Keith and I wanted to get married back in 2011. A few days after New York legalized same sex marriage Keith had asked for my hand in marriage and we were planning for an autumn wedding in New York. The autumn months came and went without a wedding. And well into 2012, still no wedding date had been firmed up. The problem both of us were facing was what might be the best “dog friendly” urban area that Thor could also enjoy. We had briefly discussed leaving Thor at home letting our housemate watch him or boarding but Thor is our child and we didn’t like the thought of Thor having to stay behind.
Then when we read Maryland was putting same sex marriage on their ballot for voters in the November 2012 elections we stalled in our planning. Maryland’s new law was passed, Keith and I had yet another state to consider.
So finally, after looking closely at different cities and towns in New York and Maryland, we found a small quaint looking town in Maryland where we shall be married and that also has some cool places Thor will enjoy. The Best Day Ever happens on October 17, 2013.
UPDATE OCTOBER 19, 2013
The drive from Atlanta Georgia up to Hagerstown Maryland, traveling through the Blue Ridge, Smoky and Appalachian mountains was awesome. The autumn colors of the leaves on the trees were beautiful and the weather was great. Keith and I were married in a civil ceremony at the courthouse, our marriage officiant was the Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court who asked if we wanted to solemnize our vows as husband and husband, spouse and spouse or partner and partner. Keith and I chose to take our vows and be married as husband and husband. This was a very powerful experience for both of us, one that we will always hold close to our hearts.
Keith and I liked Hagerstown. The downtown area is undergoing a revitalization, there are a lot of old gingerbread style buildings being renovated. We also liked some of the smaller towns outside of that city. The people we met were really nice. When they asked what brought us up there we told them marriage and all the responses were very positive. And Thor got lots of compliments about his looks. The section of Motel 6 we stayed in was for people with animals and it stayed full, lots of dogs being walked. Thor loved that and the parks we took him to.
Thor is not use to travelling long distances. He barked a lot from the back seat during the first 6 hours or so on the road, giving us a few minutes of silence every so often before finally settling down then it was sporadic the rest of the way up. We had to board Thor for a couple of hours when we went to the courthouse to apply for the license and for the ceremony two days later. On the way back Thor was much calmer, sleeping most of the route.
One of the funniest things we learned about Hagerstown came from one of the clerks at the courthouse who told us that Hagerstown made it on the Total Beauty list of places with the ugliest men, coming in at #2 on the list of 8 U.S. cities with the ugliest men. Total Beauty, billing itself as the web site trusted by more than 12 million women, judges men not only on their looks, but also considered things like physical fitness and education. Here's what Total Beauty has to say that put Hagerstown at #2 of its list of the cities with the ugliest men: "Less than 10 percent of the men in Hub City hold a bachelor's degree. They're not spending their spare time in gyms, either; nearly 30 percent don't exercise regularly, 30 percent are obese, and an off-the-charts number of Hagerstownians smoke, compared to the rest of the country."