Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Maybe it's because we started planning too early, but we've had plenty of time to second-guess the numerous plans we made during this two-year engagement.

We were so pleased and proud to have chosen Portugal as our honeymoon destination. An unusual choice, romatic, culinary, with fine weather in October. Unfortunately, the high price of oil and the low value of the dollar have caused us some trouble - especially as our wedding budget has ballooned.

We started revisiting an earlier idea - not fully developed at the time - and now we may have struck upon an even better honeymoon plan: Mendocino County, California.

Below, a full table of comparison between the two options . . .

Category: Itinerary
Mendocino: Mostly relaxing with periodic bouts of adventure, interspersed with great wine and spa treatments. A+
Portugal: Mostly sightseeing with periodic feasts of succulent pork, interspersed with driving and struggling with language. A-

Category: Accomodations
Mendocino: Posh spa resorts on the oceanfront. A+
Portugal: B&Bs and affordable "boutique" hotels. B

Category: Activities
Mendocino: Abalone hunting, mushroom foraging, wine tasting, hiking among redwoods. Did I mention spa treatments? A+
Portugal: Churches, castles, wine tasting. A

Category: Beaches
Mendocino: Breathtaking, but cold and rugged. B+
Portugal: Warm, sandy, and relaxing. A

Category: Food
Mendocino: Locally grown cuisine at the height of harvest season, fresh seafood including famous Tomales Bay oysters. A+
Portugal: Salt cod and suckling pigs. Not for everyone, but for us it's A+.

Category: Currency
Mendocino: $1 = $1. B
1 = $1.57. D

Category: Airfare
Mendocino: $300 (economy), $1,150 (first). A
Lisbon: $900 (economy), $5,000 (first). C

Category: Weather
Mendocino: Mild to cool, with regular fog and rain. C
Portugal: Mild to warm, with periodic fog and rain. B

Category: Homophobia
Mendocino: Nonexistent. A+
Portugal: Low in cities, high in the country. B-

Although Mendocino is the clear winner on these merits, it'll never be Europe. And Europe has such a unique appeal for the honeymooner, in particular. What do you think? Do we save Portugal for another day, when the recession is passed and the world has regained its confidence in the U.S. of A?


words and steel said...

this is hard. i know what you mean about the budget crunch. my dreams of Southeast Asia or South America for the honeymoon are basically crushed at this point, and we'll be doing a short weekend in the Pacific Northwest (probably) until we save more money and the dollar is doing better.

but Portugal was such an amazing trip, really one of the best I've taken. I'm frankly not impressed by Mendocino County, but maybe because I'm generally not impressed by most of CA now that I live here ;) If you can make Portugal work (perhaps by cutting out some of the driving, staying in one or two places for a bit longer?), it really is worth it.

I'm sure no matter where you two go, it will be lovely!

Beth Bailly said...

Do Mendocino! Wine country honeymoons are the way to go. Believe me, I know! Portugal's not going anywhere (i hope) and besides the honeymoon is not for sight seeing (of the church variety anyway) ;)

Meredith said...

How long are you going for?
Mendocino sounds right for 5 days, but not more...based on our weekend trip there, at least.