I was pissed when my uncle announced at our rehearsal dinner, “You know you’re taking your honeymoon during hurricane season, right?” Well, duh! But it was my honeymoon, which meant that everything was destined to be perfect. Unless a certain relative opened up his yap and jinxed it all. Which is exactly what happened. That’s right, I’m blaming Uncle John, not seasonal weather systems moving through the Caribbean, for Hurricane Omar ruining my honeymoon.It all began right after our tour of Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands: gray skies, drizzle, word of a “tropical storm warning,” and then the news that we’d be in the path of a possible category three hurricane. That meant the various activities included in our honeymoon package — the drive to the top of the island to watch the sunset, the excursion to the Virgin Gorda to go snorkeling, the trip to the private beach — were promptly nixed.
“It’s fine,” said Steve, as I started to whine. “I’d rather be here in the middle of a hurricane than anywhere else. At least we’re together.”
Whatever. Nice words, but they weren’t clearing the skies — or getting us a refund. I’m usually a real Girl Scout about stuff like this, able to buck up in the direst of circumstances, but my honeymoon was my turf, and it was being peed on by God.
I’d booked the trip eight months earlier and had been anticipating how wonderful it would be. Modern Bride had sent me on assignment to Peter Island several years earlier, and the trip was nothing less than perfect: the location, the food, the service, the privacy, the weather. Peter Island isn’t cheap; for our honeymoon, we could only afford the four-day package. Now, the weather was due to clear up the day we were supposed to leave.
But I decided to quit my bitching. What choice did I have? Maybe our honeymoon would be a quasi-wash, but I had to make the most of it for Steve’s sake — and mine. So, we explored the island with our umbrellas, swam in the pool during the downpour, and made a list of things that rule about having your honeymoon in a hurricane.
The Real Estate
Thanks to the storm, Steve and I got to check out parts of the hotel that we wouldn’t have otherwise. When Omar got upgraded to a Category 3, we guests were rounded up from our rooms with our necessities and trucked to the top of the island, where the luxury villas are located. We spent the night in a four-bedroom rental that starts at around $15,000 a night. The downside was that we had to share it with approximately 30 other people.
I had a lot more time to do two things on my honeymoon that I wouldn’t have had I been swimming and snorkeling and hiking: read and drinking. The night we were evacuated, we enjoyed complimentary Hurricanes (the drink, not the storm) before dinner. After a while, I figured out that if I squinted, the storm looked like a mere tropical depression.
I’d never been in a hurricane before. Now, I can say I’ve been in one. Maybe for our first anniversary we’ll get an earthquake.
A hurricane honeymoon is a way more interesting story than boring stories about perfect weather, flattering bikinis, and Don Ho rising from the grave to serenade newlywed couples. We win!
Whether your honeymoon is the best or the worst, I recommend building in some post-trip downtime back at home. Relaxing before heading back to work, I fell in love with life and Steve all over again. “I’m so happy,” I said over and over again. Forget tropical locales. I’d rather have a “homeymoon” than a honeymoon.