Hello there, And Her Little Dog Too readers! My name is Jenn and I write the blog Eating Bender. Typically, you will find me talking about Coffee Cocoa or mentioning some guy named Papa Bender. He’s too modest to tell you this, but his fajitas are ridiculously good.
When I’m not using kooky nicknames, I also enjoy talking about the recipes I make with my new husband, Bobby. We were married on October 16, 2010.
So when Leslie asked me to share a guest post about our honeymoon, I jumped at the opportunity. You see, our honeymoon was a wild ride, and I mean that quite literally. Which brings me to the point of the post. Something I like to call The Honeymoon Litmus Test.
A litmus test is defined as a test in which a single factor (such as an event) is decisive. In other words, there is one shining, standout moment that determines the outcome.
For our honeymoon, that moment came on a tandem bicycle ride.
We look so carefree, don’t we? Don’t let our reflective ankle straps fool you.
Of course, we had no idea what was in store for us that day and for the most part, our tandem bicycle adventure was a lot of fun!
We were able to enjoy the fresh fall air in Napa Valley while riding from winery to restaurant to winery (And to avoid any confusion, please know we made sure to wait long enough between each trip so that we were clearheaded and responsible on our two-wheeler.)
It was only when we were on our way back to the bike shop that calamity struck. We were greeted by rain upon leaving our final stop on the tour: Whitehall Lane. It wasn’t pouring, though, so we decided to buck up, throw our hoods over our heads and pedal. Just outside the parking lot, there was a railroad crossing. I remembered seeing it on our way in, but at the time we had needed to cross the highway so we had gotten off the bike and walked across.
In Napa they have no set bike paths, so you are basically in the lane next to the road. It’s definitely not the best system, which we soon found out the hard way. As we began our ride back, I noticed the railroad tracks were coming up on my right. Then I noticed they were veering inward – right toward us. It happened in slow motion.
One minute I was yelling to Bobby that the railroad tracks were curving inward as they crossed the road, becoming parallel with our bike tires.
The next second, we were on the ground and I was screaming in pain.
It was an epic crash, I’ll give it that.
Our tires had gotten stuck in the rut of the railroad tracks as they turned parallel with our bike. We spilled out onto the road. Fortunately, no cars were coming at the time and we moved quickly to pull ourselves over to safety.
To make a long story short, the next day we ended up in the hospital, where it was determined that my husband has a scaphoid fracture.
Fortunately, when we made it back to our home in Chicago, it was determined that Bobby would not need surgery. Still, he would endure twelve weeks of wearing a cast and more than a month of rehabilitation once it was finally off.
I’m painting a really happy picture of our first few months of marriage, aren’t I?
Here is where the litmus test comes in. Bobby and I could have let our tandem bike crash define our honeymoon in a negative way.
It could have spelled D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R.
But we were determined not to let the crash define our experience. And so our last day in Napa was spent touring Castello di Amorosa, among several other exciting venues.
Even while my husband and I wore a splint and a very busted up knee, respectively, we managed to treat ourselves like a king and queen.
The royal treatment is what a honeymoon is all about, right?
My point in highlighting the least glamorous aspect of our trip, then, is not to look for pity and talk about how unlucky we were, but rather to share that honeymoons are perfectly imperfect – and I wouldn’t have had ours any other way.
Many of us dream of the flawless wedding and unblemished getaway, but often it’s the things that don’t go exactly the way you planned that are most memorable. They will become the stories you carry with you for years to come.
Find the ability to laugh at yourself. I compiled this before and after video to show you exactly what I mean. Trust me when I tell you that the first clip is truly ironic:
Despite our bruised egos, Bobby and I had the most amazing honeymoon. And now, seven months after our wedding and six months after the epic crash, we could not be happier!
I am so excited for Leslie and Charles and wish them the most amazing wedding and tandem bicycle-free honeymoon! 🙂 Congratulations, you two! Can’t wait to hear your stories.