We’re Here to Stay

When it comes to honeymoons, staying close to home is always best.


Published:

Katherine Streeter

In California, we got our right to marry. The other day, the soon-to-be wife asked me where I wanted to spend our honeymoon. All the exotic destinations are out of our price range unless we elope, so she suggested Palm Springs.

I went to Palm Springs a few years ago when I was with another woman. I remember looking out the airplane window before takeoff and watching the ground crew at San Francisco International load the luggage. I noticed that one item on the conveyor belt was a casket. All I could think of was, “Lucky stiff.” Whoever was in that box was not going to have to listen to my annoying girlfriend, who was sitting next to me, prattling on and on about recovery and her inner child. I know that sounds clichéd—and it is—but so was she. I couldn’t tell her jokes about all the stereotypical stuff dykes do because she did it all, and besides, she never laughed anyway.  

I sat there envying a corpse and waiting for my crabby girlfriend to stuff a gym bag full of self-help books into an overhead compartment. “I should just get off of this plane and enjoy the rest of my life,” I said out loud in a rare moment of courage and clarity. My companion told me not to be so dramatic and promised that the healing rays of the sun would cure all.

The sun goddess did not save me on that trip, and, heaven knows, my companion didn’t need any more UV radiation. Longtime CURVE subscribers will recognize her as Ms. Tan, the perpetually fake baked harpy in classic columns from the ’90s. Suffice it to say that the vacation was a failure, just like she and I were as a couple shortly thereafter.

I should not have taken my dissatisfaction with her out on the entire burg of Palm Springs, but I did.

Palm Springs would have to wait for us a little longer, my fiancée decided after hearing my touching story. We will go there, probably for the Tamale Festival in Indio, which is just down the road, but we won’t be honeymooning there.

Another place I won’t be taking my bride is the Russian River. In Palm Springs, I only had one bad experience to overcome, but at the Russian River, I had several less than satisfactory experiences to contend with. Why did I keep going back? Go there and you will understand. It is fun, quaint, gay-friendly and affordable.

The area is named for the plucky Russian settlers who tried to make a go of it there, and the river runs through the town of Guerneville. A couple of times a year, the town welcomes lesbians by hosting Women’s Weekends. These weekends are guaranteed to get you laid.

The first time I went there was with a hastily made friend named Ally. She and I were in the same bar the night before and she watched me get ditched. We shared laughs about how hard it is to be single and agreed to seek our romantic fortunes on the banks of the Russian River. Ally said she had booked a nonrefundable room there but had no hope of using it, since she and her girlfriend had split up a few weeks ago. I was up for the adventure and promised to get scarce when she found someone to roll around with—or when I found my own someone with whom to roll around.  

The next morning Ally picked me up, and a few hours later she professed her love for me. It turned out she had quite the crystal meth habit, which she had been hiding all afternoon by offsetting the speed with valium and vodka. I tried to let her down easy by reminding her that she had only known me for 17 hours, but that only made things worse. In fact, everything I said seemed to shove her further into the pit of despair. Periodically, our dyke drama was interrupted by hoots and other sounds of celebration from the girls in other hotel rooms. I would have slept with Ally if I’d thought it would shut her up or knock her out, so I could join the fun, but I’d heard that meth sex is endless and nonclimactic, so I let that idea wither and die, alongside my hopes for a party weekend. I stayed up with Ally all Friday night and into Saturday afternoon, until I got too tired to stop her or anybody else from doing anything. I woke up on Sunday morning and told her I was going home.  

Another time, I went there with a gaggle of dykes and ended up playing referee and couple’s counselor all weekend. I did make out with a gal for a while in a pickup truck, but then the lezzie who actually owned the truck kicked us out because she had no place else to bring her girl.

I finally accepted that Guerneville is my Amityville, and I’ve stayed away ever since. The little woman agreed that we should avoid the cursed spot.
Lots of queers like to go to Disneyland, but there is something too weird about celebrating gay love in Toon Town, surrounded by screaming kids. I suggested to my girl that according to travel literature, everything is possible at the Happiest Place on Earth, and for a price we might be able to coax Snow White and Pocahontas into giving us a private show. She thought not.

So where does a San Francisco-based lesbian couple go when they crave a honeymoon that combines romance with frugality and is free from old emotional debris? My beloved and I live in the gayest part of the gayest city in the United States. Our neighborhood is chock-full of bed-and-breakfasts and vacation rentals where queers come from all over just to be who they are for a few precious days. We are staying home for our honeymoon. It is where she and I have a history and a future.

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