As of December 28th, 2011, Brandon and I have been married ten years.
Really? Ten years?
Well, you know us, we wouldn't have done anything besides a fist bump or something. We have kids. We (Brandon) have work. We are boring people. We'd have to leave our house. Etc.
But then our St. Pete friends heard tell of our "decade long accomplishment" and told us we would be doing something for ourselves, and we would be leaving our children with them while we did it.
Wow. I mean wow. Anyone who knows us knows that our daughter is a little, ahem, tricky. Plus, we spent Thanksgiving with these people, a time when Annie had been PARTICULARLY freak-out-for-no-reason tricky. And yet, the offer was on the table. We had to go for it.
We had a wonderful time.
I took 5 pictures. I think that's how it should be. Pictures, schmictures. What will I remember more than pictures? The quiet. The peacefulness. The deep breaths. And of course, the food.
We went to Lido Key, just past Sarasota. We stayed in this funky little place called the Gulf Beach Resort Motel. Note: emphasis on "motel," not so much "resort." The place was straight out of the movie "Cars," having hailed its original fame and popularity from the 1950s, when families first started "road tripping" to the Florida beaches. It rocked.
Look, it even had signage.
And it's amazing what life experience will do to your perspective. The quaint little space was complete with a bathroom that more-than-closely matched our upstairs Corry village one, except that it had actually been cleaned properly and regularly for the past 60 years. Instead of wrinkling our noses to this "vintage" feature (as we would have pre-florida, pre-corry), we enthusiastically noted every detail. "Look how the grout is so CLEAN! And the sink, hot water actually comes out easily! Come, see!"
Hee hee. I love Corry.
Anyway, it really was RIGHT on the beach. We took one hundred steps or less and there it was, paradise, complete with peach and white striped lawn chairs. We parked the car and walked directly to the ocean. Sigh. Happiness and a half.
(This picture may or may not actually be from the next day, at a different location. But you get the picture.)
Other highlights of the trip: dinner at The Columbia. Hot chocolate and fudge at some fantastic treat shop. Walking home on the beach and seeing an amish family complete with bonnets and suspenders equipped with headlamps, jumping around in the waves, searching in the dark for crabs (you KNOW I wanted to take a picture of that!). Searching to no avail for a Publix, asking directions, and finding out how close yet how far we'd been (we miss the boat). The cold and wet morning on Anna Maria Island, reminding us of the Puget Sound and our many happy moments together there (did we have any idea then Florida was in our future? In ten more years, where in the world will we be?). Walking on the beach in our fleece jackets and beanies, giggling sadly for the other beach goers trying to tough it out in their teeny bathing suits. Finding beautiful shells to take home to our babies. Cheesecake, to end the adventure.
As the new year begins, we are realizing more and more how close we are to the end of this chapter of our combined life adventure. It, like the others, has been a trying yet fantastic chapter. And we still have six months to go. Hold my horses. Enjoy the sunsets.
We really needed some time away. St. Pete friends, we're yours forever. Especially after Annie threw up at breakfast that last morning at your house.
Happy tenth, super Brandon.