Saturday was Daniel's and my 5th anniversary. Since it's our last one before marriage and also the first one (including our first date) during which neither of us have had finals, we wanted to do something special. Unfortunately, neither of us have any money. Still, we had a good time.
For the past few years, whenever we've needed a hotel and weren't looking for a particular one, we've bid on Priceline. It's a great way to save money and a better way to get a much better hotel than you would otherwise be able to afford. If you haven't booked your honeymoon and are looking in a particular area but don't need a particular hotel, I would highly recommend using the Priceline bidding option, especially if you need to save money and/or are doing your honeymoon in the U.S.
Anyway, we spent the weekend in Monterey at the Hyatt which was AMAZING. The bed was so comfy, and I seriously thought about stealing one of the pillows. They were so soft. We enjoyed the heated pool even though it was freezing outside, especially when we could run over to the hot tub when we needed some extra heat.
I love Monterey. It's one of the most beautiful places I've ever been, and I've spent a lot of time in extraordinary places. We very seriously considered getting married in Monterey or the neighboring (smaller and more beautiful) Carmel. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera and thus was unable to capture our trip, so I will have to make up for it in words.
Our major goal for the weekend (besides relaxing) was wine tasting. A couple of years ago, we spent our anniversary in Napa and have been strolling down the road toward wine snobbery ever since. It will be a long time before we will have the cash to truly experience wine snob culture, but in the meantime, we're trying our best to prepare. We were surprised by how affordable the wine tasting places in Monterey were. Even on Cannery Row (the tourist place to be), tastings were only $5 for at least 5 wines (and let me tell you, they pour liberally). We took full advantage.
We also headed down to Carmel for some cheese tasting at The Cheese Shop. I love me some cheese, but I really love me some fancy cheese with wine pairings. We had a great experience talking to the owner about pairings and preferences, and he let us try a ton of extra cheeses. We ended up buying three types and have been thoroughly enjoying them since.
We decided to put more funds toward our wine tasting experiences than to a fancy dinner the night of our anniversary, but we still managed to make out pretty well. We actually went to Monterey for my 19th birthday almost 5 years ago and had to skip my birthday dinner because I got sick. Daniel had picked out the restaurant himself, and I had always wanted to go back and try it. We managed to find it again while wandering on Cannery Row, and they had a 3-course deal for $15. Definitely a good find.
All-in-all, a very relaxing mini-vacation. And now we have officially visited every major destination in Northern California on an anniversary. Monterey was a nice way to finish off our dating getaways.