Monthly Archives: May 2010

Nachos Nuptials: The Honeymoon

Our families left on Saturday but our friends Blair and Giselle stayed for one more day and we had a blast with them! We hit the water to swim with the fishies (I highly recommend wearing an inflatable life vest if you’re going to be out for a long time, it’s much less exhausting!)….

That evening we decided to have a nice dinner at the Manor House, one of the nicer restaurants on the resort, but we made a bar stop first. One of my favorite pics of us oozing class – this one’s for you, Blair!

At dinner I tried escargot for the first time and absolutely loved it! We ate steak and shrimp like champs and had to call it a night.

The next morning, the last of our buddies left and we ended our week with them the same way we started…

We were sad to see them go, but them leaving meant our honeymoon beginning!

Our first afternoon alone, we realized just how relaxed we were when a woman came by with a tray of pineapple and the conversation went as follows:

Lady: “Would you like some pineapple?”

Me: “Oh yes, thank you! (turns to Scott) Scott?”

Lady: “Scott’s sleeping.”

Throughout the week, we enjoyed relaxing and playing at the resort.  

And inside the mini-golf building, I saw this on the wall and had to get a picture 🙂 It’s like they knew I was coming…

We met lots of friendly kitties throughout the week.

One morning we woke up at 6AM to watch the sunrise over the water which was just breathtaking, something we never get to see from our Chicago apartment. A girl could get used to views like this…

We went into town during Carnival and did some shopping and exploring. We stumbled upon a teeny tiny bar called Coconuts that we ducked in to get out of the heat for a bit.

We both agreed that if we lived here, this would be our watering hole. The place was a hoot and completely covered floor to ceiling with anything and everything. Case and point, this was just a small portion of the ceiling…

Every time we were in a taxi driving up and down the mountain, I was mesmerized by the fact that houses are literally built into the side of the mountain. I’ll take this one please…

And speaking of taxis, we read a lot about how the taxis in St Thomas are super expensive. We found out that yes, if you take a van or car, it usually costs $10 per person. BUT if you hop on an open-air taxi, it’s a whopping $2 🙂

Make sure you tell the driver where you’re going though or you may or may not end up at the cruise ship dock otherwise. Erm, cough, that’s what someone told me once.

The week was so so so great and writing this post for you makes me want to be back in a place where there’s nothing to do but wake up and melt into the sand.

But after 2 of the best weeks of my life, we sadly had to pack up our room and find somewhere to put my dress. Hmmm, carry on anyone?

Goodbye room 150, I’ll miss you tons.

And in case you missed it…


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Nachos Nuptials: Last Days With the Family

After we had our fun jumping in the water in our wedding duds, we had a few more days to enjoy with the families before the honeymoon began. We played life-sized Jenga in the grotto…

We built sand castles with the kiddies. Yes, that is supposed to be a castle, don’t judge. I’m apparently much better with rhinestones and a glue gun than I am with sand…

We had fun-time at the pool with our tropical swirls – think orange dreamsicle meets blue curacao. Mmmmm…

We all hung out in the bar. A lot. If you hadn’t noticed, we did a lot of drinking in St. Thomas – it’s hard not to when the drinks are included!

We also greatly enjoyed eating basket after basket of fried pickles. Seriously, those things are like crack.

We covered everyone with After Bite and I think I had a little too much fun doing so, hee hee.

Oh the bug bites! That one will get its own post all unto itself. After a few days of our combined family vacation, it was time to say goodbye to everyone.

They took off in the open-air taxi and had a long day of traveling, delays and bad weather back home, but luckily no one lost their luggage this time around!

Up next: one more day with some friends, then the honeymoon begins!

And in case you missed it…

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Nachos Nuptials: TTD (pt 2)

Ok everyone, I had been waiting for this moment for a while, pretty much ever since you all asked me if I was planning on jumping in the pool way back when. I present to you our trash the dress photos part 2 – my favorite pictures from the whole trip. All photos courtesy of Blair’s Eye View Photography… 






After the ocean, we made our way to the pool… 







Oh yeah, we did! 

And for the animated version click here 







Of course Mr. N couldn’t resist dunking me… 






I can’t tell you how much fun I had during this photo shoot. If you’re throwing around the idea of a TTD session, I say without any hesitation to DO IT! 

And in case you missed it… 

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Nachos Nuptials: TTD (pt 1)

The morning after the wedding, Scott and I got all dressed up again (luckily my hair stayed in place overnight) and met up with Blair for our trash the dress photo shoot. I have to tell you, for me this was by far one of the most fun things we did on our trip. All photos courtesy of Blair’s Eye View Photography












Stay tuned, I’m saving the best for tomorrow! 

And in case you missed it… 

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Nachos Nuptials: Wedding Day – Winging It (pt 2)

As we made our way down to the pool area, we had no idea what was in store for us (and nothing screams class like a bride and groom with beer cans).  


We met up with our families who had grabbed a few tables for some food…  


We ordered some food and while we waited for it to come (island time can be slooooooooow) we headed over to the pool…with it being Carnival time in St. Thomas, the hotel just so happened to be having a Carnival night of their own! We honestly did not know this would be going on, and how lucky for us that it was on our wedding night! Seriously, we could not have planned a better reception if we had tried. We did a lot of dancing with the little ones…  


And then the real festivities began! We sat back and watched…  


Out came a dancer that lit the ground and ate fire. Seriously, a fire-eater at our wedding party!!…  




It was really amazing! Then our food arrived and we stuffed each other’s faces.  



Once we were full, we went back over to the pool where the festivities were in full force. A woman went out into the crowd and had everyone gather around.  


She taught us all a dance that we were supposed to follow and I’m really happy there are no pictures of me trying to keep up! The dance got really fast and my lack of coordination skills should still be fresh on your minds from the steel pan lesson. We did get this great shot of Sharon’s husband shaking his thang, though…  


Mmmm, I loves me a good blackmail photo. The kids also got in on the action and made a friend in the process…    


After a bit of dancing, we headed back to the table and were greeted by the sweetest couple that we had met the day before when they got married.    


And guess what? They brought us their cake topper because they knew we hadn’t gotten one!    



It was so sweet of them!!! And although we hadn’t planned anything, especially anything resembling a traditional reception, I am very happy to have these pictures…    



After cake, we hit the pool again for some more entertainment.    


The dance crew had the crowd form a conga line around us which was just too much fun…    



And along came a Mocko Jumbie that we got to walk under…    



I was then singled out with a few other onlookers and told to sit in a chair…    


I had no idea what was going to happen next, and then this guy snuck up behind me…    



I had so much fun! We took a few pics with the crew…    



When the excitement died down, those of us donning Cubs gear took a picture. Hey, you can take the fans out of Chicago, but you can’t take the Chicago out of the fans…    


And since I had a garter, we decided to do one thing the traditional way…    


We all stayed well into the night and lived it up by dancing, laughing and celebrating.    


Our fellow wedding buddy and her family stuck around to celebrate with us…    


And more than once, random people asked to take pictures with me. We’ll just say these people are my super distant aunt and uncle twice removed (though I honestly I have no idea who they are)…    


All photos courtesy of Blair’s Eye View Photography    

We ended up having the best wedding reception I could have ever imagined, all without planning a thing. I can honestly say I had never been to a reception with fire eaters, stilt walkers, and free cake! How’s that for spontaneity?    

Up next: trash the dress!    

And in case you missed it…    

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Nachos Nuptials: Wedding Day – Winging It

After I walked back up the aisle with my shiny new hubby, we had a nice short receiving line. The steel pan player had moved into the little alcove where my dad and I had made our grand entrance 15 minutes earlier. Everyone gathered around for some hugs and kisses, and we stood and listened to Bob Marley being played right next to us. And then, the unexpected happened. The player looked at me and said, “first lesson is free!” Hey, I’m always up for a challenge! 


It went on a little longer, but it’s just too painful, I can’t put you through all 5 minutes. I do think our faces say it all though… 


(Blair’s Eye View Photography

After realizing just how uncoordinated I really am, we were summoned back to the terrace for some more pictures. These are a few of my faves… 


(Blair’s Eye View Photography


(Blair’s Eye View Photography


(Blair’s Eye View Photography


(Bill Payne Photography


(Bill Payne Photography


(Bill Payne Photography


(Bill Payne Photography

Sorry, it’s so hard to pick just one or two! And one of my all-time favorites with everyone… 


(Bill Payne Photography

After the pictures had all been taken, it was time to head back to the room. I had some help carrying my dress… 


(Blair’s Eye View Photography

These two insisted on being my little helpers all the way down the stairs! We made it to the room and there was a bottle of champagne waiting for us there. 


(Blair’s Eye View Photography

After relaxing for a little bit, Sharon tackled my bustle. Even though a lot of you suggested we practice beforehand, we did not. But I have to say, once she figured out which button went in the first loop, it didn’t take long to get my train up into a bubble skirt. 


(Blair’s Eye View Photography

And although my flip-flops and dress were comfy, I was all about taking comfort to a whole new level so I left my bra on the bathroom floor and slipped on these beauties… 


(Blair’s Eye View Photography

Best. Decision. Ever. The plan was to meet the family downstairs at the restaurant by the pool and see what was happening. If you remember, we didn’t plan anything and decided to see where the night would take us. I took one last quick pose on the stairs on the way down to the pool area, excited to see how our evening would play out… 


(Blair’s Eye View Photography

Up next: the best unplanned wedding reception ever! 

And in case you missed it… 

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Nachos Nuptials: Wedding Day – The Ceremony

After taking pictures in the lobby with my family, everyone headed up to the terrace where Scott and his family were awaiting my arrival.

Sharon and I stayed behind to hop back on the Hummer golf cart and be chauffeured up there. It was fun passing people along the path because they all yelled “congratulations!” when they saw me whiz by in my big white dress. But of course on our way, it started raining. It was a light drizzle, but it was just enough to give me flashbacks of the downpour from a few hours before. Luckily the heavens never fully opened up and we made it to the entrance of the terrace.

My dad was waiting for me with a big smile. Sharon headed in and dad and I stood behind the curtain trying to figure out which one of us goes on which side. With no rehearsal, we hadn’t even thought about it. 🙂 In the meantime, Monica, our coordinator, wiped down the aisle with towels while the steel pan echoed in the skies. My heart was racing. I was getting that happy teary chokey feeling, and then the curtains opened and it was my moment to shine. My dad proudly walked me towards my love.

(Bill Payne Photography)

My dad is the cutest – he had asked me what to wear a few days before because he had brought a few different pairs of shorts and polos to choose from. We had agreed that khaki shorts and a white polo would be perfect, but at the last minute, he decided to dress up a little for me. I love my dad. I also love this next picture because I seriously didn’t realize the steel pan player was right there. Even throughout the entire ceremony. I guess I had other things on my mind…

(Bill Payne Photography)

We reached the gazebo and my dad was caught off guard because the minister asked “who gives this woman…?” Again, with no rehearsal, he didn’t realize he’d have to talk! But fulfilling his fatherly role perfectly, he responded with a proud “I do”.   We gave each other a kiss, and he gave Scott a hug and said to him, “welcome to the club!”

We were told later that Scott’s 5-year-old niece actually started crying and said, “she’s so beautiful!” when I was walking down. Her parents thought they were fake tears at first because she can be kind of a ham, but they surprisingly realized they were authentic tears of joy. I didn’t know little kids did that! And I love that we have a picture of it!

The minister began the ceremony and I tried to soak in all that he was saying.

He read one of my favorite passages from the Bible:

“Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking.
It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

He talked about how in marriage and love, there are two important things to never forget – committment and truth, the most important being truth.

Then he asked us to turn to each other and take each other’s right hand and repeat the vows he was about to say. We actually started giggling at each other because we had a conversation not too far back about how we hoped we would simply have to say “I do/will” for fear of getting choked up while trying to recite vows. That wasn’t the case 🙂

Then it was time for the rings. Scott was told to put it on my finger halfway then repeat the words, “With this ring, I thee wed. I now take you as my partner, my best friend, to share my life with.” Then he slipped the ring on the rest of the way.

It was so funny, we both had that nervous inappropriate giggly thing going on throughout the entire ceremony even though we both had tears in our eyes. It was just so surreal that I was marrying the boy I had a crush on my entire life. I couldn’t believe it. It was then time for his ring – I had to put it on half way, then repeat the same words he had just spoken to me.

We then turned back to the minister and he spoke some wonderful words about love and loyalty. And before I knew it, he happily said the words I had been waiting for – “By the power vested in me by the laws of these United States Virgin Islands, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride.”

(Bill Payne Photography)

And poof! We were married!

(all photos courtesy of Blair’s Eye View Photography unless otherwise noted)

Up next: a fun surprise at the end of the aisle!

And in case you missed it…

I’m Back, Did Ya Miss Me?

Nachos Nuptials: The Adventure Begins!

Nachos Nuptials: Day 1 – We Made It!

Nachos Nuptials: Day 2 – Pre-Wedding Prep

Nachos Nuptials: Wedding Day – Getting Pretty!

Nachos Nuptials: Wedding Day – Deep Breaths…

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