So we’re sitting in the hotel restaurant that overlooks the ocean. It’s just sunset, and as we are seated, the hostess says "Happy Anniversary." It isn’t until we’ve settled in and gaped at the view that we really look at the two women seated at the corner window, right next to us. I would guess they’re in their late fifties, or early sixties, and they’re watching the sunset, just finishing their dinner.
Lala and I look at each other. Are they together? Are they sisters? We don’t want to make any assumptions…. Then one leaves for a moment, and when she comes back, she rests her hands on the other woman’s shoulders as they stare out to sea. As they leave, one of the women kind of stops, and turns, and says to us, "Have a good night," and smiles. I instantly regret not having asked them what they were celebrating (they have the same ribbons on their table, the ribbons that cued our hostess to wish us Happy Anniversary). They are together, and it makes us happy.
Then we have the most amazing meal. We share a bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and I have steak, she has swordfish. From time to time, Lala whispers that the couple behind us is being super sweet — an older man and woman are holding each others’ hands and laughing. That makes us happy.
When THAT couple leaves, the woman touches my shoulder and says, "How long have you been together?" One year, we tell her. "Congratulations, I remember our first year." She smiles at her husband, "This is our thirtieth." A few more pleasantries are exchanged, and they leave.
I am almost in tears. I feel like those two couples, sitting on either side of us, have blessed us, much like Mandy’s Zak did last year, when he doubled back to say that Mandy was his best friend, and that he hoped we felt about each other they way they did. But intead of crying, I eat the creme brulee and we toast each other.
It was the BEST.
And look! Today, the 3rd, is our second first anniversary — this is the legal one, one year since the day that we got really truly married in Canada. And to celebrate, Lala’s gone to work, and I’m sitting here in my pajama pants and a tee shirt, trying to decide what to do with my day. I have some unpleasant things I simply HAVE to do, so instead, I’ll show you some pictures, shall I?
There is a great toy store in Mendocino. I did not come home with this guy, although, there is a great yarn shop, also, and I might have come home with a couple of unmade socks. Maybe. I’ll never tell. (There is also a great music shop, and neither of us came home with another instrument. We are very proud.)
Honestly, holy hell, has no one told them? The only way this sign would be right is if the store in question was celebrating an un-named something belonging to ONE season, but Lala noticed it was a store full of all four seasons’ stuff (note how I mark possession? Hmmm?), so it’s just wrong. We loved it. (Oh, I just found their website, which I will not link, out of courtesy, and the possessive apostrophes are there sometimes, and not there other times. Wow.)
Hey, good lookin’. That’s my wife, standing on OUR DECK at the hotel. If you can swing it, someday you MUST stay at the Albion River Inn, five miles south of Mendocino. True, one night runs the price of three nights anywhere else, but it is worth every penny (especially when you book it as soon as you get your tax refund, and then you forget that they charged you back then, so when you get there, it’s as if it is free! Yay!).
We stayed in room 20, which is the best room, I think. It’s on the end, a little cottage right on the cliff edge. They left us a bottle of wine in our room, and provided things like robes and binoculars.
They also provided my favorite feature:
That cliff is private and fenced off — no one, not even guests can walk on it, so no one is going to walk in front of your bath. We watched hawks wheel right in front of the window. It was a.maze.ing.
And here’s to many more. It’s been the most amazing year, if crazy-busy, and for our second year, we wish for health, happiness, enough money to pay the bills, and enough time to cut the grass and then watch it grow. Love is good.
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