In preparation for our honeymoon in Virginia Beach, I tried to recall the name of the large hotel on the ocean side of Atlantic Avenue that we had seen the summer before. I knew the general vicinity of it, but not the exact address. Finally I remembered the name of it - "The Sands", so I called to get prices for the honeymoon suite. In retrospect, I realize I had heard a thinly-veiled snicker from the woman on the phone when I asked about the honeymoon suite, however, I didn't realize it then, being somewhat nervous at the time. I asked if it had an ocean view and was told it did, so I made the reservation (my fiance asked me to do it). Would you believe it cost a whopping $12.50 per night? Remember, this was 1964.
We were excited about staying at "The Sands"; we had heard it had a very nice restaurant, large rooms and an expansive beach. So we were looking forward to the lying on the beach/drinking cocktails/swimming in the surf part of the honeymoon.
After the reception, we drove to Virginia Beach (a mere 30 miles away). As we neared the location we were to stay, looming ahead in the sky above the hotel we thought we had booked, was a sign reading "The Dunes". Imagine my confusion, and then embarrassment and then earth-just-swallow-me-up-as-soon-as-possible feelings! "The Sands" was just across the street from "The Dunes", but it had been built at least 25 years before, and was decidedly run-down.
My sweet husband of about 3 hours told me-not-to-worry-about-it-it-would-be-fine-I-still-love-you. So we went inside with our luggage and told the woman behind the counter who we were. She told us that the room rates had risen since we made the reservation; now the room was $15 per night. In my best indignant voice, I told her that would not be possible and we would just have to leave. She relented, of course. I do believe she thought she was dealing with a couple of young rubes, and could raise the rates at will and we would knuckle under. How nasty was that?!
We went up to the room, which had been misrepresented, of course. There was no ocean view (unless we had crawled out onto the fire escape of the building next door and climbed to their roof). But honeymooners don't worry so much about their surroundings, and so as long as there was a beach, sun, surf, good food and (fill in the blank), plus no roaches, we were happy.
I got teased unmercifully later on, about mistaking "The Dunes" for "The Sands", but at the time, it didn't really make much difference to the quality of the honeymoon. For years, every time we would go back to Virginia Beach, we would revisit the area of the two hotels, and tell everyone about the mistake I had made in '64. Now, of course, those 2 hotels no longer exist. I wish I could post photos of them, but I have no postcards of Virginia Beach from that era, and googling them brought nothing. The photo above is a recent one of Virginia Beach.
**Yes, hubby was very understanding at the time (what choice did he have?) But you should know that since then, he has teased me unmercifully, told many others what I did and made it sound like a disaster, and will not allow me to forget that error!