This Friday will be our 5 year anniversary. We celebrated a little early and planned a fun "stay-cation" around town without the kiddos. Thanks to my parents and grandparents, we got to have two whole nights to ourselves. We dropped the kids off Saturday night and, after meeting up with friends for a quick celebratory happy graduation drink for John's cousin Brit, headed home to pack our bags. Sunday we left early, grabbing breakfast and coffee on the way, and drove to King's Island. Now, don't snicker, I know an amusement park is not your typical romantic destination. But for all of our 4 prior anniversaries, I have either been pregnant, or recovering from childbirth and we had to take it easy. So we wanted to do something different and carefree this year. And on a nostalgic note, the first time I can remember falling for John was on a chaperoned friend's trip to Cedar Point the summer between our 7th and 8th grade year. I asked him then what he wanted to be when he grew up and he told me, "maybe a trucker," and yet somehow I still found him irresistible.
I surprised John by hacking a pair of old jeans into cut-off shorts for our special occasion and we were off to hit the coasters. Let me tell you, we had such a great time. Nothing makes you feel like a kid faster then flying through the air at 60 miles an hour screaming at the top of your lungs. We enjoyed a half empty park and quick lines and complete freedom from schedules. We did not remember experiencing such severe whiplash on the rides when we were 14, but that was the only thing that made us feel old.
We had originally planned to stay at the park through dinner and then drive back to our hotel downtown. But by 4pm we had ridden all the big rides, thanks to the short lines, and were ready to head back to Columbus. We upgraded our dinner plans from chicken on a stick, to Hyde Park in the city. Only problem was, we didn't pack any nice clothes, and we thought the restaurant might frown upon my cut-offs and John's bathing suit. So we stopped at the outlet malls on our way back into town and split up for 30 minutes so we could each purchase a presentable outfit to wear to dinner. I felt slightly like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, except instead of Rodeo Drive, I was at the Banana Republic... factory store....scouring the clearance rack. Same difference really.
With outfits in tow, we drove to the Westin hotel downtown and checked in. The concierge found a note in our reservation that we were celebrating our anniversary and she quickly upgraded our room to a Junior King Suite. Giddy, we headed up to shower and get ready for our late dinner out. Just as we were getting ready to leave the room, there was a knock on our door and another concierge delivered us a complimentary plate of chocolate-covered strawberries, champagne on ice, and a card signed by all the hotel staff. Now how's that for customer service?
Dinner at Hyde Park was delicious and fancy, and we tried not to scream when the bill came. I had our waiter box up all the leftovers just on principle, and then realizing we had no place to keep them cold, threw them away on our walk back to the car. It was a fun splurge on a place we'd always wanted to eat at someday.
Monday we slept in as late as you can sleep in once you have kids, which is 8am, and then finished off our stay-cation with breakfast on the patio at the Northstar Cafe. I finally got to try their famed praline scone, which lived up to every bit of it's best-scone-ever reputation. Just sitting at that restaurant is an ego boost because you are surrounded by trendy, artsy, cool people who assume you must be one of them.
We both agreed that this was our favorite anniversary celebration so far. It was the perfect mix of fun and romance and brought those old 7th grade heart-throb feelings right on back.