sense memory & homesick for our honeymoon

I'm always taken aback by how strong sense memory can be. I chew a piece of berry-flavored gum that I used to stock up on my freshman year of college, and a wave of depression hits me like a ton of bricks. I walk into a muggy hot yoga hallway and am instantly transported to the two weeks my close friend and I first tried it out (and binge-exercised for our unlimited two week beginner period). I hear a song on the radio or an old CD and think back to the couple of months it was my ringtone, and all the things that happened that season. I take a bite of a piece of chocolate espresso torte and suddenly I'm at my high school boyfriend's prom again, nervous but so excited to be on my first "real date."

Sense memory can bring back a flood of negative emotions at the drop of a hat. That first time I chewed the berry gum I was like, "WHOA now! That year was a rough patch but that time is OVER!" It takes repeated exposure to try to wipe out a negative sense memory -- sometimes even therapy (!) or at the least, self-affirmation that lets you let the feelings go.

SCRUMPTIOUS wedding cake by Dulce Desserts. {Alyssa Joy Photography}

SCRUMPTIOUS wedding cake by Dulce Desserts{Alyssa Joy Photography}

On the other side of the spectrum, it can also release incredible happy feelings and memories. Anytime I eat a slice of Dulce Desserts' wedding cake, it's our wedding night all over again! (Although I would seriously KILL to have our actual wedding cake flavors recreated. If anyone wants to have a wedding cake composed of a chocolate chip cake with coffee buttercream, European buttercake with lemon curd and raspberry buttercream, or pistachio cake with pistachio buttercream and chocolate truffle ganache, I am HAPPY to eat every last crumb if you happen to have some left over.)

Javier, our private Excellence Club bartender/butler/amazing-person. Javier Castillo -- best part of Excellence Riveria Cancun! Go there and tell him I sent you!!!!!!

Javier, our private Excellence Club bartender/butler/amazing-person. Javier Castillo -- best part of Excellence Riveria Cancun! Go there and tell him I sent you!!!!!!

Lately, I've been soaking up the sense memories related to our honeymoon at Excellence Riviera Cancun. I still haven't had a mojito that even held a candle to Javier's (our personal Club bartender), and we tragically haven't seen the ocean since we left Mexico.... BUT. We DID manage to leave the resort with a couple of little bottles of the incredible Bvlgari shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion that we used in our room.

Oh. My. Heavens. I ran out of normal shampoo two days ago, so I reached inside our medicine cabinet yesterday to pull out our little honeymoon toiletries until I can get to the store to restock our usual stuff. One sniff of that glorious, heavenly shampoo, and I was in our completely-marble Excellence Junior Suite shower all over again. I'm telling you, there is NOTHING like reliving the best vacation of your life. Today I whipped out the trifecta of Excellence conveniences (shamp, conditioner, AND lotion) and legitimately spent a good five to ten minutes closing my eyes and pretending there was marble beneath my feet instead of whatever cheap linoleum stuff our apartment bath/shower's made out of. Sweet dreams are made of this!!!!!!

The view from our room! {Swoon!}

The view from our room! {Swoon!}

Last night when Drew got home he couldn't stop smelling my hair. I'm telling you, this stuff is addictive. I'm half a mind to go out and buy the crazy full-size Bvlgari toiletry set (including the perfume, because I'm sure it's amazing too).

ECSTATIC honeymooners! {Self-timer pic taken immediately upon our arrival!}

ECSTATIC honeymooners! {Self-timer pic taken immediately upon our arrival!}

All this is to say.... WE HAD THE BEST HONEYMOON IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, EVER. We are absolutely, one-thousand-percent homesick over Excellence Riviera Cancun all of the time. When we first stepped foot out of that airport transfer van, we were greeted with a man yielding a cooler full of cold wet washcloths (it's hot in Mexico, y'all), two lovely ladies with a tray of champagne, and literally everyone who encountered us said, "Welcome home!!!" Oh, I could just relive it right this minute!!

We loved the heck out of every last thing at that place. We kept going on and on about how it was aptly named "Excellence"... and the customer service was SO. SO! Good. Oh my...

the gorgeous pier {where we watched SEVERAL couples get married all week!}

the gorgeous pier {where we watched SEVERAL couples get married all week!}

We will undoubtedly be going back to Excellence (perhaps Punta Cana next time?!) as soon as we can manage to. And Carlie Finch (2 Travel Anywhere) will be planning the trip, since she is the goddess of all things travel-related.

The mariachi band serenaded us through our dinner at the delicioso Mexican restaurant!

The mariachi band serenaded us through our dinner at the delicioso Mexican restaurant!

Honeymooners and the GORGEOUS resort background. {photo taken by the couple-friends we met at the resort, Patrick and Rachel!}

Honeymooners and the GORGEOUS resort background. {photo taken by the couple-friends we met at the resort, Patrick and Rachel!}

I will seriously refer every.single.bride I ever get or encounter her direction because she is THAT amazing. You will not find a sweeter person, nor one who plans a vacation more thoroughly (no detail left overlooked!), nor one more awesome than Carlie. I sincerely loved every single person involved in the construction of our epic wedding, but I can honestly say working with Carlie was the most stress-free, enjoyable, exciting experience through the entirety of wedding planning. It costs ZERO DOLLARS to work with her, she finds the best deal out there (which allows you to stay the LONGEST TIME POSSIBLE wherever you choose -- ah-mazing!), and she seriously takes care of everything. We planned our honeymoon about six months out from our wedding day, paid it off in full (because I like paying things off as early as possible) by April, and literally did not have to do another thing in preparation for our trip besides going swimsuit and floppy hat shopping, getting Drew's passport, and PACKING until we were getting on a plane and grinning ear to ear. Beat that! She confirmed every last little thing for us before we left (in the midst of our crazy wedding-prep week), called the resort WHILE WE WERE THERE to make sure we were having the time of our lives, and had us pampered to death the whole time. Drew and I literally asked each other if we had died on the plane and gone to heaven when we got there. (And asked it every day after that, too.)

Drew perusing the pizzeria's menu one lazy afternoon. Everything was SO nice!

Drew perusing the pizzeria's menu one lazy afternoon. Everything was SO nice!

The only word that comes to mind is mega-swoon. Our honeymoon was PERFECT! We have missed it every day since we left. Our honeymoon suite room has inspired most of the interior decor decisions we have made upon moving (which we did the DAY after we got back from Mexico -- WHIRLWIND!)... the white sheer curtains we got, the beachy patio setup we have outside, the bright and vivid colors all over our house.... Oh my heavens.

Mmm.... best breakfasts (esp. cappuccinos!) ever!

Mmm.... best breakfasts (esp. cappuccinos!) ever!

I hope everyone has the opportunity to look back on their honeymoons with the fondness and adoration that we do. It's that important. You only live once!!!!! Are you planning a honeymoon or simply a little getaway? Call up Carlie. You won't regret it! :)

THAT SUNSET! I DIE! {photo by patrick runyon}

THAT SUNSET! I DIE! {photo by patrick runyon}