Five years ago today, I asked Beautiful if she would love, honor, and cherish me for better or worse, in sickness and health – she said “I do,” and so did I when she asked me. We kissed and ran down the isle to begin our new lives together. I remember it like yesterday. I also remember it like it was a lifetime ago.
So much has changed: jobs, where we live, plans for kids, the car she drives, starting our business almost 3 years ago, and now Beautiful working from home since February. We’ve been blessed with great trips, momentous family occasions, a roller coaster of health that always works out, and great friends and family that walk with us on this journey called life.
One thing is certain: I couldn’t have picked a more perfect partner to go on this journey with.
To make this year special, since we always seem to be running tight on the budget at our anniversary, I decided that we should go to Niagara Falls and spend more time with my grandparents as a layover and rest zone before and after. A few very hard weeks of working later, we had met the goals needed for the trip, got a falls view hotel on the Canadian side, and headed to Ohio.
No breakdowns this time!
We made it to my grandparents’ just after dinner on Monday and got to spend the next 2 days with them and my parents all in the old farmhouse. We left yesterday morning and drove through gloomy skies up into PA and NY and arrived at the hotel at 2:00. With check-in at 4:00, I went on in and asked if we could check in now – sure. We went through the formalities of the payment and ID and then he seemed new and asked the manager beside him what the difference between these rooms he was looking at was. “Those have Sleep Number beds.” At that point, my hotel training under the vast experience of Beautiful’s dad kicked in, and I quipped, “If it makes any difference which room we get, we’re here for our 5th anniversary.” The manager smiled and pointed at the screen and instructed him to pick ,”that one,” and wished us a wonderful stay and congratulated me.
I already saw that the paper had a complimentary upgrade to a high floor. We ended up with a room on the 15th floor. Upon entering the elevator, we saw that there are only 15 floors! Top floor, baby! We had purchased a city view but were suddenly in a room with a king bed, chair, LCD TV, jacuzzi tub, AND a view of the FALLS! I got choked up and I still get choked up looking out our window as I write this. It’s simply amazing – another bucket list item done.
We quickly rushed as fast as my lungs and legs could get us in the freezing misty rain to Maid of the Mist. The wind was howling to begin with, and then approaching the American Falls, the spray was intense as we slowly went by. As we approached the horseshoe of the Canadian Falls, the wind picked up a ton – hurricane force – and we were in awe of the volume of water, volume of the water’s noise. I took videos and photos until I couldn’t stand to keep our electronics out in the elements any longer. It was 1.15 miles, all uphill, back to the hotel where we had to turn the water all the way hot to thaw out our bones because our jeans got soaked on the boat.
This morning greeted us with the sun coming up over the falls in a golden yellow that looked like a fire in the clouds.
We’re off for more picture-taking and scenery now that my Vest and treatments are done.
Happy anniversary, Beautiful.