Learn to be flexible! Not every little thing that goes wrong needs to upset you.
We wanted and needed a truly unforgettable anniversary…
True story. Yesterday was our 35th wedding anniversary. THIRTY- FIVE Y’ALL! The two of us have been looking forward to our 35th anniversary for years, so we could truly celebrate in a big and meaningful way.
After much planning and a good deal of saving, we decided to go to Spain for a few weeks. I know, right? We dreamed of Spanish food, European charm, amazing old-world wines, and a great deal of sightseeing. Then COVID-19 happened. Our flights were canceled and so were our accommodations.
As hard as we tried to come up with a Plan B, some way to celebrate even if we had to stay local, we couldn’t. Either hotels were closed, attractions were shut down, or we felt irresponsible going to public places with all that is happening in the world. So our plan was to ditch all of our plans.
We woke up on the day of our anniversary and wished there was some fun, out of the ordinary kind of way to spend the day. We thought, “Maybe we missed something.” So, we ran through some new options. Maybe we can go visit Wayfarer’s Chapel in Palos Verdes, CA. This is where we got married 35 years ago. This is where our marriage journey began and it is so serene and beautiful there. Since it is a public place, we were sure it was closed to the public. Then we remembered about a hike our sister-in-law told us about called Ladder Canyon. We love to hike together and thought an hour or so drive would be totally worth it. So we drove.
And drove. And drove some more. After an hour and 20 minutes of driving, I realized that Ladder Canyon was located on the outskirts of Indio, not Palm Desert as we thought. “Wow, Indio is far,” we thought, but by this time we were almost there.
After a little more driving, we were within 5 miles of the trailhead when we were stopped by 6 very large “ROAD CLOSED” signs stretching from one side of the road to the other. Even if there had been room to drive around the signs, Tami wouldn’t have it because she is a rule follower. We stopped in the middle of the road, audibly said, “Are you kidding me?” at the same time, then laughed. That laugh was the most important thing that happened because it set the tone for the rest of the day.
Now what? Since we could see the Salton Sea off in the distance from where we were, we decided to make the 10-minute drive to get there and spend some time on the shore. Who doesn’t love a beach, right? All these years living in Southern California and we had never seen it. There is a reason. This was another comically bad idea. The high salt content in the water kills almost everything and the smell of death cannot be avoided.
But we looked around anyway because we were there. The state parks which allowed access to the shore were all closed. Then we spotted a few neighborhoods, but the only homes we saw near the Salton Sea looked like meth labs. I wish I was kidding. We finally saw the first nice looking building we had seen thus far. It was called The Salton Sea Beach & Yacht Club. The building looked nice, but there was not a single car in the parking lot, and there was another crack shack looking building only 100 feet away. It was—weird. After tooling around the area for a bit, we decided it was time to leave before we ended up dead too.
We hopped back into our car, got on the freeway, and decided to grab some take-out food, then go to a park in Palm Desert. Five minutes into the drive, Tami got a migraine and it was a doozie. We decided to skip the park and just head home.
As we pulled into our driveway, I noticed the clock in the car which reminded me that we had been gone about 4-1/2 hours. I also noticed we had put nearly 300 miles on the car. And we really didn‘t do anything. Tami was feeling better by this time and we recalled what an unusual day it was. We remembered our funny moment earlier in the day, the one that happened when we first realized that we drove all the way to Indio only to find that the lone road to the trailhead was closed.
As we settled back into Camp Quarantine, our home, we decided to cook curry chicken together and enjoy a nice bottle of wine we had been saving for our anniversary. As we ate and drank, we laughed at our day. We laughed at ourselves. And we laughed at the entire, bizarre global event called COVID-19 that made our 35th wedding anniversary a day we will never forget. That’s just what we wanted in the first place – a day we would never forget!
By Brad & Tami Miller. Contact us at brad@TandemMarriage.com. Copyright © 2020