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Did you know that it was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer, and because their calendar was lunar-based, this period was called the honey month or what we know today as the honeymoon. Useless information, we know, but since you are reading this page, we figured that you'd want to know that kind of stuff! Now, on with the story...
Upon leaving the wedding reception, our guests were asking where we were going on our Honeymoon. Well, we weren't tellin', that's for sure. It was our little secret. In fact, only Steve's sister, Karen, had access to the final destination in a sealed envelope. But now, through the magic of endless bandwidth, you will find out the answer to this question.
After we left the church (and popped over 150 balloons in Steve's Volkwagen Jetta — we still don't know how our Wedding Party got all those balloons in the car; very cool idea, though. We were laughing about it for quite a while), we were about a block away when Amy realized that she left her winter coat back in the changing room at the church. We needed the coat because it had her keys and other needed items in the pockets. Oops!

So we turned around and ended up driving for a little while the WRONG WAY down a one way Oak Park street, dragging cans and making lots of noise, getting honks for quite a while. Got the coat and left the church for a second time. We dropped by Amy's (now "our") apartment to pick up the last of Amy's luggage and then headed over to Steve's parents house.

Why? Well, to park the Jetta in the garage and use the "alternate" getaway car to actually get where we were going (sneaky, we know!). With the car switch made (we now had Amy's Honda Civic), we headed out to our first dinner as husband and wife.
We originally had restaurant reservations at a nice place in Northbrook, IL (about 30 min. north of our apartment), but we decided to cancel at the last minute. We were just so tired from all the day's events. Those of you who are married can relate, we'll bet. We just wanted a quick meal and then to our nightime accomodations. Therefore our first meal as a couple was spent with take-out from Wendy's. Yes, is was quite odd to walk into a fast food joint around 8:30 p.m. all dressed up, order a chili, chicken sandwich, baked potato (which ran out of stock before we could obtain one), and two Frosty's. But hey, it was our tribute to the recently departed Dave Thomas. So we grabbed the food and headed to the place we were spending the night...
And our destination for the evening was... the Sybaris, a "specialized romantic getaway" resort, with our accomodations featuring the Deluxe Whirlpool Suite. That's a whirlpool built for two in the suite, complete with a steam room. It was quite the relaxing experience.
The next day we hit the road for our final destination of the week, Kohler, WI, which was only two hours north of Chicago (150 miles) and one hour north of Milwaukee (55 miles). Kohler is directly west of Sheboygan near the shores of Lake Michigan.

"What," you ask, "was so special about Kohler, Wisconsin?"

Well, first of all, this is the place where they make Kohler toilets, sinks, and bathtubs. How exciting is that? But on top of that, it's also a quiet little resort destination, featuring a spa, golf courses and the Midwest's only AAA Five Diamond hotel. We were all set to stay at The American Club, a VERY nice resort on the grounds of this planned company town.
However, when we arrived, we discovered that the main hotel area was closed for renovations (a fact they failed to mention in advance). Apparently, this was the peak of their off season, and they wanted to install a new wood floor in the lobby.

Not to worry.... The small number of guests with reservations (us included) were upgraded to another building in the hotel complex, called The American Club Carriage House. It was exceedingly more elegant and ritzy than the already beautiful American Club. Fortunately, this upgrade was for the same price. In fact, we already had a very good rate for the stay, having booked in advance through AAA for a Sunday-Thursday duration.
We had booked a room with a king-size bed, and had confirmed this just a week in advance without a problem (even though they never mentioned the renovation/building change at the time. Go figure!). When we went to check-in, we were told there were no rooms with a king-size bed available in The American Club Carriage House, so they substituted a room with two queen-size beds. We decided to check out these alternative accomodations. It was a VERY nice room, but I think we were sort of bummed that we didn't get what we were promised. (Power to the consumer!). So we POLITELY went back to the front desk and mentioned this point. The worker seemed thrown off by our request, but was kind enough to find us a king-size bed in the facility. "Where was this room?" you ask.
It never hurts to ask when you are unsatisfied with a situation, because we were upgraded again to a full SUITE! Same price (and this room normally ran for something like $450 a night). We felt like thieves, but who cares, we had a Carriage House Suite, and it was awesome. Not only did we get a king-size bed (finally!), but we got a full living room area, 3 sinks (all Kohler, of course), a shower with whirlpool (Kohler, of course), and a separate patio area enclosed under a sunroom, complete with another full-size whirlpool (Kohler, of course), full climate control and a music system. It was freakin' cool!
On the first night we were there, we discovered something straight out of the Discovery Channel on our enclosed patio. This would be a FROG! How odd and freaky. We captured it in a glass and threw it out the window. (This was a 20-minute ordeal that we won't go into, especially since Steve doesn't exactly get along with living, non-human creatures). We later mentioned this "frog incident" to the front desk the next morning. Their story was that since they bring in a lot of the plants and landscaping for the rooms, the frogs bury themselves in the dirt and come out later in the warmth. They assured us it wouldn't happen again. We laughed at the whole situation because it was just too odd. There were no other frogs spotted on our trip.

Kohler is a resort town, with planned streets, communities and shops (plus the working factory). Even in winter, there was stuff to do, which is one of the reasons we chose this location (after all, who gets married in February?) . They had a complete mall/shopping area called The Shops at Woodlake which featured one of a kind stores and restaurants (including a really great Italian place we had the opportunity to eat at one night).

We also checked out the Kohler Design Center which is like being in the Home Depot fantasy bathroom area, but on steroids. Sure, it sounds cheesy, but it really was a pretty high class operation. They had all these great functional bathrooms and layouts on display that you could tour and borrow ideas (in fact, some of the theming in our apartment bathroom was pre-inspired by some designs here — you'll have to visit to see what that's about). They had a museum with the company history, and other areas to check out as well. Pretty fun.

We also spent a day at the delightful Kohler Waters Spa. This was really relaxing. We got a dual massage where they put both of you in a room with a fireplace and two professionals go to town on your aches and pains. There was also a relaxing pool, saunas, steam rooms, and the best part... showers with these turbo sprayers from all angles (manufactured by Kohler, of course). Amy was in paradise, and even Steve, who isn't much of a "sit around and relax at a spa" kind of guy, thought it was classy and well worth the experience.

As far as the "educational" part of our trip (all vacations need to have an educational element!), we dropped by the Waelderhaus, which was built in the architectural style of the Bregenzerwald region of Austria, ancestral homeland of the Kohler family. This "house in the woods" features carvings, woodcuts, iron and pewter work. The tour was supposed to last an hour, but we got it all in 10 minutes. We think our tour guide just wanted to go home. Oh well, it was free.

Most of another day was spent hiking at Kohler-Andrae State Park. Yes, we said hiking. Sure there was snow on the ground, but the sun was shining and it was just a great winter experience. We dig that stuff. It was also pretty amazing to stand on a snow-covered dune and look out over the rolling waves of Lake Michigan. Fun stuff and great memories.

We had the opportunity to experience something you only sing about around Christmas. We got to go on a sleigh ride! Two horses, just the two of us, and a driver. It was romantic cuddling under the horse hair blanket (which drove Amy's allergies crazy, but at the moment it was great), going through open fields and cozy woods. We even had the jingle bells ringing as the horses pulled the sleigh. Pure bliss.
Prior to getting married, neither of us had cable television in our respective homes (funny, since Steve majored in television in college, but that's beside the point). A hidden delight of our Honeymoon experience in Kohler was the cable TV in the hotel room. It was fun to watch a few episodes of "Magnum PI" (who doesn't love Tom Selleck?), "MacGyver" (who doesn't love Richard Dean Anderson?) and "Little House on the Prairie" (who doesn't love Michael Landon?), as well as a pretty competitive Super Bowl (though the commercials kinda stunk). Why aren't there good shows like this on television today? Maybe it's because... [Amy edits out Steve's rant about how Christians should be involved in media, but how the Church would much rather put out yet another Left Behind book...]
We really didn't want to leave that place... it was just too perfect, and with all the blessings that we were given, some good memories were made (and you all know how sentimental we get). Nevertheless, we headed home on Thursday afternoon to get situated at the apartment and make things easier to mirgrate back into "real life," especially since Amy was still in grad school and had to hop back into classes.

So now you know were we went on our honeymoon! We hope you enjoyed the story.

The American Club
Carriage House: Exterior

The American Club
Our Room's Enclosed Patio
The American Club - Carriage House: Exterior
The American Club - Our Room's Enclosed Patio

Kohler-Andrae S.P.
Woods on the Hiking Trail

Sleigh Ride
Horses and the Couple
Kohler-Andrae State Park - Woods on the Hiking Trail
Sleigh Ride - Horses and the Couple

Sleigh Ride
Amy having fun!

Sleigh Ride - Amy having fun!


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