Our Honeymoon: Day 11 – July 4th in Vegas

Our Independence Day could be described as very long, very tiring, but very fun!  The day was long and tiring because we started it the minute we touched down in Las Vegas, and didn’t stop until the wee hours of July 5th.  Christina & Tony, my sister and brother-in-law arrived in Vegas on Friday and spend the day enjoying the city of lights.  Driving our car, they picked us up at the airport, and took us back to our shared room at the Palazzo.  We wasted no time in getting started and headed straight to New York, New York to visit our usual breakfast spot: America.

After a hearty breakfast, we started walking the south end of the strip and ended up at one of the merchant plazas along the strip.  Christina and Tony had gotten 4-week tattoos the day before and it didn’t take much convincing for us to do the same.  Bethany had a design with an intricate cross, with a heart in the middle.


I went with a more contemporary design on my arm:


We walked back up the strip and stopped at the Coca-Cola store for one of Las Vegas’ best values.  If you go upstairs you can order a Float Sampler, which gives you 8 ice cream floats for $8.  The four of us could barely finish four of the floats, let alone 8 of them. This was a very refreshing treat for a very hot day.

We went back to the Palazzo to spend some time at the pool. Unfortunately pretty much every other guest at the Palazzo had the same thing in mind, as the pool was completely full.  We managed to finally snag some lawn chairs and enjoyed a nice cool swim.  The temperature was over 100 degrees, and we had a schedule to keep, so we headed back up to the room to get ready to head down to Fremont Street and dinner at Hugo’s Cellar.

Hugo’s Cellar is a five-star restaurant located in the basement at the Four Queens Hotel.  This is one our favorite Vegas traditions, one that we’ve been looking forward to for months.  We definitely weren’t disappointed.  One of our favorite things there is that they have a guy that comes around with a salad cart and prepares each salad right in front of you, asking each person what ingredients went on each salad  I asked them to be generous on the anchovies, and they gave Bethany a hard time about whether she knew I liked anchovies this much when she married me.  The staff at Hugo’s caught wind that we were on our honeymoon, and prepared Bethany and I a special surprise:


We enjoyed the White Chocolate Moose cake and all of the other good food. 


We gambled a little bit on Fremont, then headed back to the Palazzo to get in position to watch the fireworks over Caesar’s Palace.  We staked out a spot right in front of Harrah’s where we also got a view of the Mirage’s volcano going off:


The fireworks kicked off a little after 9:00pm, and while they were not the caliber of fireworks we’ve enjoyed at Coors Field for the last 4 years, we definitely saw some great sights:


After raving about the gondola ride at the Venetian, Christina and Tony were interested in taking the ride.  The four of us bought tickets and managed to get on the same gondola rower that Bethany and I had, Santo.  He treated us to more beautiful songs as we went under the “Tunnel of Love”.



We headed back to our room to refuel on beverages, and caught another Mirage Volcano eruption from our 22nd story view of the Strip.  We ended the 4th by playing slot machines down in the Palazzo casino, turning in at 1am.  Before we pulled out of Vegas on Sunday, the four of us shared our last Vegas meal at the Monte Carlo’s brunch buffet.

Thus this brings the official end to our Honeymoon.  We are currently en route back to Colorado and both of us are scheduled to be back at work on Monday.  Our adventure in Las Vegas and Hawaii may be over, but we are excited to go home to continue our adventure in our new marriage.

Our Honeymoon: Day 10 – Last day in Hawaii

In all honesty, the last day of our trip to Hawaii didn’t offer very much to write home about.  We woke up and finished packing up our stuff.  Packing turned out to be a bit of an ordeal due to some missing items that turned up right in the end, but we checked out of the resort on time and made our way out of the South Shore.

We stopped for an early lunch at a restaurant at an old sugar plantation called Gaylords.  We took advantage of our last opportunities to have fresh fish and enjoyed the outdoor scenery.  Kauai is crawling with roosters, they’re actually considered a pretty big pest on the islands.  During lunch we watched the roosters roam around the courtyard, looking to be fed.  It was astonishing (in a bit of a sad way) just how little fear they have of people.

We debated going golfing for the afternoon, but Bethany also wanted to take me out for a birthday dinner.  The timing of driving up to the course and playing 9 holes would have left us pretty rushed to have dinner before our flight, so we decided to shop for the afternoon instead.  Unfortunately the dinner plans didn’t pan out as well as we had hoped.  Bethany wanted to treat me to a nice place, but all of the nice places didn’t open until 5:00pm.  We had to turn our car into the rental place by 5:30, so we decided to skip the formal dinner and eat at a beach-side bar called JJ’s.  We enjoyed mixed drinks and watched people enjoying the ocean.

After a quick trip to Wal Mart to pick up some cheap pillows for the flight home, we returned the rental car and got onto the plane with no problems.  Our first flight to Honolulu was short, leaving us with a 2 hour layover.  As sat in the terminal it seemed like over half our flight was made up with families with young kids – all of them being fussy.  At point two kids cried at opposite ends of the terminals in the exact same pitch, we swore it was stereo!  Luckily the kids fell asleep on the flight ,and we touched down in Las Vegas at about 6:30am.

We were very sad to have left Hawaii, but were ready to join Christina and Tony in Vegas.

Our Honeymoon: Day 9 – Sunrise, Sunset

We can’t help but think of the Fiddler on the Roof song: Sunrise, Sunset as we write about our last full day on the Honeymoon.  Determined to catch an island sunrise, Bethany got the two of us out of bed at 5:37am and we hiked our way down to the shore by the resort to catch the sunrise.

Notice the bags under Jeromey’s eyes?

The sunrise arrived, on schedule, and while it wasn’t as spectacular as the Beach House sunset (on the first night we arrived), the view was worth the early morning rise:


We were surprised at the number of people who actually were up that early, but that didn’t stop us from immediately going back to bed and sleeping in.  We woke up a few hours later, had a few bowls of cereal and made our way to the beach for what turned out to be the last time on the trip.  We swam in Ship-wreck Beach and ended up doing some boogie-boarding.  The waves were nasty, and we ended up getting our butts handed to us.  We had a ton of fun and got the week’s usage out of our boogie boards and were looking to give them away.  Bethany went up to the first person next to us to offer the boogie boards, and it turns out that she and her family are actually from Fort Collins as well.  We spent a little while talking about home, Hawaii, weddings and other various things, then wished them well with their new boogie boards.

One of the downsides of swimming in the ocean is all of the sand that your body accumulates.  After our sand-rinsing showers, the bathroom wasn’t a pretty sight!  We cleaned up as much as we could and freshened up for the dinner cruise.

We stopped for lunch at Brick Oven Pizza, the place that was closed on Monday, and had some amazing salads and shared a small “UltiMEAT” Pizza.  I was particularly excited because I got to order anchovies on my Caesar Salad.

Finally after lunch we boarded the Spirit of Kauai for the dinner cruise and set sail.


I’m not sure if it was the Dramamine we took before the cruise, or the stomach full of Brick Oven Pizza, but as the ship slowed down my stomach started to speed up.  I didn’t get sick, but I definitely wasn’t feeling well for part of the cruise.  I managed to recover just in time for dinner, where we enjoyed a great chicken salad, steak strips, rice, bread, and vegetables.  Everything was excellent!

The cruise went up and down the Napali Coast, and showed beautiful scenery of waterfalls, island caves and of course beaches.  The scenery we saw has been shown in many different movies – namely the “opening island” sequence of Jurassic Park, as well as Raiders of the Lost Ark







Of course, this wouldn’t be a Sunset Dinner Cruise if we didn’t witness a sunset:


We safely docked and made our way home, but not before stopping one last time at Lappert’s Ice Cream.

Next Up: Our last day in Hawaii

Honeymoon: Day 8 – More driving (change of plans) & Tide-pools

Wednesday was another one of our wide-open days in Hawaii, and while we tried to make the most of it, we basically ended up doing a lot of driving.

We started of by eating breakfast at Joe’s on the Green.  We ate outside, and while we enjoyed the view we noticed that there was smoke coming off in the distance.  The best guess by everyone there was a house fire.  We were hoping everything was ok, but all we could do was say a prayer and look at the smoke in the distance:


We set off towards the North Shore of Kauai. Bethany went through our guidebook to find some prime destinations for our exploration.  First up was a boogie boarding beach.  We drove the beautiful drive along the coast, only to find that the beach had signs that said “no swimming” all over it.  We saw people surfing along the coast, and a few boogie-boarders, but we didn’t want to be one of those Darwin award recipients – the ones you read about missing after swimming in the “No Swimming” beach, so we drove on.

The book described this beautiful lava-formed pool called “Queen’s Bath”.  We set out looking for it and found it by driving through a neighborhood.  The book mentioned that a small parking lot was created to accommodate the number of visitors, but it didn’t mention just how small this lot was.   There were only about 10 spots, all of which were full (and a few were even double-parked).  We tried to find alternative parking, but with no success we were forced to head back.  When then drove and found a snorkeling beach and got in our beach time for the day.

Hungry for a late lunch, we tried the coveted Ono Burger which we’ve heard so much.  Bethany ordered a Swiss Burger, while I ordered a Teriyaki, Pineapple & Swiss burger.  Both were really good, but still paled in comparison to Five Guys back at home.  We ate our burgers along the original boogie-board beach, then made our way back to Lihue.

We spent some time at Starbucks to upload pictures to Flickr, then made our way back to get ready for our dinner reservation at Tide Pools, a restaurant at the Hyatt next door.  The restaurant was very good, but we were one of the few unfortunates that weren’t seated by the water.  We enjoyed our dinner nonetheless, and made our way back to our room where we once again turned in early.

Next Up: Sunrise, Sunset.

Our Honeymoon – Day 6 – Taking a little drive


With the full day open, we figured that Monday would be the best day to take the drive up to Waimea Canyon.  Waimea is known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, as it measures to 10 miles in length and is over 3,000 feet deep.  Geological facts aside, the site is simply breathtaking:


We drove from the South Shore (where we’re staying), up to the west side of the island, then took the 18 miles road that took us up to the top of the canyon.  The drive was a sport in itself, especially in the convertible:


This was the easy part!  As we drove we encountered road construction, where Bethany made the comment “You can’t escape road construction, even in paradise.”


After a very steep and bumpy drive, we finally made it to the top.  Bethany assured me that that view would be well worth it, and my wife was definitely telling the truth:


Bethany put it best when she said that you can’t even tell where the ocean ends and the sky begins on the horizon.  We took a series of incredible pictures which we’ll post on Flickr, but we wanted to post proof that we made it to the top:


We drove our way back down the canyon (which Bethany documented in a video that we’ll be posting), taking the scenic route.  At this point we were very hungry and ready for lunch.  We hoped to stop by Brick Oven Pizza (as our guidebook lists it as the best pizza on the island), only to find that they were closed.  We went to a deli across the street and enjoyed a Mango Smoothie and turkey sandwiches.

The long drive with the top down took its toll on Bethany, and she napped in the afternoon to recover.  We enjoyed a swim in the resort pool, throwing a football around in the water.  We then freshened up for our dinner at Roy’s: a great restaurant that featured steak and various fish. We both enjoyed a four-course “sampler” meal, which offered very delicious – but modest – portions that left us satisfied.


Jeromey committed a Honeymoon No-No by forgetting to wear his wedding ring to dinner.  These late-afternoon showers throw off his routine.


We finished the night by taking in another movie (this time it was “Pure Country” featuring Bethany’s handsome cowboy George Straight) – along with some wine we snuck down to the hot tub in plastic kitchen cups (very classy.).

Next Up: Relaxation at the Spa, relaxation at the resort.