Last month I turned the big 3-0. I hesitated from announcing this to the world, but yesterday I finally downloaded the pictures and decided to share my amazing night with you. My husband went to great lengths to give me an unforgettable birthday and I will always cherish these memories.
We fondly call our neighbors “les grandparents,” because they are like grandparents to us. So sweet and always offering a hand. My husband injured his knee a year ago and is still recovering but was set on doing what he had in mind for me. He talked to les grandparents and the grandpa helped him see to it. We live next to a hill that overlooks our quaint village. Our goal was to find a way up to the top once his knee got better. The grandpa showed him the way.
Strong as an ox at the age of 85, the grandpa led him to the top to the perfect location for my surprise. He has lived here most of his life and left my husband in the dust. There is a concrete slab to hold photographs of the village for tourists. It was never completed. Maybe because it is up on a hill in the middle of nowhere without a way for tourists to get there, but that is only my guess.
Locking me in my bedroom on the big day, my husband stole the cloth off our dining room table, packed the goodies, and hid it all in the car. He led me out of the room with a blindfold and put the baby in her carseat. He drove in different directions so I could not figure out where we were going. When I felt the car go up steeply, I figured we were going high but did not know we were still in the village. I was tempted to peak but was enjoying it all being a surprise too much to cheat.
I remained in the car with our daughter, listening to my iPod because he did not want me to hear what was going on. Finally, about 20 min later he led me out of the car and removed the blindfold. We were near the top of the hill with an amazing view of the countryside. It was breathtaking! He led me up the hill to the place the grandpa showed him.
Our table cloth covered the concrete slab, the perfect location for his surprise. The dinner was simple – sandwiches, chicken, avocado. Of course, he had champagne and a birthday cake for me as well. What wasn’t so simple was getting everything up this hill with a bad knee – and making several trips to boot.
No restaurant could have offered us a better opportunity for dining, it was one of the most romantic dinners I have ever had – even with an eight month old sitting beside us. She joined in the celebration by stealing our avocados and attention, but it was perfect none-the-less. We dined, drank, and laughed.
On top of the hill, looking down at the world below us and the sun setting behind a distant mountain, I couldn’t have wanted anything more. It was so quiet and peaceful up there, a place where we could really reflect on how lucky we truly are to be here and have each other.
He had a couple gifts for me, even though I received my real birthday gift a few months earlier. He bought me a runner’s watch with GPS so I can keep track of the distance I run, heart rate, and other stats electronically (coolest gift ever!). Since I was complaining about the flies around our house and in the village, he bought me one of those cheap plastic fly swatters as a gag gift. And yes, I swatted him with it! Juliana thought it was a new toy for her, and still does. The other gift was a great provincial cookbook. I love cooking and been wanting more cookbooks in French, so that was a much more welcomed gift than the swatter.
After watching the sky change colors and the sunlight begin to fade, we packed up and brought the party back to the house before it got dark. We did not want to attempt to get down the hill without lights, especially since they do not have street lamps up there. After arriving to the house, we finished the champagne, I blew out all 30 candles (he insisted on having 30 individual candles, the jerk!), and had some delicious cake.
I picture my life as it was ten years ago. I was in my last year of school for my MBA, started a business, and bought a house. I was single and had some major ambitions. Over the ten years, I accomplished all my goals, got married, and had my first child. I try to picture what my life will be like ten years from today, but I do not want to limit the possibilities. I want it to be a surprise.
It is amazing how time zips by – feels like I just graduated from college. The grey hairs and pudge around the waist says otherwise. Oh well, here’s to hoping for another decade of fun and adventure.
Who has the most romantic husband? What a way to welcome the next decade of my life.