Thursday, August 20, 2009

2 Year Anniversary Daycation

For our second anniversary, I wanted something special. We couldn't go out of the country as is our usual habit (Ryan has an annual work conference in Europe we've enjoyed twice now), what with the baby coming and me being huge. This last anniversary before Éowyn comes was also a great chance for our "babymoon." SO I started saving and sneakily looking around online at options for a getaway that was close, but new. Cincinnati, about 2 hrs away from us, was our solution. I found a WONDERFUL Bed & Breakfast- the 1861 Inn- which I highly recommend and to which we will be returning ourselves. The zoo, aquarium, boardwalk, downtown, museums and restaurants all looked very promising. Not to mention my dream store: IKEA (the closest one to us by far), hehehe.

Those of you who know my husband may be surprised to learn that he does not do surprises. He can barely keep from telling me what he got me for Christmas every year, and badgers me to know the endings of movies and books before we get there. He also doesn't enjoy BEING surprised if it's too out of the blue. So I told him early on that Tuesday August 18th was 100% taken by me, and no work, study, or other activity could distract him for one instant. :) He liked the idea and got settled on the idea of me planning something fun that I refused to tell him.

Monday night we started off our celebration with tickets to a Louisville Bats game-- support the local team, and have fun. I'd won the tickets (free!) at a Seminary Wives function. We had a great time and Ryan tried to make up for laughing at my baseball ignorance by buying me a frozen lemonade. Man! The heat gets to me like never before!! I'm so thankful this summer's been mild here! During the 7th inning stretch I told Ryan where we'd be going the next morning, and what he needed to pack. I also let him pick which activity(ies) we did. He picked the zoo.

Tuesday we got up early (for us in the summer), and I packed a picnic lunch (more on that later). We had the perfect day for a drive, with cloudy, cool skies but no rain. We also enjoyed Ryan's anniversary gift to me-- a 6-disk CD player which he'd had secretly installed in our car (which I usually drive). I'd sorely missed my CDs ever since our built-in CD player inexplicably choked back in January. Radio around here just doesn't cut it for me, and I have a loooong commute. Anyway, I was so pleased and have since enjoyed books on CD and favorite albums again! Once at the zoo, Ryan began taming the wild beasts (if you look at our other pictures, you'll notice that this is a theme!):

An ingenious money-maker: they "let" you do their chore (feeding the giraffes) for $1 a cracker. And it was so worth it. ;D

We had fun with our picnic- sparkling grape juice, ham & cheese sandwiches (hehe I ate more than Ryan!), Hubers peaches, go-gurts (because we're just little kids at heart), and chocolate chip cookies! Ryan kept feeding the peacocks, so they gathered around our table a lot.

We took FULL advantage of our train & tram passes. It was a welcome break for a very pregnant mama!

Hehe... we also rode the carousel. I had a little trouble dismounting. :)

The sun started to come out quite intensely just as we called it a day and headed to our B & B. Our hosts, Tom & Carol, met us so graciously and gave us the tour of their home-- being history buffs, we really enjoyed that. Then we cooled off in the pool as they served us chilled wine & snacks (don't worry- I only sipped), and we played with their 2 spaniels. To my great delight, they set the jacuzzi thermostat to 97 so I could get in without fear! It felt SOOOO good on my tired legs & back!

Dinner was Tapas in Batavia, a nearby little town which looked like it would have been fun to walk around... if I wasn't already walked out that is. Ryan got a bison burger and I got my favorite seafood: scallops!!

After our late Spanish-style dinner, we headed to our rooms, which our hosts had adorned with truffles!!
My favorite part of the room was the giant spotless porcelain claw-footed tub:

I haven't been able to fit into our bathtub for several months :(... as you can imagine, I filled that thing up to the brim and soaked away all the rest of my fatigue. As we watched Hitch-- great anniversary movie, huh?

Breakfast the next morning was scrumptious-- gluten and soy free, of course! We bade our hosts goodbye and promised we'd be back, and that we'd be referring as many friends as possible! On the way home, Ryan proved his love to me by taking us to IKEA. =D We really enjoyed this innovative store and got great ideas for our own home. It's definitely an experience! We even snagged a shelf for our nursery!

All in all, it was a smashing success. We enjoyed the city and would like to return; we got a lovely break from our routines, and best of all, we got to enjoy each other. Yes, we see each other a LOT these days, with Ryan working from home and me at home for the summer, but we don't usually get to monopolize each other's time for entire 36 hour spans. =D I love my husband, and I am so thankful that we have more & more fun the longer we're married! Thank you, Father, for yet another of Your Good Gifts!
-- a happy wife and mama

Some videos of Ryan for your enjoyment. =D Not quite Crocodile Dundy, but close...

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