Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Our sixth anniversary

After missing our last two anniversaries, Kim and I dedicated ourselves to doing something this year. We where married on June 6, 2003.

I had originally planned a camping trip on that date, and we where all set to do it when Kim realized that this was our anniversary weekend. I'm not the kind of person to forget our wedding date, so I was a little embarrassed at this, but it took her about a week to notice it too, so not all is lost.

So I pushed the camping trip back a week, and planned for Kim and I to take the VW camper down to the state park St. George Island and camp there. By the time I had a sitter for the kids all of the beach parking in NW Florida was reserved for many weeks to come.

Our backup plan was to visit Saint Augustine. We have been talking about just the two of us making a trip that way for years, and this would be a great opportunity to do it. That wasn't possible because my mom wasn't going to make it to our house to watch the girls until noon on Saturday and she needed us back a little after noon on Sunday. Driving out there and back would have been hectic and left very little time for us to do anything. So then we where stuck.

Friday night I took the three girls down to the Saint Marks River to play and on the way back noticed a bed and breakfast I had never noticed before. Kim has always wanted to stay at a bed and breakfast, and even though it was only ten miles from our house, it still had the promise of being a good time.

I pitched the idea to Kim and she was all for it. The next morning Kim wanted to get a lot of cleaning done. I was supposed to get the kids out of the house so Kim could focus on cleaning, but after replacing the V-belt on the VW there really wasn't much time left. My plan was to take them up to the Great Bicycle Shop and get Kim and I new bikes. I have a mountain bike that needs a major tune up, and Kim has no bicycle. This was going to be a surprise gift.

So instead we all pitched in to help, and to our surprise the two big girls where great helps. Usually they are pretty good compared to many kids, but this time there was absolutely no fussing or complaining, only lots of good hard work.

After my mom showed up we laid Arianna down for a nap and headed south. At the bed and breakfast we ran the bell at the front, which calls the manager's phone, but nobody picked up. We left a message with our cell phone number and then Kim came up with this great idea. She wanted to go buy bicycles. Perfect! We headed up to the Great Bicycle Shop and picked out two road bikes and gave up all of our spending money for about two months.

As soon as we pulled out Sweet Magnolia's called us up. They had plenty of room and the manager said she would meet us up there.

There was only one other guest, two girls, who seemed to be a couple. They where on the second floor, so we picked a room on the bottom floor.

We talked to the manager for a long time. She was about our age, and Kim and her both knew a girl named Mandy. She is also in the Roller Girl crowd, of which we know by proxy a few of the people.

Armed with our new bikes we rode up to a nice seafood restaurant up the road and had a nice dinner. We where the only people there until another couple showed up towards the end.

The restaurant was in this awkward sub division. It had been built on a swamp, and each developed plot of land had been raised up from the swamp with brought in sand. Probably less than 10% of it had been developed and almost everything was for sale. I think it had been started during the housing boom, and now it was just a hole for real estate investors who where now probably having a hard time paying two mortgages. Each plot of land with a for sale sign was from a different real estate group, or read "For Sale By Owner." We rode up and down each of the roads and then down to the river side next to the San Marcos de Apalache State Park and finally back to then Inn.

From the Inn we could hear the live band playing at the Riverside Cafe. That got me jonesin' for some oysters so we headed up there and got two dozen oysters.

The next morning we ate our breakfast, had a nice chat with the couple from upstairs, and then took our bikes back to San Marcos de Apalache state park and walked around. We talked to the ranger on duty and watched the short video showcasing the history of the park. It dates back to the first settlers in Florida and was torn down and built back up for different purposes through history.

Back home we took our kids back over. I rode my new bike up to my job and back, which I will write about in my next post. Afterwards I tried to get some homework done but fell asleep in the middle of it.