Valentine’s Day 2016

You know those annoying, sappy Valentine’s Day posts about how much the writer loves his/her spouse and what they did on Valentine’s Day? Well be warned… this is exactly that. 😛

This Valentine’s Day was special. I mean every Valentine’s Day is special, but I think that this one easily ranks in the top three. Roy (my husband) and I always each get a day. This year my day for Roy was on Valentine’s Day and his day for me was the day before. It was perfect because it was a long weekend (thank you President’s Day) and Roy’s family was in town, which is always nice, but the weekend was just us. So it was like nice family time then a romantic weekend and then a President’s Day family day trip.

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Flowers I surprised Roy with.

On Saturday, I thought I had our day figured out. Roy is always sweet and thoughtful, but I had no idea what sort of “activity” he had planned. I figured it would be something like dinner and a coffee place or bookstore as the activity (serious bookaholic here, addiction is a matter of perception) or maybe a museum exhibit or something. Roy often jokes I am stuck in my ways and hey, I like what I like, but I’m always down to try new things. But I think sometimes Roy forgets that or is nervous and goes with the old faithful (not complaining, I like what I like). So I thought we’d end up in Boulder and go to Jax Fish House because I love me some seafood. We’ve gone there on anniversaries, random dates or the few times Roy said he was “in the dog house” and the situation called for wining and dining (never a requirement, and he knows this, but it is still what he does for those big-deal things). It’s become like “our place” and there is a great coffee place and two bookstores super close. I thought this would be my Valentine’s Day and I was good with that.

But when we left we went in the opposite direction of Boulder. I didn’t think much of it, for all I knew Roy was just trying to make it less obvious and go another way, but after fifteen minutes, as we passed downtown Denver, I knew Jax was out for the evening. Unless he was taking me to a different location, which I doubted. After another ten minutes, once we were well south of downtown, Roy started teasing me about dinner.

“I have no idea where you’re taking me,” I said.

Roy laughed, enjoying the mystery and truly stumping me for once. Then he said when he made reservations that Wednesday every place was booked for the weekend, so we were going somewhere not that special. I totally believed him. I love my husband, but he is not a planner. Like at all. But I am, and I know that when I made my reservations for dinner the following day, I did so seventeen days out, and still had to take a 4:00 dinner slot instead of the preferred 6:00. So I could see this happening – easily.

“No problem,” I said. “I don’t care where we go, even a Steak N Shake.” We were approaching an area where Roy’s favorite Pei Wei is, and I figured we were headed there. Our very first date ever was P.F. Changs, which owns Pei Wei and we used to eat there often. Roy totally let me believe that too. But then we got to this place, and it wasn’t Pei Wei. It just said “Chowders” on the door and I thought, “Um, okay.” I’m not really a soup person, but it didn’t matter if Roy took me to McDonalds (okay that might be a lie, I would hope I would at least qualify for cheap sit-down food like a 50’s diner over super greasy fast food) – it was all about being together.

Chowders was just – wow. That’s the only word. It is a place known for their chowder and I tried it and was blown away. I loved it, and I AM NOT A SOUP PERSON. Like, I don’t even like it as a side. I also tried their crab cake and seafood salad (because three cups of chowder meant I only had so much room) and everything was divine. Like their crab cakes were as good (or even possibly better) than the crab cakes I had in Maryland, which until this point never had any real competition. They were that good. All of the dishes looked beautiful but tasted even better and were so creative. I had apple-carrot coleslaw and I don’t like coleslaw. I ate tons of seaweed – you get the idea. And their dessert… made in-house, also creative and just out of this world. Roy isn’t a big dessert person and we split dessert but even he was like “We have to come back for more desserts!”

Then Roy took me to a movie that he knew I wanted to see but because it was an adaptation to a book I was rereading (I first read it in 2014) I thought we weren’t going to see it until I finished. This was just proof my husband loves me because the film was based on a YA novel, and the movie was even “younger” than the book was. They really dumbed it down and geared it towards a middle-school audience rather than a high school/college audience. Roy would smirk throughout the movie, but he kept his laughter to himself when it was inappropriate and I could see the struggle! He later remarked, “I guess I’m just too old [to see this movie],” and my response was, “Yes dear, you are.” 😛

The next day it was my turn. My day plans were tabled until the following week (in a few days!) because we wanted to be rested up for our day trip with Roy’s family, but dinner (that seventeen-days-in-advance reservation) still stood. I took Roy to this really romantic Italian restaurant. We had a great time and the food was excellent. Roy had this pasta dish he loved (it had bacon of course) and I had free form seafood ravioli which was so-so good. They make their own pasta sheets and having traveled to Italy with Roy in 2011, I found them to be pretty authentic, which I loved. (It’s still not Italy, but authentic Italian is hard to find in Colorado, so I’ll take it!)

Candles, a rose at our table and then splitting an amazing dessert for two just made the whole dinner that much nicer, even if we were dining in the bright sunlight instead of in the dusk or darkness of night. Then we came back and baked cookies together and cleaned up a bit before relaxing on the couch and just cuddling and watching TV. We both enjoy having nights in like that, so while it wasn’t the activity I had planned (that is still going to happen) it was the perfect end to our romantic weekend alone.

Oh, we also exchanged gifts and cards before we turned in for the night. Roy had this nice presentation including a stuff animal, chocolates and gifts from our pets. I just got Roy a few cards haha, much lamer than his spectacle. (But then again he isn’t big on stuffed animals like I am – or chocolate.)

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What Roy got me for Valentine’s day.

I love Valentine’s Day now that I’m married. Before it was just “whatever” when I was single. And when I had a boyfriend, it was all about impressing him or taking a hard look at the relationship. With Roy it’s just about taking stock and appreciating what we have and each other. I don’t feel either of us take the other for granted or have issues with keeping the romance alive, doing random sweet things, etc. but it’s just a time to focus on both of us doing it. Rather than one of us giving and the other taking, and doing that back and forth, it’s a time when we both give and receive and recognize how lucky we are to have each other.

All right, that’s it for this cornball post, otherwise I’m going to get way too mushy for even me to tolerate. 😛

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

-DMW

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