We realized that when you go overseas for a month and your wedding is in March, you tend to not give yourself too much time to do the last minute things.
Like send out invitations.
Needless to say, there was a bit of panic and some people still have not received their invitations to this date, long after the last bottle of champagne was finished and the last dance danced! But that's another thing altogether...
With me starting a new job when I got back, as well as finishing off the important issues in my old job, it meant that I had to manage both for a period of a month. This was fun, especially considering that my old role was based closer to the city, and the new one in Sandton. Excellent.
But that's enough about work.
Our wedding was a truly spectacular time and event. We had it down in the Natal Midlands, at a fantastic venue (only to happy to promote it!) called Providence, with an amazing photographer (Dean Demos photography) and a videographer who created a dvd for us that we have watched many times over!
For the most important day in your life, we could not have asked for more and to have our friends and family there was the icing on the cake (which was also a masterpiece if I may add!)
(Helen's bridesmaids did a fantastic job keeping her relaxed and getting her ready for her big day!)
(The cake, layers of chocolate, covered in flake and Lindt chocolate balls, something else!)
(Providence - Just the perfect venue for us in the Natal Midlands)
The weather played its part, a good time was had by all and we had the best of the best in terms of the catering and co-ordination at the venue. The only thing left to do....was go on honeymoon!
While Helen and I had agreed that we would like to go to the East for our honeymoon, I was on the hook to organise it and make as much as possible a surprise. This type of thing is right up my street as I love to travel and love to look at places to go, things to do and options abroad.
So, First stop: Hong Kong. We spent two and a half days in the city, walked around Lantau Island, visited the Big Buddha and popped in at some of the major banks (HSBC and Standard Chartered). From here we flew on to Bangkok, Thailand and connected to Koh Samui's lovely little airport, spending four days relaxing on the beach, visiting the marine reserve and inland lake and eating hot curries next to the ocean. I definitely recommend Koh Samui for a more relaxing location in Thailand if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Phuket or Koh Phi Phi.
(Climbing the stairs to the Big Buddha on Lantau Island, Hong Kong)
(A warm welcome on our arrival in Koh Samui at the White House Resort and Spa)
We then flew over to the Andaman Sea and Krabi and caught a connecting boat to Railay Bay, our favourite resort of the whole trip. We had our own cottage, kitted our with Jacuzzi, Koi pond and everything else that opens and shuts! Here we spotted the best sunsets in the East, rock climbed and discovered a little hidden beach where monkeys play on the sand and the water is like a bath throughout the day and into the evening.
(Railay Bay Resort, mecca for rock climbing and tourist relaxation)
Grudgingly, we had to leave Railay and catch a ferry on to Koh Phi Phi, where we caught another connection up north to the more remote Laemtong beach (Phi Phi Natural Resort). Phi Phi is famous for its snorkelling, where day trips will take you out to locations where the viewing with a snorkel is just as good as a scuba dive. My only challenge was swimming into a number of sea snakes on the 2nd day, and if you know my fear of snakes, well...lets just say, I almost never went back into the sea after that!
(Maya Bay, the scenery used in the movie "The Beach" with that guy Leo Di Caprio)
From Phi Phi we flew back to the mainland and up north to Chiang Mai, on the border and in the mountains, where we spent 5 days relaxing, reading and visiting the forest elephants. Thanks to my parents, who organised the accommodation for us, just going to show, the strength of having timeshare available to you means you really can travel and stay anywhere in the world!
(Bella Vista Country Club in the mountains of Chiang Mai)
A brief stop back in Bangkok for two days in the middle of all the unrest with the Red Shirts supporting the overthrown Thakasin Shinawatran was the last of our entertainment for the trip and we got to duck and dive inbetween all of this, while visiting the shops, restaurants and temples in the Thai capital. We definitely decided that the right way to do Thailand in future is to stop in Bangkok first, buy your luggage and clothing there (it is THAT cheap) and move on to the islands from there!
We had a superb hotel in the Sukhumvit Road, that was just the best way to finish off the trip, 5 star luxury and perfectly located for us. (Rembrandt Hotel and Towers) and will only stay there when we go to Bangkok in future.
All in all, we had a very active, yet relaxing trip, where we got to see some of the amazing East and now have a fresh respect for everything it has to offer. Three or so weeks of honeymoon was just what we needed to wind down after such a busy and exciting time at our wedding.
Ready to come home and start our lives as Mr and Mrs Wood!