This year, a combination of two factors limited the way in which we could celebrate our anniversary. First, we didn’t have much extra cash. When some people say that, they’re trying to explain why they went on a ten-day rather than a two-week cruise. When I say it, I mean that I didn’t know whether I could afford a plastic ring from a vending machine. Second, we have our ten-month old, which means that we we couldn’t be away for very long. So I had to get creative. In the end, I managed to plan three inexpensive dates for us.
For our first date, we visited the observatory at Westmont College. On the way there, we went to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Montecito. I half expected to see Oprah or Steve Martin when we walked in. But to our surprise, not a single person was in the shop, let alone Lady O. The shop was closed. Still, the barista was nice enough to make us coffee anyway. We drank our coffees outside, enjoying the evening glow of downtown Montecito.
Those Christmas-tree lights in the background did their part to make up Montecito’s “evening glow.”
After we finished our coffee, we went to the observatory. We were able to see Saturn through the telescope, which was really cool. But it looked fake. It reminded me of the glow-in-the-dark sticker of Saturn that I had on my ceiling when I was a kid.
Just outside the observatory, there was a deck from which we could see over Montecito. When we were done looking at the stars and planets, we stood on the deck enjoying the view and the quietness of the evening. Then, you said, “This is all I need.” “What?” I replied, “an observatory?!” Then I said, pretending to be you: “All I need is a dog, a farmhouse, and an observatory and I’ll be happy.” You hit me and laughed, then said, “I don’t need anything! Just a dog, a farmhouse, an observatory, and this paddle ball! That’s all I need! . . . Actually, I meant that I only need a quiet and peaceful place to live, like this.”
We both really enjoyed this date. At this stage in our lives, we feel special any time we have a few hours alone and out of the house. Happy anniversary!