The Cuban Honeymoon + 6 Months of Marriage

It’s hard to believe, but this month marks six months since Sam and I tied the knot!

It has gone by so quickly that I actually forgot to share the few snaps I took during the honeymoon, so our six month anniversary seemed like a good time as any, am I right?

So let’s start off with the destination – we ended up in CUBA! I was initially set on Uzbekistan (a little unusual, I know), but in the end it didn’t seem like a very reasonable spot considering we had just come back to Canada after 15 months of galavanting around the world. Since I had won a trip to Cuba earlier in the year (wohoo!), Sam and I decided to turn that into our honeymoon and we headed down to Cayo Santa Maria for a full week of beach-bumming.

I wish I could tell you we spent the week crisscrossing the island and exploring little colonial towns (isn’t that what travel bloggers are supposed to do?), but the truth is we didn’t leave the resort. Normally we’re the complete opposite – I’m talking about that “spring out of bed, grab the day pack, and head out for a full day of exploring” attitude – but by the time we got to Cuba we just wanted to relax.

Our days started out with a tropical breakfast, then a few hours down at the beach, I’d have my nose in a book, we’d grab some lunch, spend a couple of hours at the pool, return to the beach, and next thing you knew it was time for dinner.

The beaches in Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba

The beaches in Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba.

Sam and Audrey in Cuba

The Newlyweds! The tan is long gone.

Piña coladas on the beach.

Another piña colada, por favor!

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Driftwood treasure after an afternoon of beach-combing.

Walking along the beach in Cuba.

Waiting for little sand crabs to come out.

Lighthouse and palm trees.
Lighthouse and palm trees. Not pictured: the sweat pouring down my back.

Shutter shades and a bit of reading.

We spent most of our time reading, and yes, I forced Sam into wearing shutter shades.

Pool time at Melia Las Dunas.

Pool time!

Enjoying the pool at Melia Las Dunas.

It’s not a bad life when you can spend the day alternating between the beach and the pool.

Melia Las Dunas in Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba.

The resort. We stayed at Melia Las Dunas in Cayo Santa Maria.

Hibiscus flower power.

Hibiscus flower power.

Audrey and Sam

That’s the mister on the right.

Cuban flag blowing in the wind.

It was Cuban night – there was lots of eating and dancing.

Turquoise waters and powdery shores. Cuba has the best beaches!

I’m going to go ahead and say Cuba has the best beaches in the Caribbean.

Sunset on the beach.

A bit of a surreal sunset.

Silhouette at sunrise.

The one morning we got up to watch the sunrise.

And now on to the wisdom. What exactly have I learned during the past 6 months of married life?

I married a closet chef. Yes, the boy can cook but I only discovered that about 5 months into married life. I have a feeling he was waiting for my “domestic instincts” to kick in, but when that didn’t happen, the choice was either starve or start cooking, and start cooking he did. Sam has created some amazing pasta sauces with pears and kiwis – it sounds weird, but it’s magic. AND he likes to go grocery shopping (which I don’t do) – I sure hit the jackpot with that one!

Divide and conquer is the key to doing house chores. So, I’m not the neatest person, and neither is Sam. This wasn’t a huge surprise since we’ve travelled together. I’ve seen our suitcases explode and the belongings scatter themselves the minute we check into a hotel or guesthouse… That being said, neither of us wanted our new apartment to look like a pigsty, so we’ve split the duties. He cooks, I do laundry. He does the dishes, I do the vacuuming. It works.

A little space is good. Sam and I spend more time together than your average couple. When we were backpacking we spent 24 hours a day together, and now that we’re both in school completing the same degree, well, we probably still spend close to 24 hours a day together. I’m used to his company and I like having him around, but I’m also one of those quiet contemplators who likes a little space and silence. So we’ve learned to give each other that space; that could mean working in different rooms, or one person going over to the library (and that’s usually Sam because I’m allergic to winter).

It’s important not to get lost in the ‘we’. I think this is especially important for the introverts. I prefer small gatherings or one-on-one chats with people, so when you throw me into a big social setting I tend to feel like a fish out of water. What do I do? I stick with Sam because he’s chatty, which means I have to chat to less strangers. I know, bad, very bad! Because I’m well aware of my habit, I’ve been purposely trying to push myself out of my comfort zone. Case in point: I recently attended a travel networking event in Washington DC on my own (ha! sounds so easy when I type it). The first 10 minutes were brutal, as is to be expected when you walk into a room full of strangers, but I survived and I even made a few new friends by the end of the evening.

And those are my little nuggets of wisdom. Not a particularly long list, but hey, it’s only been 6 months!

Happy anniversary, Sam!

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