Sunday, January 25, 2009

Birthday Surprise

Friday January 23rd, 2009

Our first winter together, I realized that Dan had one serious distraction. Every time it got cloudy here, Dan's eyes would gloss over and he would have trouble concentrating. After a good day of rain, he would pretty much drop everything, throw the skis in the back of his truck, and head up to the nearest ski resort.

It took a few ski trips before I really understood him. You have to get passed a certain point in skiing/snowboarding when the pain turns to adrenaline, and then you know you are an addict.

So we spent our first few winters eating the bare minimum if it meant more money for Lift Tickets. We skied as cheaply as possible. At Snowbowl, in Flagstaff, AZ, you ski for free on your birthday. And it became a tradition for us to head to Flag every Jan 23 (at least on the years when I wasn't pregnant...... well except once, but that kid turned out fine).

7 children later, it is pretty rough to get away for a day, so I put our tradition out of my mind and settled on a few hours out together for a 5am Birthday Morning Date.

Dan and the kids are always really good to me on my birthday.
I like to stretch it out from the day before until the day after.
It's the only time all year long that no body complains.

Dan had been up late on Thursday night,
Taking care of kids and helping with the house,
So we could sneak away for a longer morning.

Here's the Scene:

We we are dressed up, my make-up is on, and it's a good hair day.
As we near the exit of the freeway, Dan halfheartedly admits,
"that we are not actually going to my favorite place this morning".
I look confused. He is a tinge worried, because I really like my favorite place
and cancelling it can be dangerous.

He says, "But we can still go there if you want."
I say, "Well where would we go instead."
He says, "I thought we would go skiing."
Hmmm, I like skiing.... eyes start glossing.
"Wait, How? Kids, house, appointments, things to do??"
Dan, "It's all covered."
Us...skiing... love that idea... kids would probably survive.

"Okay. Wait. I need things."
Dan says, "I packed your things."
"Everything?"
"Probably not."
"Most things??"
"Most things."

It wasn't until we hit New River that I started thinking clearly again. By then, we were already well on the road. He told me he knew I never would have gone if it had to be planned out. He was completely right.

I made a few phones calls to cancel appointments and make sure that someone would watch the kids after school. Really, it wasn't all that much to re-arrange.

He did pretty well in the packing department. He remembered all the necessities for skiing...
hat, gloves, pants, jacket, boots
I would have put in wool socks, a matching turtleneck and cute long-underwear.
I settled for old t-shirt, sweatpants, and ankle socks.

Dan has taken to snowboarding the last few times we have gone up. By the end of the day, he is keeping up with me on skis. I do love the first few runs when I look like a pro as he plows down the hills on his board. It reminds me of the old days when he would wait for me at the bottom of a run. I would barely catch my breath and he would be off again.

Or we would look out from the top of the worst looking mogul field. I would panic, but try to act tough. He would bound down the run like it was nothing, while I carved up the snow,
hoping not to die in the process.

Really great memories, actually.

As usual, by the end of the day Friday, he was passing me,
and looked amazingly graceful.

As it turned out, he didn't plan for us to make it home that night. Okay, no problem, he packed for me, right? He remembered 2 different pair of sneakers. Only problem - we were going out. Sneakers didn't exactly match, so I was the only girl in Flagstaff that night in open-toed shoes.

He remembered my make-up. But Forgot anything related to hairstyle. Even a comb would have been helpful. What could I expect from a guy who hasn't used shampoo in years, let alone a comb?

No biggy. He proved that beginning with a really good hair day, you can take a road trip, ski all day, sleep for hours and still have decent hair the next day.

At one point, I did ask about pajamas.
"Pajamas?"
His idea of pajamas and mine, were not quite the same.

Men live in a strange reality.

In the end, we had a really great trip. No lift lines and good snow. The NAU students were still cruising down the mountain .....only at a faster pace than I remember. And when did they start letting 12-year-olds into college??

Dinner --- Olive Garden.
Dan knows me well enough to count on the fact that when we travel, I will still find the most familiar restaurant and order my favorite dish there.

And because I can't sleep past 4am, we still made it to my favorite place on Saturday morning, and were back home by 10am. Plenty of time left in the day to finish my birthday project---The Garage.

I came home feeling really good. 6 hours of skiing was the perfect detox for my bad-head week. Coldplay was the music of choice, and the way I will always remember a perfect trip.
When it was all said and done,
I was reminded that not much has really changed in 14 years together.
He still amazes me.



January 23rd, 2009
Flagstaff, AZ

6 comments:

Jessie Brown said...

What a sweet hubby you have Beth.

Nancy Page said...

That's awesome. Ok I'm sorry for callin you a bum on facebook for not calling when you were in town on a DATE weekend. Dan,s making points, huh.

Miriam said...

You two amaze me!

Nikki said...

How absolutely fabulous! I am a tad jealous... ok, a lot jealous! Sounds like you guys had an amazing time! Happy Birthday. Glad Dan made it memorable for you!

Shanen said...

What a great birthday and 24 hour get-away. What a fun tradition to have.

Skye Lee said...

Ok. So I had to laugh at the pajama part! I am glad that you had a great time :).