The Oregon Coast, 1995
The date was set. The invitations were mailed, the cake and flowers ordered, the dress (almost) finished. It was time to plan the honeymoon.
Kevin wanted to stay at a large hotel with room service. My interest had been caught by a certain bed-and-breakfast on the Oregon Coast: Victorian décor, antiques, claw-footed tub, sleigh bed. It sounded perfect, and my aunt’s gift of two nights in the bridal suite sealed the deal. Kevin gave in, graciously, to his soon-to-be bride.
The wedding was perfect and we spent our wedding night in our new apartment, surrounded by unpacked boxes and birdseed that sprinkled the floor as we undressed. In the morning, we stopped at a carwash to remove the shaving cream remnants of “Just Married” and headed south.
The drive was breath taking. Even in gray, wet March, the Oregon Coast is beautiful. We talked and talked the miles away, relishing the fact that the weeks of planning were over and we were finally mister and missus.
We were met at the entrance to the B&B by a woman in a flowing purple caftan, with long fingernails and eyelids painted to match.
“Welcome, welcome! You must be the newlyweds,” she crooned in a husky, affected voice. I was reminded of the vocal coach in Singing in the Rain: “Round tones, dahling, round tones.” We were led into a gorgeous hallway, all dark wood and flowers. Our hostess checked us in, arranged for dinner reservations at a local spot famous for their prime rib, and floated down the hallway and up the stairs to escort us to our room.
The attic was converted into a bridal suite, and it was just as beautiful as my aunt had described. The sleigh bed was covered in pillows and a blue floral comforter. Directly over the bed, a skylight let in the sun. The bathroom was old-fashioned, but the claw-footed tub big enough for two made up for the lack of more modern amenities.
Left alone, we stood on the balcony gazing out over the ocean, arms entwined. Then I looked down.
Below us was an outdoor hot tub. It was occupied by an older couple in all their wrinkled, naked glory. At least we thought they were older; they could’ve just been stewing for a while. I made a little snorting sound, and Kevin’s eyes followed my gaze.
He laughed at my shock. “If they were going to provide naked people for us to look at, at least they could’ve been young and attractive!”
In spite of the waterlogged, prune-wrinkled sight, we decided to take full advantage of the luxurious sleigh-bed. We were on our honeymoon, after all.
We were in the middle of our conjugal bliss when I heard it – a low, buzzing sound. ‘Someone must be mowing the lawn,’ I thought. But the sound kept getting louder. And closer. I opened my eyes and looked up through the skylight into the eyes of a man! He was in an ultra-light hang-glider flying right over our room. I realized that since he was low enough for me to make out his features, he was also low enough to see what we were doing.
I shrieked and rolled off the bed, taking half the linens with me.
“What’s wrong?” Kevin asked, bewildered at the bizarre interruption.
I pointed and Kevin looked up in time to see the man complete his circle over our room. I began shaking with uncontrollable laughter. “Think he knows this room is a bridal suite? Gets his jollies spying on the newlyweds?”
We climbed back into bed – this time under the covers.
The rest of the afternoon and evening were comparatively uneventful. We were greeted at the restaurant with chilled champagne and flowers and candles. As we ate, we rehashed the happenings of the afternoon, knowing we had a story we’d remember for a long time.
After a romantic evening spent in the claw-footed tub, we drifted off to sleep in the comfortable bed, hoping the darkness would keep any peeping toms at bay.
We were awakened the next morning at 8:30 by a knock at our door.
“I’m coming in with breakfast, darlings!” Our hostess entered our room as we scrambled to make ourselves presentable. She was again wearing purple flowing robes, and she had tucked a huge purple flower into her bottle-blond chignon. She set up a small table near the balcony and loaded it with yogurt parfaits, omelets, sweet breads, and coffee. It was just like room service – without any warning.
Left to our meal, I commented on the wonderful food, but I could see that Kevin wasn’t impressed. He was too irritated at being awakened long before we were ready.
“This is our vacation! We should be able to sleep in as long as we want, and eat breakfast when we’re good and ready!”
I teased him out of his mood, and we finished breakfast and prepared to head out for the day, which was spent at the aquarium and Undersea Gardens and walking on the beach.
The next morning, we were prepared for our wake-up knock and dressed before our purple-gowned eccentric descended on us.
After we checked out, we left for a scenic drive north and back home.
That was twelve years ago, and we are still married. Every year, we leave our children with trusted friends and family and head off for a long weekend alone. At a nice hotel. We have never stayed at a bed-and-breakfast again. But we’ve also never come away from a get-away weekend with such an interesting story.