Sixteen years ago today I stepped onto an airplane with Pretty to begin a spontaneous first trip to Cancun, Mexico. I had no way of knowing the day would be the beginning of the most important adventure of my life because at that moment I was more nervous than I possibly had ever been in my previous fifty-four years. Petrified.
First of all, I never did anything spur-of-the-moment and this trip had been planned for exactly two days. Secondly, I had taken off work days during the week to make the trip – I rarely took days off from work. And third, I wanted to impress Pretty with my spontaneity and reckless abandon because I thought I needed all the help I could get to change our fledgling romance into a full-bloomed happening.
As we landed in Atlanta in the early morning, I was disappointed to see the airport bar didn’t open until 9 o’clock, but I made sure we waited in chairs that faced the bar so that I would be the first person to race in for a screwdriver when the gate was raised. I needed fortifying.
When we touched down in Cancun, I had been fortified again by the stewardess who served spirits in the air; my spirits were high by the time we landed. Pretty, on the other hand, remained loyal to her Diet Cokes.
The Cancun trip was memorable for more reasons than I can discuss in this PG blog, but one of Pretty’s favorite stories from the trip was our floating in an inner tube down a section of river beside one of the tourist stops we made on a guided tour outside Cancun. Once again, I had been fortified by tequila shots I happily shared with our waiter at lunch and agreed to dash over to wait in line for our turn to hop into a shiny black inner tube with Pretty to join scores of other fun-loving gringos enjoying the sun as they leisurely hand-paddled their make-believe boats down the beautiful, calm river.
Unfortunately, I had forgotten to mention my water phobia to Pretty who was quite taken aback when I sat frozen on the top of the tube and was unable to help paddle it. The tequila shots were no match for my fear of falling out of the tube into the river.
Gone was any more pretense of the reckless adventurer – my true sober self revealed itself to Pretty when she had to jump out of the tube and swim to shore – pulling the tube and me along with her. She always laughs when she tells this story.
We both loved the trip, and we both agree it was one of the most fun times we’ve had. It was the beginning of an amazing life that continues to produce laughter on a daily basis. We are lucky, and we know it.
So this is an anniversary we can celebrate today, but we will also celebrate our first anniversary on April 24th, the day we legally married in 2016.
Why not celebrate both?
Thank you, Pretty. Where you lead, I will follow…if you need me to be with you, I will be there.
having dinner in Cancun – February 09, 2001