Posts in the 'carrie' Category

{Real Bride: Carrie} The Best Thing About The Wedding Is The Honeymoon!

Editor’s note: Carrie hasn’t actually made it to the altar yet, so her declaration that “the honeymoon is the best thing about the wedding” is not founded on actual facts or experience. We felt the need to tack on a legally irrelevant disclaimer alerting you, the reader, (henceforth referred to herein as “the reader”) of that fact. 

As you must have realized by now, Zach and I have a pretty hardcore love affair with travel going on. I started traveling internationally at age 16, when I went to Australia and New Zealand through a student exchange program. That experience was all it took to get me hooked on exploring and wandering the globe.  After that, I went on volunteer trips to the Bahamas and Kenya. If you remember all the way back to our “falling-in-love” story, you’ll remember that I left Zach in Ohio when I went to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania. After I got back and things got more serious between us, Zach caught my wanderlust disease hardcore. For the last few years, we’ve basically worked to travel, working overtime and saving all we could and then taking off on epic road trips and adventures. We’ve done multiple road trips through North America, and our seven-month Latin American Odyssey was the biggest adventure yet.

Our world map with pins in places we’ve been!

Needless to say, one of the wedding traditions we’re most excited about is the HONEYMOON!!!  There are just a few small obstacles to overcome first…

  1. We have no money.
  2. Zach has a real job now.
  3. We can’t decide where to go!

Yep, the sad fact of the matter is that just paying for our broke-ass wedding is going to clean out most of our excess funds. Will it be totally worth it? I’m sure! Do I sometimes think we should just go to the courthouse and then book it to Thailand for a month? Hell yes!

There’s also this whole “growing up and getting a real job” issue.  It’s something we’ve somehow managed to avoid…until now! Actually, I still don’t have a “real job” but rather a seasonal internship AND four shifts a week at a bar/restaurant. Zach however, stumbled his way into an awesome job as a line cook in a 4-star restaurant, complete with salary and benefits and everything! It’s a great new phase for him in a lot of ways, but unfortunately ample vacation days are not part of the deal. In the past, we always just up and left our jobs to travel and found new ones wherever we ended up when we got back. Not something we want to do anymore!

Suffice it to say, we will not be able to go on a big honeymoon anytime soon after the wedding, probably not anytime this year.

While it is kind of sad, we’re going to make up for it in a couple ways.

#1. Vegas Friendy-moon!


A lot of our Ohio and east coast friends have never been out west at all. Because they’re a fun-loving bunch, a lot of them are planning to tack on some Las Vegas adventures to their trip when they come out and see us get married. Although Zach and I aren’t really “Vegas types”, we decided to join, realizing we’d never, ever again get a chance to party on “The Strip” with so many of our best friends.  Plus, I’m hoping the hotel will throw some perks our way if I tell them it’s our “honeymoon.”

#2. Real honeymoon in the future.

Despite our more settled, awesome life in San Diego, we can’t go very long without traveling abroad. We’re hoping to go somewhere, anywhere, for at least a few weeks as soon as we can swing it financially and job-wise.  The problem is, we have no idea where to go! Top contenders…

 Spain & Morocco

Gorgeous Spanish beaches


Possibly the most hipster honeymoon destination ever?


We’ve heard Turkey is an amazing country to explore.

Thailand or Indonesia

Southeast Asia would be a dream, but flights are so expensive!!!

Do you think planning two crazy nights in Vegas on the tail end of our wedding is a terrible idea?  And where should we go for the big trip?

{Real Bride: Carrie} The Whole Cheesy Story, Part 1

This is how much life has reinforced to me that my plans don’t mean anything.  I distinctly remember being 18-years-old, sitting at a pizza joint with two high school friends, our departures for various colleges imminent on the horizon.  We were talking about the exciting possibilities of college guys, of course.  I remember saying something almost exactly like this: “You’re not going to meet any decent guys at parties or bars…that’s trashy.  We should try to meet guys in classes or extracurriculars or something.”  Oh, how wise I thought I was!

Fast forward 3.5 years.

February 11, 2009 was a pretty average Wednesday night in Columbus, Ohio.  I had recently graduated from college and moved back home to my parents’ house for the six months I had before I would be leaving for my Peace Corps assignment in Tanzania.  I had a waitressing job to fill my time, and was focused on enjoying my friends before leaving for Africa.  So where else would we go for a Wednesday girls night but out for $10 fishbowls????

Yes sirree, we went to the oh-so-fratty Ugly Tuna Saloona!!!  What can I say, we loved fishbowls.  Somehow, we ended up merging tables with the group of guys next to us.  There was probably some liquid courage involved, because I’m normally not at all outgoing, but by the end of the night I found myself sidling up to the cute, curly-haired blonde kid.  We talked for awhile (more like shouted at each other over the blasting music) and discovered a few common interests in movies, music, etc.  And I definitely thought he was beyond attractive.  Despite being way out of practice at the dating game (I had recently broken up with my longtime college boyfriend), we exchanged numbers and made plans for a date!  Of course at the time I was not looking for a relationship (I was about to leave for two years in Africa!) but I was excited for a date (my first after breaking up with my ex, so I guess you could call it a rebound) and some casual flirtation.

When Friday night rolled around, I was nervous.  I spent a lot of the time on the phone with my BFF worrying about how awkward and weird this might be.  (I am super awkward…like the female version of Michael Cera.)  I mean, I only talked to the guy once, and we had both had a few drinks!  Was this what the dating game was supposed to be like?  I felt so out of things after my long, steady college relationship.  But I kept remembering how cute Zach was and I just had this feeling about him; I knew I couldn’t chicken out.

I shouldn’t have been so worried though, because everything went great!  Zach picked a classy joint and spent what I would later learn was his last $50 on a bottle of wine and dessert!  (Two ways to my heart!) The sparks were definitely flying, even though I had told Zach early in the evening about my impending departure for Tanzania.  Not wanting the night to end, we hung out with his friends at another bar, still having a great time.

Eventually the night had to end and I was in a blur of happiness.  I had survived my “rebound” date; in fact, it was awesome!  Now I just had to worry about whether or not I was ever going to see this guy again…

Luckily, I did!  After this, we quickly became inseparable.  We hung out every chance we got, he met my friends, I met his friends.  The whole time, however, the specter of Africa was looming on the horizon.  Zach even asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend and make our relationship official, but I said no because I didn’t want to “start something that had to end so soon.”  But of course, official or unofficial, it had already started.

As my departure date got closer and closer, I found myself getting less and less excited about leaving for the Peace Corps.  I knew Zach and my attempts to keep things relaxed were failing when BFF called me out on being in love with him.  “If I were you, I wouldn’t go,” she even said once.  But I HAD to go, this was the Peace Corps, this had been my dream for years!  I knew that if I gave it up I might never forgive myself, no matter what happened.
And so, on June 13, 2009, only four short months after our first date, I found myself gathered in Zach’s embrace, both of us sobbing.  It was the hardest goodbye I’ve ever said.  As I stood there crying, wondering how I was ever going to get up the courage to leave, all of a sudden I knew I had to be honest.  “I love you,” I blubbered, for the first time ever.  “I love you too,” he said.

And the next morning, I got on a plane.

{Real Bride: Carrie} Our Brand New Totally Hippied Out Backpacker Real Bride Gets Engaged In Peru!

Editor’s note: We are super excited to introduce Carrie, our newest addition to the BAB familia! We always pride ourselves in picking REAL BRIDE reporters who are REAL broke-asses, and REALLY awesome – and Carrie is no exception.  She’s a well-traveled gal you’d definitely want to have on your team (but probably not for her navigational skills). Welcome aboard, Carrie! 

Hola, BABs!  My name’s Carrie, and I am beyond thrilled to be joining the team your newest Real Bride!  For super-quick introduction purposes: I’m a midwest native who went to film school in New York, then served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania.  My travel bug has only gotten stronger since then, and in our three years together my fiance Zach and I have traveled as much as possible.  In fact, we just got back from a 7-month-long backpacking trip through South and Central America!  We’ve gotta stay in the US long enough to plan our super-broke-ass-hippie-love-fest-wedding (as we’re calling it) but after that we’ll surely have itchy feet again!


Let’s get to the juicy details though: the proposal!  In true modern fashion (I’m a liberated woman, yo) we had discussed marriage extensively before Zach popped the big Q.  We knew we were headed that way but we both still loved the tradition of the proposal.  So I was patiently (okay, extremely impatiently) waiting as we bummed our merry way through South America!  One day in March, we headed out on a hike through the Cañon del Colca, in Peru.  Although it’s the second-deepest canyon in the world, it’s nothing like the Grand Canyon, which you might imagine.  Colca Canyon is green and fertile, with an icy river running along the bottom and gorgeous snow-capped peaks accenting the horizon.  Needless to say, our hike covered some spectacular territory!

Unfortunately, the directions we were following were totally wrong, and there was literally no one else on the trail to ask for help.  Once I realized that we didn’t have enough water left to keep wandering, I somehow persuaded Zach to turn around (he always wants to explore more!).  We then proceeded to lose the trail, as it was hard to follow and neither of us has a very good sense of direction.  We kind of fail at hiking.  I actually got a teensy bit grumpy for awhile, but once we rediscovered the trail and I refocused on the scenery I snapped out of it (foreshadowing…best decision I ever made!).

Our trail

Midway back, we came to a spectacular spot overlooking the canyon with awe-inspiring jagged peaks in the background.  Here Zach suggested we stop for a “water break.”  I was none the wiser.  Being such a pretty spot and such a pretty day, we sneaked a couple kisses (oh gag, I know), and then….
“Why is he fiddling around in his pocket?  What is he looking for?  Oh my gosh, could this be it?  NO CARRIE, this can’t be it, stop getting your hopes up…OMG this IS it!”
All of a sudden Zach had a tiny metal object in his hand, a nervous look on his face, and a question: “Baby, I want to spend the rest of my life with you.  Will you marry me?”  “Are you serious?  Is this it?” I still couldn’t believe it.  It wasn’t until this point that Zach remembered to get down on one knee.  He messed up the order a bit.  I didn’t mind.  Then I remembered to answer.  “YES!”  We both shed a few happy tears and Zach started putting my ring (a simple $1 ring he bought from a Peruvian craftsman) on my finger.  Only one problem: it didn’t fit!  I have really bad circulation and my fingers always swell up when I hike at high altitude (weird, I know).  So, due to my fatty fat fingers, my ring didn’t fit at all!

Yeah, the rock Zach set the camera on was pretty crooked.

My new bling!

We set our camera on a rock and took some reenactment pictures, and then the rest of our hike was spent in a blur of happiness and exhilaration.  Also, as soon as we finished our hike and got down to a lower elevation my ring fit perfectly!  Back in town, we celebrated with a buffet lunch that would normally have been way out of our budget.  (We like food.)  Then we Skyped our moms and best friends to tell them to good news.  The celebration eventually grew to include homemade “sangria” (wine from a box+fruit punch) as we watched the Facebook congratulations pour in (getting engaged is like your birthdayx1 zillion!).  What can I say, we are classy backpacking bums.

Although far from what most people would consider “a perfect proposal”, our big day was everything I wanted and more.  Being alone together and surrounded by nature in an epic spot on an epic trip, plus our giddy Peruvian-style celebration, everything about the day was totally “us”!  I love our story and I can’t imagine it happening any differently!