Technically, it's the two weeks after but that doesn't have the same pinache as the title I chose. So, uhm, err, what have you been up to?
Me? That's very kind of you to ask, not too much, just chillin' ... a tiny bit of illin'. I got married and then went to Hawaii for the honeymoon and now I'm home. That's the short of it.
Two weeks ago, almost to the exact moment, I ended my single life and became a married man. I never really thought that it would happen to me, not because of a low self image or anything, it's just that I thought marriage is something that other people do. I guess to other people, I'm an other person. In any event, Aly and I got married at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Brookline. (Quick note, if you think that you're seeing more hyperlinks than usual, then you're very perceptive.)
It wasn't too bad, the thing that I was dreading (not saying Aly's name during the ceremony ... think of Ross in that episode of "Friends" when he said Rachel instead of Emily) didn't happen. That was good. Everything after that was gravy. If you read my previous entry, I said that I wasn't nervous at all. That changed around 4:00, with the ceremony a half hour after that, I became a little freaked. Jay tried to calm me down and that sort of worked, but I didn't get completely cool until about five minutes into the ceremony.
I wasn't completely out of my mind or anything like that, but the gravity of the whole situation gradually hit me over the day until it came to a boil at 4:00. I'm glad that I never have to go through that again.
After the church, we hopped on over to the Ballroom Veronique, also in Brookline. This is where our reception was. It was awesome, everything was done perfectly. I know it sounds sort of gay and guys aren't supposed to give a shit about things like this, but it was easily the best night of my life. All of my friends and family were there and everyone just had a lot of fun.
The food was great and Ryan did an awesome (and I mean awesome) job with the best man's speech. He hates talking in front of people, so I really respect that he came out and said some nice words about Aly and me. Of course, being a Foley, he went above and beyond that.
When Aly and I started dating I knew that I liked her, but wasn't quite sure if she felt the same about me, so I concocted a scheme that would insure that I was around until at least the end of the baseball season. As most know, she's a Yankee fan and I live for the Sox, so every series of the 2003 season we had dinner riding on the winner. For the full season, the loser had to wear the other team's clothes around their friends. I lost the series on the last day of the season when Bernie Williams clubbed a two-run homer off Jeff Suppan to give the Yanks a 3-1 win.
So I had to wear a Yank's hat in NYC during the playoffs. For posterity, she got a picture of me and, while I didn't have to wear the outfit in front of my friends, they got the picture. Fast forward two years later and Ryan gets the picture blown up to poster size. He told everyone that the day I wore an interlocking NY on my head is the day that he knew I was going to marry Aly. Then, he told everyone to lift up their bread dishes because there were wallet-sized pics of the poster for everyone. It was a great speech. He did an awesome job.
The reception was like every other reception, the band BC and Company did a hell of a job and kept everyone entertained. It was just a great, great time. In a way, I wish I could do it all again ... but then I think about the month leading up to that day and I don't wish that on anyone.
The day immediately after the wedding was a Monday and we didn't do anything. We went to Matt Murphy's for a drink and some grub and enjoyed just being with each other. We were both on family overload and couldn't wait for the honeymoon to start. Ah yes, the honeymoon. Now we're getting somewhere ...
That entire Tuesday was literally spent in an airplane. We ran into some minor delays, but 18 hours later we were a half a world away. Yes. I typed 18 hours later. Aly's brother John (who has a new book out "A Season of Loss, A Lifetime of Forgiveness") gave us the miles we needed for the free trip. Since there are no direct Boston to Honolulu flights, we went to Atlanta and San Francisco before we got to Hawaii's capital city.
You think that was bad? We ran into a woman who lives in San Diego. Her flight was San Diego to Atlanta to San Francisco to Honolulu. And she was with a three-year-old. But, she got the tickets free too, so she couldn't complain.
We stayed at the Aston Beach Waikiki hotel. I thought that it was ok, Aly didn't like it so much. Put it this way, it was the worst of the three places we stayed in. The room was as tiny as our living room (which, if you've never seen our living room isn't very big) but there was a terrace outside. The problem was the thing was literally big enough to hold one deck chair. Just going out on the terrace gave me vertigo.
Waikiki was ok. Glad that I went and saw Pearl Harbor (the memorial, not the movie) but it wasn't what I thought that Hawaii was going to be like. Aly said it best when she said that it was like they dropped Manhattan onto a beach. There was a lot of hustle and bustle and a million tourists, and we just wanted to chill. It may sound like that we hated the place, but we didn't. For one thing, the food was outstanding, our favorite restaurant of the whole trip Nick's Fish Market was there.
I had the best piece of swordfish that I've ever eaten. Basically, that's all we did on our honeymoon is eat. I'm not really a seafood guy, but I ate more fish than I ever have in my entire life. Ahi, swordfish, opah, lobster, scallops, mahi-mahi, sea bass, opakipaki and more. It was awesome. I think I only had one steak the entire time that I was there.
After a few days on Oahu, we moved on over to Maui. This is what we were looking for, very calm and chill. The Aston Kaanapali Shores rocked. The ocean was crystal clear, from the beach we gazed over to another island (the leper one) and the hotel staff was totally cool. Just a great place to go. The hotel next to us had a bit of a scare on the Sunday that we were there, apparently a kid was boogie boarding and he got bit by a black tip shark. The natives were like, that's no problem, he got bit and then swam away. Not really a big deal, I guess. =)
On Maui is where we did our activities. We went snorkeling around Molokini Crater with the Pacific Whale Foundation. It rocked. A really good time, they fed you, gave you booze and snorkeling stuff (masks, fins, etc). Aly and I saw a lot of cool fish and a lot of stuff that we'd never see without the snorkeling gear. No sharks though, but we did see a bunch of sea turtles.
The following day we took a drive to Hana, which is one of the most beautiful stretches of road in the world. It was only 52 miles from our hotel, but it took like eight hours to get there and back. The main reason is because you can literally go 15 miles per hour on the roads because it is through a dense rain forrest. Besides the lush greenery, there are also a lot of cool waterfalls along the way.
Normally, people get in vans and go on guided tours, we didn't opt for that. Instead we paid $20 and got a CD where these two dudes, Uncle Boy and Captain Aloha, pointed out the sites and where to stop on the Road to Hana. Aly wanted to murder these two dudes by the end of the trip, but I thought that they were awesome. Goofy isn't even the word I'd use to describe these two guys. I'd probably use the word lame, but it was under the whole, it's so bad it's funny headline. I enjoyed it ironically ... thank you Chuck Klosterman for teaching me those ways.
We stopped for dinner here, Mama's Fish House. Awesome. Just plain awesome. Probably better than Nick's Fish House, even though I said that was our favorite restaurant ... I was wrong. This place kicked ass. Aly got a macadameian nut encrusted piece of mahi mahi stuffed with lobster and crab meat under a pineapple glaze that was beyond words. Just tremendous. I had a bowl of lobster and steak soup and a piece of opah. Not as good as Aly's dish, but top notch.
The following morning, at 2:30 am, Aly and I were taken by van to the top of Mt. Haleakala where we watched the sun rise. It wasn't that romantic, there were 400 other people up there with us. Following that, we got mountain bikes and went down the 38 mile road to the bottom. Sounds like a lot of exercise, huh? I probably peddled about a half mile, if I was lucky. It's all down hill. Aly was scared shitless, because we were on the edge of a mountain without a guard rails, but if you kept your eyes on the road and focused, you were ok.
The people that we went with were a bunch of rednecks though. Actually, there were a lot of Southerners at the hotel, I've never seen so many mustaches, bad tattoos (one guy had the Tazmanian Devil with an AK-47)and cigarettes in my life. Most people were ok, but these people sucked. They kept ripping ass at 3:30 in the morning and blaming it on their friends. They were at least 45-years-old. The first time was sort of funny, but the 12th time sucked.
After we had a nap on the beach, we went to our first luau. Very cool. They had a fire-eater and we ate like pigs. At least I did. I had two of everything, tremendous food. The cool thing was that they were filming the luau, so we get a free copy. I'll probably never watch it, but if I ever did want to see what our 300 pound mistress of ceremonies looked like again, or what a slutty version of Michelle Wie looked like (she was one of the hula girls), I can.
BTW, check this map out and you can see all of the places we went.
The following day we were off to Kauai and the Marriott Kauai hotel. Easily. Easily the best place we stayed at. Just awesome. We were on a bay, so there wasn't a lot of waves and there was a huge pool in the middle of the complex where we spent most of our time. Kauai was a bit rainier than Maui and Oahu, but the vegetation was much more lush. They had some real pretty scenery. We stayed there for two days and we came home.
And that's about it, the description took longer than the vacation. I'm not done yet, I have to give the reviews of the four, yes, four books that I read while over there. But I'll probably do that later in the week.
BTW, another thing that you're going to notice is that I took away the instant message option from the site ... I was getting spammed to death. So, sorry, just email me.