Posts Tagged ‘honeymoon’

Window Seat: Antigua Honeymoon, Day One, 10.9.10

I have come to the slow realization that, for me as a blogger, I do not do well to have several blogs scattered throughout the interwebs. I have had several blogs here at Stellar Path, one at Stellar Eats, and frankly, the one I update, by far, most frequently is here. I’m slowly phasing those out. However, I enjoy some of the content I have on those other blogs, and I am going to bring that content HERE to Stellar Path before I delete the other blogs. Even though this was over a year and a half ago, I’m going to begin posting the recap of our honeymoon that I had posted on my hardly-ever-updated-because-I-hardly-ever-travel travel blog The Window Seat. I hope you enjoy! (I will warn – this is VERY picture-heavy.)

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Please note – this was all written while in Antigua on my iPad on October 9, 2010. Also note – I took HUNDREDS of photos, more than I will probably post here. We were in Antigua from October 9th to October 16th. Some of the photos were just of the various sights around the resort and aren’t specific to any particular day, but I will still post those on that day’s post.

The first day of our honeymoon has already been incredible. Granted, we are dead tired and are going to crash hard very shortly, but we still got to do some awesome things today.

We had to leave our house at 2:45 in the morning to make it to the airport in time to catch our flight. Thankfully, our flight was on time, and we left Nashville at 6 a.m. and made it to Miami at a little after 9 Eastern time.

Me Cheesing in Nashville Airport pre-dawn…

Tina enjoying Burger King before our first flight of the day…

Our first plane of the day…

Miraculously, our next flight was on time, too. I’ve never had two flights in the same day that were both on time. I’m not sure I’ve ever had ANY flight that was exactly on time, but these were. It was two hours and forty-three minutes from Miami to Antigua (I remember that because I thought it was a touch peculiar that such an exact time was given).

A pink cart and the interesting airport floor in Miami…

Extreme close up of us in Miami on our fairly brief layover…

Our second (and last) plane of the day…

Somewhere en route to Antigua…

Me Cheesing on the Plane, en route to Antigua…

It was a sunny, warm, humid, tropical day when we landed on this tiny little island out in the middle of the ocean. The surprising thing was that we didn’t drive up to the airport; a truck with stairs on it drove up to the plane, and that was how we disembarked. Pretty neat and definitely something I had never done before.

As we entered the airport in Antigua, there was a lady with complementary drinks out front. I’m not sure exactly what it was, but it was pink and tasted guava mango-y. Not sure, but it was nice and definitely refreshing.

Customs went pretty quickly. We were on a Sandals van with three other couples on our way to Sandals within an hour.

I learned two things about Antigua during the trip. One, they drive on the “wrong” side of the road. Not a big deal, and it was a new experience. But two, all vans here are equipped with a magic horn, that I am convinced keeps them from having horrible wrecks. Even though it was only a fifteen minute drive from the airport (thank God – I don’t know if I could have endured longer), there were at least three distinct occasions when I was sure we were about to have some type of fender bender (at best) or head-on collision (at worst). However, the driver kept honking his horn and just kept going, so the only logical conclusion I can draw is that the horn is a magical apparatus that keeps vans from wrecking.

When we got to the resort, we were absolutely pampered. We were given a chilled wet cloth to freshen up with, and then we were provided our own Sandals rep to give us the run-down of what we could expect. We were given a glass of champagne and a small plate of hors d’oeuvres while she discussed our options. We had a $250 spa credit, and we decided to use a little bit of our wedding money to get a bit extra and get a 1.5 hour couples massage, complete with some kind of fancy bath and champagne. Not sure exactly what it entails, but we thought it sounded like fun, and we signed up for it on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.

Tina and I were both still running on fumes, as we had been up for over thirty hours at this point (barring what tiny cat naps we were able to get on the plane), but we were starved, so we went to one of the restaurants called Barefoot by the Sea. It was an open-wall, open-air restaurant on the beach. Tina got burger and fries; I got chicken quesadillas, and we both had lemonade. Sorry, no photos of this. It didn’t even occur to me at the time, but I will do my best for the rest of the trip to get photos of our food. After the meal, we were still hungry, so Tina got a pina colada tart with ice cream, and I got flan with fresh cantaloupe. Both were delicious, but hers was better.

No photos of the food, but here is Tina and you can see her lemonade…

The birds that are EVERYWHERE (this is IN the beach-side restaurant)…

The ceiling of Barefoot…

The view from Barefoot…

A nearby Steel Drum band playing during our meal…

Just a few shots of paradise from our first day…

At this time, we were still hungry, so we stopped at a pizzeria and got a single-serving pepperoni pizza to share.

Some hours later, we decided to go out for dinner. We went to Cricketers Pub, a British pub. Tina ordered fish and chips; I ordered a steak, served with garlic mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, and blue cheese butter. We also got fried calamari for an appetizer. Sorry, no picture of that. It was so good, we had eaten it before I remembered I planned to photo-document all of our food. Tina was starting to crash, so we got our food to go. This time, I did take a photo of my food at least, albeit after I unwrapped my meal in my room. Still, is that not the most delicious looking steak?

I’ll be honest – there is going to be a LOT of food eaten here. I’m not even going to lie and claim otherwise. My plan is just to exercise so much that it doesn’t even matter that my calories will be a bit higher here than they are back home.

The weather has been beautiful. The resort is gorgeous and truly as nice as the photos.

Oh, and our room is amazing. Shower stall, king-size bed, and a jacuzzi tub in the bathroom.

The king size bed…

Coolest ceiling fan ever…

In-room Bar…

Shower Stall…

Jacuzzi Tub…

Bathroom Twin Sinks…

We’re already in love with this place.

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Note from 2012 – More recaps to come! Hope you enjoyed this one!

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The Post-Honeymoon Weigh-in

I have not weighed in since September 27th, officially. I do Monday weigh-ins, right? Eh, maybe I do Wednesday weigh-ins. Yeah, this is a Wednesday weigh-in, and I’ll decide fairly soon what day of the week I’ll stick with.

But on September 27th, I weighed 335.8.

Then I got married!

That’s a picture of us doing our first dance. We knew we didn’t want our first dance to just be a simple matter of swaying to some love song, so we learned the rumba and danced our hearts out to Michael Buble’s “Everything.” We even got applause during the song. Sadly, the camcorder was not on at the time, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. Oh, and tons of wedding pictures, which I’ll get pretty soon. In fact, as soon as our wedding pictures are in, I’m going to create a webpage all about the wedding, so those of you who want to check out all of the details of one of the best nights of my life will be able to.

I’m also going to start a Travel Blog in a few weeks, in which I’ll detail all about our honeymoon to Antigua and share literally HUNDREDS of pictures. I love to travel, even though I don’t get to do it too often, and it has occurred to me on more than one occasion that it would be a good idea to keep a journal when I travel. The journal should help me remember more details, right? After all, how many trips have I taken where the eventual memories are just a hazy blur of a good time?

But for now, I’ve got a weigh-in to complete.

The Post-Honeymoon Weigh-In

October 20, 2010
Weight: 343.9
Change from Last Weigh-In: +8.4 pounds
Change from All-Time High: -58.9 pounds

You know what? I’ll take it. I weighed in at 354 two days ago. Traveling always makes me retain water, but I’m afraid that the eight pounds is real fat that I gained. I definitely ate way too much food on the honeymoon. But again, no regrets. It’s what I do from here on out that count, not what I did in the past, even if it was just last week.

Lots more to come soon. Mucho thanks to Erin, Molly, and Tara for watching the place while I was away!

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We’re back!

We are back from the paradise known as Antigua. I am SO behind on everything, but it was so worth it. Tons of sun, pool, food (too much food – more on that later, but oy – definitely time to get back on the diet band wagon), drinks, heat, and tons of time with my new wife.

I’ll post tons later – I’ll have wedding pictures, lliterally hundreds of honeymoon pictures, and tons of stories.

But for now, just a quick picture. This is the only cloudy sky we saw there the entire time, and it happened on our very first day on the island. Good omen, don’t you think?

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A Where’s My Reset Button? Weigh-In

This is a Where’s My Reset Button Weigh-in.

Yeah, I’m really wishing I could redo the past week, because nothing bad happened and this gain is solely the result of eating food that today I don’t even remember the joy of eating it, just the pain of the gain.

September 27, 2010
Weight – 335.5
Previous Weigh-In – 334.0
Change of +1.5 from last week
All-Time High 402.8
Total Loss -67.3 pounds

As I said yesterday, I was not expecting a loss this week. I can blame it on nothing but poor food choices. Last week was by no means a binge, but I did indulge in a bit more celebrating than I should have, and the scale showed it.

I’m getting married in about eleven days. There will be food at the wedding.

I have a bachelor party in five days. There will be food at the bachelor party.

I am going to Antigua in twelve days. To an all-inclusive resort. There WILL be food at the resort.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a touch worried about weight gain over the next week weeks. I don’t want to come home from my honeymoon weighing 350 pounds, but I’ll be honest – I know that is an honest-to-goodness legitimate risk if I do not watch what I eat at least somewhat.

I do not plan to deprive myself on my honeymoon, but I also do not want to gorge myself just because food is there. I’m going to try and find a nice, simple in-between that I can do… But a part of me also reminds me, “If you were capable of in-betweens, you would never have weighed over 400 pounds.”

Until the morning of my wedding, I am weighing every single day. So every day, there will be at least a short post about my weight. I can’t let this get away from me, and right now, I need the public accountability of recording every single day’s weight. You’ll see how much I lose tomorrow. You’ll see how much I gain the morning after my bachelor party.

So from today, September 27th, thru the day of my wedding, October 8th, I’m going to post my weight. Every day. Without fail. And then I’ll resume weekly weigh-ins on October 18th when I return from my honeymoon.

I am losing this weight, and something as simple as food is not going to stop me.

The workouts will continue. Tonight, we are going to see our trainer for the last session until we return from Antigua. She is going to literally, physically murder me if I gain fifteen pounds on my honeymoon. That’s a bit of incentive.

We’re still training on Couch to 5K, even though we’re going to repeat Week Two for at least a few days.

We’re still going to the gym and lifting weights. Tina is trying to make her arms even more toned for the wedding. (She already has awesome arms.) Thank God I wear a tuxedo jacket.

I’m taking part in a campus “exercise” event on Friday called the Poker Walk. Tina’s doing it with me; we may even incorporate our C25K training into it.

I’m going to weigh less at my wedding than I do today. I’m going to weigh less when I return from Antigua than I do today, because even if I indulge a little, I can still exercise in Antigua. I’m sure there’s an innuendo in there somewhere, but regardless – I will weigh less coming home from Antigua than I do today.

I will weigh less on January 1st than I do today. I refuse to gain the holiday pounds.

I will weigh less on October 8, 2011, than I do today.

I will weigh less. I will be healthier.

I will. It’s either a promise or a threat. Not sure which yet.

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My New First Post!

If you are a new reader to Stellar Path, welcome!

If you are a former reader of Stellar Path, welcome back!

This blog has existed in a few different incarnations.  The first time I did a blog, I literally wrote it out in html.  It didn’t allow for comments or any type of interaction at all.  I got tired of that blog REAL quick.  (This was about three years ago, and it was just about whatever was going on in my life.)

Last year, I had a blog on Blogspot.  I already owned my own domain, stellarpath.net, for my webpage, but I had no idea how to put a blog on it because my web host was just not helpful.  I knew I wanted to make a blog, so I created stellarpath.blogspot.com, and I used that for a few months.

I finally learned that I could put a blog on my domain, and stellarpath.net became my main blog.  I used it for roughly a year, but as time went, I found my interest waning.  It wasn’t that blogging no longer interested me.  Frankly, I love it.  It’s practice for writing, it’s a way to find friends with common interests, and it’s a level of accountability for weight loss that you just can’t get too many places.  A few factors, however, led to the slow decline in my posting frequency.

Number one – my host company sucked.  They sucked hard.  It was frequently down, and I would often have to wait DAYS to submit a post because of some technical glitch.  My contract with them was ending in October 2010, and in early September 2010, I changed to a more reliable host recommended by a tech-savvy friend (and it turned out to be cheaper, too), and that is what has led to this new incarnation of my blog.  (More on that in a moment.)

Number two – I was depressed.  I don’t think it was true clinical depression, but one set of circumstances in my life had me in a MAJOR funk.  I had (and still have) a wonderful fiance.  Her name is Tina, and she is truly the best thing that has ever happened to me.  We are getting married on October 8th of this year (just a few weeks away!), and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with my best friend.

For the past year, we’ve been planning a wedding and starting our lives together.  This should be the greatest time of my life.  Why on Earth have I been so down in the dumps?

Put simply, I had the shittiest job EVER.  (Pardon my language.)  One day, I reached my breaking point.  I had a crappy salary, I was on call essentially 24/7 (for a job that should not require anyone be on call – who in the field of Education is ever on call 24/7?!), and I had an assistant who was openly hostile toward me and a boss who would not even let me do anything about it.  I was done; I walked in on Monday, quit, and walked out.  I “technically” gave two weeks notice, but when I explained my situation to the deputy director about why I needed to leave, they allowed me to use my vacation hours as my two weeks notice.  The relief I felt as I walked out that door for the last time was AMAZING.

I had very recently been offered a part-time job by Western Kentucky University, my alma mater, that was going to provide about 2/3rds of the full-time salary I had been making.  That was what ultimately led to the decision to leave.  I know I could find a part-time job to make up the difference, so I could still pay my bills.  But God truly had something amazing in store for me, because on Thursday of that week, I was offered a full-time job with benefits at WKU.  Best yet, I’m working for a professor that I’ve worked with before, and she is amazing.  I am the Coordinator for the Center of Literacy at WKU, and I can only see this position growing more and more amazing as time passes.  I truly plan to make this my career.  (Oh, and another perk?  18 hours of free tuition every year!  I will even be able to get my doctorate, virtually for free!)

Okay, so now that I am working in a job that I love and finally feel like I am making a difference, I’m finding that I don’t dread going to work.  I’m getting less sleep, but my body doesn’t need more sleep.  I am finding joy in more places now than ever before.  I didn’t realize how badly one aspect of my life could taint the other amazing components of my life.  But I’m out, things are great, and I decided to turn back to my blog and make it the awesome webpage I always wanted it to be.

I did find myself posting less and less frequently.  A big part of it was the depression over my job, because when I was home after work, I just wanted to veg out and do nothing.  Going to the gym was a freaking obstacle; I just didn’t have the energy to blog.  But you know what?  I do now, and I have great plans for this blog.  The past year is gone, and while I wrote some great posts (I think so, anyway) over the past year, it was going to be a huge pain in the butt to migrate everything over, so I’m just calling it a fresh start and beginning here anew, on September 10, 2010, with a fresh slate.

I’m actually going to be running several blogs, but this is my main blog.  I have a lot of things I want to blog about, but I don’t want to overwhelm my main weight loss blog with everything that I know some of you won’t be interested in.

My plans for this main blog?  I’m still not sure how often I’ll post, but I plan to post at least every few days.  One thing I will be doing, but in a different way – Weigh-ins.  I’m not going to do weekly weigh-ins.  Instead, every time I post, I will share what my weight was that day.  I’m not someone who can go a week without getting on a scale; I have an addiction.  Plus, when I weigh weekly, I would find myself skimping on the day before weigh-in day to make the scale read less.  To me, that’s a stupid behavior.  But if I weigh in daily, then day-to-day fluctuations don’t freak me out.  I know that if I’m up a bit today, it’s okay, because in a day or two, I’ll be back where I should.  So every post will, in essence, be a weigh-in post.  I’ll definitely have celebratory weight posts, too, because every five pounds is going to be a goal.

I’ll also post recipes, weight loss and exercise tips, and a few other random things about my weight loss journey.  It will basically be what my blog was before.

Oh, and one thing I’m very excited about – I’ve begun training to be a personal trainer!  You’ll definitely get to follow me on that journey, too.  I’ll be starting that in mid-October, when I’m back from my honeymoon in Antigua!

And as I mentioned, I will have other blogs as well.  To give you a quick rundown:
1. Food Blog – I plan to blog what I eat daily (or at least near daily) with some pictures of my food.
2. The Rejection Journal – I love to write, and I want to be a published fiction writer.  Right now, I am focusing on short stories.  This blog won’t be updated as often, but it will be where I keep track of what I’m writing, what I’ve submitted, and my rejection (and hopefully acceptance) notes.  Why the title?  There is a writer’s adage – “If you haven’t received rejection letters, then you haven’t been writing.”  I don’t necessarily know that I’ll post works of fiction here, but I may.  We’ll see.
3. Mason’s Miscellaneous – I love pictures.  I love both pictures I have taken, I love pictures others have taken, and I love just random pictures I find on the internet.  I’ll post to this one whenever I find or take a picture that I want to share.  And because the title is so broad, if I find something else I want to share that doesn’t relate to weight loss (say a cool webpage or funny video), this is where it will end up.  Oh, and as for why the name Mason – well, I’m a huge dork, so you’ll just have to go check it out and see.  (And you will then receive direct verification that I am, in fact, a huge dork.  If you didn’t already know.  You probably did.)
4. Ice Blog – Yes, I plan to bring Ice Blog back and keep it updated.  I know where the story is going, and I want to get it all out there on paper.  Er, the web.

I hope to get these other blogs going this weekend.

I may create other webpages here at Stellar Path at well, and I’ll share those as they are created.  Right now, I do have a webpage posted from October 2001 called Project: October, which was a little psychological experiment I conducted on myself in regards to horror movies.

So yeah, I’m happy to be back.  I’m happy to be happy.  And while I’m not where I thought I would be weight-wise when I got married, I know that I’ll keep chiseling away at my weight until I am where I want to be.

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Weigh-Ins
12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)