I know that there are a lot of people out there who think their honeymoon is their chance for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure; that it is a great excuse to spend a ton of money on a trip to Austrailia or Africa or Europe. They want their honeymoon to be memorable and special. I don't fault them for that, but it's not really how we roll.
We knew when we signed up for a wedding three months after the bar that it would be difficult to plan an elaborate honeymoon based on not knowing what my job status would be. So we tried to plan a trip that was as open as possible and didn't have to be booked six months in advance or use frequent flyer miles. I also really wanted to do a domestic trip - because when we travel with our friends or family, we tend to do the more exotic trips. A domestic trip appealed to both of us because it meant that we weren't spending $2,000 on airfare and could stay in nicer places. It also meant not having to worry about the exchange rate, about any kind of shots/medications, any iffy food/water requirements, or crazy packing restrictions.
The original plan involved very little flying - we wanted to do a cross country train trip, starting in Chicago, heading out to the Pacific Coast, down California, and over to New Orleans. This appealed to us because while both of us are well traveled internationally, we are not well traveled domestically. I've never been to New Orleans or San Francisco (this is the part where my Dad pipes up and comments that "we took you to SF when you were two!" Um. Doesn't count.) and ever since I was 10 years old, I've wanted to see the Redwoods.
The plan got further revised when I didn't have a job yet and my vacation status was still up in the air. We also revised the plan based on our train trip to NJ over Christmas - for only 3 hours, we spent the time reading and ignoring each other, and we both decided that our honeymoon should be spent doing things, instead of sitting.
Eventually the honeymoon became California. It's a trip that will be fairly easy to plan closer to the day that we leave. It will allow us to sit on the beach, then go adventuring. We planned to hit two destinations, one on Mark's to-go list and one on mine - San Diego and San Francisco. We hoped to camp out at Big Sur and go see the Redwoods.
Then we looked at doing either just San Diego or just San Francisco. Both had merit, and San Francisco had Redwoods. (I'm serious about the Redwoods, guys.)
Mark suggested going on a bike trip - we go to San Francisco, rent bikes, and then bike down to Half Moon Bay where we would spend three days gallivanting around. We were both pretty excited and were ready to book.
When we went to book though, a funny thing happened. The only direct flight out was through San Diego. So we changed our minds and scrapped the bike trip aspect (in all fairness, my friend had told me to look up Devil's slide before I agreed to bike from SF to HMB, which I did...) and decided to go to San Diego for three days instead.
So that's where we are now. Where we go next will evolve as well. There are three things I want to do: The Aquarium of the Bay, the Muir Woods Bike Tour, and the San Diego Zoo. (Stingrays! Redwoods! Koalas!) But all of you gave some very good advice that we should relax and not plan too much to do on our honeymoon, which we appreciate and are taking.
What we need from you now is some suggestions. Not suggestions of "things you MUST do in SF/SD" but a suggestion of things we might like to check out, and a list of reliable and delicious places to eat. I hate paying for meals that aren't spectacular, and I feel like I have heard a lot about restaurants in San Francisco, so bring on the suggestions!