This is a VERY long blog so forgive me but I am just so excited! I think love should be celebrated! As I look back on our 10 years of marriage I cannot express enough the joy these years have brought me. Fairy tales do come true!
Our anniversary celebration started a few days before the actual date. My husband told me we were going on a trip to celebrate. He said it was close, about a 3 1/2 our drive and it was a romantic place with Christmas lights somewhere in Texas. I had no idea where we were going and my mind was going crazy with ideas. By telling me about the trip ahead of time I was thinking this would be my 10 year anniversary present, well he is sneaky and had another plan! He surprised me with a new diamond anniversary band!!! It is so beautiful, I just love it! The best part is there are 10 princess cut diamonds across the top to represent 10 years of marriage! I was crying so hard when he was putting it on my hand, it felt like 10 years ago when we first said "I do". It was a very special and intimate moment that I will treasure always.
The morning we were supposed to leave, I woke up thinking I was getting ready to go somewhere close, in Texas about 3 1/2 hours away. We sat by the fireplace and he handed me a black book and he simply said to me,"Life is short". When I opened the book there were 10 envelopes numbered 1 - 10 representing our 10 years together. I was only allowed to open one at a time because each envelop would revel what he had planned for each day and night of our trip. As I opened the first envelop and read the card I was in shock! It was a photo of the White House and it said Washington, District of Columbia, December 19 -22, 2009. Below this he wrote, " On this journey that is life, I can think of no better companion to accompany me than you. The wonderment that I see in your eyes as we travel the world together is one of the many things that set you apart from everyone else - and draws me closer to you."
He then told me that our flight was leaving in a few hours and we were heading to Washington DC for our anniversary which is somewhere I have always wanted to visit at Christmas! He thought of anything for this trip from afternoon tea at the Oriental to seeing Handel's Messiah at the Kennedy Center. We headed off to the airport, our luggage packed with snow boots and jackets ready for the snow that was awaiting us! Our flight was pushed back by a few hours but that was ok, we were on our way to D.C. and I was just so excited!
When we arrived at the airport we were told the flight was leaving the next day because of the snow storms hitting the East Coast. They looked for another option such as flying into New Jersey or even New York but all flights were canceled. We had a choice to try and fly in somewhere close or wait and have the trip postponed. I was crushed seeing the look on my husband's face who planned everything so beautifully. We had to make a choice and so we did. The airlines could get us on a flight to Boston and that was as close as we could get. So we went to get on the plane headed for Boston and once again, it was delayed, then delayed again....and again. Now we were loosing time and concerned about arriving in such a storm especially with me being pregnant. We were watching CNN and the reports from the roads were a disaster, the train service shut down and so were many of the attractions in D.C that we were heading to see.
We once again had to make a choice. So my husband called the airlines and said we wanted to change due to the weather then looked at me and said "Where would you like to go?" I said somewhere warm, and next thing I knew we were heading to California!!! They quickly pulled out our luggage and we were re-checked in for a flight to L.A. Our suitcase was filled with cold weather clothes so we drove back home from the airport, took out the boots and replaced them with a pair of sandals and we were on our way!
We arrived in LA and went straight to the rental car place hoping there was a car for us. We were able to get a car, a bright green convertible VW Bug! We were laughing SO hard! It was PERFECT! We wanted to drive up the cost of California in a convertible and what better way to do that in the middle of December than a bright green VW Bug! The first night we stayed in the Hollywood Hills and drove through West Hollywood with the top down taking in the sites. The next morning we started early driving up the Pacific Cost Hwy towards our next destination.
The night before, my husband had called The Four Seasons Biltmore resort in Santa Barbara and told them about our anniversary and the airport adventure, and then surprised me that we were on our way to Santa Barbara! A women on the plane to California told us about this resort and how romantic it was and now we were on our way!! The drive to Santa Barbara was beautiful. With the top down we listened to a mixed CD I made him of all our special love songs throughout the years. It was funny how something so completely unplanned turned out to be SO VERY romantic.
We arrived at the resort and it was a stunning! It was right off of the ocean in a small area, called Montecito that proved to be our favorite part of Santa Barbara. There were so many little shops and restaurants all decorated with lights and it had a very small town feel which we loved. For our stay, the resort provided us with a beautiful room in one of the villas, sparkling cider and chocolate covered strawberries along with a card wishing us a great stay and happy anniversary. During our stay at the resort we were able to see Kevin Costner, and Jeff Bridges was doing a 10 at 10 spot from the resort for the Jay Leno show on our anniversary so that was kind of cool, but hey, it is California right!
The stay in Santa Barbabra was perfect! It was relaxing and VERY romantic! We strolled around town, relaxed along the beach, mostly staying around the resort. We also took a drive up into the mountains behind the resort the morning of our anniversary that again proved to be one of those spontaneous adventures that ended up being priceless memory.
After the most amazing stay in Santa Barbara we headed south to Santa Monica where we stayed for a couple of nights in an old historic hotel right down from the Santa Monica pier overlooking the ocean. We where only staying in Santa Monica at night as during the day was spent driving out to other locations. Rodeo drive was definitely a highlight as it looked so lovely decorated for Christmas. We shopped and had a dessert at The Beverly Wilshire which overlooks the big Christmas tree off of Rodeo. It was nice sitting outside watching everyone pass by while at the same time, we were lost in each other in our own little world. I treated myself to a Brioche Bread pudding and oh my mercy me it was good! But hey, it was my anniversary trip after all!
While in Southern California visited Newport and Laguna Beach along with an amazing day trip to Palm Springs and Big Bear. This was a day to remember for sure. We arrived in the morning to the Palm Springs tram and much to our surprise there was snow at the top of all the mountains. That morning there was a windy advisory for the area and once we arrived I could see why. I have NEVER been in wind like this in my life, it was crazy! So one moment we were in a sand storm in the dessert of Palm Springs, then a few minutes later we were high above the mountains in the snow, then back down in the sand. It was incredible....only in California!
After a lunch in Palm Springs we headed to Big Bear. Once we had passed the wind and sand storms we put the top down and traveled up to Big Bear where it was COLD! There was snow all around and we started noticing cars pulling off to the side to put on snow chains. As I said before, we were in a convertible VW Bug so needless to say we did not have any chains. We kept going up and up but finally stopped as we were seeing too many people turning around. The California Highway Patrol was up ahead turning everyone away who did not have snow chains on because the ice was so bad further ahead. So we took some photos of us in the snow and headed back down. We then proceeded south and made it back to Laguna Beach for a beautiful sunset and what proved to be one of the most romantic nights of our trip.
While in the LA area we did see the standard sites of Hollywood and Beverly Hills, but we were mostly focused on slow walks, romantic drives up the coast with the top down at night and most of all, being with one another. I will forever hold in my heart the memories of this trip!
I cannot think of a better way to end this special blog than by sharing the tenth and final card my husband gave me. Inside the card was a photo of us from our wedding day and below were a few words he wrote from his heart and I will treasure always...."Time moves too fast, and before we knew it 10 years have somehow gone by. But when I look back at how we spent that time, I truly feel that we have seized the life God blessed us with and embraced it head on. We did it together, with you by my side, in my arms, and in my heart."
A few memories from our stay in Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Palm Springs and Big Bear