|Planning Your Vintage Wedding: The Honeymoon|
|Written by Amanda Porter|
Wedding bells have rung, and now that the hectic planning is over, it's time to do some real celebrating. That right, the part you've been waiting for has finally arrived—the honeymoon! Because a vintage wedding is best followed with a vintage honeymoon, we've prepared this helpful honeymoonin' guide for you to peruse. Since we've done all the legwork, all you've got to do is make your choice and pack those bags (sorry folks—that's one job even we can't help with!)
ELVIS PRESLEY'S HEARTBREAK HOTEL
Those in search of more clichéd memories will surely delight in a visit to the real Heartbreak Hotel. Referred to as "the perfect headquarters for Graceland visitors", the luxurious surroundings play a tune contrary to the hotel's namesake song. The handsomely appointed rooms are appropriately bedecked with gold-flecked carpeting, harlequin bedspreads and black and white Elvis photographs.
Each room also contains a kitchenette with refrigerator and microwave (perhaps to keep those peanut butter and banana sandwiches properly chilled?) While you're here, you might as well pay a visit to the King's Memphis Restaurant. Housed in a former clothing store frequented by Elvis during the early (pre-jumpsuit) days of his career, you will feel right at home among selected artifacts and the culture of a country music town.
Since its completion in 1929, the Balboa Inn has remained a favorite getaway spot for Hollywood's brightest stars. In fact, one of the more distinguished celebrities to enjoy a stay here was Olympic athlete and Tarzan star Johnny Weissmueller. Legend has it that Weissmueller swam the distance between the Balboa and Newport Piers on a regular basis.
But you needn't be an icon to enjoy a stay at this cozy inn—just a couple of happy honeymooners! With 34 pleasantly decorated guest suites, there's just enough to go around comfortably. With plenty of delightful ocean views and lots of nearby places to visit, you may find the pull of these tides to be strong enough for a repeat visit.
THE ARGYLE HOTEL
Art deco styling was in its heyday during the thirties, in part because the luxurious glamour of the designs made a sharp contrast to the social climate of the era. A combination of elements, including the rich glamour of a bias cut gown, a sweeping film, and an elegant building whose lines seemed to meet the stars, all worked together to help the average citizen forget his otherwise dismal surroundings.
An excellent example of classic art deco architecture is the Argyle Hotel, designed by Leland A Bryant in 1929 as a swanky apartment building and originally appointed the Sunset Tower. A landmark from day one, the hotel's prime location on Sunset Strip (in close proximity to the happening nightclubs) made it a star attraction in the 30s and 40s. Once the heyday of glamour came to an end, the building managed to evade destruction until it was purchased and restored in 1986.
History buffs will enjoy the fact that the hotel has appeared in numerous movies, both new and old. Those who study architecture will delight in the building's style, which neatly pulls Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Art Deco elements together. It is also fun to point out the first residents of the building enjoyed such modern amenities as outlets in every bathroom (for that new electric shaver) and plenty of windows for enjoying the view. Art deco honeymooners will enjoy touring the surrounding area and lazing about by the pool.
WHITE PINE CAMP
Perhaps you are looking to spend your holiday in more rustic surroundings, complete with hunting and a stay at a well-appointed historic lodge? Then White Pine Camp, with its secluded setting on Osgood Lake, is for you. Visitors may enjoy several cabins, including the very same one that President Coolidge slept in (it seems Mrs. Coolidge stayed in the adjoining cabin, but we'll assume the newlyweds won't mind sharing one cabin.)
Although this a "living museum" subject to weekly tours, you should find the environment pleasantly refreshing. Those in the mood to take in the city will definitely enjoy a visit to downtown Saranac Lake. During the holidays, the town features its Sparkle Village tour, complete with thousands of twinkling lights and a visit from Santa himself.
THE QUEEN MARY
The Queen Mary has secured her place as the grandest ocean liner ever built with an illustrious career that began in the 1930s. Her history is rich and varied, and full of the memories of the many rich and famous passengers who have graced her decks with their presence. During her heyday, many considered the Queen Mary to be the only civilized way to travel.
Her usage was expanded a short time after her birth when she hailed the call to transport troops during WWII. "The Grey Ghost", as she was fondly nicknamed at that time, eventually carried more than 800,000 troops to safety. After the war, the advent of safer and more affordable air travel gradually pushed the Queen Mary from her throne into her permanent resting place in Long Beach.
Docked she may be, but forgotten she is not. Why not revitalize a lost era with a stay upon her decks? With charming art deco suites and amenities that include on board shopping and dining, an art gallery, and a spa, you will surely find your stay both pleasing and well-suited to your finer sensibilities.
And then there are those of us with more nomadic tendencies. It's true—there is nothing better than a long, relaxing road trip to stretch your legs and expand your horizons. And that's where Roadside America steps in.
The website, described as "your online guide to offbeat attractions", certainly knows how to serve a well-balanced trip. This guide is chock full of reviews and directions to more kitschy motels, roadside diners and amazing attractions (who knew that you could have your picture taken with a real live mermaid) than you could travel to in a lifetime.
Perhaps you'd like to sleep in a giant teepee—Roadside America will happily direct you to a number of appropriate wigwam venues. Is your fancy simply a good home-cooked meal? Well, there are more authentic restaurants in America then you thought, and Roadside America has taste-tested them all. With its thorough planning guidelines and careful advice to boot, even a travel novice will be left hungry for a taste of the open road. Just imagine the photographs you'll be able to put in your album—one in front of each state sign, perhaps. Perfect vintage honeymoon memories!
JOHN'S GATE BED AND BREAKFAST
Ah, yes, Niagara Falls—the quintessential honeymoon spot. Traditionalists will be treated to a swell honeymoon—we bet your sweetie will positively swoon when you arrive. This charming bed and breakfast offers wonderful views, cozy sleeping quarters, and plenty of picture opportunities for you to capture. There are four reasonably priced rooms to choose from (each named for the size of the bed inside) and an inviting living room where you can chat it up with your hosts and fellow visitors—that is, if you are so inclined to leave your room!
THE CALIENTE TROPICS RESORT MOTOR HOTEL
Now the ultimate honeymoon trip entails a trip to paradise, and that where the Caliente Tropics steps up. Located in Palm Springs, this resort recently reopened after two years of extensive renovations aimed at restoring its original 1964 appearance. The resort has an interesting history, and Elvis fans that have already made the trip to Graceland will enjoy swimming in the very same pool where Elvis liked to hold court.
The Caliente Tropics does have plenty more to offer than just an impressive celebrity guest list (although it is notable, with the likes of Nancy Sinatra and the Rat Pack showing up on its ranks.) The resort also boasts a full service spa and is quick to point out that your canine buddies are more than welcome.
WORTH A VISIT SOMEDAY SOON:
THE COCO PALMS
I must preface this recommendation by pointing out that the Coco Palms was destroyed by Hurricane Iniki in 1992. However, its doors may reopen someday in the future, and if they do, you must stop by and pay a visit. The Coco Palms certainly had an exotic history in the 39 years it was open—it even played host to Elvis. Check out the wedding scene in Blue Hawaii—you guessed it, those nuptials took place at the Coco Palms.
It was also home to the largest coconut grove in Hawaii—2000 trees, to be exact. During its prime, The Coco Palms held the highest occupancy rates and was the most well-known resort property in all of Hawaii. At least the wedding chapel is still open—the chapel, donated by MGM Studios after it was used in the film Miss Sadie Thompson, is still perfectly suited to your own "Blue Hawaii" wedding (keep this spot in mind if you are still planning your destination wedding.) Tiki fans would do well to help support its cause.
Well, your vintage wedding has finally come to a close—thanks for letting your friends at Port Halcyon help you plan the big day. And if you have trouble selecting just one honeymoon spot, plan ahead to visit the rest on your anniversary!