July 19th, 2007, feels like just the other day and yet my life has expand from that moment. Ten short years ago, my now sweet hubby surprised me (the only one out of two times he ever has, which I enjoy reminding him of) with a little get away just around the bend. I don't remember much of that day except that I had a feeling something magical was going to happen but I wasn't sure exactly when. He told me to grab a few outfits and a bathing suit or two and we were off. A short drive to the Venetian Islands in Miami Beach and we turned into the historic Lido Hotel now known as the chic mid-century modern boutique hotel, The Standard Spa. I had been obsessed with the hotel since my best friend had taken me to it's Lido Bayside Grill for lunch the previous year to tell me she was getting married. And here I was about to check in, already elated.
I don't remember every detail from that night but what I do remember is the picnic basket filled with wines and a charcuterie waiting for us in the room along with a beautiful floral arrangement. Without hesitation I told Ernie to grab the basket so we could wait for the sunset on the bayside dock just a few steps away from our room. We noshed, drank and talked and talked (nothing new for us two). Somehow, we had almost finished the second bottle right as the sun was setting, the sky splashed in pinks turning from purple to dark blue (those would end up being our wedding colors), it was absolutely beautiful. It felt as though some of my favorite things just hung in time for a few moments, long enough to be engraved in my mind's eye forevermore. The sky, the light ripples of water against the seawall, the causeway lights starting to come on, the Miami skyline, and my love, intently listening to all my ramblings. I paused for a second and remember declaring, "I am so lucky" and as I began to lose myself in my own thoughts for a moment I realized, from the corner of my eye, that Ernie was moving out of his seat and onto one knee as he replied, "No, I'm the lucky one". And there was this most beautiful little box perfectly placed in his hands.
Now, you'd think that the first thing I would've said were, "YES!" but nope, not me because my mind races way too fast for normal replies. What came out of my mouth instead was, "Oh no, I'm not even wearing the pretty dress I packed for this!". Ernie didn't even flinch, instead he gave me his sideways smile, the one he reserves just for me to see, and a few seconds more to finish my crazy train of thought. And then, once I realized what I was doing I grabbed him by the face, kissing him all over coaxing him back into the seat besides me. I don't remember saying "yes" or even looking at the ring but the feeling of that moment still chokes me up as I feel my soul jump with glee from inside me.
Perhaps, not many people celebrate engageiversaries but we do, every year. In fact, we don't even celebrate our wedding anniversary as consciously as we do this moment. It's the moment we both decided to make our first commitment to each other, just us two with only the universe to attest to the love exchanged between us right then and there, privately as love can sometimes be. There were no pictures, no spectators, just the sound of the bay and the birds as the skies turned to grey and it began to rain on us. It was magical. A moment in time we can never recreate but a memory as strong as any. And so, in honor of that moment, we book a room at the same hotel every year close to the date itself but sometimes even a month behind, we get some wine and cheeses (this year it was Sargento snack packs because that was all that was in the fridge when we were packing) and we enjoy eachother's company without the distractions of sightseeing, fancy meals or expectations. Just us two in a place we love which feels a part of us, by the water and with sunset views. We are so lucky.
Multi-tasking over-thinker that is, as you can imagine, often running late.