I am a small-town Pensacola native. I’ve never been out of the country- not even for a cruise! I’ve dreamed of traveling to Europe ever since I was captivated by textbook photos of the artwork in a college humanities class.
Fun fact # 1: I AM a planner.
Fun fact #2: I am NOT a trip planner!
Planning trips is overwhelming for me because there is so much uncertainty about somewhere I’ve never been that I don’t even know where to start. So, when Matt and I started planning our wedding, we made a deal:
I would plan the wedding. Matt would plan the honeymoon.
My only two guidelines: I wanted to see the Sistine Chapel and the David.
Honeymoon #1: Italy
Matt did a fantastic job of putting together our dream honeymoon. We were set to depart the morning after our wedding for travel to Venice, Florence, and Rome. It was going to be a real dream come true!
As luck would have it, Italy turned out to be an epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis. That meant Italy was out and travel vouchers for a raincheck were in!
Honeymoon #2: Asheville, North Carolina
When it became clear that international travel had to wait, we chose Asheville, North Carolina for a "mini moon." Neither of us have ever been. Still naïve and in denial, Matt and I mistakenly believed the ability to drive would insulate us from having to cancel the trip due to airline restrictions.
We booked a darling boutique hotel in downtown Asheville for the first few nights, where we planned to visit the Biltmore and all the best restaurants.
For the second part of the trip, we reserved the coolest treehouse and made reservations to go hiking with llamas—Yes! Hiking with llamas!
An animal lover that also loves to hike, I was so excited to combine both passions that I bought Matt and I matching “Llama Get Married” shirts. What can I say? Matt is a good sport!
Not long after the virus swept through Italy, it headed to the States. With restaurant closures and safety restrictions all across the country, we decided to cancel Honeymoon #2. Queue the sound effects: womp womp.
Honeymoon #3: Blue Ridge, Georgia
Determined to have a honeymoon experience, our last attempt was to book a beautiful cabin just outside of Blue Ridge, Georgia. With a full kitchen, games, smart tv’s, and a hot tub on the balcony overlooking the mountains, this place had everything we needed to be #SaferAtHome … in the woods.
In the end, we decided it was best to heed the travel restrictions and pleas to stay home by state and local officials. So we canceled Honeymoon #3.
Now happily married, sans official honeymoon, I recognize that a dream delayed is not a dream denied.
Matt and I WILL eventually make our way to Italy for my dream vacation.
In the end, Matt and I decided to bring Italy to us for our honeymoon at home. We picked up a delicious meal from Carrabbas Italian Grill, broke out the Dollar Tree hurricane candles, and had the best dinner we'll never forget!
We look forward to dining in Italy when it's safe to reschedule our trip!
Lauren “Never a Quitter But Recognizing Sometimes You Have to Throw In the Towel” Merritt
P.S. I’m excited to join ranks with My Pink Lawyer® as affiliated independent counsel. I handle uncontested probate and guardian advocate (guardianship for developmentally disabled adults) matters, all on a flat fee basis. Click below to inquire about a no-obligation consultation with me today!