This Groom Surprised His Bride with the Mediterranean Honeymoon of a Lifetime
Leave it to a guy who works for the FBI to coordinate a top-secret trip like this! Seven months after their wedding in Oxford, Maryland, Justin Schoolmaster of Potomac, Maryland, surprised his wedding-planner wife, Cristina Calvert, with a 15-day itinerary that took them from Rome, to Marrakech, Morocco, to Santorini, Greece. The plan was so hush-hush, she didn't know where they were going until after they'd boarded their first flight—the only tip he gave her was to pack for "D.C. in April."
Cristina and Justin's Honeymoon Trip Stats
Length: 15 days.
Breakdown: Five nights in Rome, five in Marrakech, and five in Santorini.
Flight time: Nine hours from Washington, D.C., to Rome, plus a stopover in London.
Top tip: Keep a journal. "We wrote every night—about a great meal or what we did that day," Cristina says. "In 30 years, we'll look back and remember how fun it was."
Classic white bungalows carved into the cliff in Oia, on Santorini, Ikies Traditional Houses "had a friendly staff and a perfect location. It was so relaxing," Cristina says (from $500 a night). Justin agrees: "The hotel's peacefulness is hard to describe."
At cliffside Floga, in Oia, the catch of the day—white and flaky, and served simply steamed and dressed with lots of lemon juice—was "the best fish I've ever eaten," says Cristina.
Best Cultural Experience
Justin booked a cooking class at each destination; the lesson in chicken and lamb tagines at Le Riad Monceau Marrakech was a standout ($51 per class). "Morocco has Arab, Berber, Indian, French, and Spanish influences, so the food was unlike anything I'd ever imagined," he says. While in Marrakech, they also browsed souks, like the one pictured.
Toast With the Most
"On our last night in Rome, we bought a bottle of wine from a market and drank it on the grounds of the beautiful Villa Borghese," says Cristina. "It was the perfect way to end that part of the trip."
"Baggage allowances are smaller on European flights than in the U.S.," says Cristina. She packed light, and her gallant husband left books and shoes behind to accommodate their new purchases, including a silk shawl, wine from Santorini, and a Moroccan tea set (pictured).
Share Your Honeymoon
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