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Monday, September 22, 2008

The Editor’s Honeymoon Wish-Come-True!

Mills & Boon editor Lucy Gilmour describes her unusual honeymoon destination...

I imagine in some ways every couple’s honeymoon destination is unusual, purely because this isn’t just any old holiday, but the first one you take together as a married couple. I didn’t quite believe it would feel that different to any other holiday – but it really, really did. For one, it was fantastic to just to relax after the hectic build up to the wedding. But mainly, it felt as if this was a new beginning for us both – the start of our married life I suppose, and I wonder if it would have mattered where we’d been, as long as we’d been there together.

My husband (eeek, it still sounds so grown-up!) Ben and I chose to forgo a fortnight of unadulterated bliss on an idyllic white sandy beach in the Maldives in favour of backpacking around Indonesia. This seemed like a sensible idea at the time ‘we’ll go exploring’ we cried ‘and have a real adventure!’ And yes, we found ourselves sharing our open air bathrooms with a fair amount of the local wildlife, rather then relaxing in a luxurious marbled whirlpool bathtub. And our decisions not to pre-book any accommodation so we could make spontaneous decisions over how long to stay in each place meant we’d often start our hunt for a room at dusk. (There’s always a silver lining, and this did often mean that we found ourselves upgraded to fancy rooms for a bargain price!)

But most of all, it was our adventure and I wouldn’t have swapped it for the world Luckily (for me) we managed to squeeze all our belongings into just the one backpack, which meant that Ben lugged this full-to-the-brim monstrosity along the dusty roads of Indonesia, whilst I floated serenely beside him, guidebook in hand, pretending that the hotel we hoped might have a spare room really was just around the next corner…

I know, I know it’s a cliché – but our honeymoon really did feel as if it was a once in a lifetime experience. One evening at a local restaurant, we inquired as to what ingredients were in a particularly mouth-watering dish, and found ourselves invited back to the next morning for a private cooking class with the restaurant owner’s grandmother! We hired bikes, got hopelessly lost, and ended up having an impromptu personal tour of some of Bali’s beautifully tropical rice fields (see the picture below) One of my absolute highlights was deciding not to take the expensive tourist ferry, with its hygienic toilets and shady canopy between islands, and instead finding ourselves in a small fishing boat ambling along under the blazing sun, with numerous dolphins swimming and jumping up alongside us. It was a truly incredible moment, and one you couldn’t pay all the money in the world for.

We did have a two-night stopover in Singapore on the way home, which brought us gradually back to reality. And while I can’t say I suffered any blues when I returned to work over not having a wedding to plan anymore (organisation is most definitely not my middle name) I did pin this photo of us in the Balinese rice field up by my desk, and it brings a smile to my face even when chasing the tightest of deadlines.

And I will admit to sneaking a long weekend in the French Alps a week or two ago, which is where Ben & I met. Those few days felt like another mini-honeymoon - although with less make-your-eyes-water-they’re-so-spicy-noodles and far more cheese and wine this time! I guess you might say we’re still enjoying that ‘honeymoon period’ – well, if so, long may it last!

I’d love to hear all of your honeymoon tales – I wonder how many countries we’ve all covered in pursuit of these, the beginnings of our own individual happy ever afters?


Lucy x


Blogger Rachel said...

Oh, how fabulously romantic! And what a great way to start a marriage - doing something together like that. Thanks for sharing!

September 22, 2008 at 1:06 AM  
Blogger Jane Beckenham said...

Lucy what a wonderful start to married life. It sounds like a real adventure, and that really is what married life is about...adventure together. May you have many of them.

Jane Beckenham

September 22, 2008 at 1:09 AM  
Blogger Nicola Marsh said...

Wow, Lucy, that's an adventurous honeymoon!

Hubby and I spent ours doing a bit of wilderness trekking...in Alaska!

Okay, it was only a day, when we canoed out to a massive glacier but we had to trek through bear- infested woods to reach the canoe.
Way too adventurous for me!

The upside?
Making it back to our luxurious cruise ship at the end of the day :)

Was truly lovely being cuddled up in chilly Alaska to celebrate our honeymoon.

September 22, 2008 at 1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, it was really lovely to put all my honeymoon memories down on to paper... I spent such a lovely afternoon writing this blog, so many happy memmories came flooding back.

Rachel - I'm glad you enjoyed the blog!

Jane - If it's anything like the first, I'm definitely looking all the adventures life can throw at us!


Lucy x

September 22, 2008 at 1:16 AM  
Blogger Melissa James said...

That's so cool, Lucy! Love the pics and the boat experience. My rather unusual honeymoon experience was on the blog two weeks ago...the sheltered Catholic kids surrounded by the nicest nudists you could ever meet - but talking to them naked - well, it was just kinda freaky...:-D

I'd have loved your honeymoon, Lucy!

Melissa x

September 22, 2008 at 1:37 AM  
Anonymous Clare said...

We were married ridiculously young - 19 and 21 - and had no money but oodles of love. So we honeymooned 'overseas' on tiny isolated Kawau Island in the middle of Auckland NZ's beautiful Hauraki Gulf. 1st night there, the booking was wrong and we had single beds. I sat on one to unpack and it broke! We were upgraded and spent the next 5 nights eating extremely garlicy meals so everyone would leave us alone. (It worked!)Flying home in the small amphibian, there was a tremendous storm. The pilot had to land in the middle of the cruise ship wharves with waves washing over the cockpit. He told us to get out and kiss the ground because it was at times literally touch and go! We've been married 35 yrs in March - I guess our honeymoon experiences helped set us up for real married life! Wishing you both happiness always in the biggest adventure of your lives - Marriage :-)

September 22, 2008 at 2:54 AM  
Blogger Julie Hilton Steele said...

Best wishes too. You are starting off married life with one of the best lessons you can ever learn, one that my hubbie and I learned gradually.

Whenever we travel, we make sure to get beyond the guidebook and do what the locals do, eat where the locals eat etc. Makes for far more memorable trips...as you found out.

Blessings, Julie

September 22, 2008 at 3:07 AM  
Blogger Melissa James said...

Good grief, Clare, that really is an adventure! It must be fun to retell now you're safely on ground.

Ever gone on an ultra-light since? I flew one last year and that was awesome. The pilot let me learn and take the wheel. So much fun...I even did a loop and lost G-Force. Brilliant, even if my tummy didn't like it. :-)))


September 22, 2008 at 3:37 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

What a wonderful honeymoon! It does sound like an adventure and so many great memories to take home with you. I'm impressed you got everything into one bag!!!

Now I want to hear how you met in the Alps! That sounds like a romance novel ;)

Melissa McClone

September 22, 2008 at 6:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Nic - Alaska...Brrr, you're a braver woman than me - we get enough cold weather in the UK to make seeking out the sunshine a must on every holiday! I could definitely do the cruise ship bit though...


Lucy x

September 22, 2008 at 8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clare, I think you've totally put me to shame with your emergency landing - Glad you still look back on it with fond memories though!


Lucy x

September 22, 2008 at 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Julie - I'm definitely with you on 'eating as the locals do' - although I did leave out the couple of days I found myself struck down by Bali Belly... Oh well, he had promised "for better or for worse!";)


L x

September 22, 2008 at 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa (McClone!)

The years Ben and I spent in the French Alps, were indeed, utterly blissful. Luckily we were close enough for friends and family to pop out for holidays, or just for the odd weekend. And the one item from home I'd always ask them to bring with them...? A pile of the latest Harlequins/Mills & Boons of course!!! :)


Lucy x

September 22, 2008 at 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Melissa (James!) - and all the other Wedding Planner blog hostesses (I'm sure you all have a more technical name...but this is my first real foray into responding to blogs etc. so do forgive me!)

I just wanted to say the hugest thank you for having me to stay(?!) today - it's been an absolute ball. I'm always a sucker for a wedding, and it's been so lovely hearing everyone's stories. I'll check in tomorrow to reply back to any other comments. But thanks again

Much love

Lucy xxxx

September 22, 2008 at 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a fantastic honeymoon. Indonesia sounds just the place for exploring.
Best wishes

September 22, 2008 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger Barb J G said...

Hi Lucy

You took ONE bag?! I'm very impressed!

We had our honeymoon in the sublime Whitsunday Islands and it was magical. Now with four small children underfoot I'm thinking that renewing our vows and popping off there again (sans twiglets!)might be a plan....

Thanks for this wonderful blog, Wedding Planners.


September 22, 2008 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger Brandy said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful adventure on your Honeymoon!

September 22, 2008 at 7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Barb - yes, ONE bag. And a much needed tube of travel wash. I had a fair few pairs of sea-water-washed knickers by the end of the two weeks I can tell you!

Lucy xx

September 23, 2008 at 5:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sandii - and Brandy!

Thanks for your beast wishes, it's absolutely pouring here in London today - summer is most definitely over! So it's even more lovely to think back to happier (warmer!) times.


Lucy x

September 23, 2008 at 5:56 AM  
Blogger Marilyn Shoemaker said...

What a fabulous honeymoon and this blog is incredible. I'm so glad I found it.

September 23, 2008 at 6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Marilyn

Thanks for stopping by - and posting!

This blog is pretty fantastic isn't it - it's just so beautiful!

I hope you've found The Wedding Planners books too...they're incredible too!

Lucy x

September 23, 2008 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Linda Goodnight said...

Hi Lucy,

That's one of the best honeymoon stories I've ever heard. The two of you were wonderfully brave to do such a trip but the results were once-in-a-lifetime memories. Wow. Congratulations and I hope to see you again in the near future.

For those of you have not seen Lucy in person, she is drop dead beautiful!!

September 24, 2008 at 11:28 AM  
Blogger Linda Goodnight said...

Hi Lucy,

That's one of the best honeymoon stories I've ever heard. The two of you were wonderfully brave to do such a trip but the results were once-in-a-lifetime memories. Wow. Congratulations and I hope to see you again in the near future.

For those of you have not seen Lucy in person, she is drop dead beautiful!!

September 24, 2008 at 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, thank you so much Linda! It was so, so lovely to meet you in San Francisco...I can't wait for the next conference I'm sent too!

Love Lucy xx

September 25, 2008 at 2:43 AM  

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