Spicy Cherry Thursday Rundown

Welcome back to Don’t Blink. You have returned just in time for the latest edition of the Thursday Rundown. Here we go…

Pibb Xtra – I tweeted about this last week but wanted to mention it on my blog. Although not a big soda fan, I do enjoy a glass of Dr. Pepper or Pibb Xtra every now and then. However, all my life I never really knew it had a flavor that could be defined. Last week when we purchased this two liter bottle of Pibb Xtra, it had a description on the label. It reads “artificially flavored spicy cherry soda.” Interesting! To be honest, I never knew I was drinking cherry soda. I just thought it tasted like Pibb Xtra or Dr. Pepper.

I just thought Pibb Xtra was "Pibb Xtra" and not spicy cherry.

I just thought Pibb Xtra was “Pibb Xtra” and not spicy cherry.

Convention Season – This week I have watched with interest the Republican National Convention. Next week I will do the same with the Democratic National Convention. How can you not? These major gatherings only happen every four years. They are full of pomp and circumstance but also contain fiery speeches and drama as well. My favorite part so far was watching the delegate vote on Tuesday night. To watch the different states cast their respective votes in their own colorful way was a lot of fun. Donald Trump’s speech tonight should be very interesting! You bet I will be watching.

RIP Garry Marshall – Yesterday, legendary director Garry Marshall died. His most popular project was “Happy Days.” If there was one show I watched on Nick At Nite more than any other growing up, it was “Happy Days.” As a kid I looked up to sports stars, Slyvester Stallone, and FONZIE. I enjoyed the whole cast but “The Fonz” was my favorite. Heck, one of the major reasons why I like “The Waterboy” so much is because Henry Winkler is in it. Thank you Garry Marshall for creating such a great show and a great character.

Latest Coastal Now Episode – We recently released our latest episode of our university television show, Coastal Now. I once again have my own segment on it. At a university there are many more social media accounts besides the official/main options. In this edition of the “Social Circle” I rundown some of the most popular social media accounts at Coastal Carolina University. Watch me by clicking here.

I talk about the other social media accounts at Coastal Carolina University in my latest Social Circle segment.

I talk about the other social media accounts at Coastal Carolina University in my latest Social Circle segment.

From the Archives – Two years ago on this date I wrote about a bar promotion that I thought was the best I had ever seen. Well, 24 months later, I can say that I still haven’t found a better one. The Sun-Up is an old, run down bar in a rough part of Myrtle Beach but they know how to get people in the door. Is that a good enough teaser? Read my blog post from July 2014 to find out what they exactly do.

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Wherever you live, I hope you have another great summer weekend. Thanks for your support of this blog. Don’t Blink.

Our Household Differences

After six weeks of blissful marriage, I find myself wondering how I managed as a bachelor when I wasn’t living with Sidney. Having her by my side when I wake up in the morning and coming home to her each day is an incredible feeling.

When the two of us went through Pre-Cana, we were counseled in the reality that once we started living with each other we would discover differences in how we do things around the house. Our sponsor couple taught us to not let these differences be points of contention but rather opportunities to understand each other better.

Well, Sid and I can vouch for the lesson we learned above on both counts. We do sometimes operate in different ways around the house but they never divide us. In fact, they make us laugh more than anything. And, I must admit, for the most part, her methods are much more superior to mine! So, in an effort to write a lighthearted blog post, I present to you the ten ways in which Sidney and I do things differently around our home.

Her: Separates whites and colors. Does laundry with care.
Him: Throws everything into the washing machine and starts it up.
I never knew what a white shirt actually looked like until Sidney showed me.

Her: Watches reality TV and celebrity gossip.
Him: Watches sports and CNN.
Our TV screen might not be big enough for Kim Kardashian AND Lebron James

Her: Premium toilet paper only.
Him: Buys the cheapest TP he can find.
Sidney has helped me see the light on this one.

Her: Washes all silverware and clothes after use.
Him: If he only used a knife for peanut butter or didn’t sweat in it, it might be re-used.
Just doing my small part to help the environment.

Her: Prefers blinds that block out all light in the bedroom.
Him: Likes to be woken up by natural sunlight in the mornings.
Come on, who doesn’t like being awakened at 6 a.m. on the weekend?

Her: Sleeps with several fluffy pillows
Him: Only uses one standard pillow.
Less is more.

Her: Likes to eat dinner with the TV on.
Him: Prefers to eat with no background noise.
With the TV on, I can’t hear myself chew.

Her: Making the bed in the morning is not mandatory.
Him: Conditioned to make bed the second he gets out of it.
It is my OCD.

Her: Keeps bread in the pantry.
Him: Keeps bread in the refrigerator.
Could be an urban legend but I heard it keeps it fresher longer.

Her: Re-arranges furniture.
Him: If it was up to him, would keep the same arrangement for the rest of the marriage.
If it isn’t broke don’t fix it, right?

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More than anything, these differences are fun to us. They enable us to talk about how we were raised and help us to learn even more about each other. But man, let me tell you, Sidney really was right on paying a little extra for the toilet paper. Don’t Blink.

The Last #SidAndBrent Wedding/Honeymoon Post

I want to start this blog post by saying thank you for your patience. One month ago today, I wrote my first post after a two week hiatus from Don’t Blink. Most of you excused my absence, noting that getting married and going on a honeymoon are significant life events. Because those events made such an impact on me and kept me away from this blog for so long, I had a lot to write about when I returned.

Since June 19, I have written 20 blog posts. Out of those entries, 14 of them centered on wedding activities or our honeymoon. The six non-related blog posts? They were either about Coastal baseball, Pokemon Go, or it was a Thursday Rundown.

This is the last wedding/honeymoon focused post you will read for the near future.

This is the last wedding/honeymoon focused post you will read for the time being.

Although I am sure I will write about wedding and honeymoon events in the future, the focus on #SidAndBrent will not be as prominent going forward. I am sure Sidney will welcome this as she was starting to wonder how far I was going to stretch everything.

But as a final curtain call to the best two weeks ever as chronicled in this blog, I do want to lay out the posts I wrote pertaining to our wedding activities and honeymoon below. Thank you all for reading my blog over the past month and for showing genuine interest during this very special time in our lives. Don’t Blink.

Back As a Married Man
Weddings Are About Family
Inside Our Rehearsal Dinner
The #SidAndBrent Wedding
My Wedding Week Thursday Rundown
The Reception
Our Mexican Honeymoon
Swimming With the Dolphins
Finding My Husband (blog takeover written by Sidney)
Our Memorable Photo Shoot in Cancun
Coco Bongo
An Awful Travel Dilemma
My Top Ten Photos From Our Wedding Day
Our Wedding Photo Memes

Our Wedding Photo Memes

Before putting the wedding photos to rest on this blog, I wanted to have a little fun. When Sidney and I sat down and looked through the images together, we noticed something on the lighter side. As we scrolled through the over 600 photos, we laughed and commented on how some of them would be perfect for memes! So, tonight, I bring our observation to reality. Here are five memes from the photography of Nicholas Gore Weddings.

This is Sidney walking down the aisle to her groom. No doubt the color of the dresses caught her eye…

Excuse me for being a little cocky, but I think I caught her eye as well.

Excuse me for being a little cocky, but I think I caught her eye as well.

After the group photos were taken at the reception, I shared a quick chat with my parents…

Don't worry, no cake was ever shoved in anyone's face. And let me save his reputation...my dad never suggested it.

Don’t worry, no cake was ever shoved in anyone’s face. And let me save his reputation…my dad never suggested it.

The bridal toast is always a time to be happy and to reflect…

This meme was actually written by Sid.

This meme was actually written by Sid.

The groom must have his moment of glory…

Telling myself not to screw it up the entire night before obviously paid off.

Telling myself not to screw it up the entire night before obviously paid off.

If only they knew…

This is a truthful meme. Sid handed off the bouquet to her sister.

This is a truthful meme. Sid handed off the bouquet to her sister.

Okay, I had to add one bonus meme in because this one of Sidney’s sisters is too good not to use.

We can only hope they get Sid's good looks!

We can only hope they get Sid’s good looks!

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Thanks for sharing a laugh with Sidney and I. Remember, it is always fun to turn your professional, beautiful photos into memes! Don’t Blink.

My Top Ten Photos From Our Wedding Day

When we received our wedding pictures back, it was a little overwhelming. Hundreds of photos and hundreds of memories were suddenly under our noses. We took our time looking through them, taking a break, looking through them again, taking a break, etc.

I am now at the point where I am well-acquainted with the beautiful work that Nicholas Gore Weddings took on our special day. For today’s blog post, I thought I would highlight my top ten favorite photos from June 11, 2016. Please keep in mind that I didn’t pick out the top photos that a photographer probably would if he/she scanned the album. Rather, I just picked the ones that I enjoyed and that meant something to me. So, in my best attempt to go in chronological order, here are my ten favorites.

Behind the Scenes – Our photographer went to the house of my sister-in-law prior to the wedding to capture Sidney and her bridesmaids getting ready. This photo of Sidney with her robe still on but her hair and makeup done really shows the excitement of what is about to come. I love the behind the scenes aspect of it too.

Sidney getting ready for the big day to come (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

Sidney getting ready for the big day to come (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

Sid and Her Mom – This photo is cool just because it is the point of no return. Sid is getting in the car to go to the church. With her mom helping her, it is both a sweet and serious photo.

My mother-in-law, Brenda, helps her daughter into the car to go to the church (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

My mother-in-law, Brenda, helps her daughter into the car to go to the church (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

We Did It!! – The look of joy and relief on our faces as we walk up the aisle after our ceremony says a lot. This is one of my very favorite photos that Nick took.

Now that looks like one very happy couple! (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

Now that looks like one very happy couple! (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

Making It Legal – After the ceremony ended and we embraced our family, we went back to the altar where we signed our marriage certificate. This shot is meaningful because it shows Sidney and I with the man who married us, Father James LeBlanc.

Fr. James LeBlanc, pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Myrtle Beach, looks on as we sign our marriage certificate (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

Fr. James LeBlanc, pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Myrtle Beach, looks on as we sign our marriage certificate (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

The Wedding Party – How can’t the wedding party photo be one of my favorites? You might have seen it on my Facebook page yesterday but here it is again. Not a bad looking group, right?

This was our wedding party (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

This was our wedding party (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

A Picture Says a Thousand Words – In an earlier blog post I featured a photo showing the profiles of both Sid and I during our first dance. However, this one focused on Sidney just expresses so much more. All you need to do is look at Sid’s eyes to learn everything you need to about the photo. And even though the picture is of the back of my head, you can still see that I am smiling.

No caption needed for this one (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

No caption needed for this one (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

Reaction Shot – This photo captures a special moment as it was when my brother was giving the best man’s toast. We loved it how Nick scanned down the whole head table and focused in on the reactions of Sidney and I.

When Glen delivered the best man toast, the camera focused on the reactions of Sidney and I (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

When Glen delivered the best man toast, the camera focused on the reactions of Sidney and I (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

It’s All About the Kids – The Coin Dance is an Italian tradition where reception attendees throw coins on the floor while the bride and groom dance. Not only is it a lot of fun, but it also produces the best photos. I love this shot of Sidney and I laughing while the kids scramble to pick up coins. Coin Dance photos serve as the best historical record because they manage to capture most of the kids at the wedding. About 20 years from now this photo will be a lot of fun.

Kids get on hands and knees to pick up money during the Coin Dance (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

Kids get on hands and knees to pick up money during the Coin Dance (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

Cutting the Cake – I really enjoy this artistic, vivid photo. The way Sidney gently guides my hands as we cut the cake is captured perfectly.

Sid's hands guiding mine as we cut the cake (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

Sid’s hands guiding mine as we cut the cake (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

The Moment Before – This image was taken the second before Sidney threw the bouquet. You can really see the contemplation running through her head. The fact that she looks absolutely beautiful in it makes the photo even better.

Sidney getting ready to throw the bouquet (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

Sidney getting ready to throw the bouquet (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

Additional Special Moments…

The Ceremony – Fr. LeBlanc officiated a great wedding. The images below are a couple of my favorite from the ceremony.

Some shots from the ceremony, including our glamour shot up at the altar.

Some shots from the ceremony, including our glamour shot up at the altar.

The Little People We Love – Nick made sure to get some awesome photos of our nieces and nephew. On the left is my sister’s little girl, Mikayla. On the right is Harrison, the son of my sister-in-law, Stephanie.

Great shots of Mikayla and Harrison.

Great shots of Mikayla and Harrison.

Embracing Russell – Not forgetting our other niece, Sidney and I each shared special hugs with Russell (Stephanie’s daughter) after the wedding.

Sharing a moment with our niece, Russell.

Sharing a moment with our niece, Russell.

Family Is Everything – After both of us said “I Do,” we officially became parts of new families. On the left I am with the Mathis Family and on the right Sidney is with the Reser Family.

Sidney and I with our new families.

Sidney and I with our new families.

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Thanks again to Nicholas Gore Weddings for doing such a great job. We will cherish these images forever. Don’t Blink.

Middle of Summer Thursday Rundown

It is the middle of July and that means we are in the heart of summer. I absolutely love this time of the year! Here I go with the latest edition of the Thursday Rundown…

Eating Good – One of the best parts about marriage is the food! Sidney has made me some incredible meals since we tied the knot. This week alone we have feasted on some terrific dinners. On Monday, we celebrated our one month wedding anniversary with delicious steaks. The meat was very flavorful and the homemade mashed potatoes she made from scratch would make Paula Deen envious. On Tuesday, she used inspiration from another recipe to create her own sausage pasta. Doesn’t it look pretty? The dish tasted even better yesterday when we ate it for leftovers!

Steak one night, sausage pasta the next.

Steak one night, sausage pasta the next.

Taco Time – A popular Mexican fast food restaurant in the northwest is Taco Time. This particular location below is a restaurant in Spokane. My brother sent me a snap of the marquee a couple days ago. With the Pokemon Go craze dominating the interest of our country right now, I thought the sign was pretty funny.

I enjoyed this message on the sign of a Taco Time restaurant in Spokane.

I enjoyed this message on the sign of a Taco Time restaurant in Spokane.

Movies – Over this past weekend, I saw two movies. The first one I watched was “Free State of Jones.” The film stars Matthew McConaughey and tells the story of southern defectors who fought against the Confederacy during the Civil War. It was interesting and the scenery in the film was beautiful. But what really stuck with me was the superb acting performance from McConaughey. It was worth the admission.

I also saw “The Purge: Election Year.” I went by myself to this one as Sidney is not into that type of stuff. I got pretty much what I went there to see: chilling and sadistic images of purgers. Tough to explain but I just like seeing the twisted costumes they wear and the way the producers highlight them for optimal “creep out” impact. Each film in the series sheds more and more commentary on the structure of society, with this latest movie doing it to a high degree. I was entertained by “The Purge: Election Year” but if given the choice, go see “Free State of Jones” first.

I enjoyed both "Free State of Jones" and "The Purge: Election Year."

I enjoyed both “Free State of Jones” and “The Purge: Election Year.”

Trump’s Vice President Pick – First off, I was completely wrong when I predicted two months ago that Donald Trump would pick John Kasich as his running mate. Then, this week, my gut told me that Trump would probably select Newt Gingrich as his second-in-command. But with credible news agencies saying he is going with Indiana Governor Mike Pence it looks like I have no idea what I am talking about. To be honest, out of the finalists announced this week, I was hoping Trump would give the nod to Chris Christie (although I truly thought he was going to select Gingrich). That pair just seemed more entertaining to me.

Distinguishing Between Reality TV Shows – Before I met Sidney, I did not watch reality TV. Now I watch every episode of “Big Brother.” This isn’t by force either; I enjoy “Big Brother” and look forward to it. However, most of my reality show watching ends there. A co-worker asked me today if I watch the other shows that Sid watches. I answered no. The reason why I can watch “Big Brother” and not programs such as Real Housewives of whatever and “The Kardashians” is simple: I can relate to “Big Brother.” I see myself and I see others I know in the people on the show. There is strategy and there is a point. With the other shows, I don’t see anything familiar or real. I can’t bear to watch.

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It was a good week of blogging, I hope you all enjoyed. I will catch up with you on Sunday. Have a great weekend. Don’t Blink.

My Thoughts on Pokémon Go

I feel like I have dropped the ball by taking so long to write about Pokémon Go. Although the game has only been out for six days it almost seems like it has been out for six months. The coverage, enthusiasm, and obsession with the game has far surpassed what most would seem possible for a time period of under a week.

But here we are. Our country is caught up in Pokémon Go Mania. What do I think about it? Just give me a paragraph or two before answering that.

For the past four days, I did all I could to research and learn the game. I read forums, watched media reports, and tested the game out myself through trial and error. After a day or two of that, I changed my approach and did something else: I talked to college students.

Working on a university campus gives me access to bright minds who eat, drink, and sleep with the latest trends…Pokémon Go included. After picking the brains of students, a lot of my questions were answered and I felt I could somewhat navigate the game.

The crash course led me to creating some content surrounding Pokémon Go here at Coastal Carolina. It also made me feel confident enough to speak about the game to the media this morning. Furthermore, it provided me with the basics to actually play the game with a decent understanding of what I was doing.

With this said, I must let it be known that I am not crazy about Pokémon Go. I have absolutely nothing against it at all, I just don’t find it that fun. To me, the game is too slow. It bores me. I don’t get too excited about the “augmented reality” component either. When a Pokémon appears and the camera flips on, it doesn’t look cool or high tech to me. Rather, it just looks like a piece of clip art against the backdrop of the road I am on.

But what I do like about Pokémon Go is the excitement it has created. I like the joy it has brought to so many people. Even though I might not particularly care for the game, I had a great time walking with Sidney around the neighborhood yesterday as we both tried to “catch them all.” I find it cool that Pokémon Go is something that everyone knows about and that it actually fosters social interaction and physical activity. And, to be completely honest, I also like the game’s music (just ask Sidney, when I play I must have the sound on).

So I am not a big time Pokémon Go player by any means. I could live without it. But I do admire the stir it has caused and I look forward to see where the app stands a week from now. Don’t Blink.

An Awful Travel Dilemma

If you have read my previous blog posts, you know our honeymoon was perfect. However, the travel back and forth was not. For our transportation to and from Mexico, we flew on an airline we had never used before. We will never use them again.

I will refrain from using the airline’s name in this post because I want to be fair. My blog is not about bashing companies and discouraging potential customers. Furthermore, this particular post isn’t really about an airline but rather about the dilemma we faced. So at this point I am going to forget about all the other problems we faced flying with this particular airline and focus just on the big question.

We flew from Cancun to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This was to be our only layover as we just had to switch planes and then coast through the short flight to Myrtle Beach. We were to get home early Saturday evening. After a packed two weeks, I was going to have a night of restful sleep in my own bed and then a whole Sunday to relax and recharge before I was to return to work on Monday.

To make a long story short, there was a major communication meltdown with our particular airline at the Fort Lauderdale airport. The confusion on the part of the airline staff led to us narrowly missing our flight. It was disappointing news to us but we assumed this particular company would make things right or at least try to soften the blow a little bit.

Fat chance.

The lady at the front desk and her manager both told us the only way we were getting back to Myrtle Beach without driving or walking was if we spent the night in Fort Lauderdale and left the next day…

…at 9 p.m. in the evening!!

We were given no hotel vouchers, no food money, no ground transportation, no alternative options, and absolutely no sympathy.

Sidney and I, both dejected, walked away from the line of angry travelers and sat up against a wall. After some thinking and a “Get Home Before Sunday At 10 p.m. Attitude,” my wife approached the airline desk again and made sure to talk to someone new. Sid told this representative that we would pretty much do anything to get home at a reasonable time.

With the word “anything” driving the staff member’s thought process, she went to work on her computer. After about ten minutes she did something that her co-workers could not; she found us, although not perfect by any means, a solution.

If we were up to it, we could criss-cross the northern United States (we were in Florida at the time) and fly back south to make it home by midday on Sunday. The route? We would go from Fort Lauderdale to Chicago to New York to Myrtle Beach. And we had to hurry up and make our decision because our flight from Florida to Illinois was leaving soon!

We weighed the pros and cons of each option. Neither of us were too keen on hanging out at the Fort Lauderdale Airport all night and all day Sunday. Thus, if we were going to stick around we would be renting a hotel room and finding something to do around town the next day (all at our expense). Going on the cross country tour of the eastern part of the United States would be taxing. Would it really be worth saving roughly $200 and five hours?

In the end we decided that it was! By the time we had made our decision we had to run to the gate to get on our plane to Chicago. When we arrived at O’Hare International Airport in the wee hours of the morning the place was empty. We went to the gate we would depart from in the next several hours and I found a place on the floor and Sid sprawled across a few chairs. Sweet dreams.

We woke up around 4:30 a.m. to the sound of airport activity. I got us some breakfast and we waited to board our 5:30 a.m. flight to New York. We flew into the JV airport of the city, La Guardia. After a long layover of twiddling our thumbs and trying to sleep, we finally boarded the plane that would take us home. When we touched down in Myrtle Beach, we were so happy to see the smiling faces of Sidney’s parents.

So what I want to ask is this: Would you have made the same decision we did? Or would you have shelled out a little bit of cash, enjoyed a good night’s sleep, and flowninto town late on Sunday? Sidney and I both look forward to your responses. Don’t Blink.

Coco Bongo

I am not a big club guy. I don’t (can’t) dance. I don’t particularly even like loud music at the bar. The whole idea of “going hard” late into the night while the beat bumps doesn’t intrigue me that much. So, normally, I pass on the high cover charges and the VIP velvet ropes.

However, while on our honeymoon we made one exception.

Early on during our stay in Cancun we met a couple of fellow honeymooners at the pool. We hit it off with them right away as they were our age and the girl was even a second grade teacher just like Sid. While in the pool, a couple of young guys promoting a club called Coco Bongo came around. Our new friends had heard of the particular venue and were all about going. They tried to persuade us to go but we passed at that particular moment.

The next day I texted the husband and asked how their experience at Coco Bongo was. He replied with this: AMAZING. I RECOMMEND TO ANYONE.”

I trusted this couple and thought it might be worth it to give the place a try. The next day, Sid and I went to downtown Cancun. While we were hitting up the shops and flea market, we saw the Coco Bongo venue. It looked spectacular as the exterior was uniquely decorated with a large Spiderman sculpture dominating the entrance. Signs from a CNN news story headline saying that Coco Bongo “Puts Las Vegas Nightlife to Shame” were in full view.

This is Coco Bongo from the outside (photo credit to http://totaltravelblog.co.uk).

This is Coco Bongo from the outside (photo credit to http://totaltravelblog.co.uk).

I went up to one of the several guys out front selling tickets. After a short discussion, I bit the bullet and purchased $70 passes for Sidney and myself. To celebrate, the guy bought us a round of drinks and presented us a gift bag with t-shirts. Sid and I suddenly had big plans for the evening!

Later that night we ventured back out to downtown Cancun. When we arrived at Coco Bongo, it was a chaotic scene outside. Lines of people went in several directions, traffic was heavy, and about 20 Spiderman and Beetlejuice impersonators were working the crowds trying to get club goers to take photos with them. We found a line that matched our wrist band we had purchased and were quickly ushered inside.

Okay, at this point I should explain what Coco Bongo is all about. The concept of this place can be summed up as follows: live concert meets Cirque de Soleil meets the coolest club you could ever imagine. High quality celebrity impersonators and acrobats/performers put on a spectacular show while you dance, drink, and enjoy yourself.

I only took a couple photos when we were in Coco Bongo and they are all grainy. However, this is one of Sid and I. The club was insane.

I only took a couple photos when we were in Coco Bongo and they are all grainy. However, this is one of Sid and I. The club was insane.

When we got inside, we were taken through a maze. We didn’t know what direction we were going other than we were ascending up. At every corner they had shots and drinks that you could just grab. After maneuvering through the maze and security, we went through one final door and into the club which was actually more of an arena. Before we could really register the spectacle that was surrounding us, security took the two of us and escorted Sid and I right up front to where an elevated stage was. Underneath the stage at eye level with us was a bar. Directly behind us a few feet was another stage. People surrounded us pretty much shoulder to shoulder and two levels of seats ran around the outside of the area. All the seats were packed and all those people were looking down at us.

It didn’t take me long to figure out this was a type of club I had only seen in the movies. Confetti blasted out constantly from large tubes elevated above us. Balloons were dropped. Cold air was released upon us. Bubbles appeared. It was absolutely wild.

Coco Bongo had Cirque du Soleil type performers who would do their thing right in the middle of everything.

Coco Bongo had Cirque du Soleil type performers who would do their thing right in the middle of everything.

It was an open bar and because of the package we had purchased, it was easy and painless to get a drink. Combine that with the fact that the bar was only a few feet away from us and you probably get the idea that we never went thirsty.

But the awesome club atmosphere and the free drinks couldn’t hold a candle to the best part: the entertainment!

We watched front row as acts such as Queen, Bruno Mars, Moulin Rouge (Lil’ Kim, Mya, Pink, Christina Aguliera), LMFAO and Madonna put on fun and energetic performances. In between acts, they would play the best dance mix ever while projecting the music videos for each song on their giant, crystal clear video board. Often the music videos would cut out and a live stream of the crowd would cut in. They would zoom in on different people and it was just pure fun.

I took this photo after Sid and I took bathroom breaks. This was towards the end of our night when LMFAO was on stage.

I took this photo after Sid and I took bathroom breaks. This was towards the end of our night when LMFAO was on stage.

But they had more than just singers. They had Beetlejuice and a mini Beetlejuice do a number. They had a couple of Cirque de Soleil inspired acts where performers would take over the stage behind us and do crazy things on ropes and bars. In one incredible instance, they had a Tron act where probably 30 actors in full robot gear came out and dazzled. They had people on stilts, they had people in masks. It was nuts.

For a guy who doesn’t like clubs, I enjoyed myself for almost four hours that night. I (tried to) dance and had a great time with my wife. I could tell just by looking at her that she was having the time of her life and that made my time in Coco Bongo even better.

As we reached that four hour mark we both looked at each other and knew that it was probably time to go. The party would go on well past 3 a.m. but leaving at 1 a.m. was just fine with us. We were let out and took an elevator back to the chaotic downtown Cancun reality. We jumped in a cab and went back to our resort with the memories of a truly great club experience. Don’t Blink.

Our Memorable Photo Shoot in Cancun

Sidney and I wanted to bring back something from Cancun that would always remind us of our honeymoon. Of course we could have purchased one of the million items from the flea market but those souvenirs have a way of getting lost. Rather, we wanted to almost freeze a moment in time. We wanted to have something that would take us right back to the white sandy beach and the turquoise water.

We wanted to forever remember our honeymoon.

We wanted to forever remember our honeymoon.

In our hotel lobby was a kiosk operated by a company called DreamArt Photography. Early on in our honeymoon, I asked the lady working at the kiosk what time it was (we didn’t carry our phones around). She pleasantly told me the time but while I stood there my eyes caught the large monitor displaying rotating photos of happy couples. The pictures weren’t like anything I had ever seen. Each image contained so much detail, so much personality, so much emotion. Best of all, the photos were set against the backdrop of the beautiful beach at the resort we were staying at, Sun Palace.

DreamArt Photography is a company that takes candid photos of couples in tropical locations.

DreamArt Photography is a company that takes candid photos of couples in tropical locations.

For a second I turned away from the kiosk and started walking back to the elevator but then I went back to the desk and talked to the woman about the photos. She told me how DreamArt Photography worked and explained rates and availability with me. I knew if Sidney and I took time out of our vacation to do a photo shoot, we wouldn’t regret it.

I knew the photos I saw of other happy couples would morph into photos like this if we went through with our own photo shoot with DreamArt Photography.

I knew the photos I saw of other happy couples would morph into photos like this if we went through with our own photo shoot with DreamArt Photography.

I pitched the idea to Sidney a day later. I was sensitive to the fact that she probably wouldn’t want to waste precious morning time to be in front of a camera while people on the beach stared at us. But she was totally down for it! The two of us knew this would be that special keepsake from our honeymoon that we would always cherish. Also, like I said, we didn’t have our phones with us much of the trip so we didn’t have many of our own photos from our time in Cancun. This would fill that void.

We wanted something that would remind us of beautiful Cancun.

We wanted something that would remind us of beautiful Cancun.

We scheduled our session on Thursday of our honeymoon week. On Friday morning we were the stars of a photo shoot! DreamArt Photography contracts out superb independent photographers. The day of our session we met ours. When we met her, she sat us down in the hotel lobby and gave us a quick pep talk. In her thick accent, the photographer told us that we would work together to create great shots. She told us the effort we put in would be the direct result of the final product.

In order for our photo shoot to be successful we were going to have to work hard and have fun.

In order for our photo shoot to be successful we were going to have to work hard and have fun.

We started by taking photos in casual clothes around the resort. We went on staircases, patios, and balconies. We even posed on the hotel floor itself. I guess I shouldn’t even use the word “pose.” Our photographer was strictly against anything that was posed. Rather, she would just have us interact. For example, for the floor shot she just told us to get comfortable and then she directed me to “whisper something sweet into your wife’s ear.”

This was one of our photos on the floor.

This was one of our photos on the floor.

After we did our more formal shots around the resort, it was time to hit the beach. Sidney and I changed outfits and then we walked out on the sand with our photographer. This was where the real work of the shoot took place. Our photographer had us running back and forth along the shore. She had us kicking sand. She had us splashing water at each other. She had us doing all of this over and over. One particular point that sticks out to me was when I picked up Sidney and spun her around…about 8 different times. I was so incredibly dizzy that I thought I would pass out.

I was so dizzy after we perfected this shot. However, I love how it turned out.

I was so dizzy after we perfected this shot. However, I love how it turned out.

By the time our shoot was over we were ready for drinks! We had given 100% but our photographer probably gave 110%. While we were in comfortable beach clothes she was not. She worked extremely hard to get all the shots that she thought we would be happy with. As we walked off the beach, she told us she took over 1,000 photos of us.

These piggy back photos were some of our favorites that she took.

These piggy back photos were some of our favorites that she took.

The next morning was when we got to view our photos. We went back to the kiosk where our photographer arrived to give the files to the lady working the kiosk. Sidney and I then sat down as the lady played the images for us on the monitor. It was such a cool experience! The photographer had narrowed her work down to about 100 photos or so and most of them looked great. We had just never really seen photographs of us like that before. After we went through all the images, the DreamArt employee went through a couple rounds with us to narrow it down to 12-13 images that we would actually purchase. We made our cuts and by the time we were headed to the airport later that day, we had a true reminder of our honeymoon bliss contained right on a flash drive.

The photos look absolutely effortless. But believe us, there was plenty of effort poured in.

The photos look absolutely effortless. But believe us, there was plenty of effort poured in.

I would 100% recommend DreamArt Photography or other similar companies that set up shop at resorts in tropical locations. You truly get amazing work. Not only that, but I believe it is the best way to take advantage of the beautiful area you are in, an area which you probably won’t visit too many other times in the future. We wanted to cement Cancun in our hearts forever, and these photos will help us do that. Don’t Blink.