Without the kids.
Yesterday, August 2nd, was our 20th anniversary. It is the first time in years that we even remembered it and, in fact, it marked the second time Bob planned a getaway entirely on his own (the first being a trip to Vancouver, BC when he was there touring with "Ragtime" about 13 years ago). I should also tell you that this anniversary trip was my birthday gift. (I'm still trying to figure that one out, but I digress). Bob made a big deal.
I need to back this up 20 years to explain why Bob felt he needed to make such a big deal about this. You see, 20 years ago, when we actually got married, I did everything. I got our friend Charles to babysit the kids for the short weekend we would be gone, I made air travel arrangements and hooked a business trip on to it so that we could write it off, I arranged for all the certificates, made the appointment at San Francisco's City Hall, made reservations at a boutique hotel that I loved there (The Majestic), I packed and planned and scheduled and all Bob had to do was arrange what we would do on our 2 day honeymoon. So up we flew to San Francisco, we rented the car that I arranged for, met my friend Cyndy (maid of honor) for drinks, went to his brother's where he and his partner Steve, made us a beef wellington that I still dream about. We got up the next morning, got married, had a lovely reception (thanks again, Rick and Steve), went to the lovely hotel (with upgrade!), and the next morning when we got up and I asked Bob what we were doing, his answer was: "I don't know. What do you want to do?" Ring his freaking neck was what I wanted to do but instead we got in the car and drove to Napa and visited some wineries (when I still drank) and had a nice time but it wasn't really different from a little day excursion you might do when you're bored and suddenly get inspired to have a change of scenery. I didn't complain. Afterall, I was a newlywed - but I haven't let him forget it since - so this time - he got it right. He booked a fabulous getaway to a resort in Palm Springs complete with a-m-a-z-i-n-g spa package, fabulous dinners, breakfast in bed, etc. Everything was scheduled and planned to the tee and it was very, very nice. Good job Bob.
But it was still us. So it had to be a teeny bit weird. Driving to the dessert, I noticed our conversation was a bit, well, disconnected. I talked about my feelings, he talked about the economy. It was sort of like dialogs from two different plays being spliced together. Made no sense. But then, that that's how we roll.
So first stop was the Aerial Tram which was nice, then the resort which was beautiful and a superlative dinner. The tuna tartare was so delicious I nearly fainted. Late night swim, a big misunderstanding with bruised feelings (gotta have one of those), long talk, got back on track, breakfast in bed, spa treatments, and off to dinner again.
Oh by the way, it's like 112 degrees outside. Even at night. With occasional bursts of rain. But we weathered it anyway and drove into town for a dinner at "The Tropicale". First of all, this is the coolest place in the desert. Not the temperature but the atmosphere. It is designed to look like it was built in about 1962. It succeeds. When you walk in you feel like you're on a set from "Mad Men" - complete with high backed, foam green circular booths, moody pink spotlights hitting the walls and vintage 60's wall ornaments, mid-century style cocktail bar (with blue sugary cocktail drinks loaded with alcohol) a piano and bass playing a repertoire of "swingin'"arrangements of Rogers and Hart songs - the kind that made stars of singers like Eddie Fisher and Vic Damone. Lots of rumba beats ending with a cha-cha-cha button. Groovy. And you know it is a great place to eat because you cannot help but notice the moment you walk in that the clientele is made of of two distinct, but discerning connoisseurs - wealthy senior citizen locals and gays. Bob ordered one of those blue
cocktails and I nursed my cranberry juice with sparkling water and we ordered an amazing meal. But Bob had been a grown up for nearly 48 hours and could no longer contain himself so he had to let the little boy out to play and I was relaxed enough to just go with it so I snapped a photo. I think the fact that we were fairly hidden by the high backed booths helped. It reminded me of so many times when Bob had to behave inappropriately just for the sport of making me want to kill him. But this time, I didn't.
Bob couldn't wait for the sun to go down entirely so we could see the place in full swing, but as misfortune would have it, a big chunk of Palm Springs suddenly lost power so we sat there in the glow of a single table candle until the waitress in her polynesian style bowling shirt came to us with a hand-written bill while we worked out payment in the dark. They were closing. And we were ready. By this time, without the air conditioner, sweat was pouring from our brows. At least we finished our dinner.
With all the enthusiasm of ourselves as newlyweds 20 years ago, we planned to see a movie, go back to the bar at our hotel for a drink and then for one last late night swim, but one by one, each plan failed to materialize and when we got back to our room and Bob started the search for his "TUMS" and I contemplated packing, we automatically rolled into bed with books and TV - early. We were sad that age had taken all the "late night party" out of us, but it felt good to be settled in. It was wonderful.