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Drive-thru wedding

Drive-thru wedding and honeymoon in Death Valley

“It took us a long time to find the easiest way of formally saying the ‘yes’ word to each other, without having to invite dozens of family and relatives whom we didn’t even know. Without a care in the world and with little preparation, we flew to Las Vegas – as if it was one of our future-planned journeys.”

In this report, dialysis patient Lenka Patera, speaking from the Fresenius Medical Care Motol Dialysis Centre in Prague, talks about her special wedding day – in Las Vegas.

Because of the time difference, we had enough sleep and were well rested early next morning. So now we could obtain the necessary marriage license. The Marriage Services Division office located at Clark Avenue is open non-stop and it was therefore no problem purchasing the license for USD 60, at 5 am in the morning.

Wedding day

After a lot of to and from and filling out the form, we had the marriage license in our hands and could go to a chosen chapel. At home, we had already searched and found the Little White Wedding Chapel. Here you can choose from an endless amount of wedding packages. It is perhaps worth mentioning that you can choose between a ceremony in the chapel, in a hot-air balloon during the journey, under water or in the desert. The chapel also offers many simpler ways of saying ‘yes’.

For people with fewer expectations or young people who wish to save on costs, one way is called the Tunnel of Love. This, the simplest of ceremonies, is the one we found most suitable for us, both time-wise and financially. Taking the car, you drive to a small window (Drive-thru) and if you are in a rush, you don’t even need to get out of the car. However, we did spend some time here, at least to have some photos taken and we also had to wait for the designated pastor.

While waiting, we chatted to our ceremony witness. She was an employee of the chapel. The priest joined us after a while and the marriage ceremony could begin. Pastor Joachim's marriage sermon took just five minutes after which we exchanged the rings and kissed each other for the first time as newly-weds.

The essential photos taken with the priest on the street outside took another ten minutes and within barely half an hour, we were in our Ford rental car, driving away and sharing the same family surname. We felt wonderful and were now already enjoying a normal breakfast at a fast-food restaurant, literally a stone’s throw away from the chapel on Las Vegas Boulevard.

Honeymoon

Not letting the crazy ideas end just yet, after breakfast we made our way to Death Valley National Park to begin our honeymoon. On the approximately 100 km drive through the park, we stopped off at various beautiful places, like for example Bad Water (which is 85 metres below sea level and the lowest and driest place in North America).
We drove through the whole park and on the other side in the direction of Pahrump through the same-named mountain range. After having dinner we drove back to our hotel in Las Vegas, late that evening.

Next day was dialysis. It was exactly like in Motol. The patients are connected to similar
machines like in the Czech Republic.

Every patient has their own television set and a very comfortable recliner seat and in the hall
itself there are around 25 patients. Patients have to bring their own snacks and drinks, and I would also suggest that you bring a blanket as the air conditioning in the hall runs on a very low temperature and after an hour it becomes very cool there.

The staff were all very nice. My overall impression of the therapy is excellent. After dialysis, we made our way to the centre of Las Vegas.

A long journey

The next day was a very long drive to the Grand Canyon. As we had 800 km to travel, we decided to hit the road very early and experienced briefly the sunrise at the famous Hoover Dam of Colorado.

After driving through the San Francisco Mountain and an unexpected large traffic diversion, we finally arrived at the south entrance of Grand Canyon National Park. Unfortunately, you cannot capture the sheer size of the canyon on camera, and the feelings you get from the views of the Colorado River from the view-points Yavapai, Grand and Desert are indescribable.

We continued driving in the direction of the Little Colorado River and through the Navajo Indian Reservation to the city of Cameron. Here, we refueled our energy tanks for the very long and demanding journey back to Las Vegas. After dialysis the next morning, we returned to Los Angeles and to the health resort of Santa Monica for recreation.
    
From the motorway we took a photo of the famous Hollywood sign and booked a private accommodation, a room with a partial view of the Pacific.
Before dusk, we walked along the beach and later that evening we went to the town’s promenade where all the top brand name stores are. The next day we travelled to the airport and flew back to the Czech Republic.