Posted by: Wagons Ho | August 7, 2017

Forget Paris

When Marshall and I met we were young, and I was broke. I was in debt from moving to California and learning to live on my own as an adult. He was a Cpl in the Marines who had a little money but certainly wasn’t rolling in the dough.

When he proposed we decided to have a small wedding with family and a few friends. As the planning continued I learned even very small weddings added up quickly. $500 to rent a wedding gown! A few hundred to rent a space! Ack!! I couldn’t see spending that kind of money, maybe a couple thousand at the time, on a single day. In a moment of panic I cancelled the wedding.

Did I mention Marshall was on the other side of the country in a training school at the time? Well, he was. And this was before cell phones. So in the evenings, if the pay phone was free, he would give me a quick call. I can only imagine what it was like for him to listen to me explain how I couldn’t marry him because I was broke, and $500 was too much for a dress I was renting, and I wouldn’t put him in debt, and if he wanted to see other people I understood, all in one long rushed breath. Marshall, as always, was calm and said ok cancel it and we’ll discuss this when I get home.

Luckily he was not scared away by my moment of insanity. Big mistake on his part I have to say. In the end we got married, just the two of us, in regular clothes, at the local courthouse. The ceremony was followed by a lovely reception for two at Denny’s. And, since we were broke, about a month later we took a couple of days off,  mid-week, and drove to Vegas for our honeymoon. Hurray for cheaper rates on a Wed!

Over the years we half heartedly talked about having a “real” wedding and honeymoon but it never really went any further than that. We were married, we took the occasional vacation, there didn’t seem to be much point in making a big deal of it. Then, a little before our 14th anniversary, we had to get remarried. It was a requirement of our adoption agency that we be married in the church so we decided this would be it. Our chance to have the wedding we never had. I still couldn’t see spending a fortune, and now we had adoption fees to consider too, so we kept it small. Close family and a few friends. No fancy wedding dress or tux, my sister took the pictures, we did our own invitations and had a small reception at a local restaurant, not Denny’s. It was perfect, and very us, but still no honeymoon.

Then the Trapp came along, Marshall retired from the Marines, we bought a house, Max joined our family. Suddenly it’s our 22nd anniversary. We had been lucky enough to take 2 trips to Vegas that year. Both were working trips for conventions, one for each of us, but hey we were alone, in Vegas, and that counts! We stayed at the Paris hotel, and the Venetian, and loved them both.

After the trips we talked about how much fun we had and how great it would be to take a trip to Europe for real.  Other than layovers during flights Marshall has never been, and I hadn’t been since I was a kid. So we decided that for our 25th anniversary we would go. We figured 3 years was enough time to plan, and save, and make it happen.

But fate stopped us in our tracks. My world was thrown into a tailspin and any plans we may have had were tossed out the window. Every trip we took over the next couple years revolved around what was going on with our families.

Finally this summer came along. We didn’t have any place we felt like we NEEDED to be. Nothing that we HAD to do. I hesitated to plan anything though. I didn’t want to tempt fate when things were quieting down. So, I planned a short camping trip. That didn’t really count right. Fate could give us that. And it did. The trip was fun, and relaxing, and everything a camping trip should be.

Then, out of the blue, fate handed us another gift. A friend had booked an extra room at a beach resort. They didn’t need the room any longer and were wondering if we would be interested in taking it. I hesitated. This wouldn’t be a 3 day trip just a couple of hours from home. This was a full week, 8 hours from home. This involved actual planning, requesting days off, spending money we hadn’t planned on spending, and being at the beach. Something I wasn’t sure I would be emotionally ready for.

I hemmed and hawed. Marshall wasn’t sure he could get the time off. My boss was traveling and might not respond in time. Then Marshall’s request was denied. He said we should go without him but I still wasn’t sure. When another friend was interested in taking the room I decided to let it go. There would be other years. Strangely, fate stepped in again. Marshall’s boss changed his mind. My boss approved my request from the road. The friend who I thought I had passed to hadn’t realized I had passed and wasn’t ready to say yes herself. The room was ours if we wanted it. So I said yes.

So here we are, just about a month away from our 25th anniversary. There will be no trip to Europe. No leaving the kids with my parents while we jet off to the other side of the world. But there will be a beach trip. And while we won’t have Paris, or Venice, we will find quiet time together after the kids pass out for the day. Who knows, maybe there will even be a Denny’s near by for some take out for two.




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