January 20, 2007. The day our lives, together, began.
All at once it seems like the blink of an eye and an infinite stretch of time. A moment and a lifetime. A wonderful ten years. A challenging ten years. The best ten years.
We usually keep it low key for our anniversaries (kids often help with that). Scott had plans to travel all week leading up to the big day and we hadn’t talked much about what, if anything, we wanted to do to celebrate. Then one night I had a stroke of insight – if he was gone all week, I could potentially pull off a huge surprise for us and he would have no idea. A few quick texts, arranged childcare with some solid friends who said they would help, and we were set – a night away to celebrate our 10 year anniversary was in motion!
The big day came and with it came a massive wind and rain storm (at least for our area of the world). I had plans to surprise Scott in San Diego where he was in meetings all day, which meant a drive across the border in pouring rain, flooded streets, accidents, and re-routed traffic. I barely missed a collision with a city bus and car that happened a few feet in front of me, causing all the traffic to back up on the freeway, drive up an exit ramp, and snake our way through massively flooded side roads.
Thankfully I made it through the border with plenty of time to spare. I texted one of my friends who was ‘in on it’ and also at the same meeting with Scott, letting him know I was nearby and would hang out until he gave me the go ahead to get into position (I was going to be waiting on the sidewalk out front when he walked outside after the meeting). Imagine my surprise when he texted back, “Oh, you know the meeting location was changed, right?” WHAT??!! Turns out they were meeting 20 minutes away from where I thought they were! All that extra time suddenly turned into barely enough margin to weave my way through surface streets (the freeways were jammed with after-work and weather-related traffic), avoid fallen trees that were literally in the road (at least four of them), and try not to lose it as I hit every single red light along the way (okay, maybe I got one green light but it was pretty ridiculous).
My friends were stalling to keep Scott from leaving the meeting and I pulled up just as he was at the end of his rope with their shenanigans (I found all this out later). I turned the car off, pulled the emergency brake, and frantically texted my friend to let him know I was there. And….NO SERVICE. My phone had no service! I couldn’t believe it!!! I had to laugh at this point – it was all too much. I ended up ringing the doorbell and then dashing to hide behind the cars parked in the driveway. It turned our perfectly as Scott was at the door ready to leave so he walked out (with a bunch of other people at the meeting), saw me, and looked thoroughly confused, surprised, and baffled. He walked out and gave me a big hug. I said, “Happy anniversary!” and he started laughing. He quickly put two and two together and asked, “When do we have to be back?”, thinking we had a night out to ourselves. It felt so amazing to tell him, “TOMORROW NIGHT!” His face just about exploded. He was so happy and so surprised! He had no idea. He loves surprises so I was thrilled to make this one happen, in spite of all the ridiculous roadblocks (literally) that were thrown in the way. I thanked all our friends that worked so hard to keep it a secret and make it a success, and we were on our way.
We used the Hotel Tonight app to find a great deal at Embassy Suites in downtown San Diego. Even with the rainy weather, the views were stunning.
Delicious steaks for dinner…no, delicious doesn’t even begin to describe it. Heavenly. Luscious. Mind-blowing. Think of the best food you’ve ever eaten and then stop thinking because these steaks were AMAZING.
We were both exhausted from the week (him traveling, me holding down the fort and planning the big surprise) so we fell into bed at a ridiculously early hour…only to be topped by me sleeping in until 8:30 AM the next morning. It felt so good! We hit the free breakfast in the lobby and then settled in for a few hours of peace and quiet to ourselves. We are both introverts so we joke about spending time together-alone. I curled up with a blanket, cup of tea, and a good book, while he watched NCAA basketball and SportsCenter. A perfect encapsulation of our relationship, if I should say so myself. 🙂
After checking out at noon, we made our way to Liberty Station for lunch. It was so much fun. The food! The details! The food! The marketplace feel! The food! Okay, so maybe I was overly excited about the food but it all looked (and smelled) so delicious. And then Scott found a wall of beer on tap and he pretty much died and went to heaven. It was perfect.
I wanted to eat every single thing from every single food stall, but I finally decided on green Thai curry. My belly was singing a happy song for the rest of the day. Scott had a lobster roll and fries to go with a beer from the Wall of Happiness.
A few quick stops to run some errands (we were adults with no kids in tow…it makes errands a treat!) and we were home by early evening to hug our kiddos and say a huge thank you to our friends who had cared for them while we were away. Our night away was the perfect way to celebrate the last ten years of our marriage and look forward to many, many more years together.