A bullet-point'esque summary of our wedding-funded honeymoon: the recently completed journey through Amazonian rainforests, Pacific coastal regions, and Andean highlands of Peru, along with time spent traveling swiftly through Earth's atmosphere ... in aisle seats:
Crossing paths with a beautiful mix of open-minded like hearts from fifteen different countries in a shared eight-day retreat in the jungle, each possessing the most sincere intention to learn, grow, and heal; undertaking work of a rather profound and serious nature in a context that was all love; establishing wonderful new friendships; having four ayahuasca ceremonies; one bobinsana ceremony; seeing real shamanism at work; monkeys; monkeys stealing gum and any other loose or improperly guarded personal items; watching Trish wear a twelve-foot anaconda like a shawl (picture forthcoming); tropical birds and smiling sloths; gaining total admiration watching Trish in the face of a truly massive disappointment marshal her will in the resolve to learn, grow, and make the best of an experience during the retreat; collective vomiting; an eight-day diet of no salt/oils/sugar and meat other than fish; driving through streets filled almost exclusively with motorized rickshaws; open-air bungalows; the fucking AMAZON RIVER!; stargazing into the night sky of the southern hemisphere on a concrete platform built upon a hilltop for just that purpose - seeing the Milky Way, the Southern Cross constellation, and an exploding meteor that traced across the sky with the brightness of a welder's torch before exploding; the shits - four straight days of the shits (also explosive);
...seeing yet more examples of the grassroots awakening happening around the planet; discovering the second instance of an organization and a work of similar strength, depth, and purity to the one whose lights called me to Louisville eleven years ago; witnessing mastery of craft; coca leaves and coca tea (non-narcotic at that level); briefly meeting with three indigenous tribes and exchanging t-shirts; Trish seriously getting hit on by the leader of the Bora tribe who invited her back to his "maloca"; freezing early morning flower baths; boobs - a la National Geographic style; opening to a possible future potential of my own path, not related to boobs, though;
...flying - lots of flying: Chicago, Lima, Iquitos, Lima, Cusco, Lima, Bogota, San Salvador, Chicago; time spent in Lima's posh Miraflores neighborhood; buffets for days; avoiding guinea pig on the menu; not flushing used toilet paper; free-roaming cats and dogs, including a city park with cats in trees, cats on benches, cats playing the guitar; dinner on a Pacific Ocean cliffside; meeting L/L's Spanish translator who happened to be in Peru on visit from Spain at the same time; mapacho; Incan (or perhaps ancient pre-Incan) ruins, including: Temple of the Sun, Tambomachay, Saqsayhuaman, Moray, Ollantaytambo, and Pisac; the Sacred Valley, so-called; the Urumbamba River running through said valley eventually emptying into the Amazon River; the salt mines of Moras;
...communicating with twenty or less Spanish words; repeating a mantra of "no gracias" to street vendors and fishers of men attempting to lure us into their respective restaurants; contemplating a human past that has more mystery than most might imagine; a struggle to the death with a bird-sized wasp-looking creature (spoiler: it lost); hiking up and down the steepest possible incline at Hyauna Picchu in the clouds and the rain; rough (by our comfort-inclined standards) hostels; soliciting police for assistance with my lost cell phone after a night of stress-laden anxiety; succeeding and bear-hugging said policeman with elation afterward;
...a random street artist appearing who, having overheard our conversation, endeavored to guide us to necessary component for chewing coca leaves; trusting said street artist; markets all day; adjusting to reduced-oxygen altitudes of 11,000+ feet; a drink at the world's highest 100% Irish-owned bar; an actual chocolate museum + gobs of free heavenly samples; not knowing what Peruvian music sounds like owing to hearing 80's pop music everywhere; chance re-encounters with newly made friends and acquaintances; hiking to the Sun Gate; spending 22,685 Columbian Pesos on chocolate!, that is to say, ten US dollars; splurging on an alpaca poncho at the Lima airport that will never have actual occasion to wear at home; listening to an Adele album five times over at a cafe at the same airport; wrapping our luggage in lime-green cellophane to protect its layover in Columbia;
...walking the cobblestone streets of Cusco - one of the world's most beautiful small cities in our not-so-well-traveled opinion; visiting another brilliant museum: Museo de Pisco, that is, a place dedicated to the Pisco Sour, Peru's incomparable national drink; consistent lack of sleep but generally high energy nonetheless; a tearful climactic culmination at one of the truly great Wonders of the World, the city in the sky, Machu Picchu; and falling in love with Trisha all over again.
Note: All of the above is true except for one item. There were no guitar-playing cats. Come on, that's ridiculous.*
*They played the steel drums.