Honeymooners: Joyous Dawn & Mr. Mookie
Type: Domestic travel
Budget: Mid-range ($1000-$5000)
Where did you go? We rented a car and traveled from Phoenix, Arizona to Oakland/San Francisco, California to pick up our RV. Oakland is where Mookie grew up and we have friends who live in the area. Mookie is an avid adventurer/tour-manager-traveler/outdoorsman so visiting several national parks was high on the priority list.
After spending a couple of days in the Bay Area, we RVed it to Yosemite National Park (one of our favorite places), and then to Yellowstone National Park (I'd never been before).
Then we drove through the Dakotas, stopping at Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands, and ended up at the first of our multiple wedding receptions in Wisconsin (where I am from).
This leg of the journey took a little over a week as we casually traveled from placed to place. We spent a few days celebrating and hanging out with family and friends in the cheese state and then headed out for the second half of our "Wedding Tour."
Traveling to family and friends was important to us because our ceremony was extremely small (only a few friends who were enlisted to work and play) plus, with the economy just hitting its biggest low, we knew very few of the people we loved around the country could travel to us. Also, I think us driving to everyone was more eco-friendly than 200 people coming to us.
The second half of our trip we traveled through Iowa and Nebraska to get to Rocky Mountain National Park (I hadn't been there since I was five). After that, we headed home towards Phoenix to celebrate at our second reception on Mookie's 30th Birthday.
What would you have done differently? Really, nothing. I know it sounds cheesy, but it was awesome — our first big adventure as a married couple!
The only thing Mookie wished for is that we could have also gone up to Glacier National Park before there are no more glaciers left! Another trip for another day, I guess!
What's your advice for other offbeat honeymooners? First: Let go of the reins. I cannot begin to tell you what a gift it was to let other people take over our reception planning because we were planning a giant road trip. Not only did it make our lives easier BUT the time and effort family and friends put in to celebrating us was one of the best gifts we could have ever gotten! Also being on the road means going with the flow…you can't control every place you stay/park, every storm, or every vehicle problem — go with it.
Second: Utilize your interests and assets when planning your honeymoon.
Mookie has tour managed bands for over a decade, so long drives, route planning and life on the road is something he is very good at. He isn't a tropical lay-on-the-beach vacation kind of guy, so a "traditional" type honeymoon was out. Pick something you know will be great for both of you and not terribly stressful. For us that was a road trip… for others driving together for three weeks around the country could be hell no matter how in love you are. I think a long road trip could be a BIG relationship test… I don't recommend making your honeymoon a relationship proving ground. We had already done a couple road trips together and Mookie knows how to do it for a living…so it worked for us.
What was the most meaningful moment of the trip? Hmm, sooo many moments….I mean, three weeks on the road together = BLISS. It was wonderful to see so many places together for the first time AND we got to bring our dog — so no furry child worries while we were gone!
Enough talk — let's see some amazing honeymoon travel pics!