One year later, we traveled to the beautiful mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, where we fell in love with the breathtaking views, and each other all over again.
Aaaaaand that's about the time our story ends. You see, we then went on to have one, two, three then four beautiful bundles of joy which pretty much sucked the freedom and life out of any wedding anniversary we ever had from that day forward.
Over the early years we were lucky to have a showered, scream-free, diaperless date on a good night, and on a bad one, I think we may have high fived each other in passing down the hallway.
We've spent anniversaries at work, doctor's appointments, my personal favorite was our 10 year...at a T-ball game. Each and every year since the beginning, we've promised each other that the next year, things would be different.
This year, it finally was.
Our 15 year anniversary was quickly approaching and I vowed to do something special. I began to research, study, and review get-aways that would accommodate everyone's schedules.
It became frustrating with different locations, timing, pricing and I found myself complaining to Adam more than being excited about it.
Finally, he said, "Don't worry about it. I have it covered". And cover it, he did.
He asked my parents to watch the kids for two nights as he booked (what he thought) was the most beautiful and romantic place, right on the beach.
Luxury accommodations, with gourmet meals sitting by the ocean without a care in the world.
Who could ask for anything more?
Packing my things, he wouldn't tell me where we were going. It was exciting to wonder whether the mountains were calling us back again, or a distant city might be in order.
In the car, within no time, signs for the coast were a good indication for our destination as I smiled at the thought of long walks on the beach and lazy days.
Upon arrival, it was late at night and hard to see, but Adam slowed the car and looked around, "Here we are", his voice seeming somewhat unsure.
"This is it?!" I was excited to get out but somewhat confused by his expression.
"I think. It doesn't look anything like it did online." Shrugging, he climbed out.
Walking under an overhang with palm trees, a black and white cat interrupted our path, sitting right there looking at us the way only a cat can do.
Reaching for the main door, we were surprised to find it locked. No amount of budging would come from the tug of war my husband ensued, until we saw a little hand written note to the side reading, "Back in ten".
"How are we supposed to check in, if no one's here? How do we know how long they've been gone?" Adam's apprehensions only grew as we both cupped our hands against the nighttime darkness to look into a tiki style run down front desk, as empty as the parking lot behind us.
Looking back at the cat, I swear it whispered, "Run" just as a woman came to the front door to unlock it.
Handing a key over the tiki bar to us, she promised our room to look right over the ocean with an added bonus of a full breakfast in the morning.
Lugging our things out of the car, the cat continued to shake it's head at us, while we naïvely made our way to the room.
The journey was not exactly "Resort" feeling, but we were sure the room would be great.
Turning the door knob, we entered a level of stay, fit for those crazy spooky places you see on the highway.
The wall was lined with different thingys along the floor such as this...
Needless to say, the cute little number I had packed for that night was quickly replaced with a long sleeved t-shirt and sweatpants in fear of my eminent blood loss.
When it appeared, it got even worse.
Opening the windows like the sign pointing to the "beach" said to do, we were greeted with a parking lot.
Following the smell of bacon led us to hope for the best. Finding the continued tiki bar theme, however, made our eyes pop out as we picked up paper plates with scoops of powdered eggs. We left the bamboo lounge in search of the ocean and were pleased to find it, making our own little anniversary breakfast by the beach to remember.
Shaking his head between bites, Adam answered, "No, you probably don't".
"That's it then. Let's go."
Thumbing through our phones, about 20 minutes away looked to be a fabulous place.
Adam worried it wouldn't be at all like the website, just like this place, but we didn't want to spend that much for another night of fine dining and the new place was less than half the cost.
Less than HALF the cost...and are you ready for this?
THIS is what we walked into...
I know we don't get out much and all, but wow. We were giddier than a school girl and couldn't believe how lucky we were to have a night in such a wonderful place, with a bed we weren't afraid to sleep in or showers we weren't afraid to stand in...and stickered toilet paper.
The entire experience allowed us to reflect on the past fifteen years and what they've meant. Life can bring the good and bad, ups and downs, dirty bathrooms to stickered toilet paper. As long as you keep doing what you can to get through, even the darkest of storms are worth it in the end when the rainbows in life come your way.