No, that’s not my bed. Because I learned that my bed will never look that pristine. I learned that white sheets will never fly, and our night table tops will never be clear of clutter. And my husband and I share opposing views on pillows. His philosophy: the less the better. He has forbidden me to purchase another decorative pillow for the house. Good thing he doesn’t look in the guest-room closet, because that’s where I hide my stash. But I’m ok with all of this, because every night he brings me a fancy glass of room temperature filtered water, and every night he kisses me good night, no matter what.
For our 1 year anniversary (conveniently scheduled 1 week before my birthday), we decided on a quick weekend getaway to wine country, Temecula. We stayed at South Coast Winey Resort & Spa. Mostly, because it has a spa. I learned that my husband’s default gift-giving is a spa treatment. I’m not complaining, I love massages and he hates giving them. At least he books a male therapist every time. We were greeted with a complementary bottle of wine, but my husband’s charm scored us a second bottle, one for our anniversary and one for my birthday. Both were gone before the day was over, but at least I got to enjoy 1 glass that lasted me for 2 days. I learned my husband drinks wine by the bottle, and I have a hard time finishing a glass.
There was a wedding going on right outside our villa, and I tried ever so inconspicuously to sneak a few shots. My husband stood there, in the parking lot and listened to the whole vow exchange. Then I noticed there were tears strolling down his face. I learned my husband cries at weddings, as do I. But this showing of emotion really took me by surprise. These were strangers. We were in a parking lot. And he cried. My husband has cried on several occasions during our first year of marriage, and I learned that he is a sentimental man and I love him for that.
I learned that my husband has insecurities. Mostly about his nose. He thinks it’s too big. So he loves this pose. It hides his nose and he hides my back rolls. Everyone wins.
I learned that two is better than one. Specially when it comes to doing the groceries. He pushes the cart and I shop to my heart’s content. Then he bags the groceries, carries them in the house and helps me put them away. I cook and he does the dishes. He takes out the trash. He does the laundry, folds it and puts it away. All these things I hated doing on my own. But now I have a partner to share them with. Life is good.
I learned that marriage is like a bunch of grapes. Some are sweet, some are bitter, some are down-right rotten. But that’s the nature of things. You have to learn to pick your battles, overlook the short-comings, be grateful for the attributes, and be patient with the process. Marriage is like wine, the older it gets, the better it gets. Our first year of marriage was a bad harvest, in the sense that we faced many hard obstacles and challenges. There were financial struggles, legal battles, career hurdles and road blocks. In the end, we didn’t harvest great grapes. But we learned lessons that will eventually get us there.
I learned that the road is long and hard, but even in the mist of all the struggles, you gotta stop and take it all in. Usually with al-fresco dining and an alcoholic beverage. I learned that we have a “place”. A place where we can go and re-kindle, re-energize and re-fall in love. Laguna Beach, where we got engaged. Terranea where we can pretend to be pretentious. Santa Barbara, where we celebrated my first birthday together and created unforgettable moments. Petco Park in San Diego, where we go to enjoy his favorite past-time, baseball. Hotel Maya, were we said our vows and celebrated our first anniversary dinner. Temecula Wine Country, where I checked off another bucket list item: Hot air balloon ride. And the list will grow as the years go by, of places where we fall in love again.
I learned my husband doesn’t have a bucket list. So we created one together. Small items and big items, something to look forward to, till death do us part.
Portraits taken by my beautiful daughter, Isabella.
Thank you to the following vendors for making our stay unforgettable: