Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Our First Anniversary : Let's Sail Away Together

Hello, world! We’ve made our big move to New Jersey and there’s so much to catch up on! The hubs was stolen away soon after we arrived, kidnapped to Rhode Island for the past nine days while I have been living in an empty apartment with nothing but one suitcase of clothes, an uncomfortable air mattress and two confused pups. No TV, no internet. Just my iPhone and skyrocketing data charges. Thankfully today our apartment finally got hooked up to the world wide web. But before I fill you in on everything that has happened since we packed up and left Florida, I want to share a few more stories from our St. Pete days… Starting with how G and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary!

Right after we got married and moved across the country, the hubby and I thought it would be wonderful to take a cruise for our one-year anniversary, since it is so easy to do so when you live in Florida. But we didn’t start planning or budgeting for such an excursion and before we knew it our first year was almost up! Having just returned from a long, expensive California trip in February and March and with our big Jersey move on the horizon, we decided it would be more practical to plan a low-key staycation. G took two days off work—Monday, May 18, our actual anniversary, as well as the following day—for us to celebrate.

On May 18, we started the day with a delicious at-home brunch. G made a chicken sausage and veggie frittata and we toasted to each other with mimosas in our hand-painted lavender wedding flutes

We then exchanged gifts. 

The traditional theme for a first wedding anniversary is paper, which I gave the hubs a heads-up on, just in case he wasn’t aware. (He wasn’t.) While we have two beautiful wedding albums (including this Shutterfly album), we didn’t have any of our wedding photos hanging on the walls in our home. Not even any in tabletop frames! So I printed out a bunch of my fave shots and placed them in three collage-style frames that have a beachy, rustic vibe—a perfect fit for the style of our wedding. For one of the frames I calligraphed part of the lyrics to our last dance song, Sara Bareilles’ “I Choose You.” I also finally put the frames from our wedding to good use, swapping out the Instagram sign and escort/favor table signage for photos of us.

I was nervous what G would think of my gift, since it was more of a gift for our home than just for him, but he loved all the frames. And when he unwrapped the one with the calligraphed lyrics, he exclaimed, “Whoa!” And then, a few seconds later after reading the words, timidly asked, “This is our wedding song, right?” Haha. Yes, honey. Our last dance song. Men.

G, on the other hand, did get me more personal presents, just for me: a luxe leather clutch to hold my pens and a chartreuse zippered leather journal (paper!) that says "winks & whims" for my calligraphy, a summery coral-and-turquoise necklace, and a beautiful lavender-scented candle, since one of our wedding colors and flowers was lavender. All so very thoughtful!

We relaxed together for a bit before getting ready for the evening, which started with a rooftop drink at The Canopy and then popping over to Annata to grab a charcuterie plate to-go and another glass of wine while we waited. Of course, the service there is always impeccable so one glass of wine at the bar turned into receiving a sample of another wine, an amuse bouche and, when they learned we were celebrating our anniversary, complimentary glasses of bubbly. 

We would have loved to stay at Annata longer but, alas, we had to guzzle and run to meet up with the night’s main event: a sunset sail on Tampa Bay.

I had never been sailing before, and neither had G, but being in the Coast Guard has kind of made him lose appreciation for the novelty of boating. Whenever I suggested a sailing cruise in San Diego he balked, saying “been there, done that.” Fortunately I was able to convince him to do it for our anniversary, and it didn’t hurt that I presented him with a killer deal with Simple Sailing on LivingSocial. While there was a possibility of having two other couples join us on the sail, we lucked out—we had the boat all to ourselves. Three cheers for celebrating on a quiet Monday!

The views from the boat were gorgeous and the sail was calm, peaceful and romantic, even though we did chat it up with Captain Scott quite a bit. During our three-hour cruise, we sipped bubbly, nibbled on our charcuterie, helped pull the lines to let the sail in and out, and snuggled on the bow, our feet dangling just above the water. A pod of dolphins even swam up next to us a few times to say hello, which was a truly special sight. We then watched the sun set, dipping below the St. Petersburg skyline, before turning back to shore. It was a magical evening.

(Gratuitous sailing and sunset photos ahead!)

After our sail, the hubs and I walked back to Beach Drive for a late dinner at one of our favorite St. Petersburg restaurants, Cassis American Brasserie. I had the herb-crusted grouper, G chose the sea scallops, and we shared a basket of fries because they are too good not to. We sat outside, enjoyed the almost-summer air and talked about our time on the water.

With (sadly) no room left for dessert, we headed home full and happy. But don’t worry, we had our fill of sweets on day two! Stay tuned… (and, as always, thanks for reading!)

Update: Here's the link to the Day 2 recap.

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