September Skies

Sunday, October 18, 2015

To say the least, this year has been full; full of happy moments, busy days and endless events. With each passing month, our calendar seems to get more and more full, and while I am generally in favor of spending my days quietly at home, I must admit, the adventures have been refreshing. Here is a photographic recap of the first bit autumn. Full of my favorite people, crisp evenings and September skies, this year just keeps getting better.

I spent the first days of September traveling home from Australia. I was so homesick for these two.
After only being home for a short week, I was off again to Las Vegas to celebrate Kramer's final days as a bachelorette. I'll admit, I was reluctant to go as I just wanted to spend some time at home. Nevertheless, it ended up being an incredibly memorable trip with some amazing girlfriends.

The following week at her beautiful wedding in Midway.
My hottest wedding date!
We decided to make a weekend of our trip to Midway. We stayed at our favorite spot, the Homestead, and went to Park City the next day. Lucky for us, the Park Silly Market was in full swing that day. We scored some fun decor, food and even dog treats to take home.

Circus Night! This date night was planned out by Wyet, and it makes me realize how lucky I am to be with someone that is always up for a fun adventure.

Spending the evening with my favorite people at my favorite place! {We had just seen The Diary of Anne Frank at the Hale.}

To top off the eventful month, we went to see our favorite 80s bands at Usana. We usually go to at least one concert a year at this amphitheater, and it truly is our favorite venue.

The gorgeous sunset!

Whenever we weren't busy with activities this month, we spent a lot of time in between our kitchen and garden. Our harvest was definitely bountiful this year, and we bottled as much of it up as possible.
Wyet knew how much I loved these blue Ball jars, and he bought me a ton! {I think he overestimated our canning abilities!}
Freezing homemade tomato soup to enjoy all winter long.
I have loved all the adventures we experienced in September, but truthfully, the nights spent at home, just the two of us, are the ones I treasure the most.

Concrete Jungle

Sunday, October 4, 2015

There was so much anticipation leading up to our trip to Jamaica. Not only were we getting married, but we were getting away, and honestly, we needed it more than ever. For five months prior, it was all we could do to make it through the work day, the household chores, the bills. We were holding out for our luxurious saving grace; our WeddingMoon. 

From the very instant we stepped off of our plane and into the Caribbean heat, I knew we were in for the time of our lives. It truly was a week in paradise, and in my opinion, the perfect way to begin a marriage.

Day 1: Arrival
Upon arrival in Jamaica, I was a little manic. I wanted to make sure we got our luggage {primarily my wedding gown}, we needed to find our driver and, shit, did we remember to get tipping cash? Wyet was, of course, just the opposite. He immediately took to the Jamaican ease lifestyle. While I was running around making sure we were in just the right place at just the right time, the man who was handling our luggage must have seen the crazy written all over my face. He pulled me aside and said, "Hey, don't worry, mon. You're in Jamaica now. It's time to have fun! Get a drink," he then promptly pointed me in the direction of the lounge where a self serve bar was conveniently located. That's when it finally dawned on me; we made it, and it was time to finally let go, have fun and naturally, pour myself a drink.

Day 2: Island Reggae Cruise
Our first excursion was intended to prepare us for the rest of our trip; so naturally it included lots of reggae music and lots of rum. We boarded our catamaran and headed out in to the Caribbean Sea. It was a stunning ride with gorgeous views. Our first stop was in the middle of nowhere to do a little snorkeling. The last time I snorkeled, I was sixteen and with Wyet in Cabo, Mexico. {It was a nightmare.} I was sure this would be a much better experience. As it turns out, I despise snorkeling. However, according to Wyet, there were some amazing corals and black sea urchins that I most definitely missed out on.

Our Catamaran!

During a brief stop at Margaritaville.

Sometimes, you just have to join in the fun.

Red Stripes - always.
Throughout the entire resort, the sidewalks were imprinted with these massive leaves!
We met Charlie down by the beach as he was selling his wood sculptures. Wyet and I both knew we wanted to bring home some authentic Jamaican art, and with Charlie, we hit the jackpot.

Day 3: Exploring the Resort
On our third day, we were expecting to go on our most sought after adventure. We had booked an excursion called Croydon on the Mountains. It was  a tour in the depth of the Jamaican mountains where visitors toured both a coffee and pineapple plantation. We sat outside our resort for the tour bus, and to our dismay, it never showed. Due to a technical glitch, the bus didn't know they were to stop at our resort. Therefore, we had a day with nothing planned. While at first I was a little irritated at the change of plans, it ended up being a phenomenal day. With no plans, we were final able to do what a vacation is intended for - relax!

The entrance to our resort.

The gorgeous view from our balcony!

This really ended up being one of my favorite days on our trip. We drank champagne on the beach, floated in the pool, and the day ended with a tropical rainstorm!

Day 4: Our Wedding Day!
Our wedding ceremony is pretty well documented here, however, the day definitely didn't end there. After our vows and photography session, we spent an amazing day at the resort's private island. We made a few friends, swam, drank and even spent some uninterrupted time in the hammock hanging above the sea. It was truly a day in paradise. After leaving the island, we had a private dinner on the beach. The day couldn't have been more perfect. When you end up with the one you love, everything else falls in to place.

This is where our morning started - in a bungalow with a couple's massage!

On the private island! People kept asking us when we got married, and when we told them "Just a few hours ago," they were more than thrilled to celebrate with us.
This is the bridge that crossed over to the nude beach! We didn't make it much further than this point.

My Husband!

Heading out to our private wedding dinner - to the left was our amazing server Clayton.

The stunning sunset!
& the love of my life.

Day 5: Bamboo River Rafting on the Martha Brae
Easily, hands down, my favorite excursion on the trip. The Martha Brae is an enormous river in Jamaica; which we were privileged to raft down with an authentic, Jamaican guide. Our guide, named Calvin, took us down the river, pointed out local fruit trees {he even knocked some fruit down for us to sample} and showed us the true beauty of Jamaica. It is a jungle. The vegetation grows without bounds and is truly breathtaking. At the end of our trip, Calvin showed us some carvings he was working on. Naturally, we had to buy one. He had carved "One Love" in to a calabash shell alongside some flowers and hummingbirds. I instantly knew that was the one I wanted. Before paying him for our shell, he grabbed his carving knife and inscribed "Wyet and Carissa on there honeymoon in Jamaica - 2015". This piece of art is priceless.

Meet Calvin!

Day 6: Local Food
The resort we stayed at was definitely top notch. They served top shelf liquors and only the finest of foods. Regardless, we were in Jamaica and wanted to taste something authentic. We spent the entire day devoting {and gorging} ourselves on authentic Jerk cuisine, and it was not overrated. We took a taxi in to town to a small gathering called Scotchies {distinctively named after Scotch Bonnet peppers aka the hottest peppers to ever hit my taste buds}. Scotchies was an outdoor local hangout. Everything was cooked outside over open flame with smoking logs piled atop. We tried everything; smoked fish, jerk chicken, jerk pork, festivals and bambies . It was incredible. I even ordered a second festival for the ride home {a festival is a fried food - similar to a scone but oh so better}.

An authentic, outdoor smokehouse.
Day 7: Black River Safari & YS Falls
On our final full day in Jamaica before we were forced to return to reality we had an incredible excursion planned. We were going to visit some of he infamous Jamaican waterfalls. We were so excited as we climbed in to the van with our tour guide, Shawn. It was a short lived excitement as we were instantly overcome with car sickness. Jamaicans, if nothing else, are the most manic drivers I have ever encountered in my life!

While the ride to and from was nothing short of hell, the waterfalls were stunning. We climbed to the top and snapped some great photos, and then went down to the bottom and soaked in the water. The water was freezing but felt amazing in the Caribbean heat. Even at the bottom of the falls, the currents were strong enough to push us over. It was an amazing end to an amazing trip. The only thing dreaded was our ride back to the resort with Shawn!
Spotting crocodiles on the Safari ride.

Red Gingers that were taller than us!

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