A Fine Day for a Swing
Tim has always been good at planning little last minute surprises. When we first moved in together, the little surprises usually consisted of a snack or special drink he had waiting for me in the car when he picked me up from the airport. As we both started to travel, it would be little notes left for me when I got home. Now that we are both supposed to live in the same place, but still manage not to see much of each other, he has moved on to planning date nights.
We had both taken Friday off work, and so this time he planned an overnight trip. This was partially to celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend, partially to celebrate our happiness at selling the house, and partially just because we are both tired and could use a getaway.
He didn't tell me where we were going. My instructions were:
- Wear an outfit and bring supplies to spend Friday hiking, and
- Bring a "biker type" outfit for Friday night*.
We woke up on Friday, finished packing, made sure Elora would be OK while we were gone, and got on the road. Before the adventure could officially begin, though, Tim needed to drop somethings off at work, and we needed to get breakfast.
So, finally we were off!
Tim had printed out directions to take all beautiful, scenic back roads to our destination. It was really beautiful. Since all the states (PA, NJ, DE and MD) are pretty close to each other, I had no idea where we were going or what state we were in. We passed the next two hours looking at all the trees and listening to the radio.
Ultimately, we ended up in Maryland at the Susquehanna State Park. The setting was not a surprise to me even if the location was. I knew we would end up in the woods and I knew we'd be near water. It is where we met, the essense of our life together, and a setting that always brings me some measure of both peace and sadness. Tim and I are essentially guarded and solitary creatures - even to each other - and this is only emphasized on such a trip. Let me try to explain...
"Come on, Bee-Bop." Tim said to me, and we walked towards the trail head. He invites me to walk with him as we head down the trail (or behind him when it gets too narrow), but he retreats into himself (like the squirrels disappear into the woods when we walk too close to them) and I only really know of his thoughts and feelings left on the trail (and those are not many). Take only pictures, leave only footprints.
I developed a love for rivers in college when I would take many walks to sit near the Mississippi River and think. It was my therapy. Rivers are on a journey to somewhere else. The are all at once turbulent, calm, rushing, taking, keeping, giving up, and crashing themselves against rocks that wear down over time. They are doing all of this at once, but you only really experience the one part of a river you can see in your location, and few people have the dedication or desire to follow the length of one.
Tim tried to take a picture of an elusive blue heron while I looked at the river.
In all we spent about 4 hours hiking. We hadn't eaten lunch and it was close to 4:30pm by this point, so we decided to head into town for our Bed & Breakfast. We got there earlier than we were expected. Since no one was home, we left our car at the house and decided to go find some food and a drink. Port Deposit, Maryland was a small town with quite a lot of the variety even in the 3 blocks we walked. It had everything from the quaint B&B and dining establishments to the row homes full of people sitting on the porch (and sidewalk) talking.
We stopped at a little pub that had a wide variety of food and each ordered a beer. We tried to catch each other up on what was going on in our jobs. We almost never talk to each other about work. Tim has apparently been doing some really cool things at his job and helped create and publish their first print ad and has his digital signage videos up all over their office. He has a little video editing room where he can do all of these. His boss showed me when we stopped by in the morning. Everyone there is very proud of him.
Before long it was time to head back and check into the B&B. There was a nice, chattly lady there to greet us and show us the place. It was beautiful and thankfully not too full of lace even though it was called Granite and Lace Bed and Breakfast. It was actually very tastefully decorated.
Our room had a jacuzzi tub, so I took a bath right away. I had gotten a pretty nasty bruise on our hike by falling on a rock, and needed to soak it. The bath was full of wonderful bubbles just as I like it!
Tim fell asleep. He has been very tired. I barely got him awake at 9:30pm to see if he still wanted to unveil his surprise that required the "biker outfit." He eventually woke up and we headed to the Union Hotel Tavern. This seemed to be essentially a bar for the Harley lovers in the area who work hard and just want a good place to unwind, bring their dogs, and listen to some music. (Probably without the likes of us, "blessed" though we apparently were... At least so said the bartender who asked for our IDs, looked at the DOB, looked at us, looked back at the DOB again, and just shook her head). It actually reminded me a lot of the Rusty Spur in Arizona, except minus the ladies' undergarments in abundance on the walls.
We had a couple of drinks and listened to the live music before heading out again to find something to eat, since the kitchen was closed. The only thing we could find open and serving food was a Denny's where we shared a massive breakfast plate.
We were pretty exhausted by the time we got back to our room even though it was only 11:30pm. We fell asleep immediately and woke up in the morning to the wonderful smells of breakfast coming from the kitchen.
The food was GREAT. Judy made a florentine omelette, organge pancakes, fruit, and great coffee. It was delicious!
After breakfast, we packed our things and headed east, through Maryland, into Delaware and around the outskirts of Wilmington before turning north into PA.
It was a very nice surprise planned by Tim and great start to the holiday weekend! I'm looking forward to the couple additional days that we have to relax and do fun things before returning to work.
Have a great weekend everyone!
*For all of you expecting this, I assure you what I wore was exactly this.