Writing about my honeymoon with Lenette is difficult for me. How could it not be?
I fixed up one of Purple Sage’s Chevy Carry-alls so we could sleep inside in bad weather. This became our home for the first few weeks of our honeymoon as we camped and traveled throughout California.
When we arrived at Lake Tahoe, an all-important stop along our way, we camped next to Tahoe City in the State Campground. Lenette loved Lake Tahoe, and It was then that we talked about living up at the Lake. It was one of her many dreams.
After our camping trip, we headed for San Francisco and an elegant hotel for a few days. Although we anticipated hot showers and changing into our best clothes to enjoy everything the city offered, we were as dirty as our truck. When we arrived at the hotel, the doorman almost turned us away. He clearly sent the message, “You don’t belong here,” and we felt it.
Our camper was quickly removed into the garage, and we were rapidly led to our room. Not once did we feel welcome there. They treated us like we were homeless. Still, nothing could intrude on our happiness, and we laughed it off.
All sparkling clean, we walked to a restaurant we picked out from the many we knew. We enjoyed excellent service, food, and wine. Hours later, we walked the streets late at night. A few days later, we were home and preparing for Hawaii.
At that time, Lenette owed money on her car, and I had enough to pay the whole balance. It was also just enough money to go on a round trip to Hawaii on the Matson Cruise Line.
I broke my money into one-dollar bills, and with Lenette on the floor, I poured a whole bag of dollar bills over her. It was an unbelievable moment of joy. The dollars flew everywhere.
Lenette initially decided on the Matson cruise, but we realized if we flew Pan Am instead, we could book a hotel room on the beach in Hawaii and have cash for food. So that’s what we did! This Hawaiian trip was the first of many, with the best yet to come.
Despite our limited budget, we stayed on the beach, and things got better fast. One of the beach boys lent me a guitar, and I played and sang folk music, which they plainly enjoyed. In return, they fed us pū-pūs and fruit and gave us free rides in canoes, outriggers, and small sailboats.
Lenette, being an experienced sailor, was eager to show me her stuff. So, there was no hesitation when the beachboys lent us a small sailboat. We took off with the wind, and within minutes, we were far out, perhaps a mile, and close to big breaking waves. One caught us, and we were turned upside down in the wild surf.
As luck would have it, the beach boys were watching us through binoculars and instantly came out to get us. We all laughed at the experience, and later, they gave us a huge surfboard to ride the close-in waves.
At first, all was fine as we sat on the board waiting for a wave and watched people in canoes having a joyful time. They had canoe guides to ensure they avoided crashing into the multitude of people who were swimming and body surfing everywhere.
Sure enough, a wave came, and the front of the board where we sat lifted about five feet above the water. Now what? We were helpless as we sped toward the canoes just in front of us.
We jumped off, grabbed the nose of the board, and steered it to the beach. Crisis averted! But no more boards or sailing for us, and we spent the rest of the day body surfing.
In the evenings, we enjoyed pū-pūs on the deck of our hotel and slowly sipped the one drink we would have. Afterward, we enjoyed a walk through the city.
One night, we were passing by a fine restaurant in Honolulu and saw two people sitting at a table next to the window. We could see they were enjoying filet mignon. They could not see us because of the glare, but we saw them as if on a stage.
We stopped to watch as their table was cleared for a tableside Crepe Suzette. We decided to go in and have a salad, and the waiter sat us right next to them. We watched as their server prepared the crepes, mesmerized by the sizzle and sweet aromas that drifted our way.
When the crepes were served and eaten, I blurted out to Lenette, “How was it?” And all four of us burst into laughter. We did not share in the crepes, but we did get to know each other.
Later, we walked along where the larger, ocean-going sailboats were tied and saw a sign that read: “Hiring two to crew to Tahiti.” We stopped to inquire, and they told us, “We want a couple of guys. “Sorry, no married couples.”
Eventually, we got to Tahiti. But not as sailors. Lenette, the travel agent, brought that dream to life, and we arrived and enjoyed ourselves as tourists.
As a young married couple, we had little money but still dreamed big. In 1972, another of Lenette’s dreams came true. We moved to Lake Tahoe to run a resort. Lenette had a wonderful way with dreams.