February 8th, 2015:


My wedding day -- outside military housing in Frankfurt, Germany

My wedding day — outside the family’s military housing in Frankfurt, Germany. Mom, Tupper, me and Dad.

Valentine’s Day is on the horizon and even though I’ve been divorced for years, an old memory that comes to mind is my Italian honeymoon. It didn’t turn out perfectly, but if it had I wouldn’t have the funny remembrances.

My ex and I were married in Frankfurt, Germany, in early April. Hans was a Lt. in the Army, I was working as a secretary for the Manager of the Heidelberg Officers Club, and my parents were stationed in Frankfurt. Since it was still chilly in Europe, we thought we should go south for a honeymoon as long as we found reasonable accommodations. I suggested the island of Majorca, but Hans knew a travel agent who could get us a great price in a nice hotel right on the Adriatic in Italy. Milano Marritima was very close to Rimini and could be reached easily by train from Germany. We figured the weather in Italy was bound to be better than Germany, even if it was barely Spring.

The hotel boasted tennis courts, a beach, and plenty of things to do when we needed a break from romance. Believing we should be prepared for all occasions, we packed our largest suitcases, with tennis racquets, of course. I had spent money on new outfits and took them all; I was not a light packer.

We had had a formal wedding at an Episcopal Church that served both Americans and Germans. The reception was at my parents’ military housing on Hansallee. Although the day was overcast, it was warm enough to have a bar set up outside and food in the living/dining area.

My military father drove us all crazy preparing for the wedding and reception, and I wondered if my mother and I would survive to enjoy it. A couple of hours into the lively reception, Dad, who believed in “getting the show on the road,” encouraged us to get down to the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof in plenty of time for the train. We had a couple of hours to stroll around and check out an area that was ripe with hookers. Train stations were always full of potential customers.

The trip south on a sleeper coach (we had splurged) took all night and into the next day. We disembarked in Rimini and took a bus to the small beach town of Milano Marittima. The brochure was quite inviting but the weather that first day was just cold and gloomy.

What the hotel was supposed to look like in sunny weather.

What the hotel was supposed to look like in sunny weather.

We were impressed with the modern looking Hotel Aurelia with its artistic marble floors; it was clean and the staff was very helpful. Our room with a balcony was a few floors up and facing the ocean. We were looking forward to a warm sunny week. The next day also dawned gloomy and overcast. Marble floors are not inviting when the weather is cold.

Not a day to take a dip in the ocean, we walked around the small town and had delicious prosciutto and wine. Fortunately, we’d brought sweaters along with all the beach attire. There wasn’t much to do as far as exploring, so we did what honeymooners do. The staff was quite solicitous, encouraging us to eat oysters and eggs, which were supposed to be good for your sex life, and they brought us a portable heater in case our body heat wasn’t enough. We had special service in the dining room. They could practice on us since the hotel was essentially empty except for one other couple. No wonder the price had been ideal!

Where was the sun Italy was famous for? Not here. Perhaps we could find sunshine nearby? We discovered there was a separate country a few miles away. We bought tickets for a bus jaunt to San Marino, an approximate 38-square-mile mountain and one of the smallest states in the world after the Vatican and Monaco. Although the mountain was less than a half-mile high, maybe it would get us out of the moisture and overcast. It was worth a try.

To be continued…

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