First off...Happy Registered Dietitian Day!!! This being MJ's first, I thought it only appropriate to recognize her and all you other hardworking dietitians out there trying to change our plates one veggie at a time! Our bodies and our overall well-being thank you.
Last week marked a very special occasion for MJ and me - our 8 year wedding anniversary! Now I'm sure she would've been fine with a quiet weekend at home, but that's not how I roll. So weeks in advance, my planning started - late nights spent in front of the computer looking at driving routes, comparing packages, searching for restaurants, and inspecting room decor. After much deliberation, I decided on Rose Hill Manor, a beautiful bed & breakfast right outside of nearby Fredericksburg.
There was a time when MJ and I aspired to make our way through the Select Registry catalogue... Although our effort was short-lived, we do love to stay at a B&B every once in a while :). Winter Storm Thor tried its best to put a damper on our weekend, but we would not be denied our celebration. If anything, being limited on activity options, helped us to truly treasure the company of one another. We even left the DSLR behind and decided to capture the entire trip with just our iPhones.
The main house was stunning even on the dreary, fog-filled day we arrived. MJ's joy truly showed, though, when we opened the door to our little cottage...
If she could decorate our entire house in a particular style, this would be it - French country cottage style. Her first words to me..."Can we just stay in here the entire time? I LOVE it!!" I couldn't help but give myself a mental pat on the back in that moment.
Waiting for us upon arrival, was a simple white cake. Not exactly the most romantically decorated cake, but appropriately festive...
After grabbing a quick bite for dinner on the first night, we roamed through the main house where we found an extensive selection of wine, a sitting room with complimentary beverages and cookies, and a library with books, DVDs and boardgames.
I particularly enjoyed spying on the staff while they scurried about the kitchen...
On that first night, we were both eager to get to bed...so that we could get to eating breakfast!! Aside from their delightfully yolky eggs, we were big fans of their freshly baked banana nut bread and the sweet potato waffles with pecan maple syrup...
Obligatory mirror selfies (I'm horrible at these)...Not to mention there was no one around to take the pictures for us.
Our anniversary meal (on the property) consisted of crab cake and scallops with a lemon cream sauce served with couscous and asparagus. And for dessert we were pleasantly surprised with an anniversary apple tart and a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream. I also enjoyed a vanilla bean creme brulee with fresh berries on top. MJ was quite the fan of the ice cream and inquired about the brand they were stocking. "We make our own," was the response, causing both of us to nod in approval.
We were unable to venture out to Enchanted Rock and didn't even bother driving into town to do some Main St shopping, but we did carve out some time for a wine tasting at Pedernales Cellars, which was in walking distance from our cottage.
I tried my best to enjoy the "complexities" of the full-bodied reds, but after one left me feeling as though I had licked a cigar as well as its cedar carrying box, the dessert moscato couldn't have come fast enough. Halfway through the tasting, I lost MJ to a display of gourmet vinegars. Even still, we couldn't help but smile as we walked hand-in-hand back to our room.
Sadly, our last night came too soon. We snuggled by our candlelit fireplace and gazed with no particular purpose at the movie on TV. We were just happy to be there with each other in that moment. This was definitely one of our simplest trips yet, but still so meaningful. It was a great time to reconnect, refuel, and rethink our future. Each year I become more confident of this: There's no one I'd rather do life with than MJ. She blesses me with her kindness and enriches me with her spirit. God has been good to us, and I look forward to the years ahead.