We were thinking Mardi Gras and we were thinking Hawaii. Well, after checking some prices online, we were re-thinking everything. Mardi Gras was do-able, but Hawaii was out. This being the one part of the wedding Mr. Kettle and I were footing the bill for, we couldn't spend up all our money or we'd be living off of wedding gift cards and love for a few months post-wedding.
I don't exactly remember how the idea started, but it was inspired by my idea to spend part of my honeymoon celebrating Mardi Gras. There are Carnival celebrations all around the globe at different points of the year.
What's Carnival you say? Glad you asked.
|Image via Brazil Carnival|
|Image via Monsters and Critics|
|Image via Encyclopedia Britannica Online|
|Image via Senyawa-Kimia Blog|
I'm a Christian and a bit of a hedonist, so celebrating both Carnival and Mardi Gras before I observe Lent is right up my alley.
I did some research and it turns out there are a couple of places that hold their Carnival celebrations right smack in the middle of our honeymoon. The biggest and best celebration, in Rio de Janeiro, was also during this time.
A quick search revealed every hotel in the city is already sold out. Losing. Aruba is too expensive. On and on until we were almost out of options. Then my grandfather came to town to renew his driver's license and hear Mr. Kettle play his saxophone for one of his gigs. He mentioned Panama.
I did some research. Panama was relatively affordable. Panama was fun. Panama fit the idea of us on a beach being all romantic. It's not an island, but being this small country at the southern tip of Central America was pretty close.
So here's where it gets complicated. Trying to fly to Panama on the 13th, stay in a hotel there, fly to New Orleans on the 20th, stay in a hotel there, and fly back to Chicago on the 22nd is no small task. If we go through Expedia, it will be thousands of dollars. Thousands. No thank you.
Trying to book the trip through American Express is no easy option either. Being a cardholder means we get a much cheaper trip, but it also means we have to navigate their planning services. they don't have a way to book a trip that covers a multi-destination flight plus a hotel in each location.
But they do have travel agents. I found one in Chicago who specializes in Central America trips. I'm hoping to contact the office next week and pray they can help us. If we can book through American Express, we'll save around $1000. For us Kettles, that's no small drop in the bucket. That's pretty much the entirety of what it will cost us the next time we move. Or it's the cost to fully repair Mr. Kettle's saxophone. Basically, there's a lot we could do with that money.
Cross your fingers for me hive that this works out. Because we finally sorted out our dream honeymoon. We just have to untangle how to make the reservations work.