Brought to you by the number 8
Friday night Dan and I celebrated our 8th anniversary. George and Claire generously offered to keep the children for 24 hours, and our friend Kristen, who works at the Marquette Hotel downtown, got us a special rate for a room. With the whole afternoon stretching before us, we faced the challenge of agreeing on an activity. Dan, true to form, suggested a museum. With the prospect of a child-free afternoon, I wanted nothing more than to sit around and drink coffee and maybe knit. You might think these activities incompatible. How can you tour a museum and sit around drinking coffee and knitting at the same time. Well, I will tell how: A WHEELCHAIR is how.
Dan, being an amiable guy, agreed to request a wheelchair for me, while I went to get coffee in the gift shop. While standing in line I realized with a sudden feeling of panic, I forgot to tell Dan to just request the chair, and whatever you do don’t embellish! I raced back to the entrance as fast as I could, which was not very fast considering I was cultivating a new limp, just in time to hear him saying, “…my wife has this leg, you see….” his voice trailing off.
“Well, it’s true, you do have a leg,” he explained to me later. And if you ever find yourself needing to be pushed around a museum in a wheelchair, Dan is your man. He was so sensitive, giving me little shoulder squeezes, and bending down to ask me at eye-level, “Are you doin’ okay? How are you feeling?”
Sometimes, when you’ve been married awhile, it’s nice to shake things up with a wheelchair.
Our plan following the museum was a bike ride. Which was probably not a good way to leave the museum as it did cast doubt on my need for the wheelchair. But it was so special to get to look at each other the rest of the day in bike helmets. Bike helmet: another special way to put a little spark in your relationship. For six dollars we got a 24 hour pass to use the green “Nice Ride” bikes located at stations all over the city. You check your bike in at each destination and then when you leave, you check out another bike. The only problem is you aren’t necessarily coming back to the same bike and so you have to take your bike helmet with you. Dan finds it cumbersome to carry his bike helmet, preferring to wear it: to dinner, to walk along the river, etc. And why shouldn’t he? There’s nothing wrong with being extra careful with your head on your anniversary.
When we got to the hotel, we got the surprise of our life (second only to having twins and then having another baby and then having another baby which was very surprising), thanks to Kristen, we had been upgraded to the presidential suite! We had a full kitchen with granite counter tops, a dining room with hardwood floors, several flat screen t.v.s, a dressing room, etc. There was even champagne and strawberries dressed in little chocolate tuxedos.
It was a once in a lifetime stay. While it would be fun to stay somewhere like that on your honeymoon, don’t you know it was even more luxurious thinking about those four little darlings who were probably crying at that very moment somewhere out there but not with us!
We awoke Saturday morning to the most beautiful view of downtown Minneapolis and the sweet sound of nothing. After a nice breakfast at the hotel, it was time for a leisurely bike ride home along the river in a blinding rainstorm.
We arrived home very wet.
The anniversary date gave us a new appreciation for each other, our city, and our cars.
Special thanks to George and Claire for making it all possible!