A story about our honeymoon from Lucky Husband...
A couple weeks ago was the anniversary of our honeymoon. Each day, as the week went by, I tried to remember what we were doing that day two years ago. Throughout the week, I kept saying things to Erin like, "You can't be mad at me today - It's the anniversary of eating Rosalie's Pizza", or if she was feeling flustered and exhausted I would throw in, "At this time two years ago, we were eating lobster and blueberry cobbler in Bangor." She has such fond memories of that week, that it usually helped change her mood pretty quickly.
As wonderful as it ended up, it started out looking pretty grim. Our first day was definitely one of those "some day we'll look back on this and laugh" type days. And at this point, we do, but at the time, it was definitely no laughing matter.
We chose Maine as our destination, wanting a place where we could really soak up the autumn colors. We found what seemed like the perfect place to stay in on the internet, and booked it enthusiastically. It was described as a "carriage house" in Portland, right on the coast. For some reason, when we heard "carriage house" we thought "charming, rustic cottage, fixed up for guests", and not "house where you would store a carriage". I guess we were just hearing what we wanted to hear, because it fit into our budget a lot better than most of the other places we had looked at. At any rate, the lesson we learned is that the term "carriage house" apparently means "garage". Yep, as we followed our directions up the lane where we would spend some of our happiest days, we were directed down an alley between two large old houses, and found the address we were looking for posted on the garage of one of the two houses.
Trying to keep an open mind, we located the key and went in, hoping to be pleasantly surprised by something, anything. But no, it was a garage, from the cement floors to the rolling garage door we would be looking at while sipping coffee in our "dining room". The bathroom was appointed in the manner you would expect to find in a machine shop, but in fairness, it was handsomely decorated with a stunning array of license plates from around the country. As we went upstairs into the "bedroom", we found it decorated with the kind of rickety old furniture you either find in a ninety year old woman's apartment or a Goodwill truck. The bigger problem though, was the fact that the walls were solid windows for 360 degrees, and it was right on the level with the second floors of three houses which were within about ten feet on all sides - it was probably the least private room I had ever seen, definitely not ideal for a honeymoon.
It was at this point that I looked at Erin and saw the tears forming in her eyes, and knew I was going to have to talk our way out of our commitment. I generally try to avoid confrontation, and hate to complain or go back on a deal, but this was our honeymoon, and as Erin said, "I will not spend my honeymoon in a garage!" I swallowed hard and dialed the owner's number. In fairness, as I looked over the ad we had seen, I couldn't find anything I could actually describe as inaccurate, and there were a couple of pictures - he must have worked his butt off finding two frame that could make the place not look like a garage. But overall, I would say the ad came off as misleading, and the gentleman seemed to realize that; he didn't put up much of a fight in agreeing to give us our deposit back, he just kept asking what part of the ad we didn't understand. I got the distinct impression he had had the same conversation before with other "guests", and on the off chance he's reading this I will offer one piece of advice - put a picture of the garage door in the ad, and you will never have any more disappointed customers asking for their money back.
So that hurdle was behind us, but we were left with a bigger one ahead of us. We didn't have any place to stay. To Be Continued...