This past weekend my husband and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. We enjoyed a quick weekend getaway to the fabulous Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, NC. We are lucky to have such a great place just a couple hours away. We enjoyed a quiet dinner Friday evening on our way in at Ruth's Chris and a wonderful Saturday sipping mimosas while watching a few hours of the Fixer Upper marathon followed by an afternoon at the spa. Our Saturday evening plans called for a reservation at the renowned Herons for dinner. However, once we got to our room to get ready, we decided that wasn't what we were in the mood for and opted to go to the hotel lounge restaurant, sit at the bar, have cocktails and bar food (the onion rings and short rib sandwich were amazing). We greatly enjoyed the night and the next day on our drive home, we reminisced about how some of our most memorable evenings have been the impromptu ones.
Our honeymoon was a prime example. We had dinner reservations planned out for every night but one. That one evening we went to a romantic tiki hut place right on the beach around sunset. We ended up sitting there for hours. Wonderful meal but the food wasn't even the point. It was the company, it was the conversation, it was the experience we shared. That was a long time ago and we still talk about it as being one of our favorite evenings we have ever had together.
Another one of my favorites (ironically it was on our anniversary as well) was just last year. We had gone to Florida and were staying on the boat for our anniversary weekend. We took our son (and Flare the yellow lab) with us for the weekend. We told our son that he needed to stay in his room after dinner so we could have some alone adult time. As we sat on the boat enjoying the evening, sipping a glass of wine, my husband began to casually fish in the marina. He started catching all sorts of little fish though and was having a blast. I said, "You know who would really enjoy this?" He replied "go get him." So, I went down to my son's room and knocked on his door and asked him if he wanted to come fish with daddy. His eyes lit up and he ran past me so fast. Pure joy! It turned into the nicest evening, just the three of us (plus Flare) enjoying each other's company and living in the moment.
You can plan and plan and plan but you can't force an experience. Sometimes you just have to let things happen because, after all, the happiness of the experience depends on the person(s) you are sharing it with! Life is all about the people we share it with, the experiences we have, and the memories we make. Make them count!