How I Spent My Belated Honeymoon-The Trip Up

Intial reaction to my mother joining us-I'm trying to see the upside, he's not so sure.
Intial reaction to my mother joining us-I'm trying to see the upside, he's not so sure.
The kids at the beach with my mother and his half an hour after arrival.
The kids at the beach with my mother and his half an hour after arrival.
The wedding cake.
The wedding cake.

Plans A through E

 

At the time of our marriage, we agreed that we would rather have a small, moderately informal wedding and save for a nice honeymoon than save for a very nice wedding sans honeymoon. We succeeded in having the small, moderately informal wedding. As for the honeymoon, well, we attempted to take it two weeks ago. I stress the attempted portion of that statement.

As I had been previously married resulting in four children, it was part of our divorce agreement that he would have the children over summer break. There were already plans in the works for my stepson to go to Disney World with his girlfriend and her mother and little brother. Keeping that in mind, my husband and I decided that we would wait until summer break to take off. The first plan included getting the ten-speed 1982 Honda CB900 Custom (my birthday present to him) ready for a trip to Texas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, than back to South Carolina. Several unfortunate events transpired and the children were not able to head out. Plan A was effectively scratched.

Now that we had to budget for an additional four people, Texas and Kentucky were scrapped and we decided to make it a straight up and back trip. The idea was to hit the Smithsonian National Zoological Center in Washington D.C., then head up to Massachusetts, spend some time with the family in-laws, go to my husband’s best-friend’s wedding, leave the next morning, head to an informal reunion barbecue at my best-friend’s house in New Jersey, leave the following morning and come home. We were on track for that . Then, the night before we left, my mother decided that, since we had an empty seat, she should fill it and come with us. Not exactly what we had in mind. Plan B was effectively scratched.

Well there could be some pros here, after all, she has not yet had the opportunity to meet his parents. His mother is actually quite a bit like her so they will either love each other, or hate each other. This could be fun. After all, the last time I took a road trip with my mother, it was for the purpose of moving the children and I away from my abusive husband. That was nearly four years ago and I was recovering from a potentially fatal case of pneumonia. Not exactly the ideal situation for a fun, positive family experience. What could possibly go wrong?

Before we even went to bed the night before departure, she had changed our departure time and our first stop. The next day, when we left at our original time, she decided to rethink her first stop. We got farther along but she still halted us several hours before we intended. No problem, we will just take advantage of the night’s rest and get to the zoo early. Right after we head to the Super Wal-Mart’s tire and car care center across the street for the oil change I failed to accomplish earlier. Since I had a warranty on the tires from purchasing them from the chain, we figured it would not hurt to get them balanced and rotated while we were there. The few vehicles in the parking lot indicated to us that we should have been on our way in no longer than an hour. Twenty minutes shy of three hours later, we finally got on the way.

Pulling into Washington D.C. at five thirty p.m., I called information and found that the zoo was on extended summer hours and stayed open until eight. It did not give us as much time as we thought but it was still a couple of hours. The problem was that the exhibits were closed at six and all the animals were put away for their feeding time as well. What, exactly, is the point of staying open until eight when you put the animals away at six? Yeah, we do not know, either. Frustrated with a day full of disappointments, we got back on the road. Clearly we were not going to make it into Massachusetts so I called my friend and asked if she minded if we crashed for the night with the promise of leaving in the morning. She graciously welcomed us at one o’clock in the morning. Shortly after waking, we packed the van and got ready to go. My mother decided to visit with friends and family earlier than intended. We stayed another night. I have very good friends. Plans C and D were now scratched.

Finally pulling in to his mother’s house, we were there less than half an hour before we needed to head to the mall in order to pick up his tuxedo for the wedding in two days. Instead of piling everybody back in the van as I thought, we would do, we left my mother with the children and took off. It was a bit difficult to enjoy our solo time when I was worried about my mother. She was tired, her back ached, and she does not always handle being in new situations with people she does not know. By the time we got back, the two mothers had all but downed an entire bottle of merlot and were having a grand time. They hit it off. The next two days went by beautifully and way too fast.

The day of the wedding came and we had a good time. As it was an afternoon affair, there was time after to have a quick family barbecue. It had always been my intention to leave the next morning. My mother decided that we absolutely must leave that night. My husband did not entirely mind except that every hotel we contacted off of I-95 en-route to New Jersey were booked. My friend was unreachable and my husband and I worried about the sense in taking off. My mother proved her insistence in packing up the van while we enjoyed the family time. Despite numerous protests, Plan E was effectively scratched and we conceded defeat.

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