The Bellhop’s Belly Button & Other Honeymoon Adventures

Today marks my second Monday as a married woman, my fifteenth nap in a 72-hour period, and my third mostly ridiculous calculation of weird life events. I’m ashamed of that sentence as I mostly hate when peppy teenage girls mark their two-and-three-quarter-months anniversaries to high school beaus or when the shaky-handed cashier at the dollar mart boasts that she’s been clean and sober for thirty-two-and-a-half hours. Or minutes. It’s a toss-up, really. The only details worth detailing are that I got married a week or so ago and that I have been freshly planted back to post-honeymoon reality for give or take one minute.

Another thing I hate is when people start a flashy, showy story by stating “I don’t mean to brag, but…”. Then, of course, comes all the bragging. The mom at the park doesn’t mean to brag, but her kid is definitely more awesome than mine because he potty-trained himself…after teaching himself to read…potty-training tutorials… in French. The girl with a Body Mass Index of zero at the gym doesn’t mean to brag, but she was blessed with good genes…that allow her to eat fried foods…and she only sports a sports bra and hangs out at the gym to make people think she has to “work for it like, you know, normal people”. So my kid pees his pants (in English), I can gain weight just by thinking about a snack, and I don’t mean to brag, but we’ve just enjoyed perhaps the world’s most luxurious honeymoon in the history of the world and history.

Our stay at a posh resort started typically enough. The weather was gorgeous as we arrived out front. Lush greenery native to this scenic spot swayed in a delightful Spring breeze. Tom reminded me that they were just leaves as I fawned over them. I reminded Tom that we’d just spent a wedding weekend high atop the Nashville skyline, as deep in the belly of a city as one could go, so a little leaf goes a long way. The most ordinary of things seems foreign and fascinating when seen through vacationing eyes.

We were greeted at the door by the bellhop, a strange but friendly boy. He declined to take the two dollar tip I nudged his way. He also declined to help with our bags. At least he believes in fair trade, I noted. The kind sir guided us to our room, The Presidential Suite, and gave us a tour. When I caught him some minutes later sprawled out on the room’s massive bed watching the room’s massive television, I did what every skilled world traveler does. I spoke incredibly slow and overly enunciated English hoping my flamboyant hand gestures would break through language barriers. The bellhop got the hint, I suppose, because he bid us adieu.

The resort was all kinds of inclusive. The fridge was stocked with deliciousness. Tom was peeved to see an absolute lack of cute little liquor bottles lining the frosted shelves, but we savored the plethora of Reese’s Peanut Butter products crammed inside. The gallons of milk, too, were not expected, but before we could raise the question (what type of hotel gives you Skim Milk?) our mouths were glued shut with glorious, chocolate and peanut buttery paste. The milk, albeit bizarre, was exactly what the homies on this honeymoon needed.

By dinnertime we joined the other guests on the grounds’ back deck for gourmet cuisine. I enjoyed the sophisticated entrée selection of Burger & Fries complimented perfectly by a glass of the house Diet Coke. “The ambiance of this place- my God! – it is truly divine,” I told Tom before asking him to pass the ketchup. “Smells like wet dog out here,” he added. “But it’s so relaxing! Just listen to the sounds. The whish and hush and whir and…, ” I continued. “There’s a damn interstate running right behind the place. And why are you talking like that? You can take Madonna out of Michigan but…” before he could finish. “You can’t take the Michigan out of Madonna?,” I smiled. “No. You can take Madonna out of Michigan but that doesn’t make her British.” “True dat,” I affirm my understanding of his statement. “Nope. Not gangster either,” he replied. “I don’t know how to talk. We are relaxing… on vacation… and I don’t know what’s real anymore!!!,” I offer, calmly.

Our voyage far from ordinary life was further confirmed over the next strange, strange days. The spa, it turns out, was just an over-sized bathtub with a few foil packets of Fruity Tooty Face Mask tossed on the side. The spectacular water feature most of these ritzy establishments normally have looked mostly like a flooded ditch. The naps were good, although I can nap anywhere at any time so that hardly can be attributed to amenities. There was no phone in the room to call the front desk. I suspect there was no front desk at all. Yet we were blasted awake each morning by the wildest of wake up calls.  While I was pleased to partake in the resort’s extensive list of activities, the options were as puzzling as they were plentiful. The only other person who seemed keen on participating was the babbling bellhop. After four rounds of Kick Ball, a few dozen games of Stare At Bellhop’s Belly Button, two punches to the chin and one oddly comprehensive conversation with the bellhop about boundaries and backing “the hell up off  them”, I retired to our suite on what would be our last night as honeymooners.

I sat with my husband on the bed. I laughed to call him husband. I mourned a little that our little visit to this little slice of pretty-freaking-weird paradise was coming to a close. We reminisced on the good times shared: the discount spa treatments, the peanut butter cup bingeing, the wet dog smell, and the hum of the highway. Oh, and the highlight of our honeymoon, as crazy as it seems, was the friendly bellhop, ready to not help but hang out, not speak but inexplicably show you his belly button and other such dazzling features.

As I washed my face before bed that last night, I remarked that the towels smelled like old armpit. “Didn’t housekeeping ever come? Seriously. I’m running out of clean underpants. And why didn’t we get the fluffy robe? I want a fluffy robe!,” I griped at the Mr. He laughed. We snuggled into the dingy sheets just a man, his wife, and one very snuggly bellhop.

    And so it was we enjoyed a luscious, exquisite, refined, elegant, fancy, brag-worthy honeymoon in the our house.

Yes. Our crib, the pad, Casa de Crazy Pants, da hood, The Love Shack.

    So the greenery was extra lush. We haven’t felt like mowing the lawn. So the bellhop was indeed a strange but friendly boy. He was our toddler, the owner of one masterful belly button. So the fridge wasn’t stocked with little liquor bottles. We’d take a nearly forgotten candy stash over a cocktail anyways.  So I got a little hoity-toity and started talking like a twangy Madonna. I… no. There’s no excuse for that. So the wake up call sounded a lot like a wide-awake two-year old, the bellhop hopped up on ten hours of sleep. So the menu was as fancy as the local fast food joints could offer. Not a person in this house didn’t jump at the chance for me not to cook. So the spa was not a spa at all. Fruity Tooty face mask samples were on sale a couple of weeks ago at the Wal-Mart. So the housekeeping sucked because, for just a week, I decided to play Kick Ball with the bellhop and tell those smudgy windows to shove it. So we didn’t walk along beaches and get our eyebrows singed by a flame thrower’s wily torch mid luau. We spent the week at home doing absolutely nothing and doing so quite fabulously. I like to think, after all, that the most ordinary of things seems foreign and fascinating when seen through vacationing eyes. And at the low, low rate of $Free.00 USD per night, this lovely little getaway is pretty hard to beat.

I don’t mean to brag, but we’ve just enjoyed perhaps the world’s most luxurious staycation in the history of the world and history.

Where did you go for your honeymoon?

What makes your staycation feel like a vacation?



66 thoughts on “The Bellhop’s Belly Button & Other Honeymoon Adventures

  1. Aw, what a cute bellhop you had! I love the picture of you.

    As long as I have a stash of peanut butter cups, anyplace is a vacation for me.

    We went to the Poconos, y’know the lovely rooms with the giant champagne glass for a bathtub? It rained every single day (we got married the same time you guys did) But I have to say, it didn’t matter as everyone knows you spend the entire honeymoon bowling (just ask Greatsby’s son…)

    Congrats again you married woman, you!!

  2. Congrats Tori, you looked stunning and I hope your wedding was everything you wanted it to be. Enjoy your honeymoon at home, make sure at least you get a break from chores and have takeaways!

  3. Ah, congrats on the staycation. The wedding was lovely, my friend–and we were happy to be there.

    Guess no honeymoon for those of us who can’t legally marry, right? Weird world, this America we live in! But, if it ever becomes legal–hope you will be my wedding correspondent!

    Congrats, my frined!


    1. Kathy,
      America is downright foolish sometimes, and I consider the fact that you and Sara are essentially “banned” from marriage to be a prime example of that. I hate it. BIG TIME. And I can’t wait for the day I can watch you and Sara enjoy the basic rights that you should have enjoyed already.

  4. I won’t say where I went on my honeymoon because you will think I am bragging for sure! What I will say is that I can tell you will be happy in life because you were happy to be home with your hubby. Congrats & don’t sweat the small stuff…life should be filled with peanut butter cups!

  5. Another round of congrats to the newlyweds. Tell Tom I said good luck with that. Haha, just kidding…sort of. Anyway, glad you had a great trip to nowhere. It’s nice to be able to bypass customs and full-body scans at security sometimes.

    1. I don’t know, Jim. My one great honeymoon disappointment was that I didn’t get to know the friendly latex glove-wearin’ folks at the airport. I hear the whole experience is practically like a rough Swedish massage these days 🙂

  6. I totally support your homebound honeymoon. These will be great stories to tell your grandchildren one day.

    One day I might write a story about my honeymoon. It involves bees.

  7. I eloped and went someplace. That is all I will say.

    So happy to hear you and Tom had an excellent honeymoon. Being anywhere with the people we love makes life twinkle. You looked lovely at the wedding, and all the details came off famously. I wish you every happiness of life, Tori.

    1. You is sweet, woman! I was SO excited just to come home and unwind after the weeks and weeks of back-and-forth wedding planning and all that. A nap is just what I needed 🙂

  8. Ha! You got me! Very funny.

    We went to Maui and did the super-cheesy standard honeymoon and loved it (no memorable/cute bellhops though). Afterwards, we did a week of staycation/re-acclimation/re-gaining of the weight I lost for the wedding. Good stuff.

    1. Aw! I think the cheesy honeymoons can be fun though. That is the one time it’s okay to say really ridiculous love metaphors/ nicknames to your partner without people rolling their eyes in the background. I only know this because I tried several times to refer to Tom as “sweetness” or “sugar britches” while grocery shopping on our “honeymoon”. The kind folks at Kroger didn’t think we were that cute 🙂

  9. Congratulations!
    I went on a staycation with my daughter. We took a personal day and went the spa! (manicure at one place and a facial at another) Then out to lunch. Awesome!

  10. Hi! I’m new to your blog! I was really hoping that you’d gotten some sort of refund on this resort until I got to the end. So funny! Congratulations!

    1. Haha! Well welcome to the craziness, Erica! I love that when I think of being at home, the stuff I talked about in the post is pretty much a perfectly fine day. If I were paying major bucks to stay somewhere like this? Not so much 🙂 Home Sweet Nightmare… or something like that 🙂

  11. How wonderful! You two are off to a great start with such a wonderful attitude. My husband and I spent our honeymoon at home as well, and we have been married six happy years in May; love him, love him, love him.

      1. Thank you so much! There are few accomplishments more important than good marriage and good parenting, so I will definitely be celebrating. (And I know this because I have a failed marriage in my past, alas. . .)

  12. I was trying to pick up hints all along as to where you went, with one hand on the phone ready to speed-dial my travel agent. But my chauffeur came to announce that my car was ready, you know, to take me to my helicopter, and by then I’d read the rest…

  13. Ha! This was such a creative, fun post! (And congats again!) You really had me going, and I’m SO glad you didn’t have an actual bellhop showing you his belly button, HA!

    We’re all about the staycation now that we have a house we can’t afford 😉 Luckily it’s a pretty sweet pad, so we WANT to be here more than just about anywhere else. Cable TV and our cuddly dog are usually all we need!

  14. So happy to hear you guys had such a great time!
    You totally got me with the set-up, Tori!
    Although I have been hitting the milk pretty hard already.
    Just to be fair.

  15. What a positively lovely picture of you and the bellhop! I’m so glad that you enjoyed your honeymoon. My husband and I spent a week at Rehoboth Beach, DE, eating all of the seafood that we could manage and napping. My favorite staycation was when my daughters went to the beach for 10 days with their grandparents. The hubs and I had the house all to ourselves with no child-induced chores or obligations. We went out to eat for nearly every meal and had a blast with it just being the two of us.

    1. Something about ignoring chores instantly feels like a vacation to me! Isn’t it cool how the simple stuff (just hanging out alone with your dude) can be so fun!?!

  16. Great news – this arrived in my email today! Your posts had stopped coming for a while – WordPress Fail? Anyhoo, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you are one SMART cookie. I was exhausted just listening to all of the preparation that went into that wedding, how could you possibly plan a holiday on top of that? And in my experience, vacationing with toddlers is no holiday at all.
    Staging a honeymoon staycation? Genius. Happy napping and congratulations on the new nuptials!

    1. Yay for e-mails!!! My site was messing up everybody’s computers for a while there. Hopefully it’ll start acting right 🙂 The staycation wasn’t smart so much as incredibly lazy. We travelled to Nashville a lot for family visits, wedding prep, and then, you know, the whole wedding part, so after that was all said and done we really just felt like going home and sleeping. Thank the pocket book gods, that part was FREE!

  17. Love it 🙂 We had our honeymoon in Victoria, in a Delta suite purchased with Air Miles. The most perfect part of it was the napping. The second most perfect part was not having to cook. The third most perfect part was that this man I’d been living with for so many years was finally actually my husband but still the same gangly nerd at the centre of our comically perfect life. I s’pose I’ll keep him 🙂 Congratulations!

  18. Sounds like a *wonderful* honeymoon, Tori! I love staycations myself– so relaxing!

    Our “honeymoon” was sort of belated… by a year… but Marty and I spent a couple of months in his home country, Czech Republic, after I graduated from my MA program. Nothing says “married for a year already bliss” than a slab of fried cheese. 😉

  19. I hope you are competely refreshed after all the wedding busy-ness.
    And I’m pretty sure that bellboy WILL want his $2 tip–and more–in the not-so-distant future.

  20. In keeping with our love of all things weird, we had our honeymoon BEFORE our wedding. At a Rennaisance Faire in Minnesota. In costume, complete with me wearing armour and swords.
    And we have yet to manage to co-ordinate the three wildly fluctuating variables of my health, my wife’s work schedule, and the weather. But we have a whole list of cool things in the immediate area, starting with a privately-owned railroad locomotive storage shed.
    What, you wanted NORMAL?!? 😀

  21. Jas and I racked our brains trying to find the perfect honeymoon. We lived with my parents when we got married because I was still in school so we just wanted to get away. We ended up in the same place we go every year Florida I mean if it’s not broke…. the only problem was we usually go right after my birthday so well be there during labor day. However our honeymoon was over the 4th of July weekend and it was a nightmare! It was so hot and kids were everywhere! We mostly stayed in the condo but you know as newlyweds… well lets just say we didn’t exactly get bored LOL! So glad you got some relaxing home time!

  22. My parents went with us on our honeymoon.

    No, seriously.

    They paid for it, so we couldn’t exactly complain, but still. It explains the reason why I spent 9 years living in Hawaii and one week honeymooning there and still have never “christened” the island, so to speak.

  23. I had hoped you got to go somewhere on a honeymoon, but with a bellhop so cute, it sounds like it wasn’t all bad.

    We went on a Carribean cruise for our honeymoon (before Norwalk virus outbreaks and 9/11). I would say no housework or cooking for a week would make a staycation nice.

    1. My biggest struggle was NOT cleaning. Not doing anything really was a challenge. I’m hard-wired to be constantly on the go, so relaxation felt a little weird!

  24. Alright, you got me! lol. Sounds like a perfect honeymoon. Beats Hawaii any day. Also, I’m squealing at the cover shot. It’s so harmonious with all the blue and pop of red kid shoes and I love the chairs at the sweetheart table!

    1. Coretta, Angel of Bling! Can’t wait to share more wedding photos. We had the best photographer! And those lovely S&D necklaces? A HUGE hit. The girls looked so fancy!

  25. Sounds like you really maximized your staycation. I end up doing laundry and sweepng the floor.
    Maybe you could get the bellhop to take care of that for you. You know, for an extra tip or something.

      1. I think the bribes just end up getting pricier. My 17 year old nephew will do anything for a gift card to Game Stop or a new iPhone. 🙂

  26. Boy, you had me going. I’m so glad that you were so glad with your staymoon – it sounds wonderful!

    We rented a room in a victorian B&B in historic Galena, IL. It was November so there wasn’t much doing outdoors. We had no TV in the room and a bathroom down the hall and we spent a lot of time playing cards on the bed. And no, that’s not a euphemism for anything. Doesn’t matter – when you’re in love, anything you do together is lovely.

  27. Love this, especially “the most ordinary of things seems foreign and fascinating when seen through vacationing eyes.”. I will remember that. Happiness to you and thanks for sharing it with us.

    1. I’ve noticed this on every vacation or staycation, day trip or week-long adventure I’ve ever been on. A plate of food, a plant, a comfy room seems so exciting when it’s witnessed on vacation 🙂

  28. Omigosh! I was hanging on every word! I didn’t see the twist coming! I just kept thinking: why doesn’t she just say where they went! Gawd! I love this!

    Hubby and I honeymooned in Xihautinejo, Mexico because that’s where Andy DuFresne and Red reunite at the end of The Shawshank Redemption, and that is our favorite movie. We had an awesome vay-cay, except for when he almost died. That wasn’t cool, but the rest well…it was hot. Like 90 every day, iykwim. <–Google it!

    Glad you had a wonderful staycation!

    1. Love that your honeymoon destination was a sentimental choice! Ours was, well, a little more based on How Not To Spend Any Money Ever Again 🙂 Not that sweet, but I got a nap and some yummy food so I can’t complain.
      P.S. SERIOUSLY impressed with your grasp of acronym slang. I am always behind in this field. Definitely took me three months to figure out that ROFL in no way has anything to do with waffles.

  29. Wonderful, Tori! Glad your sense of humor is still locked and loaded. 😀

    We got married on Saturday (in NJ, reception at my parents’ house), drove 2 hours and spent two nights in Atlantic City (actually Ocean City, next door to AC). On Monday, we packed up the wedding gifts and drove 12 hours back to North Carolina so I could continue studying for the Bar Exam.

    Later that summer, while waiting for the Bar results, we headed up to New England for a week ~ staying with relatives.

    Not a FREE Staycation . . . but definitely a “thrifty” honeymoon.

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