Barney Butter Barley

You guys know how much I adore my barley breakfast bowls.

To make them I usually combine barley with Greek yogurt and fresh fruit.

Well, today I replaced the Greek yogurt with something fantastically delicious.

Barney Butter!

Barney Butter!

After cooking up some pearled barley after dinner yesterday, I stirred in a packet of Barney Butter and let it chill in the fridge overnight.

Today I added a sliced nectarine and some pumpkin pie spice to the mix.

Barney Butter Barley Bowl

Oooooh yum.

Nutty Fruity Barley

The Goods

So tasty! I literally licked this bowl clean… and then Sadie did, too. πŸ˜‰

"Barney Butter RULES!"


This breakfast was the perfect post-workout meal. Today’s gym session included a BodyPump class followed by 20 minutes of light cardio on the elliptical.

I increased the weights on the back track this week and was really feelin’ it! Today’s lunge track was a little too easy and I feel like my lower body didn’t get quite the workout I was hopin’ for. Next time, my friends! πŸ˜€

Honeymoon Update

We are officially overwhelmed.

We read every single one of your comments and suggestions last night (thank you!) and spent hours looking at the websites of various resorts.

All I can say is that if I had a bazillion dollars, I would love to stay at The Ladera in St. Lucia, recommended by blog reader Lindsey.

The Ladera

Not only is this place unbelievably gorgeous, but it also offers a bunch of activities, ranging from scuba diving to zip lining to cooking classes to rainforest hikes. Can you say heaven?

Though this place is beyond amazing, we’re looking for something more within our budget. Your comments and speaking with some friends made us think twice about the Dominican Republic, as it seems like we may not be able to do as many adventurous activities or as much exploring as we’d like to. We don’t want to feel confined to a resort on our honeymoon.

If any of you out there enjoyed a vacation that included fun activities like scuba diving and zip lining and exploring a town, etc., puh-lease let me know! I’ve heard great things about Costa Rica with regard to it being a beautiful place with lots to do.

Why is picking a honeymoon destination so hard!?

The good newsΒ  about all this honeymoon hoopla is that Ryan and I have a pact to pick a place by the end of this weekend! We’re going to be vacation-research mad men for the next few days. πŸ˜‰

Question of the Morning

What is more appealing to you: A vacation filled with activities or a vacation full of relaxation?

101 Responses

  1. I’ve heard the Ladera is simply amazing! And I’m def shooting for relaxation when I get married. We go go go all the time it seems – so on my honeymoon, I don’t want anyone telling me where I have to be and when. I think a fun boat adventure would be fun to throw in the mix – but I want pure, simple time together.

  2. My friend just honeymooned in Costa Rica and love it. They split their time in thirds: Part in the jungle, part at the beach, and part by the volcano. They did all sorts of adventure stuff but also relaxed at the beach. It sounded awesome.

  3. I had also mentioned St. Lucia. It looks so beautiful. As I had said my best friend went there on her honeymoon..I want to say that they maybe stayed at the Sandals resort? I would look into it. She too lives in Orlando, and I believe they drove down to Miami and flew out of there for a cheaper, more direct flight. They did the all inclusive resort, but then also added some activities (i.e. zip lining). She said they were too exhausted to do anything else after the crazy run around week of their wedding. Just a thought. πŸ™‚ Good luck on picking a place! I’m sure you will find something great.

    • we had friends stay at the sandals all inclusive resort in st. lucia, too & they raved about it. their only complaint is that they felt a little “trapped.” other than that only glowing reviews!

  4. I have been all about my breakfasts including pumpkin pie spice and nut butter lately too! Great tasty combo! πŸ™‚ Setting a time limit to make a decision always helps. Good luck!!

  5. Oh my God, the Ladera looks AMAZING!!!

    I wanted to say something last night but if I had the budget (and a boyfriend lol) I would go to Italy for my honeymoon…either Capri, or Tuscany. And if Italy isn’t the cards, I’d go on a cruise since I’ve never been on one!

  6. I went to Costa Rica last summer and it was awesome! I went to Playa Ocotal and it was gorgeous. There are a bunch of awesome resorts around there–I wouldn’t necessarily recommend mine. But there was a ton of stuff to do and I did zip line and hike through the rainforest and I saw monkeys! Definitely look into resorts on the Costa Rican coast!

    I have a ton of photos from Costa Rica up on my fb if you want to friend me. I’m listed as Allie West and my network is University of Vermont πŸ™‚

  7. My family went to Costa Azul in Mexico a couple years ago, and it would be the most perfect place for a honeymoon. They have SO many activities there: we went ziplining, horsebackriding, biking, sailing, kayaking, surfing, etc. They also have about 38 private villas that are GORGEOUS. It is about an hour outside of Cancun so there are no towns close as I remember but it was the most beautiful vacation I have been on! Also, check out the Princeville Resort in Kauai, Hawaii if you want something a little fancier. That place is beautiful as well!

  8. Activities! I grew up in St. Thomas and I happen to think that it’s a pretty good honeymoon spot!

  9. Full of activities, for sure! That’s how I like my everyday life, too, so I think that’s why I don’t find the relaxing aspect as appealing. I like to gogogo!

  10. You should try having a look at St.Maarten – really safe and friendly for wandering around and also really beautiful with loads of activities.

    P.S. I love your blog so much and starting reading it has coincided with me getting up earlier and doing an hour workout before work but also, worryingly, I have now discovered peanut butter. How did it evade my radar so long? I don’t know but if I start a blog it might have to be called pbbuckets.x

  11. We just went to Costa Rica for our one year anniversarsy and I did a summer there in college. You won’t be disappointed! It has plenty of stuff to do..rainforest, beach, zip lines, horseback riding, etc. and it’s so beautiful!!

  12. Where do you find pearled barley??

    I’ve searched high and low in supermarkets and bulk stores in my area and haven’t been able to find any. It looks delicious!

  13. Definitely filled with activities, I get way to bored otherwise

  14. I meant to say yesterday, we booked our trip to Belize through and got a great deal. We still haven’t been on our trip so I can’t vouch for this 100%. However, my boss and her husband have traveled through twice and have raved about it both times.

  15. There are so many options out there! Two nights ago my boyfriend and I began looking for vacation idea because we want to go away in September or October. All of the comments from last night and today are helping me a lot.. Thanks for doing on a post on this!!

  16. The Florblanca in Costa Rica looks so beautiful and I’ve always wanted to go. It’s very honeymoon friendly, check it out! πŸ™‚

  17. I got so excited about it that I forgot to attach the link haha. Here it is!

  18. Hi Julie!

    I have been reading your blog for awhile and really enjoy it! I very recently got married and we went on our honeymoon in June. We went to Saint Lucia and stayed at The Windjammer Landing. You can check it out here:

    We absolutely LOVED it and will definitely go back. The prices are much better than Sandals and I think you definitely get a lot more for your money. Check out the Hibiscus suites. We stayed in one and couldn’t have been happier. There is also a lot to do there…ziplining, hiking, scuba diving, etc. There is also an all inclusive option. Good luck with the rest of your planning! πŸ™‚

  19. I just got married about two months ago. I am from NC but recently relocated to St. Louis. We got married in NC where we are both from, and decided to just go to Wilmington for our honeymoon. It was so relaxing and we stayed at a bed and breakfast. However, a couple of years ago we went to St. John and stayed at Maho Bay Camps ( This trip was amazing! We stayed in what are called “eco-tents”. They have nicer “premium eco-cottages” available since you will be on your honeymoon. You can see them online. We went on a day long sailing trip, and you can rent snorkels etc;. I am sure there is scuba diving, but we didn’t do that. We also rented a Jeep Wrangler and were able to go to all the different little beaches (there are lots). There is also hiking. It was so much fun! We aren’t really into the whole all-inclusive resort thing, so this was so neat. We were able to make our own breakfast and what not in our little “house”. All of the eco-tents were connected by boardwalks, which led down to the beach. It was private and quiet. I know that the cottages are a little nicer and having kitchenette areas. The whole place is very environmentally friendly and green! Another great perk is that it is very reasonable! You should totally check it out. It’s somewhere different and unique, and not a lot of people know about it. For dinner and other food, you can go into town, or take the ferry back to St. Thomas, thought we stayed at St. John the whole time and never wanted to leave! Hope this is helpful.

  20. Honeymoon planning def is overwhelming! Just a word of caution that as much as you think you might want a lot of adventure and activities, the wedding week takes A LOT out of you. I could barely keep my eyes open for more than 3 hours at a time for the first 2 days of our trip. I just loved having nothing to do but relax, recoup, eat, and spend QT with my new husband.

    We took a trip (not our honeymoon) to Playa del Carmen in Mexico and took day trips. The coolest one was full of adventures. I believe they have a scuba trip in Isla de Mujeres. Here is the link:

  21. I lived in Costa Rica for a while during college, I studied abroad there! It is absolutely amazing! We went on an amazing one-day tour of Tortuga Island which is on the Pacific side. It is the most beautiful place you will ever see. You take a catamaran to get there (or we did anyway) and we spent the day lounging on the beach, eating, and just enjoying the secluded island. It is near Manuel Antonio which is a national park with beaches, MONKEYS, and tons of activities. Jaco is a really popular beach near by and it is so much fun! Everything around there is really beautiful. There are volcanoes (Poas, Arenal) to visit and the caribbean side is awesome too!

    this website is pretty cool, it has everything from lodging, to destinations, to activities. it is really helpful!

    good luck! what a tough decision!

  22. Hi! I am new to reading your blog, but I just wanted to let you know that my family and I spend Christmas in St. Croix and it is a wonderful place to go! There are a ton of resorts or houses to rent and tons of places to do water activities!

  23. I like a combination of the two. Relaxing is important but I love adventures!

    I’ve been to Costa Rica twice now and would recommend it to anyone! I’m actually going to be back there over the winter while I’m travelling. So you can see… it’s a bit addictive! My sister did her honeymoon in Costa Rica and loved it but I don’t remember what the name of the resort she stayed at was. I’ll try to ask her before the weekend! As far as scuba diving goes though I don’t know if it would be your best option. You’d want to go to the Carribean coast for sure and I don’t know what the weather is like there that time of year. And I’ve never been myself so I’m not sure I’d want to recommend it.

  24. You should really take a look at Jamaica! It has everything costa rica offers (amazing beaches, snorkeling, tours and other great activities, along with great food and local towns to explore) with a much lower price tag! I’ve personally stayed in negril, jamiaca and loved it. Check out the Whistling Bird. The location is amazing and all of the rooms are individual one or two bedroom suites. The chef that was there when I stayed was amazing and cooked for us any time we wanted, whatever we wanted.( I still have not found banana pancakes like he made)

    Good luck with whatever place you choose!

  25. Costa Rica is amazing! I went there for a wedding in April and loved every minute of it. It is very down earth, they people are amazing, the food is beyond amazing and there is still a lot of fun advetures you can go on and lots of different activities. I would highly recommend Costa Rica.

  26. Costa Rica is so much fun! I went there on a cruise once (have you considered doing a cruise?) and thought it was awesome–zip lining through the rain forest, ATV rides, scuba diving/snorkeling, parasailing, exploring, etc. You name it you could do it! Not to mention your dollar will go far! What about Panama or Puerto Rico? Both of those can offer the same kind of stuff, and in Puerto Rico you also have the comfort of still being in the US.

  27. I may be a bit biased because my family Dad and I head to the Virgin Islands every summer and I’ve only been to one other tropical place (Aruba) but honestly, St. John and St. Croix are just absolutely BEAUTIFUL places…and the best part of being in the Virgin Islands is that they’re pretty close to each other, so you can take a ferry/small plane for a day trip to another island. Snorkeling is GREAT – SEA TURTLES! And there’s tons to do. πŸ™‚

  28. girl, on your honeymoon all you’re going to want to do is lay around with ryan. i didn’t believe people when they told me that, but it’s so true. we did surfing and snorkeling in maui on our honeymoon, and it was just the right amount of activity. the rest of the time we just spent on the beach!

  29. Julie, you should definitely rethink the Dominican Republic. I have been to Costa Rica which is very similar to DR but we have found that the DR is more affordable and also has great offerings. There are PLENTY of things for you to enjoy. Like you and Ryan, my husband and I enjoy doing activities, and being adventurous. They have scuba diving, snorkeling, zip lining, wind surfing, kayaking, due buggies, horseback riding, and so much more. All-Inclusive resorts are all going to be pretty much the same, obviously quality and price are the main differences… Most are pretty isolated, and yes most people stay within “quarters”, but there is so much offered on the outside.

  30. We did a lot on our honeymoon: sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, exploring the main island, kayaking, etc.

    We really prefer adventure over laying out at a pool.

    We did the sail away package at Young Island ( which was amazing.

    We got treated like royalty, ate amazing cuisine, BUT it is rustic: no tv’s, no air conditioning (which didn’t matter because the open slats in our private cottage and fan kept us cool (sometimes even cold).

    I loved it because it was something unique (no offense to Sandals Resort in St Lucia, but everyone I know went there and had the same (although wonderful) experience).

    Sorry i just wrote the longest comment ever, but if you have any questions, feel free to email me! I’ll send you pics if you want πŸ™‚

  31. oh! Or if you have extra money sitting around that needs to be spent, check out

    Amazingly beautiful!

    I know a couple who went here and had a great time! But it was a little pricier than we were able to do πŸ™‚

  32. My husband and I honeymooned in Jamaica at Couples Swept Away ( in Negril. It was amazing. It was all inclusive, so once we arrived we didn’t have to worry about carrying around a wallet. There was a gym, a track, a WONDERFUL spa where we got hour long couple’s massage, water sports, cooking classes, dance classes, etc. The restaurants were amazing. We had a fully stocked mini-bar with premium liquors and wines that were replinished every day. The service was fantastic and I almost cried the day we had to leave.

  33. Keith and I went to Hawaii and loved it! But my college roommate went to St. Lucia and she loved it! I doubt you could go wrong!!

  34. Oooh! That Barney Barley bowl looked delicious! I’m sure it had that strong almond flavor that I love, especially at breakfast. ❀

    I have a hard time choosing between an activity-packed vacation and a relaxing one – can I choose both?! πŸ˜‰

  35. I always say releaxation, but I’m really about the adventure, like jumping off waterfalls, zip lining, repelling, etc.

    You WILL find an amazing place within budget..don’t hesitate to talk to a travel agent..often times they can help you find a complete package (with air if necessary) and get you a discount because THEY get a kickback. That’s what we did and we got 30% (!!!) off our All-Inclusive and got tons of upgrades πŸ™‚

  36. My first husband and I went to the Pocono Mts. for our honeymoon. We had our own little villa on sticks πŸ™‚ Everything was heart shaped and the Mts. in PA were beautiful. Cheesy, I know…but we had so much fun and they always had activities planned for us. My favorite spot was the kissing bridge πŸ™‚ And the food was also delicious! The first night was a seven course meal, with flaming cherries jubilee as dessert. Plus we had time to explore on our own.

    I have always thought Hawaii, would be a fun honeymoon spot too.

  37. Maybe Hawaii? You could stay at the Princeville on Kauai. I know they have ziplining near there (my mom did it and loved it). Also, it’s VERY beautiful and it is a quieter island compared to others in Hawaii. They have helicopter rides, i’m sure tons of water activities, and the weather is great.

    Also, you could do daytrips to the other islands for cheap if you get bored and feel like exploring. Or you could even spend a night or two on each island.

    Plus tropical fruity cocktails are always a plus!

  38. Good luck choosing your honeymoon spot–I’m sure it’s going to be a tough decision! My boyfriend and I occasionally alternate active and relaxing vacations, but we really try to make each trip a combination of the two. We really like to bring our bikes and hiking stuff on vacations. Staying active usually makes everything more fun, but there’s just something about doing nothing for a few days that can feel so good! πŸ™‚

  39. Planning the honeymoon is even more fun than planning the wedding! I like a little bit of both in my vacations… activity in the morning, relax in the afternoon/night. We actually waited 3 months to take our honeymoon because of weather. And we did sightseeing in the morning, and relaxing in the afternoon. But, we said if we went right after the wedding, it probably would have been all relaxing, we were exhausted!! Have fun planning! I’m so excited for you, its such a fun time!

  40. I went to costa rica as a kid. Its awesome. Full of adventure definitely. Surfing, volcanoes, hot springs, waterfalls, hiking, ziplines, arial trams, rainforest tours, scuba, snorkel, boats. SO FUN

    Defnitely look into it

  41. have you looked at costco travel? you have to be a member of costco, but it’s totally worth it. we’ve used it for several trips (NZ, AUS, Mexico, and we’re going to Ireland, London, and Scotland over Thanksgiving) – they always have the best prices and have all-inclusive options as well. Seriously the very best. Email me if you want more info. : ) Good luck!

  42. Barley for breakfast?!?! OH YUM!!!

  43. a friend of mine just took a trip to costa rica (there blog of the whole trip which includes more than just costa rice). but the stayed at a hostel in puerto viejo, costa rice. maybe not the most romantic but you get to sleep in hammocks which just sounds amazing!

  44. I’m all about relaxing on my vacations. When I went to Vegas I wanted to truly explore everything. So I definitely didn’t relax there, but I also just went and did whatever I wanted. No appointments necessary and no feelings of marking things off a “must-do” list.

  45. I bet the peanut butter was great with it.

    And I like a nice mixture–relaxing and then actually getting to do something where we are vacationing is nice!

  46. I have heard St Lucia is GORGEOUS! I want a vaca with relaxation… I hate having plans on vaca.

  47. I prefer a vacation filled with activities, but also a relaxing evening πŸ™‚

  48. My friend honeymooned at the Sandals resort in St Lucia and did all those things you mentioned you want to do. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t astronomically expensive because I know they didn’t have a ton of money either, and they had a great time. Sandals is also all inclusive, but I believe you get to choose the level, and can pay extra if there is something you want to do, etc.

  49. Is Hawaii out of the running? I went there a few years ago and most everyone we met were honeymooning. There is so much to do – though I am more of a cabana on the beach sort of vacationer.

  50. Hey – honeymoon planning is the best part of the wedding (or it was for me). Jason and I went to Paris – which was amazing – but I had a hard time letting go of the beach idea. We stayed at an adults-only all-inclusive resort near the Riviera Maya in Mexico. El Dorado Royale was gorgeous, had lots of activities and offered things to do out of the resort as well. Good luck!

  51. I’m sorry you and Ryan are having such a tough time narrowing down your honeymoon choice …

    We had a hard time too and finally settled on Costa Rica because it offered both the relaxation and adventure aspects that we were looking for. We had a travel agent in Winter Park (Go Travel) help set up our entire trip. There was no additional cost to us for using her. She knew which resorts were better and organized our excursions and transportation for the entire trip.

    We stayed in Arenal and did white water rafting and then stayed at Manual Antonio and did zip lining and some hiking on a nature trail. Mixed in with that was a couples massage, lots of pool time, and even some beach time.

    We were only in Costa Rica for 6 nights but it was plenty of time to have a lot of fun with my new husband!

  52. I love vacations where you do stuff. I enjoy going to museums and sightseeing.

  53. For my honeymoon, we went on a cruise where on the excursions we were able to snorkeling, canoeing, hiking in a cave where we did the zip lines, as well as have relaxing time on the ship where I went to the spa and we relaxed around the pool. I don’t know if a cruise would be better, even though ryan just went on one, but you get to see more than one place and do lots of fun adventures. I like vacations where you get to go do stuff with a little of down time ( its always nice to have some relaxing time!)

  54. We definitely prefer to relax since life is always so hectic as is. We actually do more now that we have kids and less time than we did before. Ahh…the lazy days. πŸ˜‰

    I’ve bought the pearled barley already and have yet to cook it; can’t wait to try it after seeing all your recipe combos!

    BTW, on my second day of morning workouts and doing pretty good. πŸ™‚ I was actually sitting around catching up on blogs when I read your entry yesterday and then got up, laced my sneakers up, and jumped on the treadmill. πŸ˜‰ I’m thinking I’ll finally be able to stick it out this time! πŸ˜‰

  55. Those barley bowls look so good!
    I have to have a balance of activities and relaxation during a vacation. There are many times I can’t stay still!

  56. I just talked to my friend how had her honey moon in Costa Rica and she said it was UNBELIEVABLE!!! This girl has been to Hawaii, St. Lunca, Mexico and out of them all, she said, hands down, Costa Rica was the best! I would seriously look into this.

  57. My husband and I went to St Thomas for our honeymoon (2008) and stayed at the Frenchman’s Reef Marriott – it was great.

    We also went to Costa Rica in May and stayed at the Los Suenos Marriott in Costa Rica. It was so amazing. Ziplining, fishing etc.

    Both are recommended.

  58. Ahhhhh, we went to costa rica a few years ago and it was awesome!!! Lots of fun and adventure, but lying on the beach as well. It’s also insanely beautiful, and not too difficult to get to.

  59. I commented yesterday about Curacao but wanted to add one thing. The hotel we stayed at (Lodge Kura Hulanda) has a sister property located in the main city of Willemstad. They have a package where you can spend a few nights at their beachfront property (where they have diving, kayaking, boating, etc) and a few nights at their city property (where you can explore the city). I would definitely recommend it! We went to their sister property in the city for a day and it was gorgeous – we were only able to stay for about 6 hours, but the city was really fun to explore. The package is here:

  60. The most amazing vacation of my life was in Costa Rica– I cannot say enough good things about it, and I’m smiling just thinking about how much fun I had! I did white water rafting, waterfall hiking, volcano hiking, canyoneering (where you rappel down through waterfalls!), zip-lining, mountain biking, AND learned to surf. I definitely crammed every outdoor activity possible into my trip, but it was so so worth it! Costa Rica also had the most friendly, hospitable, warm people I have ever met. I travelled around to many different towns, moving from San Jose towards the Pacific coast, but it’s such a small country that it’s easy to hit multiple locations.

    Good luck deciding on a place– I hope you choose Costa Rica!

  61. A vacation filled with relaxation for sure!!!!

    Barney Butter is amazing! Why does it taste so good???

  62. I voted for Costa Rica yesterday, so I’m so glad to see there are so many more mentions of it today! We really like a mix of relaxing and adventure, which is why we picked CR (although in full disclosure, we haven’t been yet). At the suggestion of some friends, we actually did a “mini-moon” somewhere local (a mountain resort in early fall for us) for a few days right after the wedding because we had heard people would go to these wonderful and expensive places and then sleep for 3 days. We didn’t want to spend our time in an exciting new place sleeping, and since we just wanted to be together and enjoy the little things we really wanted a slow paced few days. But that was just our preference. Plus we had to save up for the trip we really wanted. If you continue to look at CR, I’d suggest doing a beach location for the first part to relax and then heading to Arenal for some adventure. And I don’t think anyone has mentioned the hot springs in Arenal!! A friend went to Arenal for her whole honeymoon and stayed at a resort with hot springs and LOVED it. As she put it “nothing better than being in a natural hot springs at night with a drink and snuggling with your man while watching the lava from the volcano coming down!”. The springs are naturally heated from the volcano. But in Arenal you don’t have beaches. Also, scuba diving doesn’t seem to be the best in CR, at least on the Pacific side, but there seem to be so many other unique adventures. tripadvisor has alot of forum posts, you could just search for “honeymoon” as alot of people ask for suggestions of places to go. Or you could post your own with your specific interests in mind. Rainy season ends at the end of october, so your timing is good weather wise. Can’t wait to see what you pick!

  63. We went to Sandals Ocho Rios in Jamaica but there are about a bazillion resorts in that area. We really truly loved Jamaica. There was so many things to do. We climbed a 900 foot waterfall, rode bikes down a massive mountain, shopped in a market, ate AMAZING food, too a water tour around one side of the island on our own personal boat, snorkeled and so much more. I would highly recommend it and the price is really not bad!

  64. I have to find some barley, you make it look so amazing.

    I like a mix of relaxation and activities on a trip.

  65. Bermuda is really awesome! Also, my friend and her bf went to Costa Rica last year and loved it!

  66. Hey there.
    I know how it can feel to be overwhelmed. Eek! Having been to Jamaica and the Bahamas as far as Caribbean destinations go, I can honestly say that they can get a bit boring. Having just returned from a roadtrip in California in which we took the PCH (Pacific Coast Hwy.) and stopped for random hikes, good eats, scenery, etc. I think this would be an awesome honeymoon. It is pretty inexpensive (just rent a car, buy a map and stay at inexpensive…or splurge now and again, hotels along the way). So many places to stay from San Diego straight through to San Francisco. Great state park system! Anyway, I am sorry you are feeling overwhelmed, good idea on putting an “end date” on choosing a location so it doesn’t go on and on. Good luck!

  67. Typically my husband and I like to balance both relaxation and lots of exploring, but for our honeymoon we wanted nothing but pure lovin’ laziness.

    Our wedding was huge and we had so many people flying in from all over and we knew we were going to be exhausted by the time we boarded that plane on Sunday! So we did just that on our honeymoon and explored a bit when we wanted to, but mostly just laid on the beach, watched the sunset/rise, enjoy the local food and so forth. It was perfect for us!

  68. I just recently went to Costa Rica and stayed in Arenal. I stayed on a ranch called Rancho Margot, and it is totally self-sufficient. They have animals and gardens galore, where they grow vegetables and fruits. You can literally walk the path up to your bungalow and pick a fruit off the tree for a snack. ALthough it isn’t exactly “luxurious” it is definately comfortable and has beautiful views. THey have horseback riding, ziplining, kayaking, yoga on a veranda overlooking the rainforest. I don’t think it is a honeymoon resort, but in the area there are lots of resorts that are beautiful. If you go to Costa Rica i definitily recommend paying a visit there for the day! It is right up your alley with the freshest food and ecological awareness.

  69. Have you looked at Roatan, Honduras? It’s a small, semi-remote island off the coast of mainland Honduras. It’s a scuba-diver’s paradise! Roatan has the best tropical scuba diving outside the great barrier reef!! Hotels also have night dives, shark dives, and cave diving…Plus, you can horse back ride, go to some cool local dive bars, and explore a jungle paradise (I think there is one legit animal park/pirate museum)!
    Like I mentioned, it’s semi-remote (used to be really remote about 6 years ago). Basically, you dive all day, drink/dance all night on the beach and repeat the next day!
    If you do decide to look into it, I suggest staying outside “town.” Look at a hotel call the “Bananarama” and surrounding hotels. That end of the island is waaaaay nicer than the other side! Let me know if you have questions!! Good luck!

  70. I would def think twice about too many excursions in Domincan.

    Mexico has a ton of excursions. We went for our honeymoon but didnt do any excurions – we just wanted to be bumps on a log relax and eat πŸ™‚ we loved every min of it!

    But def def def look into Costa Rica – I’ve heard great things about and its pretty affordable to go to costa rica – tons to do: ziplining, hot springs, volcanoes, etc πŸ™‚ We’re going for my mother’s retirement in April and I’m super psyched!

  71. Hi Julie,
    I just got married a few weeks ago and instead of a big honeymoon, we did a mini-moon. We just went to Vail, Colorado (we live on the west coast and like mountains as opposed to beaches) for 4 days of relaxing and biking. We will do a few other mini-moons or one big trip next summer – but this helped us to not feel overwhelmed as wedding planning was time-consuming enough and also this was not a big expense.

  72. I got married last November. My husband and I are very active. We live in Boston and spent out honeymoon in New Zealand!

    We did NZ’s north and south island – hiked and kayaked. I booked the flights (got a good deal), I booked accommodations across NZ and got a rental car. Also the NZ dollar is much weaker then our’s!

    I totally recommend New Zealand!

  73. i think a good combination of the 2!!! sometimes with too many activities, you get vacation burn-out, you’ll feel the need for a vacation from your vacation! but not having too many things to do could lead to boredom. i think an even mix will let you have fun and try new things but still have time to relax and re-coop.

  74. Looks delish, that Barney Butter is to die for!!!

  75. Check out Chris Brown as he performs at Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Visit our channel at VibesJamaicaJTB on youtube to check out whats hot in Jamaican entertainment and events;

  76. Hey Julie! Love your blog. My husband and I have been all over the caribbean and Centeral America. We both wanted to go somewhere new and had a lot of trouble deciding. We had been to Cancun a couple of years earlier and fell in love with the people, culture, and of course the food! We ended up deciding on Puerto Vallarta. It was amazing. There was a ton to do. We went deep sea fishing, rode ATVs though the country and mountains, and my favorite, we went swimming we sea lions. They also have a great ziplinging that we saw when we did the atv tour. We had done zipling in Honduras and loved it, but had no time to do it in PV. I went back to PV on a cruise in April and my friends did the zipline in PV and loved it. I don’t know if they have scuba diving, but they have so much to do. We stayed at the Gran Melia in the top floor. They are relatively cheap, but the rooms are nice and if you stay on the top floor they have a nice continental breakfast and cookies and snacks during the day, and appetizers and wine at night. The pool was beautiful and they have a nice beach with beds. Good Luck!

    • wow! i’ve been looking at the gran melia’s website & i LOVE itttt! thanks! i’m gonna show this to ryan tonight!

  77. Hey Julie. I would DEFINITELY recommend SECRETS in the Mayan or Gran Bahia Principe Copa/Taulum (in the Mayan) they are both near towns (Tulum has ruins you can climb/explore) and both hotels offer excursions for diving/zip lining etc) I haven’t ventured outside Mexico though, so I’m sure there are always amazing places EVERYWHERE. These places are about 1000 per person (I fly from Alberta, Canada though so probably cheaper for you) but my advice is to leave mid week (ALWAYS cheaper!) Have fun choosing πŸ™‚

  78. After a week of honeymooning at Riviera Maya, my husband and I went to Grand Cayman for his parent’s 30th Anniversary. It is beautiful and I even got to go on my first dive! There’s plenty of different things for you to do. We also went on an all day boat ride where we visited Sting Ray City, snorkeled and then went to Starfish Cove. You should definitely check it out. Also, one of my sisters spent a summer in Costa Rica for school and still talks about how amazing it was. I know she did a lot of different things like zip lining and such.

  79. Hey Julie. My husband and I went to cancuun for our anniverary last year. We stayed at an all inclusive called the Royal which was great! They had six restraunts onsite, so there was pleanty to chose from. We also signed up for the Explore Tour which was awesome! It included zip lining, ATVing, exploring underground caves, etc. It was totally afordable and sounds like something you both would love! I would highly recommend it.

  80. Julie…first, I am new to your blog and I love it! Keep up the good blogging.

    I wasn’t going to make my honeymoon suggestion because ours was so different than what you said you’re looking for. However, since you’re having trouble picking a place I’ll suggest where I went on MY honeymoon (exactly two years ago Monday Aug. 23!).

    My husband and I wanted lots of activity and culture. We flew into San Fransisco and spent three nights there. We stayed in a historical hotel, went to a Giants baseball game at AT&T Park, biked the Golden Gate Bridge, ate fresh-from-the-dock sushi, visited Chinatown and shopped til we dropped! And still slept late every day. πŸ™‚

    Then we rented a convertible and took Pacific Coast Highway 1 up to Napa Valley. We found a great deal on a house we rented ( and stayed for four nights. We took a hot air balloon ride over the valley, visited 7 wineries and ate like you have never eaten before! We cooked in one night with local produce and cheeses, and also tried some of the local Napa favorites.

    I think we spent about $4,000 – $5,000 dollars for the week. Not sure what your budget is, but we didn’t say no to anything we really, really wanted to do.

    Okay, this comment is way too long already. Good luck with your honeymoon destination pick….can’t wait to hear what you and Ryan decide!



    it’s insane and has the PERFECT balance between relaxation and adventure.

    i’ve been to almost every Caribbean island there is ( worked on a cruise ship ) and even lived in south africa ( cape town ) for 4 years which boasts some of the worlds best beaches, and i just fell in love with Costa Rica.

    i am a single gal, so i do not have too much info on honeymooning but i think a few other readers mentioned websites to check out ( just google CR too, and you will have SOOO much help from trip advisor, etc…)

    it’s also very affordable and flights are cheap!

    it would be my # 1 pick ( apart from Greece and Corsica )

    have soooo much fun choosing – what a blessing to have such a “tough” choice πŸ™‚ enjoy beauty

    • first of all, your life sounds amazing!!! secondly, thank you for this comment! i’ll definitely take your advice into account.

  82. I had BB for the first time this weekend thanks to HLS. Where can I find more!?

    • they actually sell it in the health food section of my grocery store & i think whole foods has it???

  83. BELIZE!!!!!Follow this advice and you will have the best honeymoon. Go to gorp travel website to look at going to Belize ( We stayed at the Jaguar Reef Lodge ( You can either get a through Gorp or the resort website to get an adventure package. It is a short flight to belize and relatively inexpensive, and Belize has the 2nd largest reef behind the great barrier reef. We had a blast. You can hike mountains to find a secluded waterfall, go to monkey river excursion or just scuba or snorkle. This place is not touristy at all and Belize is untouched land.

  84. Hi Jules!
    i love the blog! i was wondering have you ever tried brown rice for breakfast? i’ve heard of taking 1/2 cup brown rice, almond milk (or soy/regular) raisins, cinnamon and brown sugar—almost like oatmeal—but with brown rice?

  85. Aruba and Seychelles are stunning! I was watching a Travel show recently, and it featured a few places celebrities had stayed. I was mesmerized for the entire hour… even more so when they mentioned the $20 000 a night price tag! The truth is Earth is so beautiful! There are so many incredible places to go: Tahiti, St Croix, Aruba, St. Lucia, Hawaii, Turks and Cacos, Mustique, Vanuatu, Isla de Ferradura… it all depends on what you’re looking for. The thing is that NO MATTER where you and Ryan go, it’s going to be the most amazing experience, because it is about celebrating the two of you, together. You will be together, and that’s all that matters!

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