It wasn't that we didn't want to get married, it was just that we both had families that were, shall we say, less than conventional, and bringing them together for something like a wedding was just a disaster waiting to happen. We looked at everything from eloping to Gretna Green (can you actually elope at 35?) to heading off to Vegas to get married by Elvis (my favourite option, but I knew I'd never be able to keep a straight face), but we eventually decided on The Gambia. Yes, Africa. Why? Because we'd been there the year before and loved it. It was different. And not overly expensive, especially as we were combining the wedding and honeymoon together, although we were doing it over Christmas so it wasn't exactly the cheapest it could have been. Two friends were going to join us in the second week for the wedding, and I was convinced it was going to be a holiday to remember. I got that right!
The Gambia is an interesting place. Still trying to work out why we were all greeted outside the airport by bagpipers but it all just added to the surrealness of the situation. The main problem anyone has when entering that country is making sure you have enough pound coins on you to actually get out of the airport because you had to pay everyone you came across (someone to help you get your bags off the carousel, someone to get you a trolley, someone to wheel your bags past security...) because, if you didn't, you were more than likely stopped by security who would proceed to open all your cases and then try and sell everything back to you! We'd been tipped off about this by a Gambian girl sitting next to us on the 'plane the first time we'd visited the country so we were more than prepared for our second visit. And then, once you're out of the ariport, you have to pay someone to tie your cases to the roof of the transfer coach (I kid you not, that's the truth!) and then another person has to be bunged a quid to take them down again once you reach the hotel! I tell you, by the time you get to your room you're exhausted with it all!
|Our Gambian wedding day.|
But, insects and muslim wedding co-ordinators apart, it was a holiday - and a wedding - to remember. For so many reasons, too many to mention here. Which is why I may do more separate holiday blogs because some of the stories... Not sure we'd ever go back to The Gambia now, but it'll always hold some special memories. Even if it did take a miracle to get out of the airport on the return journey home thanks to a power cut and every single passengers case getting thrown into the same room! Actually, the miracle was the fact that anyone actually got their case at all because I have no idea how they sorted them into the correct flights, it was bloody chaos! Infact, I'm sure someone kissed the tarmac at Manchester airport when we landed at midnight!
But the wedding was just one big event that happened in the noughties. The other was our decision to throw caution to the wind and move over to Tenerife...and that was the best adventure of my life...
If you've by any chance enjoyed any of my ramblings, then you might want to give one of my books a try. 'Too Much Trouble in Paradise', a lighthearted romance set mainly on the Spanish Canarian island of Tenerife - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005628JE6 and 'No Matter What', a contemporary saga of love, jealousy, obsession and betrayal. http://www.amazon.co.uk/No-Matter-What-ebook/dp/B00537TKN8/ref=pd_sim_kinc_1 Give 'em a go! You know you want to!! ;)
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