Far from paradise: Tales of honeymoon mishaps ahead

The quintessential honeymoon gone haywire has to be the one in the 1972 movie The Heartbreak Kid, in which a bridegroom (Charles Grodin) falls for a bombshell (Cybill Shepherd) while his bride is room-bound with a sunburn. The remake, starring Ben Stiller, opens today. But what about real-life horror honeymoons? USA TODAY asked readers to point the way to their post-wedding travel woes.

Termite crossing

On the way to Kauai (Hawaii), I developed a dragging, loud cough. We stayed in a bed & breakfast near Poipu Beach. It was someone's home, and you stayed in the only other bedroom in the house. Each day and night, I would have huge coughing attacks.

One night we were watching TV, and I was really coughing. All of a sudden, my wife screamed, "Your back!" It was covered with bugs!

The homeowners came back home, and I told them that they had a bug problem, and we were getting out of the house. The wife turned to me and said, "Were they little red ones?" I replied, "Yes." She said, "Don't worry. Those are termites. I killed a few hundred the other day!"

We departed the next day to Maui.

— Steve Silverman, 42, Westfield, N.J.

Dead critters ahead

When we arrived in St. Thomas, our honeymoon suite had twin beds. They pushed the beds together, but we still had to deal with the gap in the middle.

The room itself was falling apart, and the bathroom and shower were covered in mildew. After investigating a strange smell, we found a dead lizard in the sofa cushions. On one of our many visits to the front desk, another honeymoon couple (also with twin beds) produced a dead spider so large that they had to carry it in a shower cap.

The rest of the story involved passing through customs, only to be held captive in an un-air-conditioned room without food or drinks for about 10 hours, due to a mechanical problem with the plane. My wife, Theresa, is a vegetarian and could eat only white bread when they brought in bologna sandwiches.

Back in Baltimore, we were pulled over by the police. The officer informed me that my license plate was upside down — a prank from our wedding reception. My wife (not in a good mood) thrust the "Just Married" sign in the back seat into the face of the officer and started yelling at him. He backed away from the car with his hands up. All I heard him say was, "Have a nice day."

— Tom Baxter, 42, Crofton, Md.

Please halt for hurricane

Can you say Hurricane Katrina?

Justin and I got married Aug. 19, 2005, and took a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico. On Day 3, Katrina hit Miami, and they parked us on the edge of the hurricane for two days, extending the "vacation" by a day.

After two days of constant rocking, tossing and turning, no one was ordering seconds of the lobster tail.

The kicker of the whole trip — they charged us for the extra day at sea.

— Laural Olson, 29, Minster, Ohio

No vacancy, free parking

I had a feeling things were off to a rocky start when, after getting pelted with rice and carefully settling my new bride in our getaway car, I noticed that the words "Just Married" painted all over our car in Silly String.

My brand-new paint job was in jeopardy. And as I put the car in reverse to back out … nothing! I jumped out of the car and noticed that one of my ingenious relatives had slipped my car's rear wheels up on blocks. Someone had filled my hubcaps with rocks, and they went flying off.

We decided to change cars, so I broke out my 1966 Rambler Classic, and we left for the Oregon Coast. I had spent many vacations there and never had a problem getting a room at that time of year. So I had no qualms about not making reservations.

But there was not a room to be had for 150 miles in all directions. At 2 a.m., we decided to sack out in our Rambler (the front seat folded flat to make a makeshift bed).

We spent our honeymoon night parked outside the main gate of Fort Stevens State Park near Astoria, Ore. Sadly, the weather turned, and we froze our patooties off. We were miserable!

(Did I mention that my ever-loving brother-in-law made me a sandwich to take with us on the road — that had a raw egg in it?)

— Brian Schmidt, 50, Lake Tapps, Wash.

Warning: Thief at play

We ran away to Florida to get married. We took our classic 1962 Corvette down on the auto train and got married at a quaint wedding chapel. Everything was wonderful, until we checked into our hotel near Disney.

We decided to go for a swim and returned to find that we had been robbed. No purse or car keys, no money, no credit cards, no camera. Fortunately, we had hidden an extra set of car keys in our luggage.

We were sure the robber had seen us drive in and would return to steal the car, so we spent our wedding night with me crying and my husband sitting up waiting for the thief to come back (he didn't). Our terrific parents wired us money, and we went on to have a great time, but we never found out who did it.

— Barb and Ken Mosi, 55, Sewickley, Pa.

Yield to incoming snow

We will be celebrating our 30th anniversary this December. We got married in Iowa, back when we used to get lots and lots of snow.

The day after our wedding, we went to over to my folks' house for a brunch and to open presents and we ended up getting snowed in.

So we spent New Year's Eve with my parents and seven younger brothers and sisters. My siblings, who were still excited about the big wedding and new guy in the house, had us up at 5 a.m. so we could play Pac-Man and Pong with them the entire day.

By the time the storm cleared out, it was time for classes to start again at Iowa State University.

Dave and I finally took our honeymoon the following August. Luckily, we didn't encounter any snow then!

— Anne Radke, 48, Onawa, Iowa

Eat, and tan, with care

We decided we would do a Windjammer cruise in Hawaii.

Hubby had a great time, ate up a storm and did all the "fun" stuff. I hurled the entire ride. I didn't eat anything the whole time we were on the boat.

Then, we went to Hanauma Bay and were having a nice time, until we ended up falling asleep on the beach, woke up totally sunburned and had swollen ankles for days.

But otherwise, we had a nice honeymoon.

— Peria Duncan, in her 40s, Olympia, Wash.

Full speed ahead

Our honeymoon started with waking up 90 minutes late due to a power outage.

We were out the door in less than five minutes. My car would not start.

We transferred everything to my wife's car and busted a serious move on the interstate. We narrowly avoided a speeding ticket twice and arrived at the airport with just 40 minutes to check in, get through security and get to our gate.

I talked the security guy into letting us use the first-class line, which got us to our gate with less than 10 minutes to spare.

We arrived in Cancun, Mexico; our luggage was back in Chicago where we connected. We had been on our honeymoon for about 20 minutes, and already my wife was crying.

We missed our prepaid romantic dinner cruise because our luggage didn't arrive on a later flight and we didn't have the appropriate clothes. The next day, my wife and I went clothes shopping, and she slipped and fell on the slick cobblestone streets of Playa del Carmen.

For the second time in less than 24 hours, Sharon was crying.

But we went on to have a wonderful two weeks. It was hard to go back to work.

So I guess that's where the phrase "the honeymoon is over" comes from.

— Ross Raphael, 37, Washington, D.C.

E-mail kyancey@usatoday.com

Do you have a honeymoon horror story? Share your experiences below?