Adam Bird

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Wednesday, 22 August 2007

In for the Long Haul

Some girls have dreams of big white weddings, whilst some dream of big weddings in pink. Others have different dreams, of sun, of sea and a romantic union on a white sanded beach.

2007, year of the wedding sees Stephanie, Oliver and I attend our third wedding of the year, a completion of catalogue of weddings that will see all three girls having their dreams fulfilled.

After Nicola's wonderful white wedding and my sister's amazing pink parade we are packing our suitcases and leaving for Mexico on a two week trip to paradise where we will witness Steph's brother John and his fiance Nadine become husband and wife.

John and Nadine, long time partners are two peas in a pod. Both have a love for the exotic and are both sporty inclined. Enter John and Nadine's house and you will be sat petrified in the corner as two lizardy/iguanary creature type things sit looking at you licking their chops in anticipation of perhaps eating you for lunch or chewing upon a limb as a snack.

John with his rugby and beer swilling chums engaging in macho rivalries at who is most "man" whilst Nadine is no soft spot and can be equally as competitive and is probably the fittest (in terms of athletic build) person I know!

It came as no surprise then that the two of them, with their love for travel and John's passion for diving chose Mexico as the place in which to get married. Indeed, choosing Cozumel over Cancun, with it's more Mexican feel and less commericalised appeal matches their outlook on appreciating another countries culture whilst ensuring that that everyone still has unlimited access to accepted treats such as beer and vodka!

Organising a wedding is globally recognised as one of the most stressful experiences a person has to endure in a lifetime. So let's consider the following: The invitation of friends and family to a wedding abroad, finalising numbers, finding a location that matches the numbers, booking and paying for those xx amount of people, a force 5 hurricane hitting the location the week before you go!

Hurricane Dean's arrival last week sent shivers of panic to all of us going next week, but for John and Nadine it must have just increased the stress levels by about 500%! Luckily for them, and the Cozumel islanders, the hurricane avoided the main tourist areas, and hit the coast of Mexico a couple of hundred mile south of where we are going. Obviously our prayers are with those people affected, and hope that normal life resumes as soon as possible.

Being part of Facebook, and assigning a Facebook group to all of us who are going next week meant that we could all share news and updates with everyone and collectively share a sigh of relief when John found out the good news last night that the hotel will be resuming business as usual on Friday!

Whether it be fate, luck or a combination of both, last nights news was met with joyous scenes akin to that of an England try at Twickenham (I am going for as many rugby metaphors as possible to try and fit in with John and his mates ready for next week!)

It also meant that we could all get very very very excited all over again!

I have never been to a wedding abroad, but I too would love to get married on a beach so I am very interested in seeing how this goes. I am particularly looking forward to finding out whether or not the ceremony feels like a "real" wedding, in that when you go to a church, your quite aware, that with the vicar and the choir and all that goes with a church wedding that two people are getting married. Having seen countless movies and TV shows where people are married in similar circumstances you are always shown the vows and the I do's so your only giving a condensed version of events.

However, the ceremony itself is going to be spectacular! Starting around 5.30pm, the temperature will be slightly warmer, and the sun will be setting as it all gets underway. With the white sands, and turquoise sea can you picture a more perfect setting?

The wedding obviously is the key focus for those two weeks, but it is also a chance for Steph and I to have two weeks quality time with Oliver. There will be around 50 or so of John and Nadines friends and family, so we won't be short of baby sitters if we want to have some quality time together! With Stephanie and I working and Stephanie having to work most Saturday's, Sunday's are our only real days when we can relax, have fun and do things as a family.

Having Oliver with us on a trip of this scale has meant a whole new experience when it comes to preparation. Last year and in years gone by my holiday preparations would be "Doh! Going on holiday next week!", shoot to Bluewater, spend £xxxxx.xx pounds on Speedo's and suncream before bunging it all in a suitcase and finding a creased up mess at the other end.

With Oliver, it is a WHOLE new story! Sun cream, tents, parasols, food, nappies, dummies, bodysuits, wedding suits, sleeping suits, shorts, t-shirts, mosquito nets, toys, food, the list is endless! Stephanie, to her upmost credit has been on the ball straight away and has been preparing for the last nine months, but it means that their is no room in our luggage allowance for any of our stuff! It does therefore answer our post holiday question in why in our holiday photos Stephanie and I are wearing the same thing, every night and every day for the 14 days we were away!

With so many people going, and three of them enjoying birthday's whilst we are away it gives Stephanie and I an opportunity to make new friends and enjoy a laugh with those we already know. As I mentioned above, with John and his friends being ultra competitive it will be interesting to see the final "man points" table. I have probably accepted my place on the bottom, but doesn't mean I am not going to have fun trying... and most probably embarrassing myself in the process!

One thing is for certain - it is going to be an amazing two weeks, and a hell of a huge blog on my return!

One final note, before we head off to the land of Tequila and Corona, is a thank you note.

To Pat and to Colin, without which Stephanie, Oliver and I probably wouldn't have been able to enjoy the next two weeks together as a family, and join the celebrations. It goes without saying how grateful all three of us are, and we thank you with the bottom of our hearts.

Related Links:
Iberostar Cozumel
Cozumel Insider
Chichén Itzá
Xel-Ha
Tulum
This is Cozumel
Xcaret

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