Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Our honeymoon adventure... remembered

Ah, love. I am in love with love. So when dear Betty Beguiles asked for honeymoon stories, how could I not venture down memory lane to that wonderful time when my husband and I were just married, and off on our first adventure as man and wife.

An adventure it was! Since high school, I had been chomping at the bit to travel in Europe. I'd toyed with the idea of studying abroad, but decided against it, so my goal was to travel after I graduated college. I read up on how to travel solo, and how to travel cheap. I researched my brains out, trying to find a way to make my dream trip happen.

Then we got engaged. He loved the idea of traveling too, so we decided to make my dream trip our honeymoon.

I won't go into all the details of where we went, the things we saw or places we stayed. I will say that the funniest thing about our trip is how differently my husband and I remember it. I can tell you all about the churches we visited, the castles we explored, the museums, the monuments, the sights. My husband will tell you about the food. He remembers the name of the restaurants we loved, the food we ordered and exactly what it tasted like. He remembers a lot of experiences through food, but it always cracks people up to hear him talk about a vacation, especially when I've warned them beforehand that they're about to go on a culinary journey. "So how was your honeymoon?" you might ask. "Oh man, we ate at this amazing place..." I love that man.

What I remember most is the sense of utter freedom we had. We created an itinerary before we left, and pretty much scrapped it a couple of days in. We had railpasses and the question was always, "Where do you want to go today?"

We explored the countryside of England, by train and by bus. We decided we just *had* to see this little town in Wales that had a castle built by King Edward I, and it took 3 trains and a bus to get there. But it was glorious. We had no fear, no inhibition. Public transportation on that scale had once been intimidating, but in England (and a bit of France), it gave us wings. We decided where to go as we went along and we loved every minute of it.

We did see castles and majestic gothic churches (oh the churches!). I stood on stairs worn so much with age that they were curved in the middle. We saw 700 year old houses with the original stone roofs, and people still living in them. We saw cemetaries with gravestones so old, you couldn't read them. We saw Roman ruins and artifacts, Viking helmets and enough swords and armor to send a couple of uber geeks like us into a coma.

We were free.

It was a grand adventure and I look forward to the day when we can go back and show our kids the things we enjoyed - and discover new things along the way. My husband and I both love history and being in the places where amazing things took place was just.. breathtaking. Here in the US, especially on the west coast, nothing is old. You see a building from the 1930s and it's impressive. There, you can walk streets that were built hundreds of years ago. See the site where Constantine was proclaimed Roman Emperor. Visit a medieval gothic cathedral that was built on the site of a Viking church, that was built on top of a Roman temple. History lives there.

I will always cherish that time we had. We were young, in love and on such an exciting journey. We tasted a freedom we'd never known and we learned a lot along the way. We were very glad to return home when it was over, but it was the experience of a lifetime. For us, it was the perfect way to celebrate the beginning of our new life together.

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