Top Thirteen: Anniversary Trips!

If you logged on last Wednesday, then you learned a bit about our anniversary trips.  We don’t always get to take them on the actual day, but we try to get close.  We got the idea when we were in graduate school and had zero money.  I mean it.  At the time, we were living in Iowa and we thought, “Hey, let’s go somewhere close and try to do as much as we can as inexpensively as possible.  Thus, the “anniversary trips” to a different state each year were born.  We’ve seen a lot of country and made three exceptions to travel to Europe.  Every year, we get stoked about the trip.  Without further ado, here are your…


1.  South Dakota (1997).  We figured we might as well head west when we lived that close.  So, we loaded up the ’91 Ford Probe (don’t be jealous) and saw some beautiful countryside.  We made a quick pit stop at the Corn Palace which was totally not worth the hype.  But, we can now say we’ve been there.  Our ultimate destination was Mt. Rushmore, the Black Hills and the Badlands.  All I can say is wow.  If you call yourself American, this is a must-see.  In fact, when we saw it for the first time, we both commented that we’d have to come back someday when we had kids.  Someday, we’ll get them there.  It was awesome.

2.  Tennessee (1998).  We had just moved to Indiana after graduating with our master’s degrees and TN was a pretty short drive.  We spent a little time in Memphis, saw Graceland and all things Elvis, Sun Records and even visited my sorority’s national headquarters, Chi Omega.   In Nashville, we enjoyed driving around Vanderbilt, basking in the history at Ryman Auditorium and popping in at the state capitol to see the governor…really!

3.  Ohio (1999).  For year three, we started off the trip at King’s Island with our church youth group riding roller coasters.  That Son of Beast, the old-school wooden roller coaster – was a teeth jiggler.  We rode it three times!  Then, it was off to Dresden to make some Longaberger baskets and tour the headquarters, then Canton to the Football Hall of Fame and up to Cincinnati where we discovered the sweetest little winery.

4.  Italy (2000).  We had the opportunity to travel to Italy for two weeks with our church youth group and we decided why not?  While we were there we renewed our wedding vows in St. Peter’s Square with three other couples from the trip.  As I think about that it still brings a tear to my eye.  That was an amazing day.

5.  California (2001).  When I was six months pregnant with Will, we took an early trip to northern California and enjoyed Napa and Sonoma.  Actually, Scott enjoyed all that wine, I just sniffed it.  When we go back I will not be with child!  Our local Indiana mom and pop wine store guy gave us a list of must-do wineries – he didn’t miss on a single one.  We saw Golden Gate, enjoyed a quiet morning in Muir Woods, rode the trolley, toured Alcatraz and enjoyed some delicious fish sandwiches at Fisherman’s Wharf.  I have so many good photos from that “babymoon” 🙂

6.  Italy (2002).  Again came the opportunity to head back to Italy and we just couldn’t resist.  Same great priest, same fun youth group, same wedding vow renewal…but this time it was in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica.  Awesome!!

7.  Florida (2003).  When my brother graduated from Florida, we attended his graduation and then he and my parents joined us for our anniversary trip.  We headed to Daytona Beach – Will’s first ocean experience! – and then to the mouse that eats money in Orlando.  My favorite picture of Will and Daniel is still the one of them watching the Disney parade with Will perched atop Daniel’s shoulders.  We made some sweet memories.  Crazy to think how much life has changed since then.

8.  Indiana (2004). About six months after John Paul was born, we loaded up the car and headed north, back to our former state of residence and stayed with our old neighbors.  We had so many late nights, ate so many good meals and saw so many dear friends.  It is a divine gift to be in a neighborhood as awesome as Springdale Farms.  We finally got that gift again when we moved last summer.  Oh, how we loved being ‘back home in Indiana’ again 🙂

9.  New York (2005).  For this anniversary, we left the kids (back then we had 3) with my parents and jet setted up to NYC.  Scott’s brother, Cory, and his wife, Jennifer, were living and working there.  I think I was five or so months pregnant with Anna-Laura.  We saw all the big NYC icons, but mostly just enjoyed some couple time with one another.  It was fantastic being with people who knew where everything was.  By the end of the trip all four of us had spent all our money and we had to pool all we had just to buy bagels on Sunday morning!

10.  California (2006).  Ok, you caught me.  We did double dip in Cali, but hey, it’s a big state.  This time we went to San Diego over the Christmas break.  We watched the Ags run out of time in the Holiday Bowl.  Bummer.  But, once we got that sadness out of our system, we enjoyed the lovely weather, fantastic eats and even met up with some of my parents’ friends who hadn’t seen me since I was 5!

11.  Texas (2007).  Clare’s month-early arrival threw us all for a loop.  I’m pretty sure this anniversary was our shortest jaunt.  It was a lovely dinner at Eddie V’s in Austin with a four-week old baby sound asleep in my arms 🙂

12.  Arkansas (2008).  Of all the trips we’ve taken with the kids, I’m going to have to say this one is, hands down, the most memorable.  We rented a condo just outside of Hot Springs and had so much fun we could hardly contain ourselves.  Fishing, horseback riding, putt-putting, diamond digging, botanical garden touring and seeing old college friends at Camp Ozark made for a really wonderful week.  Some may wonder why Arkansas.  It was absolutely beautiful.  I would totally recommend it for any family vacation!  You can read about it here.

13.  France / Italy (2009).  Scott traveled to Europe on business last spring.  We made the most of the opportunity and I joined him on the tail end of his business trip and we had the most romantic, amazing, awesome week in France.  How could you not, right?  In hindsight, I think God gave us that week to prepare us for the whirlwind of 2009 and 2010.  It’s the trip we often refer to as the one where we fell in love again.  I surely love that man.  You can read about the start of the trip here.

14.  ???  You’ll have to check in on July 31 to see where we’re going this year!

1 Comment

  1. Verdina Louisa on July 28, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    The suspense is killing me… and I'm sure you have wonderful journal entries for each trip. They can be your second book (after the saga of Luke).

    May God continue to bless you with His love!

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