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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Anniversary Stay-cation? Bliss.

I didn’t really mention it on the blog last week, but my man and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary.


It seems both like it was yesterday and like it was a lifetime ago all at the same time.  But mostly, it’s just been a wild ride and we’re as strong or stronger in our relationship than ever.  (See last year’s anniversary post here.)

And just so you know, my husband rocks.

Our anniversary was in the middle of the week, so we loaded up the kids that evening and went out to dinner to celebrate as a family the formation of our family on the day of our wedding.  We had a good time and only had to remind the kids to use their inside voices 652 times during dinner. 

Then over the weekend, the kids went to visit their Nanny (my mother-in-law) which allowed us to have a weekend.  At home.  Alone.  Without kids.  Or responsibilities.


There have been many times that we have taken a trip for our anniversary.  Like two years ago, for instance, when we went to Las Vegas.  And we’ve had years that we have stayed at home for the weekend.  Both ways have good and bad things about them and have their place at certain points in life.  And right now, at this point in life, the staying home option is just so right for us.

As I thought about it over the weekend, I began to look at it this way.  When we travel, we want to go and see and do all that a new place has in store for us.  We are adventurers.  We want to experience.  And that is great and fun and can be very romantic… in its own way.  But it doesn’t allow for a lot of time just sitting and being in one another’s company. 

However, when you stay at home, you may tend to look around and think to yourself about all the things you need to be doing or getting accomplished around the house while the kids are gone.  Believe me, we fell into that trap when we stayed home the weekend of our 11th anniversary.  It was our worst anniversary EVER as Mike busied himself trimming some trees outside and I may have spent the day scrapbooking inside.  So the key to doing an anniversary stay-cation is being able to turn all of that off (or down a lot) just for this one weekend and do just a little work ahead of time so that you don’t feel the pressure to clean up or do housework over the weekend.

That’s what we did last weekend and it was so wonderful.  We fixed dinner together and enjoyed cocktails and a glass or two of wine before renting a movie on Friday evening.  On Saturday, we stayed in our pajamas most of the day as we lazed on the couch snuggled up together watching a West Wing marathon from the Season 2 DVDs Mike checked out from the library.  We ate grilled cheese sandwiches and sipped wine by the fireplace (it was cold outside) and just talked about plans for the year and the future in general as well as challenges we are facing and obstacles we foresee.  We talked about changes we want to make in ourselves, our relationship and our parenting.  We talked about the kids and the challenges that we are facing with each of them.  We talked and talked and talked until I said finally, “If we keep this up, we will have nothing to talk about over dinner.”

We went out for dinner Saturday evening and what  a dinner it was.  I have blogged before about Reata (restaurant in downtown Fort Worth).  We decided to go there and to the improv comedy show Four Day Weekend (right next door to the restaurant) again and they both served us an incredible night out. 

If you have not been there, Reata is a very nice restaurant serving decidedly Texan cuisine in a gourmet fashion.  I was not surprised to hear from the hostess that the owners of the Philadelphia Eagles had been there for lunch the previous day (as they were in town preparing to be schooled by the Cowboys).  We started off with some very nicely seasoned calamari.  Then I enjoyed smoked quail (mmmm) and a duck breast (that was like buttah) served with jalapeno cheddar grits (oh my!) and green beans while Mike had what he referred to as one of the most tender steaks he’d ever eaten along with some shrimp with a Creole stuffing.  Then for dessert, I can never seem to pass up their dessert tacos and Mike had a molten chocolate cake. 

The improv show at Four Day Weekend was so funny.  The language and material was a little rougher than last time we went a little over a year ago, but we laughed pretty hard the entire show.  It was the perfect way to end the evening.

If you didn’t know, you can become a “fan” of local businesses such as these on Facebook (Reata’s Facebook fan page) and Twitter.  I became a Reata “fan” a while back and have enjoyed reading each day what the chef’s specials are for the day.  Because of some communication I’d had with them over their fan page in the couple of days prior, we got to meet the person who handles their social media, Gigi, and Mike Micallef, the owner and author of the cookbook I received for Christmas last year.  It was really neat for me and made the evening just a little extra special.

I realized, though, as we sat in front of the fireplace and just chatted about life  on Saturday afternoon that we would never have taken that opportunity had we been able to travel somewhere to celebrate our anniversary.  I somewhat bemoaned the fact that we were just staying at home, but had we traveled somewhere, we would have stayed in a hotel and felt the need that since we had either paid for airline tickets or driven so far that we needed to get up, get out and go do it all.  And, hotel rooms are just not as comfortable as being at home.  Period. 

So I would encourage you that if there is any way you can let your kids spend a weekend away from you and just stay at home with your spouse, do it.  You might even decide to do an annual plan like my friend Melinda at Traveling the Road Home does and encouraged us to start doing last year.  But the time we spent last weekend refreshed us and helped us feel like we had been able to communicate on levels that are nearly impossible in day to day living. 

Anniversary vacation?  Nah.  In my humble opinion, the anniversary stay-cation is the way to go.


Melinda said...

Happy Anniversary!! As I was reading along, I thought "I wonder if they did their annual plan during the weekend?" :o)

I'm going to re-run that post next week!

Thanks for the shout-out...and your friendship!


Kay said...

Such a wonderful idea! I think staying home is much more comfortable than a hotel too. I love it when our girl gets an overnight invite. Gives us both a chance to talk and catch up.

bridget {bake at 350} said...

Sounds perfect! I can't imagine an ENTIRE weekend alone!!! Wow! Happy anniversary!

I've been to the Reata...before the tornado when it was up on the top floor of a building. Very cool place and the only restaurant I've ever been to with Lone Star on tap! :)