What do we have in common with Walt Disney, Debbie Reynolds, Louis Armstrong and Fidel Castro? We were all guests at the Tower Isle Hotel (now known as Couples Tower Isle) in Jamaica, where we spent our honeymoon.
When we were married in 1964, we had no idea that just a few years earlier Tower Isle was a place for celebrities and the wealthy. We were just kids who were given a gift of a Jamaica honeymoon as our wedding present by our parents.
Why Jamaica is a decision lost in the recesses of history. We had no attachment to the island. As best as we can remember, it was chosen for us by Lyn’s father, whose business partner took his honeymoon in Jamaica a few years prior and recommended it. Also, Lyn’s brother and sister-in-law had gone to Jamaica on their honeymoon, although to a different and now-gone hotel.
Both of us were eager to see Jamaica. The adventure bug had bitten us at the World’s Fair in 1964, held in Flushing Meadows, Queens. The international pavilion was our favorite and we went time back time after time.
We had already been accepted as Peace Corps volunteers and were awaiting our African assignment training to begin in a few months. Still, we couldn’t have imagined that the song that we chose as “ours” for the wedding would be so apt for us. The band played “Moon River,” and we sang to each other that night and on many travels since: “Two drifters, off to see the world/There’s such a lot of world to see.”
Jamaica was the first place for us to see together. Now, after a hiatus of more than four decades, three children, several careers, and five continents, we have returned to the honeymoon spot where we began our life’s journey together.