Well, I’m back…. we’re back, from you know, Mexico—  a honeymoon. I’m not sure where to start. The past two weeks (and maybe few months?) have felt like such a time warp. Before anything, I should start with a thank you on our big news! All the congratulatory comments, emails, tweets, and whathaveyou’s were such a nice thing to come home to and occasionally find in those rare moments of wifi. Thank you! I don’t have wedding photos (is it called a wedding, if you elope at a courthouse?)… not yet, anyway, but I can tell you in words, we’re very happy we did it. It felt right, just the two of us. No big plans and plan making, just a scheduled trip to Mexico and a “well maybe we can do it before, or there, or after?!” We obviously decided on the before. We woke up bright and early, put on our best outfits, and walked out the door with rings and umbrella in hand. We headed into the courthouse, turned in our papers, and said our vows. We picked up falafel, came back home, and boarded a plane, as a married couple, to Mexico. Simple, us, perfect. 
As you can imagine, I have a lot of pictures from our trip. I mean, we were gone for quite a while. It didn’t feel like I took a lot of pictures. Without the need of a phone and with little desire to take out a camera, I rarely took photos, but collectively, at the end of it, a fair amount popped up. So this, this is your warning, the next two weeks or so will be filled with many posts of a simple honeymoon life in Mexico. 
We arrived, picked up a rental car, and headed south. Between a tropical depression, flooding (the side walks were gone) and whatever else, we were certain we were in for an interesting vacation. Two days or so in, the rain stopped, the flooding began to clear, and the sun came out and our vacation changed.
In the past few weeks I’ve seen quite a few blog posts on different travel experiences to Tulum (beach). And it just feels or seems to me, that everyone shows the beautiful photos of the picture perfect scenes, but no one really talks about how life is a bit harder out there, and not as easy as it all seems. I mean, I do now know that Tulum can be a very different experience, and it is all what you make of it. But from the campsites, to the jungle, to the pueblo, to the bungalows, to the resorts, there are many different ways to vacation or live out there. We opted for a house, just the two of us, in the jungle. We used airbnb, which for us, seemed fitting. Neither one of us were looking for a catered resort experience, we didn’t know the area or really what to expect, but with the help of our host, Fanny, and my great sense of direction (I’m not being sarcastic here, I have an internal radar map system that kicks into high gear sometimes) we found a bit of our way. I liked having someone who knew the area, who wouldn’t just recommend where the tourist go, and more. The food on the beach of Tulum was expensive— really expensive, we were warned of this. And while we don’t regret splurging (for us) on constant dinners out, we did spend more than we would have liked to spend, but figured, maybe it was okay, and our time to splurge a little more. 
A few days into the trip Alex asked me if I would travel back to Tulum. I was a bit thrown off. I never travel with the intention of visiting the same place again. I tell myself to experience as much as I can, because who knows if I’ll ever return. And I’m always, always asking what’s next and where else can I explore. But after some thought, I said “yes, I would.” The second time around would be with Marlowe and with knowledge of how to make our time not just great, but perfect. The second time around, I doubt we would dine out maybe more than a small handful of meals, if hardly at all. We would spend more time at markets and cooking. Basically— we would live the life we want to live there and not just visit. Does that make sense? As simple as it was, we’d make it less expensive and more natural. 
We loved our quiet and undemanding time together. No internet, rarely there electricity. If you didn’t know (we didn’t), Tulum (beach) has no land lines– no source of power. If you had power, it was through solar panels or through a brought in generator. We laughed that our biggest luxury was our air-conditioned car. Our home had solar panels, but there were some problems with them, and also (of course) with no sun, there is no light. For me, the bugs were hard, very hard— this is my only and biggest complaint. The air atmosphere was similar to florida, but without the buildings and the pavement of the city, the bugs were constant in the jungle. They left Alex alone mostly, but for me, I was left with swollen welts within minutes of leaving our car. They love me, they really love me! On the other hand, we were pleasantly surprised to find the climate to be much cooler in Mexico. We woke up early, sipped water from coconuts, ate sliced mango, and drank black coffee. We spent as much of our time outside as we could, cooked a meal (always of rice, beans, avocados, and fresh tortillas) or ate out, and ended our night, in the pitch black night, with a few lit candles, sipping on tequila and lime. 
It sounds silly, but our trip, it changed things for us. We already live a simple life with little frills, but we want more— more of less. Without saying so, we could both feel the reworking happening. And now back here, in our home, we want to make different changes, together, for our family and our life. I’ve always mostly known the kind of life I want, but now more than ever, I know the only way to my real happiness is to simplify even more. Not minimalism, but simplicity. 
I hope you enjoy our photos of our time in Mexico, I’ll be keeping them behind cuts, since there are oh-so-many, and you can decide to scroll through our many, many photos or not. I’ll be posting a ton more, plus some of our own learned tips and favorite places we ate at 🙂  Thank you again, for your kind words. I’m really so pleased to have this space, to document my life and surroundings. It has been a crazy journey, but this place we’re in, it’s good and only getting better. 
And for those who asked, “married life”, it’s good, I like it. 
for more photos….

our morning routine. 

our jungle house.

the ruins of tulum. 
*some of these photos are taken on a disposable camera, some on iPhone, and some on my brother’s borrowed camera. 


  1. Were you able to charge your phone? I only ask because my iphone will be my camera. Also, what do you suggest for the bug problem? I'm going with friends on Monday and would love your suggestions! Also, which cenotes did you travel to? Ik Kil looks incredible, but it is a little far.

  2. I feel so inspired <3 thank you thank you…your photos, your words, your vision, your simplicity inspires me, "I want more..more of less" just speaks to me in so many ways, thank you.

  3. I love your comments about simplifying. Those will stay with me, yes indeed, and I agree, though I don't think I've ever really verbalized it so well. Congratulations again. I'm so happy for you!

  4. This trip looks like it was relaxing, adventurous and full of everything you needed. Love.

  5. I'm a new reader since your home was on A Beautiful Mess… but I am kind of hooked 🙂 And I just want to send great big congratulations your way!! My husband and I also decided on a very small sort of wedding, on vacation, and I wore a blue dress, and the whole thing was probably the best decision I ever made.

  6. Looks gorgeous! I'm eager to hear your trips for traveling there since we'll be there in a little under 4 months. I'm not really sure what to expect so any tips will be wonderful to read. I'm also have a feeling that once we get there, we may not want to come back. That it will change us. Which is good. But we will probably try to find away to just get Logan and the dogs sent down to us and never come back. Hahaha! 🙂 Glad you guys had a great trip!

    • I will give you many tips. and tell you where all the most delicious food is at. Where are you guys staying?

  7. Congratulations! I started reading your blog when newly married, after being a single parent to my daughter for four years, so this big step you just took is all the more significant for me. May you always have nothing but love in your lives (and good pizza too!). x

  8. Wonderful. So glad you had a lovely time, beautiful photos. Congratulations again, and wishing you every happiness.

  9. I love your blog, your stories, your pictures, your food, your home, you, Alex, sweet Marlowe .. everything is so inspiring, lovely and amazing.♥
    Kisses from Vivi

  10. It's great to see you relaxed and so certain of the things you want to change for simpler happier life. xxx

    Thank you Alex for making Drea happy.

  11. Always, always the beautiful inspiration Mrs Drea. I can't wait for more photos! Hugs.

  12. I've never thought of what you said about travel – experience it like you might not come back. I always end up passing on a few things and say "I'll do that next time," but I regret it later. That line really hit me and I think you might have changed the way I look at traveling forever. THANK YOU! My next vacation will be enjoyed as if I might never visit again.

    • Yes, never do the "next time" thing! Even if you're 100% certain you will be bad, you never know if that one think you wanted to do will still be there! <3<3<3

  13. looks like a lovely trip. I love those sorts of times spent with significant others. You get to see more of them than you do in the normal day to day.

    • yes! Especially for Alex and I. We never get to spend anytime together now with his work schedule so it was especially nice to do this together. Was a bit sad thug when we were supposed to have the next few days to us and our family and they were cut short— but next time 🙂

  14. Drea, that photo of you in the hammock (?) is absolutely positively breathtaking. And it was kind of surreal seeing the wedding band on your finger. I think, for me at least, it all became really real when i looked down at my hand and had that constant reminder.

    I am so happy for you and Alex!

    love you!