Washington, DC, honeymoon in 1948 #atozchallenge2024

Sepia Saturday 721. W is for W is for Washington, DC, honeymoon in 1948. No. 22 of 26 posts in the April 2024 Blogging From #AtoZChallenge. Theme, My Life: The Prequel (in Snapshots) — adding my parents’ story to the family history mix. Please join me on the journey.

In April 1948, my parents Norm and Peg (Laurence) Charboneau got engaged in New Jersey.

In November 1948, they got married in Gloversville, N.Y. — Mom’s hometown — then headed out for their honeymoon.

According to the wedding write-up in the Gloversville paper, “Later the couple left by plane for New York and Washington.” Not a lot of detail, but let’s examine this brief sum-up.

My parents Norm and Peg (Laurence) Charboneau departing for the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. (Nov. 1948). This photo is in their wedding album, probably staged by the wedding photographer. Graphic by Molly Charboneau

First flight together

I was surprised to read that my parents flew to New York City for the first leg of their honeymoon, since they were normally train travelers. However, commercial aviation had picked up after WWII — and it was their honeymoon after all — so it appears they splurged on the flight.

Vintage flight from the Albany, N.Y., airport (undated). Source: Albany Times Union

The nearest large airport was in Albany, N.Y., so I’m guessing that’s where they flew out of. Dad had likely flown before, since he’d been moved around the U.S. for WWII Navy training before setting sail in the Pacific. But the honeymoon flight may have been my mom’s first.

Checking into the Mayflower Hotel

I don’t know where Mom and Dad stayed in New York City. However, my mom let slip that they stayed in the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The stately hotel on Connecticut Ave. was conveniently located for seeing all the sights — and decades later it had a family history connection, too.

Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., sometime in the 1960s. Source: Pinterest

In the late 1990s, I lived and worked in Washington, D.C., within walking distance of the Mayflower Hotel. I had just gotten started doing genealogy research when Mom told me she and Dad honeymooned there.

So, one lunch hour I stopped by in hopes they might have records of my parents’ stay. Alas, they didn’t — but they did give me a copy of a coffee-table book about the hotel’s history, which I later presented as a memento to my parents.

My parents’ shoes outside the honeymoon door below a “Please Do Not Disturb” sign, another nice bit of staging by my parents’ wedding photographer. Graphic by Molly Charboneau

Honeymoon memories

After the honeymoon, my newlywed parents moved into their shared apartment and returned to their jobs in New Jersey. But small souvenirs of their New York-Washington honeymoon trip lasted for years into their marriage.

In the first photo above, my dad has a small toiletries bag in his right hand — which I remember turning into a “doctor kit” and bringing to school for show-and-tell in first grade.

Then there was the Chianti bottle with a straw base and multi-colored candle wax melted onto it — which sat for years on our family’s living-room shelf. According to Mom, that was also from their honeymoon — a beloved souvenir of an Italian dinner together.

Thus my parents began their lives together — but soon they started to miss home and family. So before long, Mom and Dad decided to return to New York State, as you will read in the next post.

Up next, X is for X-celsior bound: My parents move back to New York State. Please stop back! Meanwhile, please visit this week’s other intrepid bloggers over at Sepia Saturday.

© 2024 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

10 thoughts on “Washington, DC, honeymoon in 1948 #atozchallenge2024”

  1. It would have been very exciting for your parents to fly to Washington, in the early days of aviation. I love the honeymoon photos, even if they are staged.

  2. What serendipity that you worked, at one time, in walking distance of your parents’ honeymoon hotel, even better, reading that the Mayflower gave you that book.

    1. Right? And that I was into family history research, which prompted me to visit the hotel and receive that book.

  3. That hotel looked upscale and stylish.

    It does seem fancy to fly for a leg of your honeymoon back then.

  4. A lovely story of your parents’ honeymoon, gleaned from their own memories and the small but important emotional souvenirs from their short time inWashington DC.

  5. I’m glad you added the little note about how you used that toietries bag your Dad was holding in the first photo as a ‘Dr. Kit’ you took to Show & Tell at school. It reminded me of several things of my Mom’s that I turned into other pretend things which brought a smile of remembrance! Thanks. 🙂

  6. The wedding photographer went on their honey moon with them? Or he staged the shoes at some random door he kept for that purpose?

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