June 4, 2010

But What About THIS Place?

Those are the kind of emails we would send to the wonderful, personable, PATIENT Barbara Oliver over at Bliss Honeymoons. No lie. 3+ months of this:

Dear Barbara,
We've been doing some googling. What about this place? Is that affordable?
Love, Us

Dear Barbara,
We're still at the same budget, but our standards just won't budge. ::mischievous smiley face:: Oh well. How's this one?
Cheers! Us

Dear Barbara,
What we want is a hotel that no one goes to but where there are a million activities available. Walking distance but, like, remote. Modern but rustic. Beach-side jungle. All-inclusive. Practical stuff like that. Like this.
Kisses, Us

If we were Barbara, we would have given ourselves a swift, digital kick to the ass months ago. But Barbara is a world traveler herself, so she understands the struggle between the dream vacation and the affordable, achievable vacation. And, best of all, she knows how to meld the two together.

Affordable ... for two nights ... if we swim there.

2E's and I never considered Jamaica -- we wanted something more "unique" or whatever -- but that's precisely where we've ended up, and we couldn't be happier. We never wanted an all-inclusive resort -- we were SO "above" those -- but it turned out that Couples had all the amenities and activities we wanted and was well inside our budget. Without Barbara and Bliss, we'd probably be hunting down hotels on stilts straight through the summer, pinching pennies and enduring 4 or 5 layovers just to cut down the cost.

Look, do we wish we could be vacationing in Ladera in St. Lucia...? In one of those awesome villas in the jungle...? The villas that are walking distance from the water but are so secluded that you can literally walk around naked and have breakfast naked and do other things naked...?

I totally sat on that bed naked.

Of course we do! But we can also accept that we're 26 years old and that we have many, many years ahead of us ... years full of jungle villas and naked things.

If you think Bliss Honeymoons is, like, some kind of crazy, charge-an-arm-and-a-leg travel agency then you just don't know nothing. For a small fee, Barbara did a huge amount of research, presented us with dozens of options that fit our style and price-point (with awesome video slideshows), and managed to get us some great deals on both round-trip flights and Couples Tower Isle resort packages.

And so, come November (yes, we've delayed our honeymoon a month or so since we're having a high-stress "destination wedding," or so it seems), we'll be toasting Barbara for hooking us up big-time. And we'll be water-skiing. And eating a lot. And drinking a lot. And getting naked. On the designated naked beach. Or not. Whatever. Naked.

(Follow Bliss on Twitter @blisshoneymoons)

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