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Sunday, November 19, 2006

The "B" in Plan B Is For Better

Because while Plan A's always sound nice in theory and you get very attached to them, it's usually what happens in the Plan B that you appreciate and enjoy more.

Once upon a time, Plan A for our five year anniversary was returning to St. Lucia where we went on our honeymoon. Plan A included a beach front room, fruity drinks, and some snorkeling. Plan A was very expensive and not very feasible. Plan A was never brought up again once the reality of life kicked in.

The problem was that we didn't come up with a Plan B. We kicked around a few ideas--hiking in West Virginia. Going to a semi-local beach off-season. But in a completely non-Melissa-like fashion, there was no plan in place beyond the fact that we had babysitting from Saturday morning until late Sunday afternoon. Seriously--I think not making a decision on the Lovenox is rubbing off on the rest of my life. It's almost as if I can't make plans anymore. I used to plan the next cycle before the current cycle had even happened. And now I'm sitting on information and looking around in confusion. Plan? How do you make a plan again?

The epiphany happened at 10 p.m. on Friday night. We got married in Baltimore, about one hour away. Neither of us knew Baltimore well so we decided to pick a random neighbourhood and walk around for the afternoon. Go back to the scene of the wedding. We went online and googled bookstores in Baltimore. We got married in a library, and it seemed fitting to center our trip on a bookstore. Hence how we ended up with Atomic Books and the Hampden neighbourhood.

It was a really cute street. Lots of small boutiques and fun restaurants. But the best, by far and away, was a place that I knew was created solely for Manuela. It was called Ma Petite Shoe and it was...wait for it...a SHOE and CHOCOLATE store. The front of the store was designer shoes (get it--shoe/chou) and the back was unusual chocolates. I fell in love with about twenty different pairs of shoes and bought none since I was wearing my new furry boots and felt like two pairs of shoes in one week was a bit much. We did buy some tea-flavoured chocolates (I got chai and Josh got ginger) and ate them while we walked, pretending to be Rachael Ray from $40 a day.

Josh as Rachael Ray: "Here's a tip. You can get a small piece of chocolate for only $2 at Ma Petite Shoe. It was just what I needed in the middle of my shopping trip. Delish! And my little pick me up only set me back two bucks. How great is that?"

On the second day of our at-home vacation, we went to do all the things we used to love to do that we don't do anymore. We ate lunch at Nam Viet (I know, Spark! It is seriously the best Vietnamese in the area) and read at Politics and Prose. We went shopping for kitchen stuff.

It wasn't a flashy vacation and it wasn't a spectacularly over-the-top send-off to five years of marriage. But it was cozy and warm. And it was familiar and happy. And it was sweet and sentimental. And it was all the things I love about my husband. And I love that we can just be ourselves and we don't need to do something big since we're happy just doing it heartfelt. And that we hold the same things as important. And that he can hold my hand across the table while we read and I know that even though we're deep into different books, we're still on the same page.

It was a perfect five year anniversary celebration. And it just reminded me that it doesn't need to be a huge change to jolt you out of your rut. It can be as small as getting in the car and exploring a neighbourhood in a town an hour away. And it can be equally as special as a beach vacation.

And on a beach vacation, you can't wear you new furry boots.


Jessica said...

I love how you include the essential details: the chocolate and what restaurant and cuisine. (I am crazy about rice noodle soup and iced Vietnamese coffee...) Sounds like a lovely trip. Happy anniversary!

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a great anniversary. Sometimes it's good to have a plan, and sometimes it's more interesting to just let plans happen. Love the bit about being on the same page.


Jenn said...

Lovely post! Happy 5 Years! We have also found that day trips and short overnights are very refreshing. Less work to prepare, less stress when bills come too.

TeamWinks said...

It sounds like it was lovely!

C said...

I doubt St. Lucia could have been any more special than that day. Happy 5 years!!!

mandolyn said...

What a perfect anniversary!

ms. c said...

Sounds like a divine weekend. I'm so happy for you guys that it was exactly what you needed. Happy anniversary, and happy every day.

Murray said...

Congratulations on 5 years! That's great.

Manuela said...

heh??? what was that??? La Petite Shoe???? Wherewherewherewhere???

Shoooooes. Chocolaaaaate. MMMMMMMMM.

Oh. Uh. I mean. Happy anniversary!