We were young and in love. Every time wedding plans got the best of me, I dreamed of laying on the beach, holding hands with my favorite person. It was going to be Paradise. All was well with the world as we set off for our honeymoon to the Bahamas. (I'm pretty sure I even heard birds singing on the plane.)
We flew into Nassau amid the wreckage of several planes. Thanking the good Lord ours was not one of them, we walked off the tarmac and followed the herd into customs. I was a little freaked out in a new strange place. The natives spoke English, but had an accent and spoke so fast it sounded like a foreign language. By the time we got to the gate to present our proof of citizenship cards, I was a nervous wreck. The lady behind the counter was unwelcoming and stern. She sized me up and said, without any expression at all, "Is that a perm in your hair?" Thinking she had my driver's license with a picture BEFORE the perm, I was afraid she wasn't going to let me in. I went off on a LONG explanation about how we just got married and the perm was new and on and on and on. She listened, totally deadpan, handed my card back and said, "It looks nice," never cracking a smile.
Stupid tourist strike number one.
We rented a motor scooter to explore the island a little. Because we were low on cash (and I didn't mind the thought of wrapping my arms around my new husband all day), we decided to share one. We drove it around the parking lot a little to get the feel for it, then proceeded onto the main highway, the ONLY highway in and out of town. I panicked when the scooter leaned into the road, so I leaned in the opposite direction, causing us to completely wipe out, stopping traffic on the only thoroughfare in town.
Stupid tourist strike number two.
Our little accident produced matching scrapes on our elbows and knees, but we were so embarrassed, we jumped back on the scooter and bled all the way out of town. What happened next I blame on both our embarrassment and our in-love euphoria. After traveling a few miles out of town, we decided to clean our wounds. In the ocean. Yeah, these stupid Nebraska farm kids forgot not all bodies of water are freshwater. OUCH!
Stupid tourist strike number three.
But don't count us out! We may not be the smartest travelers, but we know how to have a good time. Despite our scooter wounds and bad sunburns from snorkeling, you'll be happy to know (or maybe just disgusted and completely grossed out) we were quite able to enjoy our honeymoon anyway and came home with lots of fond memories.
Many, many moons later (nearly 23 years!), I still love getting away with my husband. We manage to do it a couple times a year. It's nothing as exotic (or painful) as the Bahamas, usually a destination a few hours away in a different hick part of Nebraska, but I love it. I could do it once a month if time and money allowed.
I feel like we NEED it. Life gets demanding, stressful, exhausting. Everything and everybody pull us in opposite directions. It's easy to lose each other in the busyness of every day life. Getting away helps us remember who we are as a couple, a unit. It's important, necessary even, to sustain a lasting, thriving relationship which not only benefits the two of us, but our children as well.
Give it a shot, friends. Go grab your man and hit the road! You won't regret it.
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