Friday, May 28, 2010

4th Anniversary and Anniversarymoon!

Four years ago when we were choosing our honeymoon location for our wedding, Bill and I did not yet know quite how fortunate we would turn out to be when we chose a B&B in Idyllwild. At the time, we wanted a location nearby as we had to resume work the next week. We thought about Newport or places in San Diego, even L.A. We knew, though, that Idyllwild had been a favorite of ours and that our essences are drawn there. We didn't really know much about the B&Bs up there, so we chose The Strawberry Creek Inn based on reputation and its website. I know for sure that this was the place we were meant to be, and over the years we have created so many special memories there.

We are so glad now that circumstances led us to pick a honeymoon spot that we can now easily return to every year. Of the many traits we have in common, sentimentality is one that binds us together. We love revisiting our inn, returning to our special dinner spot, our symbolic walk by the creek the first morning we're there...

The Strawberry Creek Inn has a series of journals that accompany each room. Full journals are kept downstairs. We had to hunt a little, but we finally found the journal entry that I wrote in the Oak Tree Room four years ago on our honeymoon. Then we found the journal entry from our stay in Nancy's Room the next year... and so on. Reading our journal entries was powerful and emotional and moving. How I felt as a new wife... the next year when we were 4 1/2 months pregnant with Katie... a little piece of our history, a moment in time, is there at that inn. Bill used a scanner app on his iPhone to scan all the pages so we have them now.

Because we went last night, before the Memorial Weekend guests arrive, we had the inn all to ourselves. That was perfect. We had booked the Oak Tree Room, but Rodney and Ian surprised us with an upgrade to Maggie's Room, which was truly wonderful. Still, with no one occupying the other rooms, we did wander in to Oak Tree and thought about our time there.

We definitely made good use of our time, yet the afternoon, night, and morning went too fast... I love spending time with my husband. We definitely missed Katie, who was under the excellent care of her grandparents, yet is a special joy to be able to devote time especially to each other.

We left yesterday around 12:30, and we stopped first for some In-N-Out, our wedding reception meal. That was another fortunate choice we made for our wedding: now we can have our wedding meal every year, and we do, in honor of that day. I also make our wedding cake every year, and I plan to make it tomorrow as we continue the celebration of our marriage with Katie (cake, watch the wedding DVD, etc). We do make an extended event out of our anniversary, I must admit. ;-)

Here is Bill on the bed in Maggie's Room. We loved the bed, and we thought the canopy was really charming and cozy.

Bill had two dozen red roses and chocolate truffles left for me. He is so sweet and thoughtful. He has surprised me every year we have returned (we missed our 2nd anniversary there due to David's Berkeley graduation, but every other year this has been tradition).

Bill at Cafe Aroma for our special dinner. He ordered the sausage lasagne and a cherry cheesecake. We both had vanilla creams.

I took my time choosing, but in the end I had a salad and four cheese ravioli with sundried tomatoes and ordered a cream and chocolate chip cannoli (which I took home and shared with Katie as a surprise).

Bill at breakfast this morning. The inn served pomegranate lime juice, baked eggs with fresh herbs and ham, a croissant with mango jam, and a fruit salad. Breakfasts are always delicious here.

With my decaf tea in our room before breakfast.

Visiting the chickens at the inn. They got chickens last year, and the eggs are perfect! I love chickens so much, especially since I grew up with several. Their little noises bring back delightful memories to me.

On our walk by the creek after breakfast. We always remember our first morning there. I kept thinking and saying to Bill how thankful I am for this time with him here. You never know what will happen to the people you love, or when you will experience something with them for the last time, and I just wanted to impress this moment on my heart forever. This is a special place for us.

We sat on a big rock and looked at this view while we talked.

A view of the fir trees in the breaking morning light. I wish I could describe the beauty of this morning...mountain air scented with pine, the golden light shining with glory on the treetops, the burbling creek, the serenity. If there is one place that is us, this is it. Away from bustle... in nature... peaceful... We love it there.

Downstairs at the inn. Before leaving, we chose another one of our "fly-through-the-window" bird magnets. Half the body goes on the outer part of the window and half attaches by magnet on the inner part of the window, so it looks like the birds are flying through the window. We have one for each year of our marriage. The inn decorates with them downstairs, and I loved them the minute I saw them on our honeymoon. Each time I see ours, I think of our time at the inn. And now we have four! Where has the time gone?

Bill in the clearing...

Thank you to my Oneness for a beautiful anniversarymoon. I am so thankful for this time with you. Walking along our trails was even more special as we could picture our daughter Katie there, too, loving the snow back in February. She loved the chickens back then, too. This is a place that will always be dear to us. We even sat in the same seats in the gazebo after our walk that we had sat in while pregnant with Katie. And now we are pregnant with Eric. Our life continues to change and cycle and come full circle, and by returning to this place, we mark those moments of our marriage symbolically.
Thank you also to my parents for watching Katie so we could have this memory together. We did not have to worry at all, knowing she was in perfect hands.
Now, let the celebration continue all weekend!