Gather round, Readers. It's time for my to tell you a story.
Once upon five years ago, there was a young woman of indescribable grace, intelligence, wit, beauty, and, of course, humility. We'll call her Jennifer.
She and her husband had just arrived in Scotland for their honeymoon. They knew that it would be many years before they owned a house of their own, so they rented a cottage by the sea for the week. So what if the cottage was in a remote village with only one store that served as the post office, grocery store, and pharmacy? So what if the heat turned off automatically every night at 9 PM and could only be extended by one hour at a time?
They were young and did not concern themselves with such things.
On the second day of their honeymoon, Jennifer discovered that she couldn't move her neck. At all. No big deal.(I rallied for two hours so I could ride heavy horses. That pretty much finished me off for the rest of the trip--but it was worth it!)
Then the girl got a fever. And lost her appetite. And was tired all the time. Instead of sleeping in her pretty lingerie, she wore her husband's sweatshirt with the hood pulled up. When she had to go to the bathroom, which was downstairs, her husband had to take her because she was shaking so badly that she was afraid to walk down the stairs by herself.
Every hour, her husband got up to turn the heat back on, then tucked a towel under the door to try and keep the heat in. In the morning he went to the store to buy Tylenol. The store sold something called "Chesty Cough." Apparently the only ailment in that small town was consumption. (Let this be a lesson to you all to pack your own medicine when you travel!)
The rest of the trip was like traveling with a very old woman. She took naps. She couldn't eat. She certainly couldn't shower (there was no hairdryer and she was afraid of the chill she would get from wet hair).(Here's where I spent most of my honeymoon--you can see the indent of my butt, in fact.)
Adding insult to injury, the airline lost their luggage on the way home, including their cell phones. She had to walk to a payphone in order to make an appointment with her doctor--and I can't explain just how epic it was to walk into town to make a phone call. The doctor confirmed what you, astute reader, must have suspected: she had Mono.
This story is very convenient at parties--like the story of how my twin sister ended up marrying my husband's brother except, you know, less happy. While I appreciate its value as a story, I would have preferred a healthy honeymoon instead.
Nearly five years have passed since that disastrous, entirely unromantic trip. Thursday we're going back to Scotland. We're visiting friends and then we're spending five days hiking from one B&B to the next.
You can be sure of two things on this trip: 1. I'm packing lots of medicine--just in case. 2. Every minute that I'm hiking, I'm giving Mono the finger. And loving it.
I'll be back to blogging in August. While I would love to bring you all Cadbury bars and scotch, you'll have to settle for pictures.
PS (In an effort to pretend that this blog is interactive) I encourage you to share your own honeymoon horror stories. I can't be the only one...can I??