I had never been to the Hamptons before. I had heard that the traffic was unbearable on weekends, but I was not going to let that deter me from the trip. When I received the invitation for an East Hampton wedding, I was excited to see the haunt of the rich and famous. I expected it to be a lavish wedding because of the reputation of East Hampton.
I had an intimation that I might be overly optimistic when I received accommodation recommendations. All were basic motels lacking in amenities. Even with GPS, it was hard to find the modest motel hidden behind a grove of trees. Once in our room, the toilet paper holder came out of the wall when I reached for a sheet. There was a sign not to flush paper down the toilet. I did not know if that included toilet paper.
After we checked into the motel for our two night stay, we drove to East Hampton for lunch, and we had a good meal at the Golden Pear on Newtown Lane. My husband thoroughly enjoyed the New England clam chowder, and I had a delicious salad. It was fun browsing in the high end shops along Main Street.
That evening I called to make reservations at the Dock House on Long Wharf in Sag Harbor. When we arrived there, we found that it was a basic no frills restaurant, albeit with great food. Calling to make reservations there was akin to making reservations at McDonald’s. After dinner we took in the view from the marina and walked along the main street of Sag Harbor, a lively, upscale beach town.
Early on the wedding day, we had a tasty breakfast at Goldberg’s Bagel’s and then drove along Montauk Highway to Montauk State Park. It was a beautiful day, and we walked around the park and took in the spectacular views from the lighthouse and beach areas. On the way back we had a delicious lunch at the Lobster Roll on Montauk Highway in Amagansett. We relaxed under an umbrella in the outside area and read the names of the many celebrities who had eaten there. After lunch we stopped at Buddha Berry in Sag Harbor and had delicious yogurt for dessert. We sat outside on a bench and enjoyed our healthy, tasty indulgence. Back in the motel in the afternoon, I dressed in my finest wool suit for the wedding.
It was hard to find the estate even with GPS. A young couple out walking directed us to the wedding site. When we arrived at the estate, the steel gates were open. Those gates must have cost more than most homes. Had Ambassador Stevens had gates like that in Libya, maybe he would still be alive today.
Just inside the steel gates was a top of the line porta potty near the entrance to the front door of the mansion. Clearly the host and hostess wanted no one in their home. My aunt had said the host and hostess were very down to earth. I was beginning to have my doubts about that. As we walked through the front door of the estate, we were immediately shooed into the backyard, where chairs were set up for the ceremony. We waited at least an hour over the scheduled time for the ceremony. The ceremony was unconventional, and a friend who had lived with the couple for a period of time served as the officiant.
After the ceremony there was a lengthy cocktail session in which the only recognizable food was hot dogs. I tasted something that seemed to be poison on toast.
As the lengthy cocktail session dragged on, the temperature dropped sharply. What would they have done if it had rained that evening? It was after 9:00 P.M. by the time we were invited to sit down for dinner in the large tent with no heaters. By then it was about 50 degrees in East Hampton, and that made going to the bathroom more of a necessity. It was hard walking from the tent through the dark uneven yard to the porta potty. When I returned from the porta potty, my teeth were still chattering. I decided to get up to dance to try to get warm. The band was first rate, and I danced fast and vigorously to their music in an attempt to warm up. For a few minutes after I danced, my teeth stopped chattering.
The food was served family style and there was not enough for everyone at the table. No soup or salad were served. There was a cheese and bruschetta dish and two pasta dishes. The main dishes were a skimpy salmon dish, a meat dish, mashed potatoes, and broccoli. I was still hungry after the dinner. At about 11:00 P.M. they served cheesecake, and by that time I was exhausted and shivering from cold. I asked for decaffeinated tea, but the waiter said that he could not accommodate my request. They still had not served the wedding cake. We gave up at that point and left, hungry, cold, and disappointed. We found our way back to the motel, and I went to bed eager for a good breakfast the next morning at Goldberg’s Bagels, before setting out for home.
I had been very impressed with the splendor of the outside of the mansion. It looked as if it must be magnificent inside. It was probably 15 or 20,000 square feet. I saw a multitude of breathtaking estates throughout the Hamptons, and I was glad that I had gotten to see and experience the glorious resort of the wealthy.