Monday, May 4, 2009

A look into our anniversary weekend

Sam and I officially began our anniversary celebration on Friday evening. We had dinner reservations at Gaetano's, which is truly a diamond in the rough. Gaetano's is a small Italian restaurant, that looks like a cheap pizzeria, but is an authentic, Italian ran restaurant that serves some of the best food I have ever eaten. Gaetano's was initially recommended by my brother and sister-in-law during my first "Cullum in Florida" experience in June 2007. Following the recommendation, we spent our date night there enjoying balsamic mushrooms, garlic artichokes, stuffed mushrooms, shrimp with lobster ravioli covered in Amaretto sauce (imagine a light cheese sauce with a hint of sweet that lingers in your mouth and makes you say awwwwwwwwwwww...........this is the best sauce I have ever eaten = my response every time ), new york strip with linguine covered in Gorgonzola cheese sauce, and pinot grigio. Gaetano's also served as our pre-engagement dinner in December 2007. We ate there, before Sam proposed to me in the wedding garden at the Botanical Garden's. To say the least, it seemed fitting that we would celebrate our 1 year wedding anniversary at Gaetano's. Again, as usual, the food was amazing!!! After dinner, we walked through downtown Dunedin enjoying some banana and chocolate peanut butter ice cream from Strachan's before returning home.

Saturday morning we went for a run, then Sam made some pancakes with homemade strawberry syrup (YUMMY)!!!!! We had decided a few weeks ago that we wanted to go along with the traditional wedding anniversary gift with a creative twist, instead of attempting to buy each other a random gift every year or stressing over what we should do to celebrate when our lives get a little more hectic. Sam had initially thought year one was a gift of wood (I know, how ironic). We had decided to purchase something made of wood that we could paint/decorate together to represent the first year traditional gift with a little creativity. However, after a little research I discovered the gift of wood was actually for year five and the gift of paper was for year one. We briefly discussed paper mache, but decided we would stick with wood. After breakfast we went to Michael's and chose a rotating picture box that would serve a good purpose. One, it displays four pictures. Two, it would hold our keys, Sam's wallet, etc. Sam demonstrated "it's" ability to hold his keys and wallet which later led to a 10 minute +/- search for our car keys, but that's another story. Okay, why not!!! (Side note: Once we decided to purchase the picture box, we picked out a wooden knob to go on top, multiple paint colors, and paint brushes. We paid for all of our items and walked to the car discussing how we would decorate our one year anniversary gift to one another. Sam patted his pocket's multiple times and said, "Where are the keys?" We checked the Michael's bag. We checked the ignition. We checked his pocket's again. I checked my purse. We checked the ground. We walked back into Michael's. We checked the registers. We asked the employees. We asked the customers. We checked the aisles. We checked them again. We checked the shelves we had visited. Did I say we checked the aisles? When, ah ha, light bulb moment!!!! Sam had placed his wallet and keys in one of the picture boxes while we seriously discussed our purchase. We walked to the shelf of picture boxes. And for those of you who remember the game show "Supermarket Sweep," we searched the shelf for the grand prize and there we found OUR KEYS!!!! To say the least, as we walked to our car I said, multiple times, "I think that is a sign of aging.") When we arrived home, I still had to finish decorating my Derby hat and Sam wanted to relax, so we decided we would decorate our picture box on our actually anniversary (Sunday May 3rd).

Saturday evening, we had planned to attend a UK Alumni Association Derby Party. I had been informed there was a hat competition, so I decided to make my own after discovering the prices of not so interesting hats we ridiculously expensive $$$$$. I purchased a black hat (that will be used again for many beach outings) and once again Michael's to the rescue. I walked up and down the aisles, earlier in the week, and found just what I needed: roses, a horseshoe, and horse buttons. (See finished project below) I was excited to wear a hat, but as usual some what paranoid that I would look ridiculous. We were off to the Derby Party, which began at 4:30 p.m. It was a small gathering (about 30-40 people). We were the youngest there. We were also dressed the best, oh wait, I mean we were the most dressy, but in Derby fashion. We made a small bet on Dunkirk. We tried to buy several of the 50-1 odd horses in the "auction", but we're too cheap to pay more than $5 (now I wish we would have gone up to $20, as Mine that Bird went for $15 and yielded over $600). We stood and sang my "Old Kentucky Home". I had tears. We met the people at our table. A young couple from Plant City, Florida and two older gentlemen, Butch and Frank. It was great conversation, as Butch was originally from Georgetown, Kentucky (my former place of employment). I felt like I was at home again, as he asked me several trivia questions about Georgetown and wanted any updates on the area since he last visited. Butch, Frank, Sam and I discussed UK basketball (which was a thrill to have someone share in my excitement), our years at UK, our professions, Mike's pies (a UK football player/grad in Tampa who owns his own pie shop), and UK's campus. We also got four commemorative Derby glasses, two of which were from May 3, 2008 (our wedding day)!!! After watching the race, it was time for the hat competition. I was glad to hear this years prize was no longer a dozen roses, but one rose and a $25 Publix gift card (much more useful). There were about seven women and the winner was chosen by applause. To make a long story shorter, I won!!!! Thanks to the loud whooping of my husband, Frank, and Butch. However, I must admit I had thought my hat was the best. Overall, we had a good time at the party. Sam had never been to a Derby party and I had never been to one where hats were adorned, Mint Juleps were served, and bets were made. Overall, it was fun, as the Derby has taken on new meaning for me. I guess getting married on Derby Day and moving 700+/- miles from my home state is what it took for me to proudly say, "I love the Kentucky Derby and hope to celebrate every year." **Getting to sing "My Old Kentucky Home" was my favorite part. After, leaving the party with 4 commemorative Derby glasses, 3 UK Alumni note pads, 2 UK Alumni pens, 1 rose, $25 Publix gift card, and a UK Alumni magnet we were off to the beach to watch the sunset. It was a beautiful evening with a beautiful sunset and a crowded beach that stared as we passed (everyone wanted to see and read the hat).

Sunday, after church and lunch at a new restaurant (for us) "the LIME" we began painting our picture box. It looks good, so far, but unfortunately we haven't finished it. I will post pictures of the finished project.

We had a wonderful, relaxing anniversary weekend that was full of celebration and memories that will be cherished. Thanks for all of you who thought of us on our anniversary. We hope you come visit soon!!!


katy said...

You all are so precious and I am glad that you had a great anniversary weekend! :)

Sandy said...

Loved the pictures and What fun to read - sounds like a wonderful weekend. You two sure know how to celebrate an anniversary! So is the derby/UK alumni party an annual gig?

agcoats said...

Thanks so much for sharing. Sounds like you had a wonderful anniversary! Miss you.

Stephanie said...

Look at you in your super cute hat--it really is a great hat design! :-) I love how creative the two of you are with your photo box. And I am relieved that other people also have 'senior moments' with keys, because I certainly do. That was a riot! :-D