As Rachel said, we were so blessed to have so many people that we love dearly gather at Rosemary Beach to celebrate our wedding with us. The whole week felt like a dream, not only because it went so fast, but because everything seemed to work out just perfectly. We laughed so much, soaked up the gorgeous sun, and ate such wonderful food that I started to feel a little guilty for enjoying so many blessings so fully, all at once. Rachel and I could not have imagined a more perfect wedding for us.
After the wedding, we spent three nights in the Carillon Beach Inn (the view from our balcony on the left), near the Graffiti restaurant that hosted our Thursday night welcome party.
I think the wonderful band was as excited as we were because they didn't really play any slow songs at the wedding, and my leg cannot really take dancing for that long. We basically crashed, ate leftover wedding food and cake, etc. etc. After returning to Nashville for a couple weeks for my little sister Megan's graduation and so that I could finish my graduate English classes, we left for our honeymoon to the Greek Islands. Almost as we were flying to Athens, though, we made an offer on a condo in Chicago and got the contract worked out just in time (at least we thought); i think that story will be the subject of the next post, though.
Greece was glorious. We flew into Athens in the afternoon, after connecting in Chicago and London. Needless to say, we were quite stiff.
After a day of exploring in Athens, we tried to sleep (unsuccessfully) on the hardest beds i've ever encountered, then headed to the beautiful, rocky island of Mykonos (to the left) for three nights.
One day in Mykonos we took a short ferry ride over and visited Delos (shown on the far right), the ancient center of the Greek Islands, which is entirely uninhabited and gorgeously overgrown with wildflowers, on one of our Mykonos days, and then headed to Heraklion, Crete on another ferry - this time a high-speed catamaran. Crete was bustling, more of a city without the idyllic white houses and blue shutters, but had a ton of history. We toured the ancient Palace of Knossus, one of the most famous archealogical sites in the world, and ate some wonderful cheese and olive oil.
Our final stop in Greece was Santorini (above two pics). Flat out the most beautiful place I have ever been. On this tiny island we saw the volcanic beaches, ate unbelievable food, and stayed in the cleanest, best-run little hotel I've ever encountered - Anastasis Apartments (#1 on TripAdvisor), enjoyed the world-famous sunsets in Ia and sat at our pool overlooking the awe-inspiring caldera 1000 miles straight below (formed when the island exploded around 1600 BC in one of the largest volcanic events in the Earth's history that we "know" of). Santorini has been featured on the History Channel and in other publications as the purported site of the lost city of Atlantis that Plato mentions "disappeared into the sea."
Our honeymoon concluded with two nights in London at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, thanks to Rachel's generous uncle Terry Stinson who works for the hotel group.
He upgraded up to the "Beauchamp Suite," and I doubt I will ever experience luxury like that again. We feasted on a six-course breakfast, enjoyed the complimentary fruit and chocolate covered strawberries, and relaxed in the plush robes
slippers. In London, we did tear ourselves away from our suite and walk all over the city, ending each night at a theater. We saw "Midsummer Night's Dream" at Shakespeare's Globe theater (absolutely hilarious - the way Shakespeare should be seen) and "Les Miserables" the second night (one of my all-time favorites).
Needless to say, we were delightfully saturated with new experiences, culture and food by the time we returned to the States two weeks later. Although we were reluctant to leave the constant stream of experience and awe behind, we were excited to begin the process of moving to Chicago and also excited to rest a little. I actually had to go back to see my physical therapist, Becca, after the trip because of the toll it took on my leg and foot. It was worth a little pain, though, for the beauty of Greece.