When Michael and I were first going out, I took him to Big Sur for his birthday. We had met only a couple of months before, and I wanted to whisk him off and enjoy the lovely nature down there. What I hadn't contemplated when I made the travel plans was that Big Sur came with a lot of baggage. It was the locale of many a family camping trip. The beach we sat at one day? The very place my children ran around. I stared out at the ocean and burst into tears.
How had I gotten here? On this beach? With this man? Where were my children? Where was that other man, my husband?
To Michael's credit, he endured my meltdown, and I was able to tell him what happened. Subsequent trips to Big Sur washed over my older trips, and now I think of both families when I'm there and I think about them both and not with tears.
Michael's place of family memories is Disneyland. He took his girls there often, several times a year for years. It was were they could all be happy. It was where the cares of the world disappeared.
He and I once contemplated going there, but after he grew teary eyed, we decided to hold off until we have grandchildren to take.
So now we are trying to determine where to go on our honeymoon. But there are land mines, at least for me. England and especially the Kentish countryside belong to my first family. Paris and Normandy are mine, too. Italy belongs to Michael and his wandering younger years, a summer long trip after graduate school.
We neither of us have a hankering for Germany. Or Slovakia or Slovenia. Or Turkey, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, or Malta.
But Spain? It belongs to no one. It's a free country, at least as far as we are concerned.
So we can go to a place that is not laden with memory minefields, a place that can start with us, with this marriage.
And now to figure out what city and for how long. That's the easy part.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org