Our Honeymoon In Israel

A tale of romance and disaster in the Middle East.

Category: About Us

Frequently Asked Questions

How did you meet?

I traipsed into my local bar, one average weekday cocktail hour, and there was a brand new bearded bartender polishing glasses. I taught him how to make a Cosmopolitan. He wooed me with a rendition of Brown Eyed Girl. I offered him a pash by way of spoils for his victory in an arm-wrestling competition. He invited me to the nearest park to drink whiskey from a flask and talk for hours. I told him I loved him, shortly before hastening to the kitchen and throwing up in the sink. He packed up his life in Sydney to follow me and my corporate job to Melbourne… only to have me move us back three months later. Our friends knew that we would get married before we did.

How did he propose?

Back in that same local, very late one evening, we shared our umpteenth round of raspberry cordials. The doors were locked, the staff were clearing up and goofing off, and we were all having a grand old time. The strains of the Billy Idol classic, White Wedding, hummed through the sound system. “You know what?”, he slurred. “We should do THIS!”.

“We should ABSOLUTELY do this!” I shouted, slamming my drink down on the bar for emphasis. “We should get married!”.

We declared our intention to all, and cracked open the bubbly.

*Note: this version of events remains disputed to this day – he insists that I was the one who asked for his hand that night. Guess we’ll never know…

But he got you a ring, right?

Yes. On my 26th birthday, just two weeks out from the wedding, my betrothed fooled me into thinking that he waited until the night before to purchase the most unimaginative and last-minute gift of all time (a sweater that I mentioned I wanted). Come the day of my birthday, after a few drinks with friends, he took me home to present me with a sloppily-wrapped (in Christmas paper!) soft package, that I assumed to be said sweater. Only, when I unwrapped it, a box fell out. The rest is history.

Proposal Diamond Ring

Where did you get married?

Where else would a bohemian couple in the inner west get married? Chippendale Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages! The bride wore a pair of ripped jeans and a blazer she got on special at H&M. The groom wore an old too-tight suit and didn’t realise his fly was down for the entire ceremony. The celebrant wore a purple bow-tie. Our union was witnessed by just a couple of close friends, and we all had a shot of tequila immediately afterwards. It was exactly how we had always pictured it.

Instagram Sign for Newlyweds at BDM Office Chippendale

Why did you choose Israel?

“Because it’s there,” – George Mallory

Seriously, though: neither of us are Jewish. Neither of us have particularly strong political inclinations re: the Middle Eastern conflict(s). Neither of us have any special affinity for the biblical Holy Land. We both just really wanted to go.

For more on why Israel, see here.

Why do your pictures suck so much?

OK, so what you need to understand is that I’m the only one in this relationship who will take photos (selfies are the bane of my new-husband’s existence), and also I cling to my ancient iPhone 4S like a security blanket. The thing is literally four years old, it may as well be an antique in technological-advancement years. I protect it from the hard surfaces of our cruel world with a very reliable case that happens to obscure part of the lens. Plus, I’ve not done any Groupon-deal “Introduction to Photography” class, I couldn’t tell you squat about composition or aperture, I’m not even sure what a megapixel¬†is,¬†to be honest – I’m not a photographer, and quite clearly I can’t even pretend to be one. So, all in all, it’s really no surprise that the photo quality is crap.

There are plenty of other photography blogs out there, I really have no bones about not counting myself among them. The crappy photos are what we have and I love them. So there!

Crap photography

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This Ain’t Your Granddaddy’s Honeymoon Blog…

If you’ve stumbled across this blog in search of traditional #weddinginspo or #dreamhoneymoon or any such inspirational hashtag, you might want to re-trace your steps and figure out where you went wrong.

This is us:

Happy couple Rowan McKay Sheree Strange

Two writers from Sydney’s inner West. We met at our local bar. Our first kiss was the spoils of victory in an arm-wrestling competition. We decided that we would tie the knot in that very same bar, to the strains of Billy Idol’s classic White Wedding. We were married at the nearest Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages, by a celebrant in a purple bow-tie. The bride wore ripped jeans and a blazer that she got on special at H&M.

First Kiss as Husband and Wife Wedding Ceremony

We take non-traditional to the extreme, and our honeymoon was no exception.

Why Israel? Why, indeed. Neither of us had ever been before. Neither of us are Jewish. Neither of us have particularly strong political inclinations in the Middle Eastern conflict(s). Neither of us have any special affinity for the biblical Holy Land. We both just really wanted to go.

And go, we did.

Happy Honeymooner Selfie in Israel

We saw, learned and undertook more than we ever could have imagined we might. We’ve returned to a barrage of emails and text messages and voicemails, all crying “tell us about the honeymoon!”. We’re sitting on a stack of receipts, notes, souvenirs, ticket stubs, and photographs. We’re horrifically jet-lagged.

So, we kick off this blog: a no-holds-barred all-in-one travel diary, a compilation of our experiences and our recommendations and our lessons learned the hard way. It’s a living, breathing testament to our once-in-a-lifetime experience, for all and sundry to pick through at their leisure.

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