, you MUST get Italian food for lunch. All of the numerous restaurants are good - you won’t have trouble finding one.

If you don’t make it all the way to the North End for lunch, you should save room to stop at Modern Pastry when you get there. I ordered a lobster tail pastry. It was the size of my head and mostly cream, both delicious and horrifying all at once. If you’re looking for something a little lighter, go with the cannolis. You can’t go wrong with a cannoli.

Afternoon

Sometime in the afternoon, you’ll make it to Charlestown, where the USS Constitution and Bunker Hill are on the Freedom Trail. I recommend doing these two destinations backwards - go to Bunker Hill first, then the USS Constitution. There’s a dock near the ship where you can use your 7-day MBTA Link Pass to take a BOAT RIDE back to the Boston side of the river. How cool is that??! If you feel so inclined, you can also buy beer on this boat. The boat ride is only 10 minutes long, so Derek and I may have chugged our beers. Challenge accepted.

Early Evening

Your evening destinations are nice, so I’d recommend heading back to your hotel and freshening up a bit before you start the night. Once you’ve done that...

Take the green line T to Prudential Center and head to Top of the Hub, an upscale restaurant and bar that provides spectacular views of Boston. Have a few drinks and maybe an appetizer while you take in views. Get there in the early evening so you can see the city as the sun sets.

Dinner

You didn’t think you’d go to Boston without getting seafood, did you? Have dinner at Atlantic Fish Company in Back Bay. Be sure you have a reservation because this place fills up (they, too, take OpenTable reservations). They have fresh seafood and delicious New England lobster rolls.

Are you exhausted yet? If not, good for you! My sweet husband compiled a great list of the best bar in each Boston neighborhood over on his company’s blog. Check out their recommendations if you’re still up for a night on the town.

Congratulations! You’ve seen some of the best parts of Boston in just 2 days. There is so much more to see, which is why we'll be rolling out more posts on what you can do with a weekend in Boston. Check back soon for our next guide!

Any Bostonians out there, we want to know - what’s your favorite “must see” when friends and family come visit? Anyone planning a trip to Boston - leave us a comment if you want more recommendations on what to do while you’re in town!

 

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A Newlywed's Guide to Honeymooning

A Newlywed's Guide to Honeymooning

By Maggie Reimherr (with GIF assistance by Derek)

Our honeymoon was my first international vacation, and I immediately began planning our next vacation, to my frugal husband’s dismay. So while I look on in jealousy at others' honeymoon photos this summer wishing we were still on ours, I’ve compiled my advice to make your honeymoon the best week ever.

1. Stay at an all inclusive resort.

At an all inclusive, you don’t have to do anything normal and unpleasant, like cooking for yourself, cleaning, or fetching your own beverages. That’s all done for you, and it feels like it’s free because you already paid for it months ago.

2. Put your phone away.

Then take it back out occasionally to post an Instagram to make all of your friends at home jealous of your glamorous #vacationlife.

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3. Order multiple dishes at each course of your meals.

The portions are tiny, and you already paid for it. You get those three desserts, girl.

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4. Don't pay for a touristy excursion. 

We ended up swimming with sea turtles and 400 other tourists in an enclosed area when we could’ve been playing free putt putt and consuming all you can eat mozzarella sticks at the resort.

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5. Order room service for #fourthmeal just because you can.

Late night dessert and fries are your God-given right.

6. Keep your room neat.

Nothing kills a relaxed vacation vibe like walking into your room and seeing your own wet swimsuits and towels strewn about.

7. Take advantage of the onsite entertainment.

We saw The Revenant at our resort (much to my chagrin) and then stuck around at the theater for a live Beatles cover show (much to my utter joy and happiness).

8. Splurge for a couples' massage sometime during the first few days.

After all of the wedding festivities, you're going to need some total relaxation. 

9. Drink your weight in fruity cocktails. 

Your resort's "drink of the day" is your friend. Blue raspberry mojitos? Yes. Berry-cinnamon margaritas? What? Yes.

10. Make googly eyes at your spouse for a week straight because you're honeymooners.

After you get back, you’re just boring married people, so stop being gross. (Just kidding. Make googly eyes at each other all the time. I do.)

(Gifs from giphy.com)