Our wedding reception was a heck of a party. If I had to do my wedding over again, there are only two things I’d change. Number one – the videographer. They edited a bunch of footage out (who edits out footage of someone’s WEDDING!) and included some seriously cheesy background effects.
When Lee and I kissed after cutting the cake, they freeze framed us and the background turns to fireworks with wonky elevater music playing.
Number two – I’d have an evening wedding. We scheduled our wedding for 2:00, which means that people began leaving the reception way before I was ready to leave. I wanted to keep dancing, keep partying, keep enjoying all of my very favorite people gathered in one place.
But as the crowd began to dwindle, Lee and I realized we needed to make our grand exit or there would be no one left to see us off. Except, of course, for our wedding party of eighteen (who were contractually bound to do our bidding for however long we deemed it necessary).
So we prepared to leave. But not, of course, before deciding to head outside to see what kind of damage had been done to our getaway car. It was at that moment that my dad pulled us aside and told us to look outside the picture window at the Country Club grounds.
“That’s how you’ll be leaving today,” he said with a wicked little grin. Our reaction?
Sitting 100 hundred yards out on the expansive green lawn was a helicopter waiting to whisk us around the Arch and drop us off downtown. That…was a good surprise.
So we prepared to leave. But I didn’t want to leave. So instead of running through the crowd of bubble blowing guests, we slowly meandered our way down, hugging everyone along the way, me crying like an ugly gopher…again. I was terribly, terribly emotional.
To be honest, I don’t remember much about the helicopter ride. Again because I was crying! Sheesh. Poor, sweet Lee. I managed to pull myself together by the time we got to the Arch though and my new husband no longer had a look of panic on his face as my tears subsided.
We headed out to the San Juan islands the next day for our honeymoon where we kayaked, sailed and hiked for a week. The hiking would prove to be one of our first memory moments together as man and wife.
Our resort was nestled roughly a mile from the base of Mt. Constitution. Three days into our trip, we decided to hike Mt. Constitution. So we called the concierge and set everything up. They would drop us off at the base and we’d make the trek up the hill moutain. Our driver asked us, before dropping us off, if we were sure we wanted to hike the mountain. We smiled and thanked him for his concern and assured him that we were indeed able bodied adults who were capable of climbing a little moutain.
His concern should have been our first red flag. The second red flag came about twenty minutes into the hike, when we were still making our way to the actual base of the mountain (turns out he dropped us off about a mile away…nice) and a camper asked us what our plans were for the day.
“Oh, we’re going to hike Mt. Constitution,” we replied, all bright eyed.
“Wow,” she said. “That’s ambitious.”
We rolled our eyes and went on our merry way. See? Look how happy I was.
One hour into the hike, I started to get a little tired. “I didn’t realize we’d be walking at a 90 degree angle the whole time,” I huffed to Lee.
“It’s a mountain!” he responded. “What did you think?”
“I dunno. I guess I just thought it’s be a leisurely stroll.”
Two hours into the hike we ran out of water. And pretzels. Because we’d only packed one bottle and a small baggie. Because we’re from the midwest. It honestly never occurred to us that climbing a mountain would be difficult. Not once.
Three hours into the hike we were starting to get angry. Surely we had to be close to the top. We finally saw more human life coming down the hill mountain – it was our first human contact since “ambitious” woman.
“Are we close to the top?” I asked, trying not to look like I was dying, though indeed, I was.
The guy laughed. He laughed.
“You’ve got another mile and a half at least,” he said with a grin, drinking his bottle of Evian. Punk hiker with his punk water…
And so on we hiked, and we hiked and we hiked. And just when we didn’t think we could take another step there was a clearing in the trees. With a surge of energy, we powered forward and burst through as if we were charging the gates of heaven itself. And we found ourselves looking over a breathtaking scene. We had done it. We were 400 yards from the summit.
We reveled in the beauty for a few minutes before turning and walking to the viewing area at the top of the mountain. As we rounded the corner, I gasped.
“There is a parking lot up here!” I exclaimed. “And cars are in it!”
“You can drive up here?” Lee asked. “Why didn’t anyone tell us this?!” It took several minutes for us to get over the fact that we could have just had the driver drop us off at the top rather than go through the pain and toil of hiking the 4.5 miles. I imagine the driver laughed all the way back to the resort.
We looked over the edge of the viewing platform for a few minutes, then I turned to Lee and informed him that I would not be walking back down the hill mountain. We had dinner plans in three hours and I knew there was no way we’d make it in time. So Lee did what any respectable new husband would do.
He hitched us a ride.
We hopped in the back of a pick up filled with retirees who were beyond thrilled to help out a couple of naive newlyweds. And we did indeed make our dinner reservation on time.
And that, my friends, was the last time Lee and I climbed a mountain.
To read the rest of our love story, click here.