Thursday, June 15, 2006

While we're on the topic...

This is something I wrote last year for a friend who asked how we usually celebrate our anniversary. Since there wasn't really a "usually", I wrote a story instead. How very like me - when I was in high school, I used to give essay answers on math exams. Is it any surprise I went into law? (Edited to include pictures.)

Story Time (June 10, 2005)

2001 - Honeymoon

So, we're married. We hopped into the car, leaving the clean-up to others, and took off for exotic Syracuse, New York. We had booked the Seneca room at the River Edge Mansion right on the Oneida river. It was beautiful, and had complimentary cheese and crackers and non-alcoholic champagne (oh, we crazy Wesleyans) waiting for us when we arrived. We are both bathtub people, and were quite happy to have a whirlpool tub in our suite.

We stayed two nights at the River Edge Mansion. We enjoyed gourmet breakfasts, a canoe trip on the Oneida river, and hiding away in our room watching videos. We also attended a lovely service at a local church, saw “Shrek” in the theatre, went to a Japanese hibachi restaurant, and ate at Arby's (Arby's was the unofficial food sponsor of our honeymoon).

From there, we headed to Herkimer, New York to camp and mine for Herkimer diamonds. Unfortunately, we realized at this time that our tent, and all our camping equipment, was currently housed at my in-laws' house in Philadelphia. Fortunately, I also remembered that my family had stayed at the Herkimer KOA once before, and there had been an extremely nasty storm at the time, so we had stayed in a Kamping Kabin. So, we booked ourselves into a Kabin, for very little more than we would have had to pay for a tent-site, and settled in.

We went diamond mining, which involved smashing rocks with chisels and hammers and digging through the debris for gems. It was a blast, and we actually found some pretty nice ones. We also took a side trip to Howe Caverns, where Jer had been before, but I had not. It was really neat.


Meanwhile, the worst storm in years hit Herkimer (the worst storm Herkimer had seen since I had last been there with my family, I believe.) So, we made an emergency trip into town for flashlights, and huddled in our cozy little cabin in the darkness of a power blackout.

Stop reading now if you like romance, and skip to next year.

We headed to Philadelphia to pick up our tenting equipment from my in-laws, stopping on the road to phone and give them a heads-up that we were coming. Timing-wise, it didn't make sense to try and find a campsite that late in the day, so we spent the next night of our honeymoon at my in-laws' house, sleeping on the pull-out couch.

We took our equipment, borrowing some other things that we might need, and headed for New Jersey. We were going to be camping in Belleplain State Forest, which looks really nice on paper. In real life, however, the sites were really close together, the bathrooms were nasty, and the weather was disgusting. 100 degrees with 100% humidity, which adds up to like 190 degrees on the humidex. We had chosen this location because it was close enough to stop in and visit Jer's extended family, who were vacationing in Ocean City, NJ, whilst we were honeymooning. So, we left our little campsite, and spent a gorgeous day on a breezy beach with the family.

Meanwhile, Jer had gotten sick. The humidity was too much for him. So, rather than leaving the nice, air-conditioned condo for our stuffy little tent, we spent the next night on the pull-out in the living room, where Jer's parents, grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins were all also staying. We were given a wonderful early morning wake-up call the next day by Jer's cousins (our flower girls from the wedding).

We suffered through another night at the campsite, during which it poured rain. We skipped church, because it was so wet outside, and we didn't want to brave the trip to the car. Besides, at this point, our air mattress was floating in an inch or so of water, and everything we had in the tent was soaking wet. Interesting lesson learned: nylon tents are only waterproof if you spray them with waterproof spray. Reading the small print on the inside of a tent in the rainy morning light comes in handy.

The rain stopped, and we dragged everything outside of the tent to dry it out. In the process, we seem to have put a zillion tiny puncture holes in the air mattress, and no amount of patching has been able to make it usable since. Stupid pine forest. We left our stuff airing out and went to Millville, NJ, to visit the Wheaton Glassblowing Village. It was really fun, and I highly recommend it. Except for, maybe, on Father's Day, when it seemed that more than half of their volunteer staff had taken the day off to be with family. Even so, it was really neat.

We couldn't hack another night at the miserable camp site. The rain had not cooled things off, it had merely solidified the humidity. So, we packed up our gear and drove home. It was really late at night, so we had to stop in a rest station on the way and sleep in the car for a couple of hours. We then secretly settled into our new apartment, not telling anyone we were back for almost a week. Somewhere, I have a photo of our first dinner together in our new home. It was spaghetti, thanks to a creative relative who had given us a romantic dinner basket as a shower gift.

2002 – First Anniversary

We were living in Fillmore, New York, and took a trip to Toronto for a Barenaked Ladies concert. I have written extensively about this trip elsewhere, so won't be repeating the story here.

2003 – Second Anniversary

We had moved to Toronto, but were spending the summer at Jeremy's parents' house in Philadelphia. I was working two jobs, so there wasn't time for a trip. Instead, we spent an evening at Jillian's, playing arcade games and watching sports on the big screen TV. It was loads of fun.

2004 – Third Anniversary

Boy, these just keep getting more and more boring. We are in Toronto, now. The weekend before our anniversary was my law school graduation, which was very busy with my parents' visit (incidentally, this visit was the last time I saw my father alive.) I don't think Jer and I actually saw each other for more than a few minutes on our actual anniversary, since I had bar admission courses, and he was working evenings. So, the Saturday after our anniversary, we went to the St. Lawrence Market and had peameal sandwiches, then headed over to the Rainbow Cinema to watch Spiderman. Incidentally, the Rainbow Cinema is not a gay porn theatre, as I had suspected ever since I had first moved to Toronto. The show we wanted to see was sold out, so we bought tickets to a later show, bought a deck of cards, and sat down in the lobby and played euchre until it was our turn.

2005 – Fourth Anniversary

We are in Ottawa, now. Four anniversaries, four different cities. My mom stopped by this afternoon with a big basket of fruit. It turns out that fourth anniversary is actually fruit or flowers, not clean socks and tonic water. Oh well, I guess we can't all be gift gurus. I had never had a persimmon before. It was interesting. I think I will have to have another sometime in order to decide for sure whether I like it or not.

We went to The Works for dinner. They make gourmet burgers with fancy names. Jer had the Wild Western (with Canadian bacon and an omelette on it) and I had The Sweet Ride (with caramelized onions, baked Brie, and half a pear on it). I also had sweet potato spears, and we shared a tower of yummy, crispy onion rings. It was all wonderful.

Jer had figured out that my secret plan was to go to a museum, because one of my “friends” mentioned it on IM when Jer was reading over my shoulder. (Note to self: never have an affair over instant messenger. Jeremy will find out.) He didn't know which museum, though, and told me he at least knew that it couldn't be the war museum. Ha ha. At least I win points for picking the least predictable museum, even when the surprise was all but ruined.

We had a great time at the war museum. It was really well put-together, with a healthy mix of heroes and tragedies, and the occasional burst of comedy when it was most needed. Plus, Canada has Hitler's actual Mercedes Benz parade car. How cool is that?


We stopped at a grocery store on the way home for dessert. We couldn't agree on a dessert, so we bought two different ones. Jer had lemon meringue pie, and I had a Decadent Molten Chocolate Cake topped with fresh strawberries and vanilla ice cream. Then, we watched CSI, and Jer went to bed, since he has to work at 6:30 am. tomorrow.

Now, you go. Tell me about your own honeymoon/anniversary adventures/misadventures. Since Lisa mentioned her chicken pox honeymoon, I've been wondering what kinds of other unique experiences others might have had. I would love to hear about them!


Christy're said...

My husband got a food allergy in Hawaii--at our first big evening out, some shrimp juice must have managed to get on his plate (we both had fish, but no shrimp). Next thing you know, it's midnight, and here's the conversation:

"Christy, wake up! WAKE UP!"
"Look at me. LOOK AT MY FACE AND BACK AND LEGS" (face is enormous, rest of body had erupted in a terrible, raised red rash)
"Oh, lord, did one of us eat shrimp?"
"No, none. I'm sure of it."
"Well, take a couple of benadryl."
"I did."
"...Can I do anything to help you?"
"No. I'm going to try to go back to sleep."
"Then why did you wake me up??"
"...I have no idea."

So the next few days were spent trying to get him into a doctor (which we couldn't do and ended up taking him to the emergency care) and in the meantime frantically emailing my cousin, whose wife is a doctor, to get her recommendation on what the heck to do. Once we got him doped up, it took at least 3 days for his face to go back to normal size and his rash to subside. I read a LOT of books during that time! I was also very thankful that our honeymoon was nearly three weeks long because the first week was spent with Mr. Hubby in bed, sick as a dog.

Christy're said...

I wanted to mention that on my parents' honeymoon, my dad found out he had mono and some Spaniards mistook my mother's style of wearing a scarf around her neck to mean she was a prostitute, and they tried to force her into a car. My dad was sick in bed so he missed it.

lisa b said...

let's see...we've celebrated three anniversaries so far, none of them very exciting...our first anniversary i was just over eight months pregnant and on bed rest craving pizza and root beer, dan had to drive 20 minutes one way to the closest pizza shop. I think we rented a movie--which I most likely slept through. Our second anniversary we were in North Bay where Dan was in his last weeks of teacher's college...far away from family we didn't have anyone to babysit emmy and Dan had a bazillion assignments to complete. Our third anniversary (this year) we had made plans to go out for dinner, my parents were driving up to watch emmy for the evening. Although at 3 1/2 months pregnant this plan was not be as morning (all day) sickness took over. I had my parents take emmy out for dinner and dan picked up dinner, but that didn't work out so well either. It's a good thing that after our first anniversary we decided that they were highly overrated and choose to celebrate our "anniversary" during the summer, when we can actually get away for the weekend which has been a wonderful experience so far. I wonder where we'll go this summer.

Alana said...

Our honeymoon was really, truly fantastic. Not that I want to brag, but we had a wonderful time. One of the reasons we finally got married (those who know me can skip snide comments) was because we both love travel and we wanted to be able to travel chaperone-free. We found on our honeymoon in the Canary Islands that we travel really well together, we enjoy the same pace of sight-seeing, communicate very well, and that being married didn't really change the essence of our relationship at all. I think that is the whole point (as Jule Ann pointed out) behind going on a honeymoon. Getting used to your new status among strangers before you come back and face the people who know the pre-married you.

Let's see, I did get what I thought was food poisoning but turned out to be a reaction to shrimp. We did have our first married fight over not translating five minutes worth of conversation in Spanish into a one word answer. And we did find out that in Spain double occupancy means twin beds so you have to ask for "matrimonio" if you want to sleep together. I always advise my friends who are planning a wedding that it is essential to plan a honeymoon. You would be surprised how many people I know have contemplated skipping it. For us, it was the best part of our wedding.

JD said...

Our honeymoon was basically a trip that normally would have taken 6 hours done in 6 days! There are MANY stories I could tell, but since one of the “commenters” is now living in Vermont, I’ll tell the story of camping in Vermont! We bought a sleeping bag with some of the wedding money, zipped it together with one we already had (they stayed zipped together for years, mainly because Bill had to reverse the zipper tag so it would work, as the sleeping bags weren’t actually meant to zip together!). While driving through Vermont, we thought it might be fun to stop somewhere and sleep out under the stars! So we drove down an old country road, pulled off into the bush, and slept. It was on a slope, but that was OK…we thought a little slope wouldn’t matter. That is, it was OK until it started to rain! And the rain came right down the slope and into our sleeping bags! So now we had to sleep in the car. THAT was a challenge! The front seat was OK for one person, but the back seat was piled high with what we were going to need to live with where we were going! So I got the front seat, and Bill slept on the pile of stuff in the back seat! And that was the first of many great camping trips over the next 34 years!