This week marked a great milestone in our marriage…our 20th wedding anniversary!
Tuesday was election day, and Holden was off school that day. Since the following day was our actual anniversary, but I had a season ticket to the opera with my neighbor, Steve and I decided to celebrate on Tuesday instead. Hayden would be home with the kids, and Steve planned to get off early so we could go to dinner and then do the twilight climb at the local Adventure Park of Virginia Beach. I bought him a lovely cardigan to keep in his office now that the weather has turned so much colder. I also bought him 2 dozen premium roses in pastel colors and baby’s breath and arranged them myself in a vase at home. Aren’t they gorgeous? He brought me flowers, too, which he never does, so that was a nice surprise!
Steve came in from work early as planned, and we set off to use a voucher deal I’d purchased back in August at a fairly new little British restaurant called The Highlander. We knew we wouldn’t have a lot of time to spare since we were fighting rush-hour traffic headed the opposite direction of where the Adventure Park was located, so we tried to make a quick exit from home as soon as possible. After sitting in quite a backup along the way, we finally arrived at The Highlander.
As we exited the van, we could see the cook coming outside on her cell phone. She quickly informed us that the restaurant has just one cook (her) and one server, and the server had failed to report to work half an hour before. After a discussion by phone with the owner, they decided to just close up the restaurant. The lady explained that all she does is cook, and that while she could still do that, it would all have to be free because she didn’t know how to work the payment machine. UGH! I told her it was our 20th wedding anniversary, and I had even posted on their Facebook page earlier in the day that we were planning to come at 5:30 to celebrate with dinner there. She apologized but said there was nothing she could do. So Steve and I got back in the van and decided that since we were turning around in what was still rush-hour traffic, we’d better just head towards the Adventure Park and see how much time we had left once we got over there. Traffic was even worse headed out that way, and by the time we arrived, we only had half an hour to go before the 7-10 PM climbing session. There is really nothing out there by way of restaurants, so we pulled into a 7-11 parking lot nearby. As we got out, Steve said we should walk over to the Holiday Mart next door instead. Apparently, it was a hangout for the gang in his construction worker days of old. Big mistake! They were no longer cooking food that late, and it was a nasty looking little place where only one of the hot water dispensers even had water that was actually hot. Steve suggested I get a cup of tea, so I did that, even though the tea leaves were leaking into my cup and the half and half wasn’t even cold but sitting at room temperature instead. Then he grabbed two bags of chips and told me to grab some giant slim jims. So we checked out and walked back out to the van. Here was our dinner.
Is that the most pathetic 20th anniversary dinner you’ve ever seen, or what?!? At least if we’d gone in the 7-11, I could have had a yogurt and a banana or something else remotely nutritious. Ugh! I don’t even want to know how many calories was in that crap. I merely ate it out of necessity. Blech! We sat there laughing until we were crying! I can’t remember the last time I laughed quite so hard…the whole thing was so absurd that it was hysterical!
After this feast fit for kings, we pulled into the Adventure Park parking lot. When we checked in, we found out that the Twilight Climb wasn’t from 7-10 PM as we thought, but instead, it was from 6-9 PM! So we were now actually an hour late. ARGH! This evening was not turning out as planned in any way, shape, or form. We contemplated just going home and celebrating another night rather than pay $76 for 2 hours of climbing, but I said I’d probably cry myself to sleep if we didn’t do something fun on this night. So we decided to take what we could get.
I’m so glad we did! Steve and I had a fabulous time. I’d done 2 purple trails with Holden when we went for the Nickelodeon National Day of Play. But I wasn’t able to do any more difficult than that since that’s all he was allowed to do. So Steve and I did 2 yellow trails and a green trail. Oh, my goodness! As soon as we started the green trail, I knew we were in trouble! The second element on the trail had me stuck right in the middle of it. I was holding on for dear life and exclaiming to Steve that there was no way I was making it across! I knew I couldn’t fall to the ground or anything with that big harness on, but I certainly could have gotten myself tangled up in that crazy walkway if I’d fallen. It had slanted boards that went every which way. But when you stepped on them, they teeter-tottered like a see-saw! I just knew I was going to go sliding right off! He talked me through it, and I figured out how I could get to the other side. I wanted off that trail so badly! I was terrified of what was coming next, but the rest of it wasn’t nearly as bad as that one element! Next time, I’ll know what to do, but it was so scary the first time through! Steve was proud of me for facing my fears and getting through it. He’s actually afraid of heights a little bit, and he said he hated looking down at his feet and seeing the ground below. That last trail we did was 25 ft. in the air! I managed to strain my left quadricep the first time we propelled down to the ground because I didn’t bend my knee to absorb the impact. Lesson learned the hard way!
But overall, it was a great bonding experience and a neat adventure to share together, just as I thought it would be. Here we are in the office after we took off our climbing gear.
We’re not used to taking selfies, so you can see how our attempts at getting the right expression ended in laughter. No doubt, it is an anniversary we won’t soon forget! Our whole 20 years together has been a comedy of errors such as this, starting with our honeymoon, so this was nothing new in terms of disastrous evenings. I’ll save that story for another time, though, LOL.
On our actual anniversary, I barely passed Steve in the doorway on my way out to the opera with my neighbor friend. I figured that’s how our anniversary would go! I’m so glad we got to do a little something the night before. Val and I went to see H.M.S. Pinafore.
It was an awesome show! The story was so funny, and it had a wonderful happy ending, which is so rare for an opera! They are usually tragedies.
The rest of the week was just a blur with nothing much to remember. We surely won’t forget our 20th anniversary, though! Steve said if he had it to do over again, he wouldn’t change a thing. And that’s because we got a good laugh out of it, and he said it’s hard to have spontaneous fun after 20 years!
Until next week…