Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mystery Trip 2010

Wow! I have the best husband in the world. May 21st was our 5 year anniversary. When we got engaged Dave and I decided that instead of gifts every year on our anniversary we would take a trip somewhere together. No kids, just us. So this year Dave orchestrated this whole trip with out telling me anything. And I mean anything! I didn't know if I would need my passport, if we were flying somewhere, or even which state we would be going to. He simply said, "It's going to be hot so pack for that." So Friday May 21st, we dropped Emily off with some friends and headed south. Once we were on the road Dave handed me an envelope labeled "Day 1." Inside I found a letter explaining that we were headed to Tuscaloosa to walk down memory lane where we met, fell in love, and on the exact day 5 years earlier we said I Do. It was an awesome day. We started with lunch at Pepito's (and of course some margaritas because it's not Tuscaloosa unless you're drinking).

Then we headed to where it all started. The good ole' Bent Tree apartments.
Then we went to check in at the Hotel Capstone, where we stayed with all our family and friends the night before we were married . Across the street is the Crimson Tide practice facility. Of course we had to go take a peek!
Then we journeyed over to Calvary Baptist Church, where we said our vows. It was amazing how I could still remember the all the excitement I felt on the big day. Dave still gives me butterflies!

And what trip to Tuscaloosa would be complete without a trip to the stadium.

Then we stopped by the Phi Mu house which was sadly deserted for summer break. It just isn't the same without an endless flow of girls streaming in and out.

Then a brief sightseeing trip around campus. Starting with the quad.
And the President's Mansion where I had my bridal portraits done.

And Denny Chimes. Notice all the self-portraits. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

Then we went down to the river and skipped rocks. There are no pictures of this miserable event because my rocks failed to skip even once. So I guess you can say I simply threw rocks into the river. But from the campus side of the river you could see Cypress Inn, the restaurant where we had our rehearsal dinner.
So after some pool, darts, and beer at Dave's favorite bar, Will Hagan's...

We went to dinner at Cypress Inn. Yummy! We had great intentions of going down to the strip and hitting some of the old hot spots. However, after our earlier margaritas, a pitcher of beer (or 3) our quick stop at the hotel to change turned into an early bedtime. Oh, we're not as good as we once were!

Day 2 - New Orleans
Saturday morning Dave woke me up at 7am and said we had to be in the car by 7:30am to reach our next destination. Again, once we were in the car headed west he handed me envelope 2. This time the letter was a sweet reminiscence of our engagement 6 and a half years earlier. Then he wrote me a poem to propose, sadly this time there were no rhymes. We enjoyed a day walking down by the river and around the french market (I am currently enjoying a cup of coffee from Cafe du Monde that I bought there).
Again a self-portrait. We decided it was better than asking the guy sitting on the bench drinking a 40 at 1pm to take it for us.
This is Jackson square where Dave got down on one knee over 6 years ago. It was such a beautiful day.

I saw this shirt in a store window and it just screamed "Dave Chambless" but I couldn't convince him to buy it.

We had dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. It was probably the best food we had the whole trip. We started with a boiled shrimp appetizer that was seriously the best thing ever. So of course I bought some of the seasoning mix to fix at home. I'll let you know how it turns out. Then we went down to Bourbon street to listen to some good music.
This band was awesome. Oddly enough, Bourbon Street was far less appealing than either of us had remembered. We turned in a little after 1am and quickly went back to the hotel to take a hot shower and wash the stink off us!
Day 3 - Bright and early... and I do mean EARLY, we headed east. I thought I had it all figured out. Obviously this was a trip down memory lane and we had vacationed several times over the years in Destin or Gulf Shores so I knew that's where we were headed. Wrong. Envelope 3 had directions to Biloxi, MS. Someplace we had never been. We started with a day on the beach (which had no signs of any effects by the oil spill). And if you know my husband, you know that a day at the beach is no day at the beach! We bought a Frisbee, a football, and a badminton set. After I lost the first frisbee we went back and bought a second.

Dave's so cool, he walks on water! :)

Then about 1pm we headed to our hotel, the IP (Imperial Palace). This place was awesome! This was our view from our room on the 28th floor.

The rooftop pool had a giant TV outside. Dave was hooked!
We even watched the Laker game there poolside, just because we could!
After we knocked out the hotel buffet (which by the way, they lost money on us that night) we headed across town to the Beax Rivage to do some gambling.

It was a pretty awesome hotel too.
After gambling for 3 hours we cashed out ahead!
In case you can't see, that's $0.01 on the cash out slip. Actually, we were up like $5.60 and a free drink, but we played a penny slot and then cashed out of a nickle slot so we ended up with several tickets. This one just made for a good picture. Then we went back to our hotel and gambled until 2am. At 6:30 am Dave woke me up because we had to leave Biloxi by 7am. Really!?!?!?!? I do love that man.
Day 4 - Destin, FL. So I was right after all, just a day off. But the reason for our early morning departure was that Big Kahunas water park opened at 10am. And not one to miss a moment of fun Dave planned for us to be there when it opened. And in hindsight, that was a great idea! We had a blast! This was probably the most fun we had the whole trip. It was a Monday and the first weekday the park was open this season so there were not too many people there. We never waited more than 2 minutes for any ride.

Dave's favorite ride there was a new ride called the Honolulu Halfpipe. It shoots water out from the bottom at incredibly high pressure. Then you get a bogey board and jump in.
You get to ride it for as long as you can hold on...
But if the water catches the board just the wrong way, it will shoot you out the back of the wave! Good times! To put some perspective on how strong the water pressure was, I watched this thing send a 300 pound man flying out the back of the wave over and over again.
We stayed until just about an hour before the park closed. Then we headed to our hotel. Dave booked us a room at the Inn at Destin Harbor. It was amazing! The balcony overlooked the harbor so we were able to sit and watch the boats come in while we had a few drinks and got ready for dinner.

Because we were on the harbor, we were able to simply walk out the back door of the hotel and down the boardwalk to AJ's for dinner.
The nest morning was Day 5of our 5 year anniversary trip. Since I knew we were heading home Dave had a hard time surprising me, but since it was also my 28th birthday he wanted to do something special. So I still got an evelope with a birthday message and mimosas poolside with breakfast! We snuck in a quick trip to the beach before we flew home at the speed of light to see our precious baby girl. Walking in to her squeals of "Momma" and seeing her face light up was the best birthday gift ever! After 5 years of marriage I couldn't be happier! We have a beautiful baby girl, are more in love today than ever, and building our life around Christ! God willing, we will spend 50 more years together! Thanks Baby!