Our Honeymoon was Almost Ruined

by on January 30th, 2015
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In the end, I look fondly back on my honeymoon in Savannah. However, the days leading up to and following our marriage were beset by bad luck, incompetence and tragedy.

My wife’s uncle died four days before we got married in 2008. He had been battling cancer for fifteen or so years but in that year he had taken a serious turn for the worse and his decline seemed to coincide with the build up to our nuptials. After discussing the matter with family, we decided that moving the wedding in any way would have been extremely impractical. We also agreed that Uncle Tim would have wanted us to have the ceremony. To underscore this point, his immediate family all attended our wedding and did so in surprisingly good spirits. My wife and I were both incredibly moved by this gesture. The funeral was planned for two days after our wedding though we were supposed to go on our honeymoon the day after we got married. After discussing it with my wife, we decided that we had to attend the funeral. Thus, our honeymoon plans had to be rescheduled. We delegated this task to my sister-in-law’s boyfriend, who did an admirable job pushing back our flights one day and rearranging our stay at our B&B in Savannah. The only serious drawback was that we lost a day of our honeymoon since the hotel was booked up the day after we were supposed to leave.

Our wedding went off beautifully. Almost our entire guest list attended. The weather was perfect and the leaves seemed to turn a wonderful autumn gold just in time. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the setting and being together. It was also the first time that my family really had any chance to spend time with my wife’s family. The day after the wedding was a bit unusual in that we woke up in our honeymoon suite but went to sleep that night in my wife’s childhood bedroom. The next morning with our packed honeymoon bags in the trunk of the car, we drove down to Delaware in funeral attire. Our attendance was gratefully acknowledged and we were happy to do the right thing. After the service friends drove us to Philadelphia airport for our flight.

Our itinerary was an afternoon flight to Atlanta on Delta Airlines with a 90 minute layover and then a connecting flight to Savannah. We expected to arrive in the early evening with time to shower, get changed and go out to dinner. Delta, however, would not oblige. Our flight out of Philly was delayed for over an hour, which gave us very little connection time. We waited in the terminal and then the hot airplane to depart, growing increasingly agitated. Once the flight took off, the cabin became intolerably cold and my wife became very uncomfortable. The Delta flight attendants were sympathetic to our situation, however. They gave my wife a blanket and they allowed us to exit the plane first so that we would have a chance to make our connection. We sprinted through Atlanta airport, taking the shuttle train and barely making our connection. Sitting on the second flight, we laughed at the turn of events. There was nothing else we could do.

Once we arrived in Savannah, things only got worse. With the truncated connection time, naturally our checked bag didn’t make it. We had to spend 20 minutes at baggage claim filling out the forms to have the bag delivered to our bed and breakfast. My wife was, by this point, starving and aggravated to the point of tears. Everything in the airport was closed and the only food we were able to get was a small package of peanut butter crackers from a nice woman who was sympathetic to our plight. We caught an airport shuttle into Savannah. My wife sat in a gloomy silence, still wrapped in the airplane blanked that no one dared take from her. I chatted a bit with the driver but basically we were both filled with dread that our honeymoon was going to be a disaster.

When we arrived at the McMillan Inn we spent about ten minutes trying to figure out the lock box that would let us into the old Victorian building (the proprietors had gone to bed). We finally made it to our room where my wife began to cry. I was so angry at the whole bizarre chain of events but I decided to make a last ditch effort at saving the evening. I grabbed the tourist guide/phone book and started calling restaurants one by one to see who was still open. After a few calls I found out that kitchen at the Six Pence Pub on Bull Street was open for another half hour. Carrie and I promptly bolted out the door and charged across town to the location of the pub. It was night time in a completely unfamiliar city but we didn’t care.

It took about fifteen minutes to get there but once we set foot inside the warm, wooden interior and the bartender was able to take our order, we immediately began to feel better. While we waited for the food we regaled the bartender and interested bystanders with the tale of our bizarrely frustrating day. When our shepherd’s pie and fish n’ chips arrived, we inhaled our food. As warmth and energy reentered our bodies, we began to enjoy ourselves and appreciate the fact that we were on our honeymoon.

When we decided to leave, the bartender asked my wife if she wanted a beer for the road. It was then that we discovered Savannah’s wonderful open-container laws. We sauntered back to our B&B, taking in the nocturnal beauty of the old city. We sat on a bench in Monterrey Square surrounded by Spanish moss, the august Mercer-Williams house and other mansions like it. We drank in the night and from that moment onward, we had a wonderful time. Looking back on it, the difficulties that surrounded our trip to Savannah make for an entertaining story and provide an interesting foil in our nostalgia to ethereal grandeur of our wedding and honeymoon.

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