(In Bethany’s words)
To say our honeymoon started off with a bang would be the understatement of the year! But I’m getting ahead of myself… If you haven’t gotten a chance to see our beautiful wedding photos yet, you can see a preview of them HERE
(taken by our dear friends- the super talented Michael and Carina Photography
Our wedding is a whole story unto itself- and I will make sure to write it all down the way I remember it while it’s still fresh- but I will say that it was perfect. Magical is the word I kept using throughout the day and evening and even after it was all said and done and our friends and family agreed.
We left our magical celebration and headed to Maine for some much needed rest and time to connect over something besides flower choices and ceremony readings. We drove from our ceremony in Bridgewater to our swanky hotel in Tyson’s Corner. But not before we left my wallet at the venue and had to have my sweet friend Taylor (and the best maid of honor ever) meet us with it. We thought we had all of our hiccups out of the way… wrong.
We made it safely to the hotel only to find that our dear friends had unfortunately packed the wrong backpack and sent us with a bag we had no use for in place of the bag with a few things we did need… like the keys to the cabin where we were staying in Maine. We panicked. I may have cried. We debated driving back for it, and decided to call the cabin’s owners in the morning before we made any rash decisions. Thankfully the next morning Amy (the owner and dear friend) answered our frantic 8am phone call and assured us that her property manager in Maine had another set of keys. Whew!
DAY 1 (Sunday)
With that out of the way we had a leisurely morning, enjoying a breakfast of left over wedding cake, BBQ sandwiches, and other treats our lovely friends had packed. We packed up and left the hotel in plenty of time to catch our 1:15 flight our of Reagan National Airport.
We headed to the hotel and made the poor decision to not fill our rental up with gas before returning it. We quickly changed our mind when the lady at the rental return informed us that it would be TEN DOLLARS a gallon for them to provide that service for us. Um no. So back into DC we went in search of a gas station. We made it back and dropped off the car only to be given the wrong information and sent in two different directions before finally heading for the shuttle that would take us to the terminal.
We missed the first shuttle by seconds and had to wait for the next. By the time we boarded the shuttle Aaron and I were stressed to say the least, a few heated words were exchanged, and we fell into a nervous silence as the shuttle driver took the longest route and stopped as many times as possible on the way to our stop. We literally jumped from the bus as soon as it stopped (okay, maybe before) and took off running for the US Airways ticket counter. We printed our boarding passes, dropped off our bags, and sprinted for security. Oh, but our adventure wasn’t over yet.
When we made it to security the officer informed Aaron that he did not have a boarding pass, but a receipt, his pass had not printed, and he would have to backtrack to get another one. At this point it is about 12:45pm and our flight takes off at 1:15pm. Did I mention we were panicking? I sent Aaron back for his boarding pass and I headed through security on my own, promising to do my best to hold the plane for him. I pushed my way through security (I may have even climbed into the bag scanner when my bag got held up), threw on my shoes, and took off again for our plane. I ran towards the gate yelling “which one is to Portland?!” and was ushered towards my gate. I’m sure the other travelers thought I’d lost my mind. When I got to the gate I quickly told the airport employees that my brand new husband’s boarding pass hadn’t printed and he was on his way right now in a plaid shirt, and to please not let the plane leave without him. I heard the guys shouting to Aaron as he ran through the gate, “your wife is this way, hurry!” as they waved him through. He made it on the shuttle to take us to the plane within about 60 seconds of the doors closing. We were finally going to Maine. (my adrenaline is pumping just typing that story- whew!)
We got to watch the monuments pass as we took off and circled DC before heading north. It was beautiful. We had a great flight- I slept, Aaron played with his new GoPro (it was my wedding gift to him), and the flight attendant bought us drinks when she found out we were on our honeymoon. We made it to Portland and round two of our adventure began… with a migraine. I’d only had one before and I knew what was coming when it started. I will spare you the gory details, but I will say that I knew I had one fantastic new husband when he drove us 3 hours to our cabin in the woods while I laid in the back of our rental SUV and slept. He stopped for medicine, he checked on me, and he carried me into the cabin when we finally made it. And never complained once. My hero. We started our middle-of-nowhere Maine adventure with popcorn and movies in bed and thankfully I started to feel much better.
DAY 2 (Monday)
Our sweet little cabin in the woods of Greenville, ME.
When we woke up the next morning, we were starving (everything was closed by the time we got settled the night before… perks of small town living) so we went in search of food. A nice gentleman at the local outdoor shop pointed us toward Auntie M’s, a cute little diner with really, really good breakfast. Our first meal in public as a married couple!! On our first full day in Maine, we explored the eastern side of Lake Moosehead. Parking along the side of the rode or pulling down a little dirt road whenever we saw something interesting or pretty. Visiting towns abandoned for the “off season” and more lakes, ponds, and rivers than we had ever seen before. Maine doesn’t have fences and “No Trespassing” signs like Virginia, so we went where we wanted and never had anyone say a word or throw a dirty look our way. Paradise.
When we got back to town, we stocked up on groceries, headed back to the cabin and relaxed something we probably hadn’t really done since December 1st (when Aaron asked and I said “yes”).
DAY 3 (Tuesday)
We woke up, bundled up, packed a lunch, and headed for the western side of the lake. We saw our first moose (dead and loaded on a trailer.. but still a moose) on the way to Mt. Kineo- a giant piece of obsidian that pokes out of the lake. It was beautiful. We found cute fishing boats and tiny rocky islands and photographed them to our hearts delight.
We ate our picnic lunch in the car and then drove on and explored some really cool bridges, tested the GoPro out under water, and headed back to town.
We stopped at the outdoor shop again (it became a kind of “home base” for us that week) and grabbed coffee and hot chocolate to warm up. Aaron found his beloved moose hat (you’ll see it a lot in the coming photos) and we got directions to Moxie Falls, our next stop.
We drove south to Moxie Falls, got lost (a few times…), and enjoyed the bumpiest drive of our entire lives. It was like off-roading and we praised Jesus again and again for the upgrade from Nissan Versa to Nissan Xterra (let’s just say the Versa would have been totaled on this particular road). We took a detour to see Moxie Lake and couldn’t help but stop on the side of the road several times. So beautiful.
(an example of an official Maine road- unpaved and unmarked)
We finally found the trail head and headed up the path. As you can see, neither of us had actually packed appropriate hiking shoes or clothing, so thankfully this little trail was only about a mile long. It was getting later in the day and I started to get super paranoid that we were going to meet our first bear on the walk… thankfully that suspicion was unfounded and all we found were chipmunks that screamed at us from the branches overhead and a beautiful (and tall) waterfall.
On the way home we decided to follow our GPS instead of going back the way we’d come and Siri led us down the most treacherous ATV trail ever (although in her defense it was an actual road with a real name on the map… crazy)- enormous ditches, creeks to cross over, branches closing in on both sides of the vehicle, and not another soul to see for miles and miles. Again, thank you Jesus for Xterras. We made it back to town and enjoyed dinner at a pub called the Stress-Free Moose. Awesome! While we ate we watched three other customers jump up halfway through their dinner to go pick up a moose that had just been hit by a car. That is the culture up there- not only do they eat moose as much as we eat chicken, but taxidermy is a way of life!
After such a full day, we came back to the cabin and crashed. Day 3 done.
Day 4 (Wednesday)
Our sweet hosts left us oatmeal spice pancake mix so we made pancakes and bacon for breakfast and huddled in front of the wood stove. After so much running around the state the day before, we decided to stick close to the cabin, explore the area, and relax. We crossed the road and walked down the path to the cabin’s lake access and dock. When we left the forest the view took our breath away. It was stunning and we’d never seen such clear water in our lives. Aaron brought the kayak down from the boathouse and explored the lake while I brought a book and basked in the sun. It was the perfect afternoon.
We made dinner (okay, Aaron made dinner… I helped) and watched a movie before calling it a night.
(to be continued…)