Thoughts and assorted philosophical musing about: Family, Friends, Fun, Hobbies, & other everyday things.
My continuing efforts to serve as a First Sergeant (Top) in the Army of God.
My latest interest is in Letterboxing.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Keeping the Home Fires Burning

42 years ago Donna and I were married overseas in the small African country of Eritrea (Then a province of Ethopia) where we met. Our official/legal marriage was conducted by the Asmara city mayor on July 14th. Although it would have no legal status we wanted to have a church wedding and did so about two weeks later on the 30th of July. We normally celebrate the 14th as our Anniversary. This year we were on our way down to the beach for vacation on the 14th so celebrated by having a nice dinner.

I enjoy trying to keep romance in our relationship, and so this year I decided to do an additional something special on the church wedding date which we normally pretty much ignore. I told Her only to keep her calender open for Tuesday and Wednesday in order for us to enjoy a mystery mini-vacation. Donna enjoys being pampered so I booked us into a nearby Bed and Breakfast, "The Emerald Necklace Inn", which includes a Tea Room and a Day Spa.

Tuesday morning we packed a bag, and departed the house. I drove a roundabout route through "The Emerald Necklace" Cleveland Metro Park and arrived at our destination just before noon. After checking in I relaxed while she was treated to a manicure with wax treatment and a pedicure, Followed by a light lunch for just the two of us. After lunch we had some quite time which she spent on the patio deck overlooking the park. Then She was given a full body message which lasted over a hour. The service and food were both excellent.

On our first anniversary I was in Vietnam, so 40 years ago, our second anniversary was the first that we enjoyed together. We had Chateaubriand for dinner that night at "The Old Anglers Inn", alongside the C&O canal just outside of Washington, DC. In keeping with my romantic theme I scheduled Tuesdays dinner at one of the areas nicer restaurants "Swingos on the Lake" where we once again enjoyed Chateaubriand.

A Cleveland tradition is that the desert of choice for special occasions is "Cassada Cake" (The spelling varies). This cake, often used local for weddings, is an adaptation of what was original a Sicilian treat. Similar to a Boston cream pie, It is a white or yellow layer cake with filling consisting of a generous layer of sliced strawberry and a pastry cream custard between each layer. It is usually frosted with whipped cream and topped with large whole strawberrys. On our way to Swingos I stopped at a branch of "Corbo's", the bakery most acclaimed for their cassada cake, and picked up a cake which I had ordered.

It was not quite dark as we headed back to the Inn after dinner. Donna suggested that we stop on the way to look for a letterbox that I had told her about which was only slightly off of our most direct route. We did that and found "The Cats out of the Bag".

Tuesday morning as I was blogging on my other site and checking my email very early in the morning I was notified that a new letterbox "Buffalo Sighting" had been planted near our home. As soon as it was daylight I drove over and stamped into it. I was the first finder and found that in addition to a "First Finder Certificate" the planters (Trailnames :The owner "Front Range Hiker" and helpers "Mini-Mickey" and "DreamSearcher") had left what is know as an Easter egg. An Easter egg , is a prize or trinket secretly left for the first finder. That was really neat and I was able to acquire two new letterboxes in addition to all the other great things for the Day.

The reason I had arranged for Tuesday night instead of Wednesday is that we already had tickets for an Indians Game on Wednesday night. I had arranged for Breakfast at 9:30 to allow Donna to sleep in, so I puttered around Wednesday morning, then we got up, packed up, ate a great breakfast, and began our journey home. It was nice to have an opportunity to express to her that even though several years have passed she is still my bride.

The drive home was only about half an hour, so she suggested that I might want to look for more letterboxes. I was aware of two in the Emerald Necklace Metro Park on the route home. The first one appeared to require a longer walk than I could be comfortable with on that humid morning. The second one "Cleveland Films - Spider Man 3" seemed less challenging so we looked for and found it so I now have 36 finds.

Not wanting the remains of dinner (especially the cake) to stay out of refrigeration for long we came on home after quick stops at the bank and at the local coffee bar, Ah-roma, for an Iced Mocha. Then I napped and kicked back until time to leave for the game.

All in all it was a really nice and romantic two days and dinner and it was a real delight to spend them with Her - I look forward to her retirement! - next year?

In the mean time I must do more things like this to keep the Home Fires Burning.

1 comment:

Ellisa said...

Great box finds! And I know mom had a great time on your anniversary shin-dig. Congrats on #41!