Thursday, October 20, 2016

Our Honeymoon

As we approach our 30th anniversary, I realize I have never recorded an account of our wedding and honeymoon. While an accurate account would be better if I were able to dig out my 1987 calendar, I’ll write what I remember. I’ll start with our honeymoon.

We left Jefferson in a drizzle. Must’ve been around 8 pm, as dusk was falling. Thirty minutes later we stopped in Lugoff to wash the shaving cream from the car, which had looked good on the wheels.
Spent night in downtown Colombia at the Marriott – a relatively fancy place. Got to our room late. We were tired from the exciting day
Sunday: Had breakfast in the hotel. Flew from Columbia to Atlanta, then on to Bermuda. Took a bus from the airport all the way across the island to Sandys and Willowbank. Might’ve been a taxi, but I think it was a bus. Supper was at the resort. This meal may have been a cookout outside on the deck overlooking the Atlantic sunset. Willowbank may have not been the Ritz, but the community that stayed there back in the day loved the intimate feel.
Like on a cruise ship, the other evening meals at Willowbank required formal dress. During the week I was tempted to wear Bermuda shorts with my coat and tie. This was before the current age of “relaxed casual / formal”, back when people actually dressed up.
Dinner guests were seated at tables of six or eight. Most of the guests were from the northeast. Most were older, but there were a couple of younger couples we gravitated to. Breakfast was continental or buffet style, as I recall. You just came up and fixed your plate, and ate as a couple or with others. We never ate lunch at the resort as we were always on the go, but after breakfast you could pack a bag of snacks to take with you, which we often did.
Can’t remember if we ever made it back for afternoon tea. Since Willowbank was a Christian led resort, there was a daily Bible Study led by a visiting clergyman. This is how Bob and Myra Marsh visited so often. Again, since this was during the morning or afternoon, we never attended.
Once during the week we changed rooms. This was how the stay was booked. I have no memory of one of the rooms. The room I remember was on the southern wing, with a view of the ocean.  
Each morning after breakfast we embarked out on a different adventure, exploring different sections of the island in varying ways, using different modes of transportation.  
Early in the week we stepped off the beaten path, taking a bus north to the western tip of the island to explore the Maritime Museum and old fort. The morning was damp and cloudy. At midday there weren’t a lot of dining options, so we tried a small local diner frequented not by tourists but instead by locals, mostly nautical types. I remember spotting a “Steak-Um Sandwich” on the menu, and that’s what I ordered. After lunch the sun broke through the clouds. The rest of the week would be sunny and clear, warm but not hot. With no bus in the area, we decided to walk back. This gave us the chance to see schoolchildren, and check out some of the local stores along the way. Not an ordinary Bermuda adventure, but quite memorable and fun.  
The next day we took the small bus to Bermuda’s main city in the center of the island, Hamilton. Took pictures with the tiny vehicles, much smaller than those in America. We walked over to town, enjoying ornate churches and various statues. From a hill we could look down the avenue past the downtown shopping area to the docks, a cruise ship towering over the buildings.
One day we stayed near the resort, taking advantage of the beach on the grounds, using snorkeling equipment from the resort. We were able to swim right next to huge exotic fish. This may have been a day we joined others for afternoon tea, which was anticlimactic for me.  
Another day we rented two mopeds to drive across the island. Ceil had more motorcycle experience than me, but I picked it up quickly. As we waited out turn to pull out into the street, we were behind an older Willowbank gentleman. As he pulled out onto the main road he forgot to stay on the left side, like in England. With a car approaching, he swerved his moped and fell to the ground, skinning his knee. That ended his day on the moped. After witnessing this near miss, Ceil and I were extra careful.
We rode past Hamilton to St. Georges on the northeastern part of the island, where we ate the picnic lunch we had packed back at the resort. We stopped at various points of interest, which included a fort and several small beaches. I never grew tired from looking at the fascinating bleached white tiered rooftops, used to collect rainwater for use inside.  
Later on in the week we went out on a sailboat with a few other Willowbank couples, and went snorkeling. We sailed around the bay, and enjoyed the beautiful clear water. I think we saw a submarine. Weather all week was perfect, except the cloudy morning at the maritime museum
Saturday morning we packed up, journeyed back across the island to the airport, and flew home to Atlanta. Made it home in time to catch some college football.

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