How I ended up with a Turkish rug I never knew I wanted.

I’m any seller’s dream customer.

I can’t help it, I’m easy to convince that I absolutely need a product.

Even if that product is a $1400 rug.  No, we didn’t actually pay that much, but that was the starting price!

The Monster was kind enough to model our new rug for me!

Our little Monster was kind enough to model our new rug for me!  He usually charges for appearances, but because we fed him today he did this sitting for free.

It all started with a scarf.  We were in Istanbul and I decided that I needed a souvenir scarf, since I hadn’t bought any gifts from Tanzania or Turkey.  So, to the scarf stall we went.

This is when I knew I was in trouble.

The salesman showed me the cheap scarves (the 15 dollar scarves that I wanted to choose between), then he showed me the more expensive scarves (100+ dollars) and then he brought out the $350 scarves and that’s when I drew the line!  But, I must admit I did splurge for the moderately expensive scarf.

It’s beautiful and silk, darn it!  

Anyway, the salesman (at this point realizing I’m a sucker for a good sales pitch) told us that his uncle has a rug store, and quickly escorted us to the small shop down the road.  The Husband wasn’t the most willing participant, but I wanted to see actual Persian rugs.

Well, at first I thought for sure that I would never actually buy one of these rugs.  I mean, I didn’t love any that I was seeing but I did like hearing about how they were made and seeing all the different types.

Then I saw one I wanted.  DAMMIT ALL!  I knew I was in trouble.

The salesman picked right up on my changed expression and went into official ‘sales’ mode.  The Husband was great at saying no.  I wasn’t quite as good.

We told the store owner that we newlyweds and therefore broke.

The price came down.

We told him we didn’t even need a rug (lie, we totally did need a rug – I just hadn’t realized it until the very second I saw the one I loved in this small store in Istanbul!).

The price came down even more.

We told him that we had no room in our suitcases to bring it back to the States.

The price came down further and the man pulled out a tiny bag and somehow managed to fit the rug inside of it!  Magic.

Basically, by the time I was invested in the conversation and really needed this rug.

The Husband thought I had completely lost my mind.

The salesman was mostly talking to the Husband, who kept referring him to me since I was going to be actually purchasing the goods.  Ah, sexism at work.

Anyway, we finally all agreed on a price.

The Husband shook his head quite a few times.

OK, he shook his head more than a few times.

But now I have a rug, and a beautiful rug it is!

It really is one of the best ‘souvenirs’ I’ve ever bought myself, and by far the most expensive.  Take that, cheesy shot glasses – you’ve been replaced!

love

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An ode to apple tea.

When we were in Istanbul I cradled a glass of hot apple tea in my hands wherever we went.  We were given tea in the markets while bargaining over the price of decorative plates.  We drank tea at the Grand Bazaar at a cafe that was recommended and took us over an hour to find.  We drank apple tea in the mornings and at night after dinner.  Sometimes I drank apple tea after lunch.  Occasionally I would forget to specify apple tea and they would give me Turkish tea and that was (almost) as good, but not quite.   I would break my own rules and have caffeine at any hour I chose, because it was apple tea and I was in Istanbul and it was delicious and I loved holding the glass in my hands and breathing in the apple scent and drinking the tea slowly, because I always drink slowly.

apple tea and turkish coffee

We also drank sahlep.  Vendors sold this delicious milk drink on the corners and we drank at least one cup of it a day.  Of course, the cups were very small, but it was a treat.  It tasted of milk and honey and floral and cinnamon and we would pay a few TL and savor the drink as we walked around the older parts of the city.

These days I’m missing these drinks.  In Chicago I have to stand in a line at Starbucks (or better yet, a local coffee shop) to order a fancy drink (that takes too long to make) in a to-go cup that is too big and too expensive for a simple treat. It’s as if the city wants me to freeze.  Istanbul was much better at keeping the bellies of its visitors and residents warm and full

Istanbul, I miss you and your delicious treats and your friendly shop vendors and your large mosques and the singing that calls worshipers to prayer.  I also miss the desserts we ate for breakfast and the time we went to Asia for lunch and got on the wrong ferry and ended up on the opposite side of the bay.  I wish we could be back in Turkey bargaining with shop owners and reading our guide-book and walking around holding hands and eating our baked goods that we bought from other street vendors.  I miss the roasted chestnuts that were everywhere and for all different prices.   I miss the friendly people and the expensive seafood and the small-sized drinks.  But most of all, I miss the apple tea!

A month ago we embarked on a grand adventure…

WHOA, holy time-flying!  It was a whole month ago that the Husband and I started our journey to Africa (Tanzania, to be exact, since Africa is pretty big and diverse and probably doesn’t like being lumped into that broad of a category) to go on our volunteering-safari honeymoon!

And ohhhhh the things we saw.  I’ve already mentioned this (probably), but our itinerary involved a few days of orientation, four days of volunteering at a local school, and then 6 days of a safari, followed by 3 days in Istanbul.  I’ve already talked about volunteering and how awesome that was, but I figured I should at least mention the safari since it was mind-blowingly amazing in a totally different way.  Well, I guess I did mention the safari kind of but the experience probably deserves a more complete post.

We woke before dawn every day. Some days we were in a tent, other days we were in a tented lodge, sometimes we were in a regular lodge. The days we were in a tent I didn’t even bother changing clothes, I slept in the same clothes I wore all day, every day. We ate a quick breakfast while we were still wiping sleep from our eyes.  We went on a game drive and saw lions, monkeys, giraffes, and elephants.  Animals are so alive in the morning.

monkey

It rained many of the days and it was a cold, drenching rain.  When it wasn’t raining we were swarmed with flies.  Africa is not a comfortable place.  We ate lunch at the hottest part of the day, when the big animals were sleeping off the heat.  Sometimes we had a packed lunch, other times it was freshly made back at camp.  The Husband slept for a few hours and I read ‘Game of Thrones’ or ‘Just Kids’.  Our second game drive of the day was shorter than the first and just as exciting.  We always saw big cats relaxing and wildebeest grazing and animals at perfect harmony with each other.  I learned the true meaning of what it looks like to coexist and I could have swore I was in the Garden of Eden.

giraffe

We ate dinner with other campers or in a restaurant.  We had our own cook and he made us delicious meals consisting of potatoes and vegetables and fried dough and instant hot chocolate and chai and the Husband had chicken and beef, but never pig.  On Tim’s birthday everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday’ in their own languages: Swahili, Spanish, and Italian (and of course, English).  It was a beautiful moment and one I will never forget!

28th birthday

We went to sleep at around 9 every night, after discussing our favorite sights of the day with our guide.  We listed animal chases, giraffes standing among beautiful scenery, baboons being playful, and everything to do with baby animals.  We slept semi-peacefully, listening to rain on our tent or listening to the sounds of hyenas and lions, or listening to the sound of other campers zipping and unzipping their tents.

serengeti

Africa is an extremely diverse and beautiful place. It’s a place where creatures coexist and live off of one another, but do not cause unnecessary harm.  Different species need each other to survive, and all animals are acutely aware of their predators, prey, and role on the plains.  I wonder what the Earth would look like if humans had such a simple understanding of life and how to live it.

baby leopards

I’ll leave you with a picture of baby leopards – because they are friggen adorable.

 

These are a few of my favorite things.

As part of my ‘slower’ pace in 2013 (I’ll talk about this in greater detail later when it’s more consistent), I read a devotion every morning to get my head in the right place for the rest of the day.  So far this has been more positive to my mental health than checking my email/weather/news/Facebook/etc.

I love starting my day with a positive reading.

Today’s chapter suggested taking time to focus on things I’m thankful for right now.

Mission accepted.

chicago skyline

90s music. Acceptance. Baked goods. Being in love. Black and white photographs. Blogs. Boots. Boutique stores. Brunch. Budgets. Candlelight. Canyons. Card games. Cartwheels. Chai tea lattes. Cheese. Chicago skyline. Cold noses. Coloring. Competition. Country music. Creating. Crossfit. Dance parties. Dancing. Dark rum. Deep conversations. Double Dates. Down comforters. Downhill skiing. Eating at trendy (fancy) restaurants. Eating outside.  Ellen DeGeneres. Equality. Fall air. Fallen leaves. Farmers markets. Feeling of sheets against bare skin. Finishing a long run. Fireplaces. Flossing. Flowers. Fluffy pillows. Fond memories. Forehead kisses. Freedom. Fresh bread and olive oil. Freshly shaved legs. Greeting cards. Handwritten notes. Hard cider. Holding hands. Homemade gifts. Hot apple cider. Hot tea. Instant messaging with far-away friends. Keeping in touch. Kissing. Knowing people well. Large coffee mugs. Listening to rain fall. Lists. Mason jars. Mushy pears. Music festivals. Packing lightly. Painted toenails. Personality assessments. Poetry. Prayers. Productivity. Prosecco. Puppies. Reading. Road trips. Scrapbooks. Silk. Singing in the shower. S’mores. Sports. Summertime storms. Sunsets over the ocean. Sweat. Swedish massages. Thick lotion. Travel. Used bookstores. Vanilla scented candles. Vintage jewelry. Waking up early. Watching snow fall. Winter jackets. Working on projects.

A (long) wedding recap, because it was kind of a big deal.

50 days (or so) after our wedding and I still don’t really know what to say about it.

I could do a whole post on why I loved having a destination wedding.

Or another one about my favorite memories.

Or multiple blog posts on awesome events that happened leading up to it.

Or maybe a post on the stressful process (total understatement, some of the process was a complete nightmare) of wedding planning.

Or even a rant about how I really hate the WIC (wedding industrial complex).

But instead I think I’ll write a post about how my wedding wasn’t perfect and why it was totally ok (because it turns out that life isn’t very perfect!)

Our wedding wasn’t perfect from the start.  There was stress about getting engaged and stress about where to have the wedding and I was ready to get engaged and the Husband was taking his time and I wanted a certain venue (in Jamaica) and it was booked for 2012 and I have a fear of odd numbers so we couldn’t get married in 2013 (nor did I want to be engaged that long).  We decided to get married in Jamaica because I refused to get married anywhere else and we started researching venues before our engagement.  The Husband’s family found out somehow and brought it up at dinner and we announced the date before I had a ring on my finger.  The Husband asked my parents’ permission and I asked my dad about the budget all before the engagement.  By the time the Husband actually proposed, the venue was set and the date was picked and my extended relatives already had gotten emails from my parents to ‘save-the-date.’  Once we got engaged the Facebook posts exploded and I had to text friends so they wouldn’t find out online.

If I would have known I would be getting engaged that morning, I would have done my hair!

If I would have known I would be getting engaged that morning, I would have done my hair!

This was far from the engagement story I had hoped for.  But it was perfect.  The proposal was emotional, my family was super-thrilled, my friends were happy for me and called to hear details, and the ring is beyond-gorgeous.  I thought I told the Husband ‘yes’ when he asked me to marry him, but evidently I just asked if I could put the ring on that instant.  Same thing, right?

Fast forward to the (imperfect) planning process…

Planning the wedding itself was super easy and stress-free, seriously.  Budget conversations with my family were not.  Tears were shed and I got angry and then I got over it and we moved on.  Siblings said they weren’t going to be in our wedding party for various reasons.  Then they changed their minds. Close friends and family members said they were coming and then changed their minds because things came up.  Other friends and family members sent their regrets and well wishes.  RSVPs are an emotional time that i was quite unprepared for!  But, other friends and family members sent gifts and cards and happy notes and thoughtful notes and called to check-in on us and came to our housewarming/engagement party and made the whole process super-fun.  I loved picking out my dress with my mom, and the Husband’s mom and his sister… we had a great time.  My aunts drove in from Cincinnati to have a mini-shower and spend a day doing brunch and it was wonderful.  My cousin threw me a family shower in Cincinnati and I had the best time catching up with women I don’t see often enough.

My bachelorette party was the most fun I had ever had (up until the week of my wedding).  My friends came in from all over the country and we ate a homemade dinner (with gourmet food) and painted and went to a bar and drank wine and laughed and laughed and laughed.  They bought me sexy gifts and thoughtful gifts and wrote sweet notes and my heart could still explode with happiness thinking about that weekend.

bachelorette party

Then November came and we were ready to get married! I started feeling sick the weekend before the wedding and by the time I got to Jamaica I had no appetite at all. It was my worst nightmare coming true.  But, I greeted all guests when they arrived at the resort and cannot even explain the happiness of seeing all of my best friends in one place.  The people who were supposed to be there were there and I never once thought about those who couldn’t make it.  Everyone had a blast jumping off cliffs, snorkeling, eating jerk chicken and lobster, and drinking the bartenders concoctions.  We played ping pong and bags and tanned by the pool.  One night we played beer pong.  We went to sleep early and woke up early and saw dolphins during breakfast.  I drank coconut milk straight from a coconut that had been cut down from a nearby tree in front of our eyes.  We had an amazing villa but didn’t spend any time in it because we spent all of our time with guests.  Laughter and love was everywhere.  We drank fruit smoothies and banana moons and watched the sunset over the ocean.  Friends bonded over volleyball in the pool.  We got massages and pedicures and manicures.

The rehearsal was fun and laid back.  The rehearsal dinner was so well put together that some people (after a few drinks) thought that the wedding was over.  We had to gently remind guests that the ‘real’ event was the next day.  The Husband’s dad gave a speech and I cried and the food was delicious (so they say, I didn’t get to eat any of it) and I carried around a Sprite to help calm my stomach.  We played a crossword game and I’ve never laughed so hard. Guests sat together and friends of ours became friends with each other and families got along and my hair was frizzy in the humidity.

gazebo

The wedding day came and I woke up early to throw up.  Then I continued to throw up.  And the guests drank and played on the cliffs and hung out in the pool and recapped events of the night before.  The photographers came early (as planned) but I couldn’t sit up. so they left to take photos of the resort and the groomsmen. My mom spent time with me and I cried.  The Husband gave me my wedding gift early and I cried.  The bridesmaids got their hair done and the hotel called a doctor.  The doctor gave me a shot and I stopped throwing up ginger tea and the hair and makeup team came and made me beautiful.  I even took a shower and shaved (but I didn’t wash my hair).  My bridesmaids and mom helped me into my dress but they couldn’t pull it tight because my stomach would heave.  My dress was a little loose but still looked gorgeous (in my opinion).  We pushed the wedding back 30 minutes because of the delay in getting me ready.  I was nervous that I might throw up on the altar but I didn’t.  We had sent the pastor the wrong ‘script’ so our ceremony didn’t mention God except for the readings, which was not our intent.  But, it was short and sweet and perfect and no one noticed.  Our bridesmaids and groomsmen looked flawless.  Ants bit the bridesmaids all ceremony and during pictures, which was quite funny because it wasn’t happening to me.

My support system was pretty stellar.

My support system was pretty stellar.

We took sunset pictures with the wedding party, and each other, and the guests.

sunset

The food at the reception was delicious, the speeches were outstanding, the cake was beautiful and delicious, the centerpieces were elegant, the scene was out-of-this-world beautiful, and the dancing was the most fun I’ve ever had.  I ate chicken broth and drank a sip of champagne and tried to smile a lot more than I felt like smiling during dinner.  There was a fire dancer and we were in awe. After everyone ate (way too much) the guests got tipsy and sweaty and danced with each other and danced with their dates and danced with new friends and danced with me and the Husband and everyone took shots and smoked cigars and I was happier than I thought was humanly possible.  The photographers had to go but the dancing continued until the DJ stopped at 11pm and no one was ready to leave.  I’ve never seen 100% of guests on a dance floor before and it was truly something special.

dancing

I went to bed with all of my makeup on and my hair still done.  I was so relieved to get to my room where I could lay down.  Our room was decorated with flower petals and candles and the Husband took pictures of it while I was curled up in bed, fast asleep under our mosquito net.  The guests kept partying and my uncle wore snorkel gear into the hot tub.  Memories were made well into the night (so I was told).

The next day I felt a tiny bit better and put on a bikini and jumped off of the cliffs with my new husband.  We joined everyone for breakfast and said goodbye to some of the guests.  We spent the next few days enjoying time with our friends and family and going to Ricks Cafe and watching cliff jumpers and enjoying more sunsets and taking pictures and smiling a lot.  We were sad to say goodbye to our guests and even more sad to eventually leave Jamaica ourselves.

and that about wraps up our wedding experience!  It wasn’t absolutely perfect, but it was the best week of my life and most of the events leading up to it were highlights of my year/life.  It was definitely better than I had ever hoped for and guests still talk about it constantly, which makes every ounce of stress worth it.

The Husband and I are now building our perfectly imperfect marriage and I expect that it will closely follow our wedding: it probably won’t meet all of my lofty expectations in all areas, but I anticipate it will greatly exceed my wildest dreams of how happy I can be at any moment.

“No, there won’t be any lions around, just hyenas.”

Remember when I said I would camping on the safari?

Well, it happened.

At least one of us was happy!

At least one of us was happy!

I knew I was in trouble when we got out of the safari vehicle and walked with our guide to the very back of the campground.  I’m not sure why we couldn’t camp with everyone else, but for whatever reason I guess he thought we needed space.  So, he set up our tent separate from everyone else and as far away from the bathroom as you could possibly get.

This is about when my anxiety started.

There are many, many things that make me anxious in life, but not being able to get to a bathroom is one of my top 10 anxiety triggers.  I’m not sure why this is exactly, but I just like knowing that if I need to pee in the middle of the night (which never ever happens) I can get to a bathroom.

Anyway, I ask my guide if there are lions wandering around the campsite at night on a frequent basis, and he assured me that there are no lions, only hyenas.  An hour before this conversation we saw a hyena eating a still-alive wildebeest.  He was dripping with blood.  It was awful and I’m still having nightmares about this weeks later.  But at that moment, standing in the campground, all I could think about was that if I got up in the middle of the night to wander around the campsite to use the restroom, I’d probably get attacked by a pack of hyenas and they wouldn’t kill me, they’d just start eating me piece by piece.

Comforting thought, no?

The guide suggested that we not even attempt to go to the bathroom at night since it was too far, and we should pee outside of our tent instead, should the need arise.  He told us if we bring a flashlight and look around with it first, we would be able to see eyes shining back at us and then the hyenas would run away…. no  big deal!

This is the exact hyena we saw before we got to the campsite.  Nightmares.

This is the exact hyena we saw before we got to the campsite. Nightmares.

OH HELL NO.

Suffice it to say, I had to pee that night around 9pm and there was no way in hell I was going to leave that tent.  Especially since it was raining.  And when I woke up at like 2am (I’m totally making up this time, we had no clocks or watches or cell phones but it felt like 2am) and heard hyenas.  Awesome.  And by awesome I mean it was not a great night as my bladder was threatening to explode and my dumb husband was sleeping peacefully after peeing outside the tent hours earlier.

Longest night ever.  Finally as soon as the first glimpse of the sun came above the horizon, I was sprinting to the bathroom.

… And then we did the whole thing again the next night.  The Husband owes me, big time.

I will say that aside from this discomfort, the safari was the best thing ever.  THE. BEST. THING.

More details to come!

Volunteering turned out to be the very best way we could have started our marriage.

As I’m sure you’ve figured out, the Husband and I returned from Tanzania/Istanbul safe and sound and are now in the process of adjusting to ‘normal’ life.  It’s awful (the adjustment, that is).  The trip was absolutely perfect.  Well, except for the flight home from Paris… Delta received a scathing email from me today.  But moving on to the more positive things, it was most-definitely the second best vacation of my life (after my wedding week) – and for once I’m not exaggerating or being overly dramatic!

Our first week of the trip we spent volunteering in a town near Arusha, Tanzania.  It’s hard to tell people about the experience because it really is one of those things that a person has to experience to understand.

I’ll leave you with a not-so-brief summary of our time volunteering:

We stayed in a volunteer house with 15 or so other volunteers.  The volunteers were young and liberal and free-spirited and lovely and we had a good time getting to know them.  I even went boxing with a few of them at a local gym that was probably 30 ft by 15 ft.  We ate ciapatta and chai every day. We snacked on pineapple 3 meals a day.  The pineapple was the sweetest and juiciest fruit I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.  We commuted to the orphanage an hour each way on a crowded van.  The rides cost 300 tsh each and we paid the conductor with coins.  The vans (dala dala) were packed with people and the smell of sweat and bodies was super overpowering.  More people fit in those vans than I would have thought possible.  The back seats were the best because if you sat near a door more people would crowd in and stand in front of where you were sitting or squeeze on your bench.  The language was Swahili and we loved learning it.  We arrived at the orphanage around 9am and we taught classes in English.  The students were mainly 6-10 years old, but there were some older and some younger.

Joy,

Joy.

There were openings and bars instead of glass in the windows.  There wasn’t enough chalk and no one had pencils or notebooks.  We taught simple words and grammar and a lot of math.  We taught English words for the parts of the body and learned that corn cobs are used for hygiene in Tanzania.  Recess sometimes lasted 1 hour and sometimes lasted 3 hours, depending on if the teachers wanted to teach that day.  It was so hot in the sun, but the students wore sweaters anyway.  Every day the children wore the same outfits, no matter what the temperature or weather.  The Husband taught them ‘Rock Paper Scissors’ and they loved the song (but didn’t understand the game).  The students loved our skin and fingernails and quickly found that they could see our veins through our whiteness.  White people (or really foreigners in general) are referred to as ‘mzungu’ but the students usually called us ‘teacher’.  Goats and cows came to graze in the school yard in the afternoon.  The boy who was in charge of grazing the animals was around 6 years old.  The students brought water bottles to class, but sometimes they didn’t have water from home.  The poverty was incredible, but seemed almost normal in our surroundings.

Break time was not such a break for volunteers!

Break time was not such a break for volunteers!

I firmly believe that every person should spend time volunteering internationally.  In my opinion, it’s the only way to truly learn about another culture, as well as our own.  The perspective I’ve gained about my own life through volunteering in Central America/Africa is priceless – and I was only able to do it in short stints.

Plus, (and trust me on this) if I can manage to survive without cheese and hot showers and western toilets and air conditioning and all other things we take for granted in the USA but are not common in other countries, you can too!

Even the cookies know we’re traveling and expect great things.

Generally I’m a fairly anxious person – but around vacation time I turn into a true mess of nerves and emotions.

Luckily, the Husband handles this super well and while I’m busy pacing (because this is what I do when I have too much nervous energy) he finished putting all of my piles of clothes into a suitcase.  And he did it well.  All of our stuff for 2.5 weeks into a single suitcase and carry-on.  Packing success!

Ah, another reason being married is awesome – maybe your significant other will love you enough to pack for you.  Or maybe it’s another reason that living with a person who will pack for you is awesome.  OK, it’s basically just another reason that I’m continuously glad I had the good sense to marry the man I did, either way, I’m thankful!

Anyway, we were out to eat last night (Chinese food, because it will be hard to find Chinese food in Tanzania, we’re assuming) and our fortune cookies calmed me down substantially.  I wasn’t calm enough to stop pacing, but I was able to sleep!  I also ate some chocolate in the form of a cupcake – so that probably helped, too.

These were our fortunes.  And we only had to open one cookie each to find them (the clarification is necessary in case there are skeptics out there who think we opened 80 cookies to find these amazing fortunes.)  Fitting, no?!

fortune cookies

I hope you’re right little cookies, I hope you’re right.

The next adventure (or two): Volunteer Honeymoon

As if getting into this whole ‘marriage’ thing wasn’t adventurous enough, we’re also leaving for Africa in two days.

WHOA, 2 days?!  That definitely came up fast.  I didn’t realize it until I just typed that sentence.  Allow me a few moments to recover.

Anyway, we’ll be volunteering at an orphanage/school in Morombo, Tanzania.  From everything I’ve heard.  It looks like it will be quite a challenging and rewarding time!  If you would like to donate, please do.  (Not to us, we already paid to volunteer and all of that ‘stuff’ but we would love to accept your donations for the school to give them while we’re there or upon our return).

So why are we volunteering instead of sipping cocktails on a beach or on a hotel rooftop in some faraway city?  Well, I can’t think of a better start to a marriage than to spend time serving others together.  Plus, I think it’s great to remind myself what is really important every once in a while, and also what I constantly take for granted – like indoor plumbing and clean food and water.  I’m hoping this trip puts some things into perspective and allows me to think about my blessings even more.  Plus, we travel all of the time and no trip is as rewarding as a volunteer trip.  At least in my (limited) experience.

I volunteered in Nicaragua in 2008 during my spring break senior year.  It was amazing.  And challenging.

4th graders in Nicaragua!

4th graders in Nicaragua!

The things I would have done for a hot shower at the end of those weeks…

Anyway, this time it’s Arusha, Tanzania (Africa) and the Husband’s coming along, too.  I consider myself super blessed to have a husband who when I said ‘hey babe, let’s volunteer for our honeymoon,’  immediately and enthusiastically agreed.

Other things we’ll be doing on our honeymoon… going on a safari and camping.  Yes, camping.

I’ve never gone camping in my life.  This, however, did not deter the Husband from suggesting it as a very viable option in the Serengeti.  He actually thought sending me a picture of the ‘accommodations’ would convince me that camping wouldn’t be so bad.

Our fancy honeymoon suite.

Our fancy honeymoon suite.

Needless to say, his plan backfired.  Did you notice there are two cots?  No, we will not be pushing these together… I have a feeling that hearing lions outside my tent is not going to induce any sort of passion in my heart or anywhere else!  Speaking of which, we have heard stories from friends who have gone on safaris (and survived the camping) that entailed lions sleeping literally right next to their tents.  How’s that for comforting?

I’ll be writing more in the next few days as my stress levels rise.  Stay tuned  🙂

(And once again, if you would like to donate to the children we’ll be teaching on our trip or other causes we deem to need assistance, please do)