honeymoon day four

After a refreshing nights sleep, we headed to breakfast with a motivation to do some exercise. We filled our bellies and borrowed some tennis gear. It was hot. We pumped ourselves up with some Pnau, Chameleon in particular, and some pre-workout (yes – I packed pre-workout in my suitcase, so what) and started hitting back an forth. It didn’t take long for the sweat to start pouring off of us.  Soon enough, it was time to hop on a boat and head to a deserted island for a picnic. _DSC9576_DSC9583

The resort organised us boat transport to the island, with a small esky of baguettes, some nibbles, a rug and an an icy cold bottle of wine. After Jordan had his fun on the swing, we had lunch then went for a walk through the jungle. We even ran into some locals with machetes (not scary at all). We tried doing some snorkelling but unfortunately, there wasn’t too much to see on this side. So we lazed on the beach awaiting our boat.

Once back on Efate, I grabbed my backpack and new hiking boots and we walked down to the closest village. There were nice big houses closest to the resort, but as we kept walking,  the scenery changed. Besides the many goats that were tied up to trees and roaming chickens, there wasn’t much else happening. Perhaps it was the time of day or maybe season, but it was surprising. We hadn’t yet seen how poor Vanuatu actually was. Most of the buildings were tin or looked to be only half completed (maybe in light of the recent hurricane). But I was shocked. As we started to enter the village, we met up with a staff member that worked at the resort. He had cut through on a different pathway. He walked with us and took us through the village, pointing out his home, church and other places. It was most enjoyable talking with him and learning about his community and culture.

Cutting back through on the dirt path, Jordan spotted some humongous trees and decided to attempt climbing one. I was actually quite impressed how far he got!

Now back to the restaurant for some more seafood and maybe a mango daiquiri or two.

honeymoon day three

Ha-lloooo Paradise! Greeted every couple metres as we entered The Point Restaurant, we were excited to eat a breakfast fit for a king. We weren’t disappointed. Coffee, juice, fresh seasonal fruit, pastries and breads, eggs, hash browns, the lot! I was surprised we didn’t sink to the bottom of the ocean when we went snorkelling.

The resort provided snorkelling gear, flippers, kayaks, paddle boards and whatnot for the guests staying at the resort, which was great since we didn’t bring any! We spent the next couple hours swimming around the reef and jetty’s spotting schools of fish, sea turtles and coral all colours of the rainbow.

That afternoon we booked into a couples massage at the resort, thinking we’d start the honeymoon off relaxed and calm. It was relaxing alright! I could hear Jordan start snoring half way through (he was pretty tired). The day bed was a great collapsing place, where we ordered lunch to the room and a bottle of wine and gazed off into the great blue.

Being the little adventurers we are, we got into some shorts and reef shoes (courtesy of Havannah) and wandered down the beach. The new portable speaker we bought worked a treat. I stuffed it into my backpack and followed Jordan, as he picked up every single big rock looking for crabbies (crabs). He even found some weird looking fruit that we took to dinner that night to ask the locals about. He told us that it was inedible (perhaps even poisonous) and kids like to crack them open into segments and try to put it back together, similar to a puzzle.

That night we guzzled down a fishbowl for two and decided to order soup as a starter, as we had filled up the night before on dips and breads and were unable to eat dessert (nooo). Anyway, back to the soup; oh my goodness gracious me. Spiced Coconut Pumpkin Soup. Amazing! (spoiler alert: we had this soup every night for the rest of the trip – yes, it was just that good).

honeymoon day two

Good morning husband, good morning fluffy blankets, good morning stars, good mo… 5.20am! I better get in the shower!

As you can imagine, in a lulled state, we just made the plane to our honeymoon. Five minutes later and they wouldn’t have checked us in. You’d think from both of us catching a multitude of planes over the years, we’d have learnt. Obviously, not the case.

We went via Sydney with a couple hours stop over for eating, drinking, and more eating, then made our way to Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu.

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The airport was mind blowing. Never in my life had I been to an airport like this. As you can see, airport security was fairly relaxed and paid no notice to us photographing and posing on the tarmac. Inside the terminal, the line moved steadily through the custom security staff stamping passports. A glistening formed on peoples foreheads and upper lips as we waited patiently in line, to once again form another line. Oh it wasn’t that bad! But it was hot and cramped.

Once through customs and security, we made our way to Adventures in Paradise desk, whom then transferred us via shuttle to the Havannah Resort. On the thirty minute drive to the resort, William, the driver, did not stop talking the entire way. He knew all kinds of fun facts about Vanuatu and the island we were staying on, Efate. He pointed out every village, tourist spot, sign post and rock (haha). No, but honestly! He made us feel really welcomed and it was great being able to see some of the island and learn more about their culture.

As soon as we pulled up, we were greeted by some of the lovely ladies who worked at the resort. They took our bags and walked us to the reception area / The Point restaurant, passing the most lovely trimmed gardens, colourful, vibrant flowers and luscious green shrubbery and trees. Once at the Restaurant, we were handed coconuts, a couch and a gorgeous view.

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After a couple signed documents and two full bellies full of coconut water, they escorted us to our Villa. She took us up the normal path, then veered off down some stepping stones, which lead to our front door for the next five days. Now this was absolutely incredible. Inside was bohemian, yet modern, with lovely timber furnishings and shutters on all the windows. At one end of the villa was the bathroom amenities with an open shower and skylight, and at the other, two giant doors that opened up onto our very own deck, plunge pool, hanging day bed and a view of the beach and vivid turquoise waters. This was literally paradise.

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Once settled into the Villa, it was getting late and our tummies were grumbling. We walked the fifty meters down the pristine footpaths to The Point restaurant with our complimentary cocktails for two voucher (newlywed benefits, hells yeah!) and relaxed for the rest of the night.

honeymoon day one

_DSC9301We were so sleepy and exhausted from the weeks leading up until the wedding that we slept straight into the afternoon. It was so nice to spend time together where it was so quiet and peaceful. Our tummys were starting to grumble though, so we soon walked straight out of the hotel and into a tram that took us to Rundle mall. Wandering about, we stumbled onto some burritos and Boost juice, the perfect mid-afternoon breakfast. We also grabbed a groovy portable speaker to use on our travels.

Later that night, we went for dinner at Coal Cellar and Grill, a restaurant at the bottom of the Hilton. We had been there once before and shared a tomahawk steak and it was incredible. Once again, they didn’t disappoint. We were seated in a lovely, quiet booth and greeted with two glasses of Moët et Chandon Rosé Champagne on the house. The steaks we received were absolutely to die for. They went down well with a glass of Ochota Barrels single vineyard grenache.

We finished the meal off with a creme brulee and then went upstairs to relax and re-pack all of our things for the early flight the next morning.

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an extraordinary day

Holy Moly, I’m a married woman! What an absolute extraordinary day we had and how crazy blessed I am. It was honestly the best day. I cannot wait to receive our photographs and video. Dan Evans was amazing and some of the best parts of the day were spent disappearing off into the estate with Jordan, basking in the glory of the day in complete love, whilst he photographer us. Nathan Story did our videography, expertly capturing each moment in our candid state and everything in between. Click here to check out the sneak peak video of the day. Please check them out if you’re in need of either for your wedding, as they did an awesome job and made us feel super comfortable and relaxed, half the time we didn’t even know they were there. Here’s a shot from the day:

Lily Cooper

On another note, the wedding couldn’t have gone better. The weather was exceptional, not a cloud in the sky, and it wasn’t hot neither cold. It was perfect. My bridesmaids and I were driven in a kombi to the venue, Glen Ewin Estate, where I was walked down the aisle by Daddy-o and saw my incredibly handsome prince charming, all blubbery and cute, waiting for me. Jude Blayney, the pastor at the church I used to attend with my family when I was in school, conducted our ceremony. It was really personal and we felt so comfortable. I think the pre-marriage sessions that we had with Jude prior to the wedding really helped these feelings and helped us to understand each other more. The ceremony was definitely a tearjerker, but what an incredible ambience there was.

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The reception followed with good food, good wine and terrible dancing. The speeches actually went considerably well and we felt very loved by our family and friends that surrounded us. One of my favourite things was the pure surprise and shock that swept across Jordan’s face as I got up to sing a song as my speech. This was followed by our first dance to a special song (as heard in the movie ‘About Time’) ‘How Long Will I Love You’. It was magical and we had an absolute ball.

Up until we had to leave, we filled the night up with Verve Clicquot, corny photo booth snaps, mouthfuls of salted caramel cheesecake and enthusiastic dancing to our favourite song, ‘Come on Eileen’. We were farewelled through a human tunnel of arms, high-fiving and hugging as we past on by. Once by ourselves, we couldn’t shut up the entire drive back to the hotel and even once checked in we spent hours talking and talking. We didn’t get to see each other for a whole day, a lot can happen!

After such a crazy day, I had forgotten to eaten, or perhaps was too nervous to do so. We decided to start our honeymoon off by walking down Gouger Street in our wedding attire to our favourite Chinese Spot, Ying Chows. We ordered with our eyes and veged out back at the hotel in our white robes to a magnificent feast. It was a wonderful end to an extraordinary day.

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wedding centrepieces

Pinterest was my biggest source of ideas for everything wedding. It assisted me in using my imagination and helped me put together all my thoughts and things I wanted and didn’t want. My favourite style involved a rustic nature with lots of plants, hessian, peach and blush pallets with a touch of gold. I tried to incorporate these ideas into my wedding.

I kept seeing succulents. They were appearing all over the place. Wedding favours, bouquets, buttonholes, and especially used to decorate tables. I really liked the look of them and thought they could be quite cost efficient and, as an added bonus, keep them after; unlike most centrepieces that shrivel up and die.

As I am not a professional gardener, I researched the best ways to plant the succulents on Pinterest and other blogs. After a trip to Bunnings, some generous donations from Bec’s mothers garden and a little extra foraging, I was ready to party.

Take a look at my efforts below:

a mothers milk

This little number is the definition of rustic. Lying just out of the city on Unley Road, this industrial styled, bustling cafe is serving up specialty coffee all day long. The cafe also offers a tasteful and rather large breakfast/lunch menu, that ranges from Watermelon Strawberry Salads to Salmon Bagels, and Portugese Sardines to Baked Eggs. On this visit, I stuck with the Chicken Sandwich. This is served with streaky middle bacon, avocado, rocket and honey mustard aioli. I accompanied this with an Orange, Pineapple & Orange Blossom JuiceAfter demolishing my delicious lunch and gazing around at the artwork strung up on the walls, I made my way to the counter, where I was tempted by the assortment of treats in the cabinet. Remembering that my eyes are way too big for my stomach, I paid and left with a promise to start with them next time. So long treats!