My Fantasy Island: Herve Villachez Is to Ricardo Montalban As…a Hawaii Getaway Is to My Snowy Weekend in Duluth

“My Fantasy Island: Herve Villachez Is to Ricardo Montalban As…a Hawaii Getaway Is to My Snowy Weekend in Duluth”

Some folks might argue that I am prone to excess. For example, I have been known to have more than 60 pairs of shoes loitering in my closet, mingling and sweating in there until I’m ready to take them out for a stroll. Also, at mealtime I never eat less than a full plate of food, and then I have seconds. Shortly thereafter, I have dessert. And then I have seconds.

As well, I have big hair–follicles able hold up a Bic lighter and wave it back and forth soulfully during life’s ballads.

However, I would like to make the case here and now that I am only superficially excessive; deep down, I am modest in desire and principle.Here is my case in point:

The Groom and I have been married for about 7 1/2 years now. This past Thursday night, from 5:30-6:30 p.m., we had our honeymoon.

It was cheap. It was unplanned. It was dreamy.

When we got married seven-non-itchy-years ago, we were quite pragmatic about our reasons for not going on a honeymoon: I had a lot of credit card debt, we were buying a new house, I was knocked up, and I had work on Monday. Luckily, I also had no desire for an engagement ring–quite frankly, it seemed a waste of money (to this day, I’d rather have a new wool coat than a $2,000 rock on my finger).So Groom proposed to me over a stack of pancakes–swoon!–with a Betsy Bowen woodcut in hand. And when it came to talk of a honeymoon, our attitude was, “Yea, someday when we have more money we’ll pack up our Speedos and hop a flight. But for now, let’s watch ‘Blind Date’ and eat huge bowls of popcorn.”

Not for a minute did I have pangs to go somewhere grand and romantic, to put the final punctuation on our marriage celebration. Grab a tissue now; here comes a soppy statement: I didn’t need a honeymoon because just being married to this dude is one continual Lurve Trip. The marriage pretty much has been the honeymoon.Go ahead. Dab at your eyes if you need to. Blow your nose. In an age fueled by road rage and text messaging, good, old-fashioned “Baby, I jes’ like you all the time, every day, face-to-face” is a rare commodity. We’ve got it good. And in seven years, we haven’t yet revisited that honeymoon discussion. The Speedos are moldering.

But then suddenly, blowing in out of the northwest last Thursday, came our honeymoon. On the wings of a blizzard–an epic storm (after no snow at all for months, we’ve had more than 30″ in the last week)–rode an experience we couldn’t have reserved, even had we dialed 1-800-HONEYMOON and requested a king-sized bed, in-room jacuzzi, and bottle of bubbly.

To illustrate to you the extent of this storm, consider these Before and After pictures of the scarecrow in our yard (he scares away roosters and young men in crisp white shirts carrying religious literature):

Let’s pretend that the storm was so powerful, it whipped the pumpkin head right off Scarecrowlicious. No way did the Jack-o-lantern head rot off and hit the compost some months back. Nae, I assure you that the storm’s winds were guillotine in strength.Due to the severity of this blizzard, our original plans for the weekend–quasi-romantic in their own right (I was to attend a conference in Minneapolis, and some friends had agreed to take the kids for a couple of nights so Groom could come along)–had to be scrapped. Ain’t no one done gone be goin’ nowheres that day. Yet Saintly Friends still insisted they were ready to wrassle the kids, even for a night, so Groom and I could enjoy a small corner of escape from daily duties.

Kids were dropped off.

Snow fell.

Visibility waned.

We stood in the kitchen and stared at each other. What is it we do when not occupied with work and family life, we wondered?

Well, we drink coffee. We take a nap. And we watch ELLEN.

And then we remembered there was an epic storm going on. We should be part of that action. For many people, the honeymoon involves some waxing, as was the case with us. But for us, the wax was blue, and it never touched our bodies.

Rather, it was time to strap on the skis and take advantage of the once-in-a-decade chance to glide out the front door and around our residential neighborhood, down the railroad tracks, over to the golf course.Thusly, our honeymoon went. For more than an hour, we skiied past sequestered neighbors and over empty streets. Down the middle of 43rd Avenue we went, across Robinson, up to Dodge, owning the roads. Within minutes, my glasses were so fogged I couldn’t see; the snow blowing in the wind felt like granules of sand, exfoliating my cheeks; eventually darkness set in, and Groom was often just a shadowy figure in front of me.

Yet every few hundred yards we would stop and bellow, “Dag, but this is amazing! All those poor sods in their houses wearing their warm, dry cranky pants don’t know what they’re missing!”
And then, while snow fell at a rate of 3 inches an hour, and winds reached hurricane proportions, a freakish phenomenon occurred (no, I don’t mean Salma Hayek wore a dress with no decolletage): a thunderstorm began, and suddenly we were dodging lightening bolts hurled out by Thor and hollering over bowling-alley-like thunder. All the humors of the universe were aligning quite remarkably, and the only person sharing it with me was my husband.
Jesus Marimba, the whole thing was so cool.
For a lot of people, the honeymoon digs are a resort somewhere warm, let’s say Oahu.

For us, our honeymoon base was our same-ole-everyday house, whitewashed with snow, draped with icicles.

For lots of folks, the honeymoon–that week of dedicated loving and focus on each other, often carried out because, well, that’s what people do–takes place under an umbrella, surrounded by strangers.

For us, an umbrella would have been little more than a lightning conductor. That storm shut down the world around us, making it so forbidding that we felt marooned together on our own island (albeit a ski-able one), surrounded by an ocean of snow.

Once the wind threatened to tear the very wedding rings off our fingers, we headed back home, where we broke into the booze and Scrabble.

As it turns out, the word “blizzard” on a Scrabble board intersects quite easily with “zowie.”

The next morning, when the rest of the world was ready to crack open their doors and venture towards their snowblowers, we saluted their efforts and then strapped on the skis one more time, ready to take another turn around the neighborhood before the plows cleaned things up.

The daily grind began anew, but the honeymoon continues.





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26 responses to “My Fantasy Island: Herve Villachez Is to Ricardo Montalban As…a Hawaii Getaway Is to My Snowy Weekend in Duluth”

  1. Lone Grey Squirrel Avatar
    Lone Grey Squirrel

    Oh, you mad kids. :))

  2. Em Avatar

    Sounds like you had the perfect honeymoon! A thunderstorm in the middle of a snow storm…freakish and oh so cool!!

    You are one of the lucky ones to be married so long and still feel like every day is really a honeymoon. My wife and I are a bit like that – even after 21 years! We did have a honeymoon when we married cause we figured we would never be able to afford one again! LOL But she did not want a ring then…or now. Put that money to better use.

    And that headless scarecrow is a bit intimidating!

  3. Voyager Avatar

    Skiing in a thundery blizzard, followed by scrabble and booze. Sounds like bliss. Seriously.
    Was it strip scrabble by any chance? That’s always a fun honeymoon game.

  4. JohnnyC Avatar

    Thanks for taking us along for the ride J. You kids have an enviable thing. -j

  5. lushgurl Avatar

    AWWW Jocelyn… that was a two-tissue story if ever I heard one!!!
    Way to enjoy life, each other and a snow storm!
    Are ya sure ‘Zowie’ is allowed in scrabble?

  6. Hammer Avatar

    What an awesome way to spend the day. Those spur of the moment ideas are terrific and don’t come around often enough ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Dorky Dad Avatar
    Dorky Dad

    That’s an excellent story. I was actually going to ask you how you did during the storm. Now I know …

  8. Jazz Avatar

    A thunderstorm during a blizzard. How cool is that!

    Though loving winter like I do, I wouldn’t be out skiing. I’d be cocooning at home with a glass of wine, minus the cranky pants.

  9. furiousBall Avatar

    That’s a great story, you two have it right…paradise isn’t a place.

    I love snow too, I’d be perfectly happy on a pair of skiis.

  10. frannie Avatar

    wonderful story! I love it!

    That’s how I feel about my marriage as well… the whole thing is a honeymoon!

  11. That Chick Over There Avatar
    That Chick Over There

    You guys totally rock.

    The end.

  12. ldbug Avatar

    Fun! I love the snow:-)

    You guys are so lucky to have a 7 + years honeymoon!

  13. paintergirl Avatar

    Aww 7 years is nothing, we’ll be 14 this year. You two are so sweet and what a lovely way to spend time together. I love all of your photos!

  14. lime Avatar

    fabulous. sounds liek you know how to capture the joy every day so moments like this really are extra special. glad you could fully enjoy.

  15. Undercover Angel Avatar
    Undercover Angel

    Thank you for sharing your memories with us. Sounds like you had a wonderful honeymoon, and I’m glad to hear that the honeymoon has never ended.

  16. Diesel Avatar

    That sounds like a fantastic honeymoon. Congratulations!

    Although I’m glad I live where it’s 70 degrees. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Queen of the Mayhem Avatar
    Queen of the Mayhem

    What a sweet post! Sounds like you made the best of a less than ideal situation! I think that any time that is away from my kids….is good! Don’t get me wrong, LOVE my kids…..LOVE to leave them every once in a while! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for stopping by my blog…I really enjoyed yours!

  18. Stepping Over the Junk Avatar
    Stepping Over the Junk

    This was so great, I am totally laughing. You have such a good voice when you write. I can’t get past that he proposed with the Betsy Bowen woodcut in hand. CLASSIC! (and something I would have loved instead of something unnecessary like a massive diamond and gold that made my hand look pasty and knock my eye out. Alas, I am divorced now….

  19. steve Avatar

    Even more amazing than your honeymoon and just your overall adventures is the fact that after one day you already have 18 comments, not counting spam! You go, girl!

  20. urban-urchin Avatar

    You guys are so much fun! I wish I was your neighbor. Then I could smile and shake my head in a “You kids” kind of way as I watch you frolic in the snow from the comfort of my warm cranky pants…

    Happy Honeymoon!

  21. Glamourpuss Avatar

    Brrrr! Chilly pictures. Lovely house. Who says romance is dead?


  22. choochoo Avatar

    you two crazy kids;)

  23. velvet girl Avatar
    velvet girl

    How fun! That sounds like it beats our week at Disney hands down. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  24. oreneta Avatar

    You manage to bring joy and rememberance to the aspects of winter that I love. So nice not to hear whining about the snow.

  25. Infinitesimal Avatar

    are they still running that sale over at the groom store? and could you please fax me over the coupon if they are?

    All I get are the numskulls who follow the neon sign with directions to my house from the corner of crazy and loser.

  26. Marisa Avatar

    Interesting to know.

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