Anniversary Trip: Day 1

Heading out for the long weekend was kind of a last minute decision for us. Things have been crazy at work for my honey. Less business, but twice the work. Working solely on commission adds a different dimension of stress. We don’t get paid vacation time. The pay is better than most hourly jobs, but the stress is higher. And then, there are the lean times. We have been through them before. God has always provided. We will remind ourselves how to tighten the belt and spend less. We will do what needs to be done to get through this time. If I have to go back to work, I will. I’ve done it before.

Back to our anniversary. We had been wanting to head out to a couple small resort towns four hours away from where we live to explore and just be with each other. Maybe find a few good places to eat, some fun, overpriced shops to look, but not buy in. I am an early riser and would have set out at 6am. My honey is a night owl, and usually likes to pop by his office before leaving around 2:00. Since I am the driver, and I tend to need a nap around 2:00, we compromised and left around 11:00. On the way, we stopped at a clients work to pick up some documents my honey needed, then got back on the road. We hit little patches of rain going through the mountains, and I found mats elf being very grateful it wasn’t snow. Since he was still fielding work calls on a troublesome deal, I had my favorite playlist softly playing and I sang along, turning it down only when a call was in progress.

The drive was mostly freeway, through snow capped mountains. It was a pleasant drive in spite of the weather. We chatted about family, dreamed a little, discussed finances and the need to tighten the belt after vacation. When we left the freeway to head north, we stopped at a popular destination stop. Two restaurants flank a huge gift shop packed with unique tourist items. They carry some of the basic, run of the mill tourist stuff for the area, but even more high quality regional specific gifts. We ordered a basket of fish-n-chips and browsed while we waited for it to be ready. Our pager lit up and we found a table.

Back on the road, we were now traveling a road with a river beside us, and towering peaks ahead of us. There were fewer cars on the roads now, and it was easier to drive and enjoy the views. After an hour, the steep gorge we had been driving through opened up to high desert plains filled with cattle. I could see a pretty nasty storm cloud heading across the valley, and I was determined to get ahead of it. I hit focused more on driving than meandering. As the storm swept towards us and the raindrops began to fall, we noticed all the cows on the prairie had turned their back ends to the storm and continued grazing. To me, it was like a scene out of one of the Louis Lamour old west books I used to read. Minus the cars. As we climbed a hill, I looked in the rear view mirror to see the road behind us disappearing into the storm. The front end of it clipped us with a few minutes of rain, but we beat the bulk of it as we began another ascent to another plain.

My honeys phone, which had been silent for an hour, rang, but reception was poor and several calls were lost. We pulled off at a “cell phone pull out”. Yup. That’s a real thing in the middle of nowhere. Sad, but we were grateful for it. My honey returned a few calls while I got out and walked around enjoying the scenery. The pull off was on a bluff overlooking a lake with the mountains towering behind it. On the other side of the road was a rock bluff with trees on top of it. It was a beautiful place to stop. As my honey finished his last call, my phone rang! It was our daughters family calling from overseas to say hello! We cherish those calls and we both were able to chat with our grandsons. With time differences and school schedules, talkable time has become a very small window of time on our Friday/Saturday early evenings.

By the time we started driving again, we were getting close to the condo we had rented at a timeshare golf course. We stopped for dinner at a place my house eh wanted to try, then at a local supermarket to pick up a few needs I hadn’t brought with us. A few minutes later, we were checking into our condo.

We rented a one bedroom condo instead of a hotel room, so that we had someplace to go while the other person slept, since we are polar opposites to each other. We watched a couple episodes of some HGTV show, then headed for bed. We had a pleasant driving day. Tomorrow we would do some sightseeing.

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Twenty years…

Tuesday will be our twentieth wedding anniversary. My honey blessed me with a long weekend trip to Banff, Canada, to celebrate. We honeymooned there, many years ago, and have returned a few times since.

It was hard leaving. I was finishing up misc. building things up until we were ready to leave. I hate to admit it, but I also brought two little things with me to do while we were gone. To be honest, I knew the weather was going to be rainy, and we would probably have one full day in the hotel room, so I don’t feel too bad for bringing work with me.

Spanky cat wasn’t real happy with us. She was fine the day before we left, because I was the only one who has pulled out a suitcase. But when dad pulled one out too, she gave it to us. First, she jumped into his suitcase, pleading her case to come with us. When that didn’t work, she followed my honey around as he went around the house gathering his stuff to pack. She finally perched on a sweater I was going to wear, figuring I couldn’t leave if she was on it. She was wrong. She retreated to her bed donut, and watched us pack with her ears laid back. When we were ready to go, I wrapped my arms around her, rubbing my chin on her head. I whispered a little prayer of protection for her, then counted off the days until we would return to her. We have always counted off days until we return to our pets. I think it makes us feel better that they know how long we will be gone.

My honey is great at finding unique hotels to stay in. We stayed at The Fox. A beautiful lodge style hotel. We had a loft room, on the fourth floor. The views were spectacular! We were close to downtown, but not too close. We enjoyed some time in the semi outdoor hot pools, created to mimic some local cave hot springs. That always helps the achy joints that weren’t an issue twenty years ago. We made decisions about garage door styles, heating options for the house, design decisions for the house and more. The conversation flowed smoothly, and yet, we were also content to sit on the couch quietly reading, or watching a basketball game.

It was a nice weekend in spite of the rain. A much needed respite form the hustle and bustle we left behind, and would have to return to.

I hope you can find a time of respite from your hustle and bustle, even if it is only a few hours.