Posts Tagged ‘special memory’

Friday, August 5, 2011

So, all good things must come to an end and our second honeymoon is no exception.  Wait!  Did I call it good?  Sorry.  Make that great!

It was so amazing to share this time with someone who I’ve known and loved for years, and yet in the context of a “new” relationship.  It was truly some of the most blessed days imaginable.

Our room was terrific, as always.  All the rooms have kitchens and we always bring a lot of groceries and do a lot of cooking and relaxing while we’re there.  They also have several great restaurants on site, so we took advantage of that as well.

It was extremely hot all week, so when we weren’t indoors, we were usually either in the lazy river or in one of the several swimming pools.  We also went canoeing in the early morning on the lake and took walks in the evening around the resort.

Tonight we drive home and tomorrow morning, we get up early for our 62 mile Tour De Cox.  Today is 365 days – exactly one year from the day we woke up after our separation and started over on the day we had planned to ride our first Tour in 2010.

Tomorrow, after the Tour, we will welcome family and friends from near and far who will come to share our vow renewal ceremony.  After that?  Well, it will officially be the end of the Restoration Tour, but it will only be the beginning of the rest of our lives.

Monday, August 1, 2011

We woke up this morning and Ceecee realized that she needed to get her bike adjusted today, before we leave for our honeymoon!  We’ll come back Friday evening and Saturday morning is the Tour de Cox.  She needs a tune up, so we hurried down to the bike shop, explained the situation, and they were very good about taking care of her.

After that, we swung by Mothers, our local craft brewery.  We wanted to get a growler (which is a gallon jug with a sealed lid that you can fill with tap beer, so you get the fresh taste) to take with us to Big Cedar.

They have this tradition where they want you to take pictures with their growlers at different events or places you travel to and they sometimes give away prizes for them and we wanted to do that.  When we got there, they weren’t open, but we found an employee and when we told him what was going on, he took us around to the tasting room and got us one.

We drove down this afternoon and our room is just fantastic.  Big Cedar Lodge is amazingly beautiful and they have tremendous amenities.  It’s supposed to be really hot this week, so I’m sure when we’re not in the room, we’ll be spending lots of time in the water!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

One year since “the phone call!”

One year ago today, after completing the mock triathlon with my training group prior to my first triathlon, Ceecee called me and asked me to move back in with her.  Why I had it so firmly in my mind that when I completed the triathlon, somehow we would be reconciled, I don’t know.  I just had an incredible amount of faith for that.  Of course, I thought it would be when I completed the actual triathlon; I never imagined the mock tri having any significance.

Anyway, that was exactly a year ago and two days later, I moved into the loft with my wonderful wife and a week later, the restoration tour began.  Now it’s nearly finished and it seems that it’s only been a few days and that it’s been forever, both at the same time.

Two days from now, one year to the day that I moved back in, we leave on our second honeymoon!  We’re going to Big Cedar Lodge, a world class resort south of Branson.  My wife used to work there and we have quite a history with the place.

Just go to the search bar on this blog and search “Big Cedar” and you’ll find numerous posts related to it.  From the tornado, to the ice storm, to shortly before we split up, Big Cedar Lodge has been a part of our lives.  Now, we will restore that beautiful place in a way that I’m sure neither of us will ever forget!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We made a quick stop into Quady winery, which happened to be on the way to San Francisco.  We really love their sweet wines and we got to actually meet and talk to Andrew Quady, the owner, while we were there.

We also had our first ever In-N-Out Burger, which turned out not to be a significant event in our lives.  It just seemed the thing to do, so we could at least say that we did.

Tonight we’re staying with Ceecee’s aunt and uncle just outside San Francisco and they are taking us to the airport in the morning.  We’ll be back home for just a few days before we head out on our second honeymoon!

Monday, July 25, 2011

There’s so much we’ve seen and done in so little time.  This trip has been a bit of a blur.

When we got finished in wine country, we drove down to San Francisco, where we met my brother and his family.  He had gotten us great tickets to a giants game, and after that, we headed to Morro Bay, where they have a vacation home that is shared among various relatives.

We spent a day there, then over the next two days, we visited San Luis Obispo and stayed at my brother’s home just outside of Fresno.  Yesterday, we spent the day exploring Yosemite National Park, which was incredibly beautiful.  We’ve had so much fun, laughed so much, and truly enjoyed each other’s company and the wonderful love we now share.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wow!  Our first two days in California have been a blast!

Well, almost.  Our first day was nearly a disaster, thanks to a problem with our bank.

We landed in San Francisco, took a shuttle to the rental car location, and had our bank card declined for no apparent reason.  Turns out, there was “fraud activity in the area” where we were and they had put a temporary stop on all transactions being conducted there on their cards.

We were to meet our PR connections at MacMurray Ranch for lunch and a tour of the vineyards and we couldn’t figure out how to pay for our rental car to be able to get there.  After a number of increasingly unpleasant telephone conversations with our bank, we finally got something worked out and were nearly on time to our first appointment.

Lunch was family style and Kate MacMurray was the perfect host.  The property was magnificent and the highlight was when they drove us to a point high on a ridge, where we drank Pinot Noir overlooking the entire estate.

Our hotel has a nice pool that we enjoyed in the afternoon and we ate at a really cool place in downtown Healdsburg called Spoon Bar where the outside walls are actually accordion doors that they had opened all the way up, giving us the feeling of dining outdoors.  Healdsburg is a great little town with all kinds of great places to eat and drink, especially down around the square.

Today was super busy and fun.  We started off by taking a run down and through Healdsburg.  The early morning temperature in the mid fifties was a very welcome change!

We had lunch at Louis Martini Winery, then visited the CIA – that’s the Culinary Institute of America – in St. Helena.  That and driving past Alcatraz have been the highlights for Ceecee, so far.

After that, it was back to Healdsburg for a tasting at J. Vineyards and winery, and we actually reached the wine saturation point, so we went to a little Brat place called The Wurst and tried a local brew with our dinner.  It all ended with a drive to Sonoma for dessert at a place on their square that I really love called El Dorado Kitchen.  Whew!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

This was supposed to be just a fun weekend in St. Louis with family and friends, but it turned out to have a powerful restoration right at the beginning of it.  One that I didn’t even know we needed until yesterday morning.

We were heading up the interstate Saturday morning and would be getting to St. Louis around lunch time.  We were going to have lunch as a couple before meeting everyone else there later that afternoon.  We were talking about where we wanted to go to eat.

As we talked, I realized that there was one place on The Hill (St. Louis’ Italian community) that I had a bad association with, Mama Campisi’s.  That was the place where Ceecee had gone with my sister when they went to St. Louis without me.

I hadn’t known it at the time, but I realized later that my wife was going to test out leaving me.  It seemed that now, I still would try to avoid that restaurant and I didn’t want there to be any place on The Hill that bothered me, so I told her how I was feeling.

She immediately agreed that we should go there together, then, when we got to town.  We did, and we had an amazing time.  It was slow, and the waitress took extra time with us and we even got to share our story with her.  I had tears in my eyes when we left, but they were healing tears.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Got another big surprise today – this one of the good variety!

We were at my parents’ house helping them with some yard work and they brought up the subject of visiting my brother in California.  I mentioned that we’d like to go, but never have had the money.

They said they would pay for the trip and that they really wanted us to go.  They’re going to buy the plane tickets and give us extra for traveling expenses.

My brother lives near Fresno, but we’re flying into San Francisco, so we’re going to go up to wine country for a couple of days when we first get there.  I used to travel to Napa and Sonoma Counties as part of being a wine writer, but I never got to have Ceecee with me.

I would visit wineries and eat in great restaurants, but I always wished she could share that part of my life.  Now, by taking this trip, she can!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Yesterday was one of the most important days on the restoration tour.

Friday was pretty significant as well, but in a different way.  Our 80’s date was a lot of fun, but was also somewhat painful, as it brought out a lot of memories and feelings that neither of us really wanted to be part of our night out.  Even so, it was good and I’m glad we did it.

Yesterday, we restored Eureka Springs, though.  That was huge.

We hadn’t known about Eureka Springs for that long before all of our problems really became a threat to our marriage.  We had “discovered” it after years of people telling us how wonderful it was, but us just thinking that it was in Arkansas, so how great could it be?

When we finally went, we fell completely in love with it and it became sort of a magical getaway place for us.  It was also the place we went for a make-up weekend after I came clean about what had been going on with me during the time that I felt like our marriage was maybe no longer going to work.

It was where I got Ceecee to go with me prior to our separation last year, when I thought for sure that if we could go to that place and spend a day together, that she would realize that we needed to stay together and work things out.  She didn’t, and that day in particular has haunted me ever since.

No more, though.

Yesterday we went back as a happily married and in love couple and experienced that beauty of that place the way we had before and always should have.  We went to all our favorite spots, enjoyed all the feelings that came with it, and exorcised those memories from last year.  It was one of the last major stops on the tour, and we’ve only got a little more than  month to go!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

What a good idea we had at art walk last night!

We haven’t really done a lot of planning for our vow renewal ceremony, but we know we want it to be fun, casual, and only include some family and a very few close friends – those who have stood by us and would really understand what this means. Last night at art walk, they were giving out free samples of cake pops and they had them in a bunch of different fun flavors and colors. We both thought they would be perfect to serve instead of a cake at our ceremony, so we’re going to look into pricing and flavors!

This morning, Ceecee ran the medical Mile and 5K, just like last year.  Well, other than her getting second place in the mile in her age group for the second year in a row, it was nothing like last year.

Last year, our marriage was going down the drain and she was making plans for a life without me.  This year, we were together and very much in each other’s hearts and minds.  This is just one of many restorations to come this summer!

Later today, we’re going to my Dad’s to celebrate his 81st birthday.  Hard to believe we’re 300 days into the restoration tour.  It’s all seeming to happen so fast now, but I’m making sure to document and savor it as much as possible while it happens.