It Isn't A Disaster If You Don't Call It One

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."

Nailed it!

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.

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Sep 13, 2010

Oh, I would have been riding those rides too. Glad I'm not alone!

Sep 13, 2010

I haven't been to the boardwalk in years! But I went skydiving a few weeks ago...on a walk-in basis! Mind you, we drove almost 2 hours to get there, but totally worth it! I went to Parachute Center in Acampo, which is a few miles from Lodi. It's $100 for a 13,000 tandem jump. I got the video and picture package for an additional $75. Add to that a $20 tip for my instructor and cameraman. Some places charge all of that put together for the jump. The guys are really cool. My instructor had been jumping for 30 years so I felt safe. If you're going in a group, DO NOT sign up until everyone arrives. Only a certain amount of people are allowed in the plane, so make sure to ask how many can go if it's a big group. Wear pants you don't mind getting grass stains on, and a sweatshirt or long sleeve shirt because falling at 100mph for about a minute gets a bit chilly! Oh, and eat light, if you eat at all before you jump. Beware of the adrenaline rush and come hits hard. Good luck!!

Sep 13, 2010

For Valentine's Day a couple of years ago we went out wine tasting and probably the second winery of the day I started to feel sick...but dammit, the day was supposed to be celebratory and WE HAD RESERVATIONS THAT NIGHT at a place right by our final winery and I was not giving that up (we are rarely the reservation sort.) Halfway through the meal I knew it was over and I spent the ride home shivering and forcing Garrett to keep turning the heat up and ended up at home for the next 7 days totally bedridden. Sickest I've been in decades and the timing could not have been more crap-tacular!

Sep 13, 2010

This is so weird because I was just in Las Vegas last week, Tuesday-Thursday!

Sep 13, 2010

I would have gotten my money's worth too. It's a whole different kind of sickness.
And, also, dates planned ahead for, dates that are supposed to be special, often seem to go wrong. The best times sneak up on you, in my experience.

Sep 13, 2010

I once had a similar experience at Cedar Point in Ohio, where we had driven 5 hours and rented a hotel room for two nights to spend the day at the park. That morning I woke up feeling awful, but dammit, I was determined to have fun and get our money's worth. After each ride, I would have to lay down on a bench for a while to gather the strength for the next one. Eventually, I just fell asleep in one of the theatres and that was it.

Also, I am both repulsed and intrigued by the idea of deep fried twinkies.

Sep 13, 2010

I was over at the SCBB yesterday, Holly! We were cheering on our beloved son who completed a 6-hour plus "long-course" triathlon over there (Go, Kid!) and holy moley, I got queasy just *looking* at those rides. I cannot believe you toughed it out and got on them but yeah, I'm with you on the whole "getting your money's worth" thing. Order pricey food at a restaurant that turns out to be not at *all* to my liking? My mother's voice about how if I had grown up during the depression I wouldn't waste food, not to mention all those starving children in Africa kicks in and you bet I clean that plate. Just add this to a lifetime of
"How We Celebrated Our Anniversary" stories on which you will someday look back and smile.

Glad you are on the mend.

Happy belated birthday to the siblings, and happy champagne reunion to you and Sean :-)

Sep 13, 2010

Didn't you throw up on your honeymoon? You need a new wedding/anniversary tradition and STAT!

And I would also have ridden the rides....even when the economy was good, I wouldn't have tossed 30 bucks, and especially not if it entailed unlimited carnival rides!!!

Sep 13, 2010

Oh, I hope you have a great reunion with your sweetie. So sorry your special day was yucky, but I'm glad you got to enjoy Montana. One of my favorite places!

Sep 13, 2010

Hi. Stranger here saying hello and bending your ear (your eyeballs?) with a bit of a story. I have never been to California. I had plans to spend my honeymoon there 29 years ago but didn't since our dog ran away on The Big Day while we were busy getting married. I'd always wanted to visit San Francisco plus, hello! honeymoon! but I certainly wasn't going to do it while I was SAD. Whew! Wordy, huh? I've never been to San Francisco is my point, which leads me to, uh, well, maybe I should just let you decide that for yourself.

See, I've been reading about that awful explosion in a neighborhood in San Bruno, which the papers say is close to San Francisco. Maybe it's different out there, but here in the Midwest, it's quite common for people who live UP TO 100 MILES AWAY from a major city to still say that's where they're from. Makes sense, sort of. Out-of-staters may not know where Anderson, Indiana is, but almost everybody's heard of Indianapolis so when you tell them you're from there listeners usually nod their head as if they have a better fix on your location.(It turns out that Anderson is about 60 or so miles from Indianapolis. It's pretty worthless, then, to tell strangers you live in Indy if you need them to send an ambulance [or a pizza!] to your house, but then again, how often does the need for strangers to do that for you come up, right? Right. So, okay. Practically everyone in Indiana says they're "from Indianapolis," and you and Sean live "in the San Francisco metropolitan area." Maybe I should have left it at that. Right, then.

I hadn't seen a post from you in a while, I'd been reading the news and, well, here's where my brain went:

1. Holly and Sean live in San Francisco. (Or work there, anyway. It's not like she's given us her address.)

2. Holly and Sean just bought their first house (!!!), which Holly mentioned was near(ish) San Francisco, but now requires a 30-minute commute on public transportation twice a day.

3. That sounds about right if they were commuting from San Bruno. (For all my brain knows anyway; this less-than-logical organ never thought to consult a map for actual mileage between the two cities.)

4. People died in that explosion! Houses were destroyed!

5. Um... it's been a while since Holly posted.

6. [imagination goes on rampage]

7. Are they okay? I want to write to ask if they're okay!

8. But, yeesh, I've never written her before. Heck, I haven't even commented, though I've been reading every post since they lived in Charleston. I'm a STRANGER! A stranger can't just write someone out of the blue and ask ARE YOU OKAY?

9. I know! I'll write Moose and ask HER about them! She's friends with them! She's been to many of their events!

10. Wait. I don't know Amber either. (Hello, Amber! Been reading you a long time too. Sorry my brain referred to you as Moose.)

Fortunately, just as I was about to write some novel-length email to Amber (instead), you posted about your queasy anniversary celebration (which, foo with the timing and all, but glad you're better now), so now I know YOU'RE BOTH OKAY, whew, thank goodness! (And omigosh, those poor folks in San Bruno....)

Okay, you living in San Bruno, San Francisco or San Anywhere Else wasn't the point of this freaking book, after all. Instead, I guess I'm marveling over just how emotionally invested we become in the people whose blogs we read every day for years and years and years. I only "know" you through what you write, Holly, but I started caring for you and what happens in your life a LONG time ago and figured it was high time I publicly joined the ranks of all your other admirers.

Hello. How do you do? >hayseed<You sure do rite purdy.> /hayseed<> I am wearing a white shirt so, OF COURSE, I spilled something on it and will never be able to wear it again. (Who's the real Moose NOW, eh?)(The very, very, very verbose moose.)

Sep 13, 2010

the pictures are lovely though! especially the one of the cable cars! :) happy anniversary!!!


I had a similar experience the one and only time we went to the Santa Cruz boardwalk. The entire way home, I was a shuddering, achey, miserable mess. I'll probably always associate that location with that feeling.

I'm sorry you felt crappy, but for what it's worth, you still look like a million bucks. Happy anniversary!

Amy --- Just A Titch
Sep 13, 2010

Sick or no, you mustn't pass on the deep fried Oreo next time. Trust me.

Sep 14, 2010

I was in Las Vegas, too! Wednesday-Friday, and stuck in a conference center for most of the time, so really, I could have been anywhere.

Sep 14, 2010

OMG, those wristbands are up to $30?! I don't know why I'm shocked, but I am. [Old lady voice] "Why, when I was in junior high, I remember those wristbands going for $15! And even THEN I thought that was expensive!"

Also, my brother and I totally got in trouble as kids for spitting off those skyway things.

Sep 14, 2010

Happy Anniversary! Too bad you felt awful. (Crosses fingers, eyes and toes for this coming Sunday for our 1st anniversary).

Sep 14, 2010

When I'm at a fancy-schmancy restaurant and feel like ordering an overpriced bottle of wine, I always go for the second cheapest one, too. It lets me pretend I'm less, oh, let's go with frugal, than I really am. :-)

Sep 14, 2010

You are definitely a trooper. I would not have been able to manage any rides feeling the way you did. Especially rides that spin around in circles - like the teacup, or the swings, or that abomination of a ride called the gravitron. I can't even manage those spin in circle type of rides when I'm perfectly healthy and fine. They make me very sick.

Anyhow, I hope you're enjoying your time home now and polishing off your mangum bottle of champagne with your husband of 1+ year. (I've never had that kind, is it delicious?) Also, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

Sep 14, 2010

I would have done the same thing dearie. I would have gone on all the rides, taken a barf break and then even had a bite of the deep fried Twinkies, just because I too would have been filled with regret about begging off just because of some stupid virus.
Happy Anniversary, here's to many more!

Sep 14, 2010

Patrice's comment? Outstanding!

Sep 14, 2010

Happy Anniversary! I feel your pain. I "ruined" our 10th anniversary trip to Europe last fall with horrible jet lag and nausea that lasted pretty much the whole week (I lost 4 pounds in Belgium--that tells you how bad I felt). On the bright side for your anniversary, it was probably a good thing that you weren't able to schedule skydiving for that day!

Nothing But Bonfires
Sep 14, 2010

Hi Patrice -- thanks so much for your concern (and your hilarious comment!) I can assure you that Sean and I are totally fine - in fact, I was in Montana the whole of last week with limited Internet, so didn't even hear about the awful fire until 24 hours after it happened. We're actually in San Francisco itself, not San Bruno, thank goodness. Very sweet of you to be worried! Sorry if the lack of posting had you concerned.

Sep 14, 2010

Oh, you allowed my novel here! Thank you for writing back! Sorry for the incredible length and butchered HTML; didn't get to proof what I'd written. I guess I used up the entirety of words I would have used if I'd been regularly commenting all along. That's kind of a doofus-in-a-stained-white-shirt deal too, huh?

(Time to shut up now, Patrice. You're doing it again. Also? You sound a bit like a deranged stalker.)

Um... Glad you and the Mister are okay. Very glad. :)

Sep 14, 2010

My husband would be completely and totally with you on the "get your thirty dollars worth." I would have just headed back to the car and whined and been miserable and he probably would have LET me while he rode rides for the whole day while I lay in the backseat of the car. He probably would have ridden EXTRA rides to get MY thirty dollars worth out of it that I was wasting.

Sep 14, 2010

I would definitely feel compelled to get my monies worth after paying 30 dollars, but would also probably suck at pretending everything was okay and both of us would be miserable all day. We have never done anything "fun" for an anniversary. I am apparently not fun anymore since I got so old (we're the same age, not that you're old, but that I'm not "really" old just

I keep thinking I'm going to plan a party in our backyard some year and since that involves the complete renovation of the yard, it might be another 4 years before that happens.

Also - Patrice, don't feel bad, I also wondered how close San Bruno was to Holly's neighborhood (since SF has sooo many suburb cities and they all kind of run together). And then when I saw the title of this post in my reader, I though my fears were confirmed. Good to know the only disaster was a 24-hour bug.

Sep 14, 2010

I absolutely would have done the same thing. If there's one thing worse than feeling sick on a special occasion/planned trip, it's feeling sick and not FORCING yourself to have an EFFING GOOD TIME anyway, damnit. Especially with pricey wristbands involved.2+

In hindsight though, I guess it's a good thing you weren't able to go skydiving after all! That may have just added a second worse thing to the list...

cheap bags
Sep 15, 2010

Oh, you allowed my novel here! Thank you for writing back! Sorry for the incredible length and butchered HTML; didn't get to proof what I'd written.

Sep 15, 2010

Being sick sucks, especially while riding in the air on anything motorized.

Sep 29, 2010

I definitely would have got my money's worth. Also, I totally get that thing of when you first feel ill not wanting to be touched... my boyfriend always tries to put his arm around me and gets touchy when I shrug him off.

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Nov 04, 2010

thank you for your sharing

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