My wonderful friends, Ryan and Julie:
have decided to throw a joint bachelor/bachelorette week long celebration party in the Domincan Republic to mark their upcoming wedding.
I'm stoked. We've been all talking about doing a major vacation together for some time and I am really looking forward to it. Lately my vacation preferences are for new places I've never been, mostly cities, Europe etc., but with 12 people, it is bound to be an amazing time.
Actually I've only been to an all-inclusive two times. Here, I break it down.
1. 2003 - Reading Week during second year of university
Truth time, this was actually my very first time on a real plane. The weekend Cessna that Brad Pitt picks me up on for the Hamptons doesn't count. I went to Cuba with my friend Sarah. Having to deplane directly onto the tarmac led me to believe this was how all flights ended. Also the armed guards were a bit concerning.
Sarah and I had never travelled together before and had really only lived in the same city for a short time, but when she and I were waitresses at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club we forged a strong friendship that still remains today.
The all-inclusive experience was incredible to me at the time - all you can eat!? All you can drink!? Swim up pool bars!? Swans made from bath towels on my bed!?
We did all the typical resort stuff as well as a rural tour on horseback of the "real" Cuba. It was like going back in time. For some reason, I remember eating a lot of club sandwiches on the trip. Also, this was a period of time when I answered to McFly, but only from Sarah. I tried a cigar for the first time and quickly realized that I only like the sweet smell when someone else smokes it. We went skinny dipping in the ocean and climbed a tree. Not sure why we climbed that tree. We worked our way through the extensive bar menu and I had my first pina colada.
It seems like a million years ago now, but it will always remain in my mind as my first major trip and a great time to bond with Sarah. [Sidebar: literally as I type this, Sarah just emailed me. Spooky.]
2. 2005 friends' wedding with an ex-boyfriend and all our friends (Friendapalooza)
These days a destination wedding is an inevitable and they're actually genius. They weed out the people who aren't as close to the couple so you get a super concentrated fun time. Plus a week away with a big party tacked onto the end - it's the perfect marriage, if you will. I know, cheesy. We went to the Bahamas for Anandi and Aldis' wedding.
Like any major couples vacation, it's got the best of everything. You can hang out with your favourite couple friends and still have your own space. The girls can go do things like buy straw thatched clutch purses while the guys can go golfing or deep sea fishing, where they surely just pretended to each have caught the marlin that the native captain caught.
The wedding was wonderfully laid back and festive and despite getting majorly screwed over by Sell Off Vacations, it was a fabulous trip.
I tried to pull off a massive straw hat, we sampled the wildly disappointing conch fritters (otherwise known as balls of tasteless dough), I wore an anket (not sure where that came from, but thankfully that phase is over now), played hours of poolside trivia and partied an amount worthy of two people deciding to spend their lives together - read: a lot.
So, in October, I'll be able to add the next all-inclusive vacation tale to the list and since I'm going the majority of my best friends, it should be one for the books. I mean blog.