Sunday, September 09, 2007

Rubies Don't Seem Quite Right

Today my parents are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. It's really quite an accomplishment given all the divorce you read and hear about. I'm not sure exactly what's gotten them through all those years together, but generally speaking my Mom talks a lot and my Dad pretends to listen a lot! Whatever it is, kudos to them for being a great example to my sister, brother and I, of what it really means to be together "for better or for worse."
Their anniversary reminded me of a project that Jason and I started on our honeymoon. Since Jason was bored by Day Two of our trip, he got us brainstorming on how we'd like to celebrate our future anniversaries... which got us laughing about the traditional lists of what gifts go with what anniversaries (ie, first year anniversary = paper.... puh-lease!). We decided those lists need some serious updating in order to fit how people really live (and celebrate) today. For example, my parents 40th would traditionally call for rubies, but I'm quite sure my Mom is more eager for that trip to Greece she's currently planning. We never finished our "welcome to the real, modern world" list (I think the 11 am happy hours were to blame), but had we made it to 40 year anniversary I imagine it would have been something like: Full week at couples health/fitness spa.

Just for kicks, here are the others we came up with... what would be on your list?

1st year=dinner out to five star restaurant in city of your choice

2nd year=pricey tech item for home/home theatre

3rd year=sports/outdoors/hobby equipment
4th year=learn something new together (i.e., cooking classes or dancing lessons)

subsequent years=long weekend trips; every 5 years=major trip (ie, Galapagos); and so on... yes, we have lofty goals but hey, my philosophy is that these things are often like self-fulfilling prophecies so why not shoot big?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Calm Waters

This might seem like an odd title for a posting about a whitewater rafting trip, but I have to tell you that after two days on the water, I feel so much more serene than I did before we left! In a last-minute attempt to take advantage of the long weekend, Jason pulled together a trip to the American River - and like so many things we do, this unexpected adventure turned out to be one of the best.

Jason & I picked up Marissa at the extremely unnatural hour of 6am on Sunday morning - despite her love of the snooze button, Marissa was ready to go and even stayed awake in the car the entire trip. For those of you who know Marissa well, feel free to congratulate her on this accomplishment the next time you see her. Meighan & Hobbs and Joanna & James met us at the outfitter's very toasty parking lot where we quickly assessed our combined inventory of sunscreen, alcohol, and baby wipes (Meighan can provide details on this upon request!). As we made our way down to the river on a rickety old bus on a bumpy and twisty road, James & I had to fight to keep our respective breakfasts from finding its way back up...

The girls decided to take a boat for ourselves, leaving the guys on their own to be manly or whatever it is they do when girls aren't around. After successfully getting through the tunnel chute rapid (the rapid with the biggest "consequence") we joined the other boats to find that Jason was significantly more soggy than his friends. He calmly let us know that he had "fallen out of the boat." What we later learned via James - an exciting and dramatic storyteller - was that Jason was pitched from the boat about halfway down the tunnel chute (around the exact point where the guides had said "whatever you do, don't fall out there!"). After getting tossed around in the rapid and spending a little too much time to be comfortable underwater, Jason eventually popped up downriver where Hobbs hauled him back into the boy boat. The rest of the day was filled with jumping off rocks, hiking to waterfalls and hidden caves, and of course more rafting. That evening we hung out along the shoreline skipping rocks, talking about Owen Wilson (what, you wanted us to discuss something deep and meaningful?), and the magical power of a cold beer after a long day on the water.

Day two was as much fun as day one (minus a near-death experience) and gave us all a chance to really admire the beautiful scenery... somewhere along the way one of the boys said something to the effect of "wouldn't it be great if you could get just five minutes of this every morning" and I couldn't agree more. It's all about perspective and spending a weekend rafting and camping with my friends was just what I needed to get back on track.