Personal Journeys


May 23, 2004

Memorable Place

Honeymooners return - 50 years later

Juanita Borgerding


Jan. 31, 1954. It was a perfect day for our wedding - cold, crisp and sunny. Al and I were married in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, in Baltimore. After the reception, we started driving south to Florida. It had started to snow, so we were glad that we were heading to the Sunshine State.

There was no Interstate 95 back then. We followed Route 301, making the obligatory stop at South of the Border in South Carolina. When we hit Florida, we kept driving, ending up in Miami Beach. The sunny weather, palm trees, surf and hotel right on the beach seemed almost too good to be true. I had never seen a palm tree.

Over the years, we returned to different places in Florida, but we always reminisced about our beautiful honeymoon spot.

Before you know it, 50 years had gone by. Our children began planning a 50th-anniversary celebration, but we didn't want a party and preferred spending time with immediate family. So our son, Allen, tracked down were we had been on our honeymoon. What was part of Miami Beach in 1954 had become a separate city in 1997 - Sunny Isles Beach.

We returned to Florida last January, this time on a 2 1/2 -hour flight instead of a long drive. All the beautiful beaches and friendly people were still there.

Sunny Isles Beach, while close to Miami Beach, has a real small-town feel to it. We stayed at a hotel with an ocean view and had a wonderful anniversary celebration dinner. And just like in 1954, we enjoyed the respite from the cold north - this time with our children and their families.

The icing on the cake was the community's hospitality and recognition of family values. When the Sunny Isles Beach Resort Association learned about our story, members arranged for the mayor to issue a proclamation naming Jan. 15 "Al and Juanita Borgerding Day."

The proclamation read, in part: "The importance of a strong and united marriage and family cannot be overlooked in today's society. The family is the most vital element in our society and the most significant institution in the world."

The beautifully framed proclamation was presented to us at City Hall along with a dozen long-stemmed red roses the day we arrived. Did we feel special!

Sometimes when you go back to visit a place, the memory is better than the present experience. But not this time. Our return trip to Sunny Isles Beach 50 years later proved to be even better than the first visit.

Juanita Borgerding lives in Parkville.

My Best Shot

Pam Faries, Westminster

While hiking on Mount Baker, in Washington, I came upon a log bench. My husband sat down, and I wondered how many others had sat in that same spot to view such magnificent landscape. The snow-capped mountains met the clouds as a breeze whispered through the evergreens. Breathe in the mountain air, contemplate the beauty of it all, and, when it's time to move on, a piece of it will forever be carried with you.



Lois Villemaire, Annapolis

The highlight of a weekend in Williamsburg was a cruise to the Berkeley Plantation on the James River. This beautiful location was once the home of Benjamin Harrison, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. We had lunch in the lovely Coach House Tavern, located on the premises, and then walked down to the river on a perfect day.

Ensenada, Mexico

John L Sindler, Baltimore

While visiting friends in Los Angeles, we drove south into Mexico and ended up in Ensenada. Several miles outside of town is La Bufadora - a blowhole in the side of the craggy coastline. I clambered over the ridge top and got a pleasant surprise - an incredible view. Ensenada and the surrounding hills are definitely a worthwhile adventure.


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