My husband and I recently celebrated our tenth anniversary, which is kind of wild considering that it's not unusual for me to say things like, "We've been to that restaurant/park/event before. Remember? When we were dating." So it doesn't seem that long ago. But time marches on.
celebrate, Jim and I headed to Chicago, where we
spent a lot of time when we were dating. And first married.
Before kids, really. We live in St. Louis, and sometimes on Fridays I'd
come home from work at the ad agency and want to go somewhere, do something. Head out of town. So we'd pack a quick bag and go.
I remember one such trip when we really should have checked the weather. We
were half-way to Chicago and it started snowing. Hard. We turned on the
radio and learned they'd been predicting a foot of snow. Turns out they
were right. Oops. We almost spent that weekend in an old Red Roof Inn in
the middle of rural Illinois.
But it was fun and we
always had such a great time on our impromptu road trips. Alas, they
ended when we had kids. Now with writing and other things, I haven't
really felt the need to dash out of town at the end of the day. Or maybe
my husband and I just know we can't!
Still, for the 10th, we headed out again. Only this time, we tried to plan. Tried being the key word.
We'd sit on our laptops and show each other fun things to
do in Chicago. New things. Things we'd never done before. Only we
couldn't decide on anything. We looked up hotels. But we ended up making
a reservation at the same place we'd always just showed up at before.
Then we realized our problem - these trips are not meant to be planned.
They're meant to be savored. We'd gotten to be too parental. We were
messing with the system.
So we ditched the planning and
have decided to just show up. That worked so much better. We walked downtown and found a classic burger place we'd heard about for years. We rode around on a water taxi to nowhere (we had no plans after all). We ended up at a bar chatting with a really cool guy who turned out to be a player for the Bears.
We hit Wrigley Field for a Cardinals/Cubs game - in a drizzling rain - which was so much fun because we were able to snag seats just under the overhang where everyone was gathering. We met a man who has had season tickets to the Cubs games for decades. We met a stockbroker who trades milk and dairy (I learned a ton). We met two New Yorkers who like the same NYC day spa that I do. It was really neat.
We wandered. We savored. The way it was meant to be. Although we did make one change - Jim kept our hotel reservation. These days, he likes knowing we have a room. And that's fine by me.