San Francisco -September 4th, 2015

I keep wanting to say that Danny and I went to “San Fran” for our anniversary, but then I catch myself. Am I allowed to slang it? I mean, do I have enough ownership to San Fran it? I don’t nickname people I’ve only met once, right? And I definitely don’t nickname FAMOUS people I’ve only known once -and San Fracisco is definitely a famous city.
Example: since we ran into Larry Fitzgerald in the San Francisco Airport who I didn’t recognize or know *exactly* who he is, I haven’t started referring to him as “Larr” or “Fitzy.”
So I’ve been laboriously typing out SAN FRANCISCO each time I refer to our trip, and it has not been easy because I am a terrible speller.
But it’s been a good learning experience for me, and I’m very pro-education.

(PS: I can’t get over -even now -the fancy-ness of Larry Fitzgerald’s luggage.  It’s pretty, right?)

About 2 weeks before our anniversary, I walked up to Danny and said, “You know what we should do? We should GO SOMEWHERE for our anniversary… just find some cheap tickets and fly somewhere, stick our toes in some beach sand and then fly back home.”
I thought he’d say that yes, it would be nice but that we couldn’t afford it. But you know what he said? He said, “Let’s do it.”
We are completely inexperienced travelers, so the idea felt daring and adventurous to both of us. We ended up booking tickets to San Francisco because they were the cheapest, but we didn’t realize the rest of the trip would cost so much.
So so much.

Danny had spent the week before at a work training in Ohio, so he got off his plane from his training and less than 3 hours later, he was back ON a plane to California.  Can I Cali it?  I’ve been there 5 times now, so I think I can Cali it.  We hopped a plane to CALI.

The cost was well worth it in the end. We experienced a new city together, and we had the truly blessed experience of just BEING together. It was a huge thing for us to be in a place in our relationship where we could even get away together -that alone made the trip WORTH IT.
Everywhere we went, we were struck with that little fact.
I’m so glad we’re here,” we kept saying, and we weren’t talking about the city. We were talking about the place our relationship is in right now.  We’ve been working so hard to find healing for the past few years -last year for our anniversary we were separated, and I wasn’t wearing a wedding ring.  So to have a ring on my finger and be at ease with each other this year?  We could feel the miracle.  We’re so grateful for addiction recovery -we’re grateful we are both working our tails off in every way possible (mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally…) because for a long time our marriage was just hanging by a precious, precious thread.  And today it’s thriving!  That’s not to say, “Hey!  We MADE IT!”  Because I don’t actually believe there is a place of “MADE IT!” when it comes to healing… it’s a beautifully rewarding life-long process.  But it is to say, “Hey!  We have no mortgage or car payment or nursing babies and I feel safe with the person I love!  LET’S CELEBRATE THE CRAP OUT OF THIS WHILE WE HAVE IT!”  The serenity prayer has taught us to live in the moment, friends!  Also: our relationship now is so much better than it was last year, YES… but it’s surprisingly much better than it EVER WAS EVER.  So that’s been really, really amazing… not perfect, but I think that’s probably what I’m appreciating most about it?  I don’t know.  I don’t really actually know very much…

Although when I said, “I’m so glad we’re here,” in the Ghirardelli chocolate square, I really was just glad to be there.

Due to our inexperience, we truly had NO idea what to do in San Fracisco or what there was to do. We booked a motel for about $150 a night which was incredibly cheap compared to other hotel prices in the area (seriously, the Best Westerns were charging over $200 a night!). But we didn’t realize our hotel was on the OTHER end of the city. Meaning all the Cool Kid stuff to do was a 2-hour bus ride away! We had bus passes but only 2 days to experience the city and didn’t want to spend hours upon hours on the bus.
With my stomach issues, I was already dealing with motion sickness from the plane ride and shuttle… so we bravely downloaded the Uber app and it took us downtown in 30 short minutes!
There were perks, though, to having a hotel away from “everything.” It was far away from noise and masses of people. The view from our motel room provided a very pretty view of the bay, and we were able to watch the planes fly in and out.

We paid $20 extra a night to get exclusive access to The 15th Floor Lounge. Oh, they drew us in with their fancy words like “Lounge” and “Exclusive” and “O’dourves.”
The only problem? According to the front desk, we could go up to the 15th floor for “o’dourves” from 5-7pm, and we checked in around 4:30 pm. We were nice and hungry… but every time we tried to push the “15” on the elevator buttons, it wouldn’t work. We looked for stair cases, we tried OTHER elevators… it was frustrating.
Finally, I called the front desk and asked how the in the HECK you get to this LOUNGE place?
“Did you not see the card reader in the elevator?”

I didn’t even know that was a thing.

Danny and I hopped in the next elevator, put our card in the reader and then held our breath while we pushed the 15. It lit up gloriously, and we audibly CHEERED.
But we left from the 13th floor, so our ride to the top was pretty short lived. But I’ll be honest, that moment of victory was one of the greatest of my life.

After we ate, we took to the outdoors and explored a walking trail we’d seen from our window. That’s how we travel. We have no plans. The only reason we had plans when we went to Disneyland is because we worked with a Travel Agent. That was a very good decision for Disney, but for striking out on our own, Danny and I really love winging it.
I still remember planning our honeymoon.
“How about we rent a car?” he asked. THAT was that. After our wedding reception was over, we decided to head in the direction of San Diego. We had a blast not knowing when or where or what. We knew WHO and really, that’s all that’s ever mattered with us because we end up having a pretty great time anywhere we go without kids.

(not that we don’t have fun WITH the kids, but it’s easier to have no plans when there’s no kids.  With kids, I definitely need a travel agent!)

We came to a gorgeous dock where the sunset was brilliant and the wind was blowing… we stopped to snap a picture of ourselves when a couple standing nearby offered to take our picture for us.

With their professional wedding equipment!  Apparently, they were out testing a new lighting toy out.  How about that for luck?  He emailed the pictures he took to Danny, and I have a picture of the picture, downloaded from social media.  Translation: here’s a low resolution version of our favorite snapshot:


On our walk, we found a beautiful restaurant behind our hotel called Kincaid’s.  It sat right on the bay and offered a really cool view:

We decided to stroll in and have an official anniversary dinner -since it was September 4th, after all. LUCKILY we’d eaten in the fancy-pants lounge because the prices on the menu made our tummies feel suddenly very stuffed. We shared a lobster tail and side salad.
For SIXTY dollars.
I realize real fancy-pants people GET these kind of prices and expect them, but we were just FAKING fancy-pants for the weekend, and we are actually very used to Subway pricing.
But it really was worth $60. Oh my gosh, it was the most delicious sea food ever to hit me.
Danny’s face says it all. We ate SLOWLY and DELIBERATELY.

I don’t know if I’ll ever taste a lobster quite like that. It ruined lobster for me. How am I supposed to content myself with Red Lobster in Flagstaff, AZ when there is a lobster tail waiting for me in Kincaid’s Restaurant in San Francisco roughly $600 from now?
Life can be rough in it’s own lobstery way.

But it can also look like this:

And it makes up for all the lobster woes quite nicely.


  1. Yay! I’m so glad you went, and had fun! Isn’t it so wonderful to just be together and LIKE each other (and not have any small people needing things and wanting things and asking questions and poking each other and….)? As excited as I am that you enjoyed San Francisco, I’m much happier to here where your relationship is this year. I didn’t know it was ever that rough, but I am so relieved that you have both worked so hard to get to where you are now! And I’m excited to hear what else you did. (You were braver than me – I couldn’t spend huge money on seafood, even though I probably would have liked it, because I’m not a general seafood fan…)

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