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Dawn's Column Married...Finally
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It's official. I'm now a Mrs. - for an entire month already.

All the details came together for the wedding, which was a beautiful, memorable event - that went by very quickly. We feel blessed to have wonderful friends and family who supported us throughout this whole process.

I now have a husband. I've altered my name, moved into a new home - just to name a few changes.

There are some things I'm still trying to get used to. During our honeymoon, at this one restaurant while waiting to be seated I had gone to the ladies' room and my guy was shown to our table. When I returned, I met up with the hostess and was looking around for him. She offered to help and I told her I was looking for "my (insert long pause here) husband." It felt awkward to say that. It was the first time I'd said the words "my husband." I've known him as my "significant other" for so long, and then for a little while he was my "fiancé," and I was just getting used to calling him that.

Plus there's this ring on his finger now. I've never seen him wear one and it's an adjustment for me. The other day, we bumped into one of his acquaintances and he introduced me as his wife. Another first.

Leaving for our honeymoon immediately after our wedding was definitely a wise choice for us. Although we had a small wedding, the stress and pressures of planning the event had taken a toll. There was tremendous value in making a quick getaway that allowed us to decompress and just spend time together without having a list of things to do.

I have to mention here that flying first class on a long trip is something really special. It was a great way for us to start off on the relaxation aspect of our honeymoon. Among the perks: no additional cost for extra luggage, priority boarding, and all food and drinks are included. I have to confess, I had thought that although it would be nice to have an actual meal on the plane, it probably would be quite marginal in nature. After all, it's airplane food. Right? How good could it be?

Well, I can attest that the food was excellent. We were offered champagne, orange juice or mimosas when we first boarded. Then the flight attendants came around with a very tasty, warm mixture of nuts and dried tropical fruit, and we could have as much as we wanted of all of it.

Then we saw our breakfast menu. It wasn't going to be funky scrambled eggs and sausage after all. I was blown away at the meal description and discovered that the first class meals were created by a renowned chef. The meal did not disappoint; it was absolutely delicious.

The rest of the flight, we were able to relax fully reclined, snuggled with soft blankets and pillows. Another great thing about first class, at least on our trip, is that we were fairly shielded from screaming children and their parents who ignore bad behavior. That alone is a huge perk. Flying first class was definitely worth the price of admission; however, I think I've now been ruined for future flights of any duration.

Just a short while into our honeymoon, I had essentially lost all track of time and what day of the week it was. I couldn't tell the difference between Saturday or Tuesday. It was a liberating feeling. Spending time in paradise has a way of slowing the pace.

It was the longest vacation that either of us has taken to date, but it still seemed like we had to leave too soon. As we began to drive away to make our way to the airport to return home it hit us both that we were leaving a special place and time behind. It's difficult to come back to life in the real world when you've had a taste of being away from it all.

I've frequently perused our honeymoon photos since we've been back and it transports me in time for a little while. I feel fortunate that we've made some great memories and look forward to making many more.

Dawn M. Henley is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News, and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.