On a Personal Note: Marriage, Magic + Books

I’m going to sound like a broken record… but

time flies.

Seriously. I can’t believe a year ago, Magan and I reunited in NYC, I was reading my first John Green book, and, even more so, I cannot believe that it’s been two years since my wedding.


Well, I live to tell the tale, my friends. It’s been quite a year with lots of changes but James and I are still loving every adventure together. As it should be.

Estelle and James before their wedding

To celebrate our milestone last year, I shared with you the literary details of our wedding and this time, I thought I would celebrate our “cotton year” (seriously?) with a little bit about my honeymoon and the books that I read while I was relaxing and sipping mojitos.

Truth be told, we had our honeymoon in Disney World. I know, I know. Most of you who know me, probably think that is oh-so typical, others may think it’s totally weird and unromantic (or maybe you think of that one bridesmaid in Bridesmaids who was super weird with her husband and also had a Disney honeymoon)… but we had a kick ass time. Really.

Estelle and James with Mickey Mouse

How can you not have a swell time with the Mouse in a tux?

When you are theme park hopping, it’s hard to rest and read and I designated most of my free time sitting on our cruise ship to the books (and swimming!). In fact, my husband bought me a Nook for Christmas a few months before our wedding for this very reason. I wanted to be able to bring piles of books on our trip and not have to pack them. (I needed room for souvenirs!)

It was a lifesaver!

(I also was downloading books like a madwoman on our shuttle to the boat. I’m glad I did.)

Since I have such fond memories of the books I gobbled up during that trip, I thought I’d share them with you today. It’s kind of interesting to see how my tastes changed too. This was before I was obsessively reading so much per week, and the young adult genre had yet to be discovered.

Funnily enough, Rachel from Hello Chelly recommended these 3 books to me, and actually let me take her paperbacks of Something Borrowed and Something Blue with me on my trip. (So kind of her; I ended up buying Something Borrowed for my Nook when I got back because I loved it that much — I read it twice in 2011.) Emily Giffin’s books were engrossing and incredibly fast paced… perfect to pick up and put down as your day progresses. I know a few people have had trouble with One Day but it is still one of my favorite books even if it isn’t so… bright and happy as honeymoon reading should possibly be.

Estelle and Rachel of Hello Chelly at her Wedding

Here’s Rachel and I at my wedding.

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

My traditional pick for vacations is always a Nicholas Sparks novel. I can barely remember a trip where I didn’t read a book by him. (I normally save his newest books for my next vacation to keep this happening.) Forget the Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough and that movie that is trying to look like The Notebook Part 2. (I feel like these parts were severely miscast.) I really liked Safe Haven, and I will openly criticize Sparks for his tragedies and Southern settings… but this one was good, and really different from his others.

Dirty Sexy Politics by Meghan McCain

Okay. Totally weird choice, right? I mean, you can’t say I’m not an open-minded reader because I like to think I am. I also don’t want to discuss politics too much but I really enjoyed following Meghan’s blog during the campaign and I think she is totally fascinating as a young Republican. She has a lot of very smart observations, and I really liked seeing her perspective of the election, her own appearance, and just humanization of her dad in Dirty Sexy Politics.

The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World

Calling all Disney fans! (I know you are out there…) As someone who reads a lot of Disney blogs, I was totally wrapped up in this one. (I think I read for six hours straight on a beach.) The book is divided by each park complete with a timeline and really offers up some trivia worthy facts. It was a lot of fun to read, and I was definitely in the right place to enjoy it.

Honeymoon Reading Spot

Reading spot at Disney’s private island: Castaway Cay @ high tide.

There you have it… my collection of honeymoon reads. Books that I would still recommend after two years, and over 200 books read. You know, 2011 was a year of great moments: I married the best guy, I started my Disney blog and Rather Be Reading with Magan, and I also read The Hunger Games, the Jessica Darling series, and a bunch of other fantastic books. And I haven’t stopped…

Here’s hoping 2013 is filled with much more reading joy!