Our wedding anniversary started off really nicely. The Friday before it, we opened a magnum of champagne Sean's co-workers had given us when we got engaged (yes, two years earlier, talk about restraint) with plans to drink it throughout the long weekend. We had 8pm reservations on Saturday night at a restaurant called Chez Papa---all special occasions should be celebrated at restaurants with French names, I think---and we ate beef tartare and drank the second cheapest wine on the wine list and talked about all the things we couldn't wait to tear out and redo in the house. I wore a dress and Sean wore a blazer and we even stopped to take a Glamour shot on our way out the door, the theme of which was "Pretend It's Your Senior Picture And Also You Are An Extra In Zoolander."
Sunday morning---our actual anniversary---we drank mimosas and ate chocolate croissants (these ones, from Trader Joe's, which are as close to getting them warm and fresh from a patisserie as you can manage without a plane ticket and a pocketful of Euros), and started getting ready for our trip down to Santa Cruz to spend the day at the Beach Boardwalk. We'd put a great deal of thought into this day, wanting it to be something special---something other than sitting around the house in our sweatpants, which is how we spend the majority of most weekends---and had at first been planning a nice relaxing little bout of skydiving. Yes, skydiving to celebrate our first year of marriage: there's a metaphor in there somewhere, isn't there?
This is not skydiving but look, I am still catching some major air.
Skydiving, unfortunately, was booked up until mid-October and so we decided, instead, on a trip to the Beach Boardwalk. Despite having lived just an hour and a half from it for the last three and a half years now, Sean had never been; I, on the other hand, had been once with my family, but it had been a whole sixteen years ago on one our first trips to America, during which my dad had indulged some long-held fantasy of renting a Winnebago and driving his entire family up the California coast. (That trip, while memorable, was not perhaps memorable in the best way. Which is to say that I shall never eat a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli without remembering how it feels to barf in the postage-stamp-sized bathroom of a large moving vehicle to the strains of "Who's the leader of the pack who's made for you and me? M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!")
Well, there must be something about the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk because we hadn't been there four minutes this time when I started feeling queasy. You know how you feel when you're just starting to get sick, when every muscle in your body hurts and someone reaches out to touch your hair and then your hair hurts too and you're hot and then cold and then hot and then cold and then hot and then cold and then hot again? That's how I started to feel.
Riding on these did not help.
Nor did imagining what these might taste like.
As the day went on, I felt crappier and crappier. Here's the thing, though: we'd bought wrist bands for the Beach Boardwalk, thirty bucks each, that entitled us to go on unlimited rides. And as awful as I felt, the thought of not getting my money's worth---the horror!---from this thirty-dollar wrist band made me feel even worse. I have a problem with regret, you see; as in, I don't like to have any. And so I forced myself, hideous though I felt, to go on seven rides. Yes! Seven ! I was rocked and rolled and shaken and stirred and dropped from great heights and whizzed about like a smoothie in a blender, and still I made myself endure this torture---a sweaty, shivery stoic in a tank top---so that I could assure myself that the thirty-dollar wrist band had been worth it. Somewhere amongst you, I am willing to bet that there are one or two people who might have done the same. (Please? Maybe?)
Not happy, but an excellent faker.
And that is how we spent our first anniversary, the denoument of which involved me shivering and sweating all the way back to San Francisco, curled up in the fetal position in the passenger seat, then crawling into bed at 9pm to sleep for twelve hours, NOT EVEN WASHING MY FACE FIRST, and friends, there have been maybe three times in my life that I've got into bed without washing my face, and two of those have involved large amounts of vodka.
I spent the next day---which was Labor Day---in my pajamas, whimpering pitifully, and bemoaning the fact that I'd ruined our anniversary. I didn't ruin it, of course, but it sure wasn't as pleasant as I'd been picturing it would be, and then the next day, I got on a plane and left Sean for a week, which was kind of like adding insult to injury. (On the upside, I felt a whole lot better by then, so apparently it was just a 24-hour thing with a really crappy and specific sense of timing.)
Anyway, I have been on the road for the last seven days---first Montana for a work road trip with my former boss, then Las Vegas to celebrate my brother and sister's 21st birthday; stories galore!---and I'm writing this from the airport where I'm about to board my plane home. I've got a half-finished magnum of champagne in the fridge there and a messy-haired husband who is probably vaccuuming up burrito crumbs as I type this. I can't wait to get back.
More anniversary pictures here if you've got a little time to kill. Like me in this airport. Where I've been for three hours already.