There are very few people in this world for which I would leave my 1 year old daughter the night of her birthday in order to attend their wedding on different continent. We met LuLu and Tutti (aka Luisa and Colin) at a neighborhood party when we lived in South Philadelphia. They lived across the street and we became fast friends. Late nights sitting out on the front stoop with cold beers, good food, and a baby monitored helped my husband and I survive the early stages of parenthood. Being that they lived so close, a quick pop in would turn into a very late night.
When they made plans to get married in LuLu’s home country of Colombia, it was a no brainer that we would attend. This would be the first time we would have a large chunk of time away from the kids since before our first was born.
The trip started off on a positive note when we made friends with a Colombian that currently lives in New Jersey. He helped us navigate the system from New York to Bogota. We even shared beers in the airport before parting ways.
When you are told that you are going to a historic, walled city, so many romantic images come to mind. Being on vacation without kids meant that I would actually have time to photograph all of that historic beauty. Cartagena was actually even better then I imagined. The city is filled with character, color, interest…the best part is how the city buildings filter the sunlight towards the end of the day. Plus they have dogs that love to adopt you during your visit. You will see the same dog throughout this post. We met him the first night in Cartagena during dinner and we gave her some meat. Omari named her Bingo. :O) She would just randomly show up and follow us around the city. It was sweet. (Side note…Ash Wednesday occurred when we were there so you will see Omari with ashes on his forehead.)
One of my favorite parts of travel is the food. Over the years, LuLu had prepared us with a number of Colombian meals. The best was her ceviche – the bar was set high going into the trip. I’m not lying when I said I could’ve eaten ceviche every day of our trip and not get sick of it. There was one ceviche restaurant “outside of the wall” that was cheap and delicious. We ate their twice and would’ve returned again if we had more time. Add some silly shenanigans with the Philly friends made everything even better.
The strangest part of going to a destination wedding is knowing so many people while you are at said destination. It was almost like being back in college, there were so many different houses that we would shuffle between. Tutti is one of 6 kids so his side of the family was heavily represented…so much that a massive home was needed in order to house everyone. This place was gigantic and beautiful. The focal point was the pool. I loved watching even the adults turn back into kids once they jumped in.
Tutti’s nephew is only a few weeks younger than my daughter. Being around him while we were away made me miss my sweet baby girl even more. Of course that means I couldn’t keep my camera off of him.
Finally…the big day! Little did I know that it would be one of the best weddings we would have ever attended. The church looked beautiful. There was a children’s choir…which made me instantly tear up as soon as they started singing. The bride and groom were just giddy. The ceremony was short and sweet. You could feel the love in the air. After the ceremony, a band and dancers led everyone from the wedding to the reception. It was so much fun following the musicians as we danced through the streets.
The reception was absolutely stunning. The bride and groom made almost everything by hand and did a spectacular job. We had a fantastic time…so much that I don’t have many photos to show.
After the wedding there was a group trip to a local beach. On our way we stopped at a delicious bakery that has the best pastries that were ridiculously cheap. We also got another visit from our friend Bingo. :O)
The best part of our trip to the beach was when Omari and I rented wave runners. It was a blast and it took me back to a time when we were just dating. None of the pressures that come with being an adult and a parent can touch you when you are on a waverunner. If only it could’ve lasted longer than 30 minutes.
The happy couple looks a bit more relaxed once they recovered from the wedding. Aren’t they adorable together?
Cartagena is a beautiful city that I would highly recommend to anyone looking to travel abroad. The food is delicious. The historic architecture is beautiful. Everyone that we met was so nice.