When I pull out our wedding pictures, I reminisce about that day. I think of the beauty of our wedding, the tranquility of it, and how great it felt to be marrying the man who had been my highschool sweetheart. Our wedding was amazing–neither one of us would change it at all.
And, of course, as I look through those pictures, I also get to see how skinny I used to be, how tan I was (that is tan for me–I spent 3 months tanning for the white to turn ivory), and how much my husband has changed in appearance.
Looking through these wedding pictures also makes me laugh, as I remember that although this day was full of bliss–just a few days later we’d be experiencing probably the worst honeymoon possible.
Everything went wrong right from the start. After leaving our wedding through a beautiful spray of white sparklers, we realized en route to our hotel that Cole’s drivers license had gone missing. In post 9/11 America, this would be a HUGE problem getting on our flight to Hawaii the following day. So, instead of basking in our new found love, we spent the next hour and a half on cell phones with his parents and extended family trying to locate missing ID, followed by airlines and hotels (our reservations were in Cole’s name) trying to figure out how we were going to be able to make travel without ID possible.
Our flight was set to leave at 7:06 am. Whose real BRIGHT IDEA was that? (I’m assuming some Chambers men are the ones who are responsible for this–and I may still hold a slight grudge) The morning after our wedding, after having stayed up til midnight just trying to locate a driver’s license, we overslept and only had 45 minutes til our flight left the concourse. I don’t think we have ever moved so fast in our lives! We barely and I do mean barely made that flight to Honolulu.
We arrived at our first hotel exhausted, cranky, and extremely drenched, yes drenched. Us, Seattle-ites just happened to arrive in Honolulu in the longest rain stretch Hawaii had experienced in 40 years. Let’s just say my husband, an optimist, was not being very successful at convincing his new wife that this was going to be okay that we would have a great time regardless of the rain.
My favorite “worst honeymoon experience” came when we had to switch hotels. My husband had the great idea that we should be able to walk between hotels and save ourselves some money. So, we packed up our large rolling suitcase, 2 carry-ons, umbrella and coat that were purchased on locale due to rain, and our already purchased trinkets and treasures and headed down the boulevard with our map in hand. Remember that part about my husband being the optimist?
According to the map it was not far, but about 2.5 miles down the strip, completely drenched, and 3 taxis having stopped to ask if we wanted a ride, I was done. I screamed at my husband, “I don’t care anymore about saving money! We don’t have a joint bank account yet and so I’m using MY money and paying for a taxi. YOU ARE FREE TO WALK!”
I flagged down a taxi and as the driver was loading my luggage, my husband handed his luggage to the driver and got in. It was silent the entire remaining 2 miles. Cole didn’t say a thing as the driver said, “$5.45, please” and Cole sheepishly handed over the cash.
A few other things happened, over the next few days our hotel flooded, we lost my cell phone, we swore off sex for the rest of our lifetime, I left the hotel room crying, we almost couldn’t stay in a hotel because Cole didn’t have ID, and I needed to go “for a walk” to call my best friend for moral support.
My honeymoon wasn’t all bad though. Because of the rain we enjoyed all the touristy stuff by ourselves, we had 45 minutes of sunshine total and we did find ourselves learning about each other. I learned that my husband is always optimistic, and that despite his frugality, he is generous with his time, life and that he’ll always give his change to homeless people. I learned my husband is always my best friend, and that it’s better to go with the flow. I learned that hotel rooms are great places to have discussions late into the night about hopes and dreams. And, I learned that marriage is hard work!
Little did I know that my week long chaotic honeymoon, would turn into a lifelong adventure of chaos. That those few lessons that we learned that week would grow and shape us and be a strong foundation for our marriage to build. And even bigger is that through the midst of all the chaos of our lives over the last six years, that God would be working to make it beautiful.
Phillipians 4:9 says, “Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”
What are we doing now? We have begun a piggy bank “Never go to Hawaii in March Fund.” We are accepting donations.