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May 22, 2013 - Liz Skoczylas
The vows have been said. The party is over. We're back from the honeymoon. And I have a certificate that says I'm officially married.
We had an absolutely amazing time. This last week-and-a-half has flown by, and it's hard to believe Nick and I are already back to work.
Thursday, May 9, most of our out-of-town wedding party came to the area. It was especially amazing to see our Chilean bridesmaid, who Nick had never met and I hadn't seen for 14 years, and her husband. Plus, of course, my Jersey Matron of Honor and her husband, and my brother and his fiance. It was so great to go out to dinner and catch up with everyone before the craziness really began Friday.
Friday, my other bridesmaid, from Allentown, Pa., came into town in the early afternoon. That morning, us girls had manicures and pedicures. Then, it was a whirlwind of getting lunch, bringing everything we needed up to Chautauqua Golf Club (where we had the reception), getting to the rehearsal at the church, and going to the fire hall for rehearsal dinner.
Honestly, one of my favorite parts of the weekend was Friday night, after I said goodbye to Nick. I spent the night at my parents' house. And, I sat around the table with Dani (the Chilean bridesmaid), Mary (my brother's fiance and my bridesmaid) and my mom, talking and drinking tea. It was just very nice to talk, laugh and catch up.
Saturday was just a whirlwind, between getting hair and makeup done, getting everyone where they needed to be, making sure the photographers were situated and getting married. I had tissues stuffed in my bouquet! I cried when I saw Nick. I cried saying my vows. I just cried through the whole thing!
Pictures were fun. We stopped at Boxcar Barney's in Mayville, where I spent many summers as a teenager, working. In fact, when Nick and I first met many years ago, he used to ride out to Barney's on his motorcycle for ice cream. We also took pictures around Chautauqua Institution, where we all froze because it was definitely NOT a warm day! And, we had to stop the limo at a gas station for beer, so we definitely turned a few heads there.
The golf club was wonderful. The food was amazing, Dan Warren proved to be a prime choice for a DJ. As far as I know, everyone seemed to have a really good time!
Nick and I left Sunday for our honeymoon, where we dealt with a ton of delays thanks to Newark airport. The flight coming into Buffalo from Newark was about 45 minutes late, putting us into Newark an hour behind schedule. Then, our flight to Miami was delayed. And delayed again. And delayed again. And then once more, for good measure. Which means, we got into Miami after 1 a.m.
Then, we had to get to our hotel, where we were told we were upgraded from a King size bed to two queens. Is that really an upgrade? Anyway, it was 2 a.m., and we were too tired to care about this "upgrade." And, when we got to our room, the "queen" bed was a little questionable, because it was definitely small, more like a double bed. But, we didn't care, at that point, we were exhausted!
The cruise itself was absolutely amazing. We went with Royal Caribbean, Monday-Friday. So, we left Miami Monday, cruised to Nassau, Bahamas on Tuesday; Coco Cays, which is Royal Caribbean's private island Wednesday; Key West Thursday; and back to Miami Friday.
In Coco Cays, we went snorkeling, and I got to see a sting ray! It was definitely a highlight. Nick unfortunately missed it, because he was too far behind me. But, we both got to see all kinds of colorful fish as well, which was completely amazing.
We also got to see dolphins! When the ship got to Key West, everyone had to go through a customs screening. While we were waiting for our time to do that, we went out to walk around the deck and see what we could from where we were docked. We were overlooking an island, just talking, when we said it would be neat if there were dolphins jumping. As if on cue, two of them popped out of the water. It was amazing.
When we got back to Miami on Friday, we spent an extra few days in Miami Beach. When we got to our hotel, we were initially very disappointed, because our room was overlooking an alley and some dumpsters. I went to the front desk and told them that I normally wouldn't complain, and asked that since we were on our honeymoon, if we could be moved to a room not overlooking dumpsters. The lady at the front desk was amazing, and switched us to a room overlooking the hotel's pool and the beach beyond that.
Honestly, this past Monday, it was a bummer to have to fly back into Buffalo. However, our flight out of Miami was right on time, as was our flight out of Newark. We were back in Jamestown by late afternoon.
When we got back, we had the pleasure of finding out our suitcase had been searched by TSA. Along with the friendly little "TSA went through your bags" note, we had a broken bottle of rum (which we had purchased in Nassau and claimed through customs). I was irritated, because the bags were packed so that nothing would break, but unfortunately when TSA searches, they don't pack things quite as nicely. I was even more irritated to find that two pairs of freshwater pearl earrings, which we had gotten in Key West, were missing from the bag. And, by irritated, I mean irate. We have gone through absolutely everything in the suitcase, every pocket, every place they would be, but they are just gone. I'm just very thankful every other piece of jewelry we had we carried in our carry-on luggage. The only redeeming factor is that the earrings were a gift from the cruise, so we aren't out any money. On the other hand, they were supposed to be something to remember the trip. So, I'm still grumpy about that.
Overall, though, it was nice to be with Nick non-stop for nine days. It gave us a chance to catch back up with each other and remember why we are so in love, after all of the wedding craziness. Spending time together, having fun, laughing and just hanging out was the absolute most amazing part of the trip.
Honestly, although the last year has been crazy, I wouldn't change any of it. I love that I go home every night to a man I call my husband. I love that I'm sitting here, checking out my sparkly new wedding band. I'm trying to remember to say my new last name. And, I'm looking forward to everything the future holds for us.
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