Welcome back to reality ...
I'm settling into our regular routine this week after spending 48 glorious hours with Andi, free of all responsibility including parenting, and the transition back to real life has been a tough one. Not rocky-bad, per se, but more like "do my lovely children really scream this much? GAH!" And, "is it time for wine yet? Oh, it's only 10:30am? Oof."
Sometimes, I think it's easier to keep right on truckin' through life because once I step out of the chaos, it makes me a little bug-eyed to eventually plunge back into reality. Not to sound ungrateful as we are very thankful for Janie, my wonderful mother-in-law, who offered to watch Tory and Aden so Andi and I could have time away to celebrate five years of marriage together. And, thanks to my father-in-law Jim and sister-in-law Lindsay who also helped Janie manage the kids. Andi and I really do appreciate it.
As for our getaway together, Andi and I had a fabulous time at our lake cabin. I'm not sure we've ever been there alone before or if we have, it wasn't for long. Andi and I contemplated traveling somewhere for our anniversary but with only a 48-hour pass, we wanted to make the most of our time. As is usually the case, Andi arranged for some fun activities to celebrate.
We left Tory and Aden with Janie on Thursday around Noon and headed to the cabin. Along the way, Andi suggested stopping by Dancing Dragonfly Winery for a tasting. We drive by this winery every weekend on the way to the cabin but have never been without the kids, so this seemed like the perfect time to check it out. I have to admit I had very low expectations. I pictured a pole barn with a small counter for tasting wine so I was pleasantly surprised when we pulled into the parking lot of a beautiful stone fortress overlooking the vineyard. Tastings were $10/each with about 15 red, white and dessert wines to choose from. After each trying five wines and purchasing another glass of our favorite, Andi and I were just tipsy enough to start our anniversary weekend on the right foot. Can't wait to come back to this winery when we're without kids again ... which will probably be in about another five years!
Andi and I settled into cabin life with a canoe ride around the lake - sans kids! No one asked for snacks, or needed shushed and entertained. Basically, it was amazing. So relaxing and peaceful. A few minutes later, we were out the door to celebrate our anniversary with dinner at The Tower House. I was craving the delicious fettuccine alfredo dish I'd had a few weeks earlier and we wanted to try out the restaurant's newly opened patio. Unfortunately, the place was slammed and our meals weren't as tasty as they had been the first time we visited the restaurant. It was still nice to spend dinner together though. No complains on the company I kept.
I won't lie when I say one of the things I was most looking forward to during our 48 hours away from the kids was sleeping. Shamefully, Andi and I were asleep by 9:00pm on our anniversary night and dead to the world until about 8:00am the following morning. Eleven hours of uninterrupted sleep = HEAVEN.
Friday, Andi planned a fun day for the two of us in Danbury, Wisconsin. We trailered our Polaris Ranger about 45 minutes to some ATV trails near there and spent the morning riding together. I'm as shocked as anyone to admit this, but I enjoy ATVing. It's so beautiful riding in nature, exploring new territory and most of all, spending time together with Andi. We talked. We rode. We sat quietly and listening to music. It was really fun.
It was also really, really dirty. Andi and I stopped for lunch at the Fish Bowl Bar and Grill in Danbury. When I went to wash my hands in the bathroom, I noticed the exact shape of my sunglasses on my face. Good thing our next activity was tubing down the St. Croix River.
After lunch, we cruised over to Pardun's Canoe Rental to grab intertubes and hop in a shuttle to the drop-off on the river. Andi and I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the sunshine.
No cell phones. No noise. No distractions. Just the two of us floating down the river in nature. It was a beautiful, relaxing ride. Andi even fell asleep on his tube for a few minutes. I kept watch and steered us clear of random low-hanging trees. That's love, right there!
Our cabin friends Joe and Lisa sent a text message afterwards with an invitation to go water skiing back at the lake, so we cruised over to their place upon our return. Andi wakeboarded, Joe slalom skied and we watched the sun set over the horizon. It was a perfect day.
We had Saturday morning alone, so Andi and I met the cabin neighbors to ride ATVs on some trails by the cabin. Janie and Lindsay brought Tory and Aden to the cabin around Noon and we all spent the rest of the day playing by the lake. The weather was gorgeous all weekend -- sunny, in the mid-80's. Perfect cabin weather. Saturday was Aden's first time in the lake (the water's about 80 degrees now) and Tory's first time tubing behind the boat! Our little girl has no fear whatsoever. As she and I climbed onto the tube tied to the back of the pontoon boat, she started to whine because she thought Andi was going for a boat ride without her. After we got going and she realized what was going on, she cheered "wahoo!" the entire ride.
We ended our anniversary weekend with dinner out at The County Line with our four, plus Janie and Lindsay. Not at all as relaxing as our dinners without the kids, but much more familiar. All in all, a great weekend at the lake.
Janie and Lindsay left the cabin Sunday morning and we headed out shortly afterwards as the sky clouded up and began to rain. Year Five of marriage is off to a great start. Here's to many more wonderful memories ahead!