…to describe all the amazing, wonderful things that happened this weekend. Joe planned the most amazing getaway for us at a bed and breakfast on Long Beach Island in NJ. He takes my breath away by how he remembers all the little things that I just mention in passing, and how he has absolutely perfect timing with each of them. When we arrived at our charming little B&B, we settled in to our room with a four post bed, fireplace, and quite a history (according the room journal, in which previous visitors wrote about their experiences — marriage proposals in that room). And when I turned around, he had a big pink Victoria’s Secret box on the bed. It was the classic persimmon colored halter top lingerie I almost bought at the mall, but the line was too long. He said he had been worried about my having gone out to buy it before our trip — a little Gift of the Magi Goes Silky thing going on — but that was the first of many times I had tears in my eyes from this man’s pureness of heart and complete fearlessness at showing me love. And it goes way beyond a Victoria’s Secret box. From him, the way his hand just automatically searches for mine as we’re walking, how he knows I’d love to see the sunset, how he took me to a scenic lookout because I love the way the ocean smells, he brought me to a gazebo because I said weeks ago that I wanted to have a kiss there. He remembers…because he cares. And it’s so easy to open up to him, to show love in my own little ways. We’re two good people who found each other, who can read each other…and we laugh so much, it’s side-splitting. We had all the down-the-shore meals you have to have when you’re there [it’s in the contract: seafood, pizza, ice cream, and fudge] and our romantic dinner the first night was dreamy. The flannel-wearing sommelier at the liquor store led us to some EYE-talian wines (that cracks me up!) so we were able to toast our relationship before bed.
We walked along the beach, tried to get the kite up in the air, and I promised my niece that I would do a cartwheel for her. While Joe’s back was turned, I discovered just how far from my cheerleading days I’d slid. It was sloppy, but it was a cartwheel. Check. We then shopped for our friends’ and relatives’ Christmas presents, spent hours on the beach during the sunny afternoon that opened before us like magic, and spent super-fun time at the arcade, where we shot zombies and terrorists, played Skeeball, and played basketball, all to earn enough points for an airplane glider toy. For 7 billion more points, there was an engagement ring in the display case, so we had a lot of fun joking about that. But more fun joking about the Joe Montana-signed helmet. We played like kids, hugged like fifth-date smitten kittens, and found humor in everything we saw and heard. That’s how you know you’re right for each other. Even when a bummer is thrown into your lap, you take turns assuring, and you bring the positive out of it. And pretty soon, you’re shooting zombies, eating fudge, and jumping up and down like a spastic child because the innkeepers made Monkey Bread (which was in nearly every journal entry in our room.) On that Sunday morning, the innkeepers had set us a table in the garden, where we ate our monkey bread, fruit, and an egg bake that was phenomenal. The cat came out to join us, it was a beautiful morning, and we went for a walk on the beach afterwards. Oh, earlier in the weekend, we chanced upon a wedding ceremony taking place on the beach, and it always makes me smile to pass one of those. I wonder, just a little, if they were able to use any of my books. So for this couple’s wedding video, they have us walking by on the beach in the distance. So I represented both myself and Joe’s UNC tee shirt I was wearing.
Gosh, I could go on forever about how Joe made this weekend amazing — from the laughs to the winery visit on the way home, to how he points out the beautiful clouds in the sky because he knows I love that too, to how cute he looks when he’s sleeping. This morning, I looked across the pillows in those first groggy moments of awakeness and saw those green eyes, that smile, those long lashes and thought, “Wow…I am the luckiest woman on the planet.”
So we got home, and pushed back the dark fog of business awaiting at home, a tough choice I have to make with an assignment, work stress and other baloney. We enjoyed our getaway so much. Because Joe made it so. I could have fun anywhere with him. And this weekend, I got snapshots I never even thought to imagine… how often I find myself saying that. This man is amazing. And he’s excellent at shooting zombies.