“Where do you want to go for a honeymoon?” I asked my soon-to-be husband.
“I don’t care… wherever you want to go…” was the reply.
That simple phrase became a recurring theme for the next several decades.
We only had about a week to plan. Neither one of us had actually thought about it. I was busy finishing college, getting ready to start my first year of teaching; he was a farmer, it was summer and he was busy. Another theme repeated during our many years together.
We really had no clue. Neither one of us were travelers. We both grew up on farms with livestock, so time away from the farm was difficult to arrange and usually just didn’t happen.
Should we go somewhere exotic? Neither one of us had every been on an airplane. Neither one of us had any idea of places to go. We decided on just a short trip, since I really wanted to get busy working on my school room and lesson plans. And my college graduation was coming up in two weeks, and then there were 60 sows back at the farm expecting baby pigs as well. It just didn’t seem like a good time to leave. Another theme in our lives.
We settled on visiting Hocking Hills, a mere two hour drive. I called ahead and booked a room at Howard Johnson’s in Newark. I am not sure how I did that because we had no credit cards and neither of our parents had any either. I guess maybe we just made a reservation and had to be there by a certain time or they would give the room to someone else. How busy was Newark Ohio in 1971?
We left the church, drove to my house, left my flowers and dress and Roger’s tuxedo there, grabbed a road map of Ohio and took off. We drove a 67 Black Mustang GT (paid for in cash) he wore a dress shirt and dress pants and tie. I had an empire waist purple double knit dress with Peter Pan Collar, three tiny buttons, and a row of ruffles on each side….We each had a suitcase… his well-worn probably used by his older brothers, and mine powder blue, a high school graduation gift that I had hauled back and forth to college for 3 years.
Somehow we made it to Newark, checked into our room (with cash) and then looked for a place to have dinner. Our wedding had been a typical 70’s occasion; no big sit down meals just cake, ice cream, mints and of course a punch bowl filled with lemonade and scoops of sherbet melting into it. We were hungry.
“We should find a nice restaurant… something classy…. (I said) “since it is our first meal as married people!” So we drove around Newark awhile looking for that special place, but didn’t have much luck and were getting hungrier and hungrier. Finally an Arthur Treacher’s appeared on the horizon! We looked at each other and decided we both like fish and chips and we were starving! As I recall, it was a good meal.
As we drove back to our Motel, a sign similar to this greeted us and we realized we could have eaten at the Howard Johnson’s Restaurant….. like I said, we were clueless.
What a fun read! The first time I got married (in the early 70s) we had our reception in the church hall. The ‘women’s group’ put together a lovely meal of roast beef, turkey, potatoes and vegetables (there was no liquor, though – the hall wasn’t licensed and, besides, both the bride and groom were underage!) After the reception my sister drove my (then) husband and I back to our new house (neither of us had a car or driver’s license, either!), which is where we spent our honeymoon weekend (we had no money to go anywhere, as we’d just purchased the house). The next day (which was 3 days before Christmas), my mother delivered a bag of leftovers from the reception to us; the church ladies had generously packaged it all up for us. So the first meal I ‘made’ as a married woman was reheated leftovers!
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A fun read, Ruth! I think I told you, we went someplace exotic (only because it was close to motel. We didn’t want to venture far in the dark.) Then could only afford oyster soup (one oyster and warm milk!!!) LOL
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