Come along on our 15th wedding anniversary get-away

Editor’s Note: This is a corollary blog to accompany my column about how our marriage works after 15 years. Please read the other story too — preferably first.

Our wedding anniversary hits during a month with three family birthdays. We usually do not celebrate this date other than to literally pat each other on the back and say “Happy Anniversary.” We do try to at least celebrate the five-year marks with a little more oomph!

The "cool corner suite" at the W. Notice the teal -- an odd choice but somehow it works.

Our suite at the W. Notice the satin teal duvet -- an odd touch but somehow it works!

For our 5th anniversary we went to New Orleans for a few days. We didn’t have kids yet, and we had a fantastic time in the Big Easy. For our 10th anniversary, we had two kids. Rose was 4 and Walsh was almost 2. My parents babysat the kids so we could take a four-night cruise to Mexico. We hadn’t been alone in four years! That was fantastic.

We didn’t have time (nor did we want to spend a crazy amount of money) to take a trip for our 15th wedding anniversary, but Michael still wanted to make it special.

Michael secretly planned an entire 24 hours away from the kids. I didn’t know the destinations or activities. I was told to bring a dressy outfit, casual day outfit and a swimsuit. He hired two babysitters, and we left Friday afternoon.

First stop – the car wash. I couldn’t figure out why this stop was necessary, but then I was glad he made us. He took me to the new W Downtown Hotel and Residences, where of course they valet park. (Why won’t the people in this town let you park your embarrassing car all alone!) The hotel was spectacular and the staff treated you like a star.

Michael sent roses to the restaurant to surprise me!

Michael sent roses to the restaurant to surprise me!

He booked the “Cool Corner Suite.” ( I believe that was what the staff called it.) Two sides of the suite were windows so you had an amazing view of Atlanta. The décor was funky – plum walls with teal shiny accents, L-shaped couch, faux mink blanket on the bed.

We went for drinks in the hotel at The Drinkshop. We had read the review of the bar in the AJC back in January and Michael remembered I wanted to go there.  It didn’t disappoint. (You can’t take photos in there.)

We took a cab to Ray’s In The City where Michael had sent roses  to be waiting at our table. I pretty much told everyone we met that we were celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary, including our waiter. After dinner, the waiter brought us champagne and the flourless chocolate torte on the house as an anniversary present.  Both were excellent.

We took a cab back to the hotel and actually took a break in the room. We were so full (and I guess old!) we needed to rest. Then we headed back down to the Drinkshop for more cocktails.

It was hopping by this time. They had a DJ who was spinning some surprisingly old tunes. I talked to him as we were leaving, and it turns out he grew up in Gwinnett too and use to roller skate at the same place I did as a kid! (Michael is always aggravated by my ability to find people from Gwinnett.) I also told this waitress that we were celebrating our anniversary, and they surprised with a round a free drinks!

A hearty breakfast at the Thumbs Up Diner. My plate is in the back.

A hearty breakfast at the Thumbs Up Diner. My plate is in the back.

The next day we got up to work out. I didn’t bring tennis shoes but had my swimsuit. I went to swim on their rooftop heated pool. It wasn’t heated enough at 9 a.m.  So I headed back the room. However, I didn’t take the right key, and I was locked out of our room and the gym. I called downstairs to get someone to let me in.  I waited in the hallway in a wet bathing suit and towel, and eventually a slightly suspicious worker let me in. (Really, how many people are breaking into hotel rooms at 9 a.m. in wet swimsuit and a W towel?) (No photo available of me locked out!)

Michael had a file of restaurant reviews and activities that he printed off of Access Atlanta. We went to brunch at the Thumbs Up diner on Edgewood Ave., and it was fantastic!

Then we went to the Margaret Mitchell House off of Peachtree St. I grew up in

Michael at the Margaret Mitchell House.

Michael at the Margaret Mitchell House.

Atlanta but had never visited the house. The tour guide told us lots of amazing facts I had never heard about Margaret Mitchell and “Gone With the Wind.” There is also a “Gone With the Wind” museum behind the house. I loved all the scathing letters from Margaret Mitchell yelling at the producers of the movie about how they were screwing things up!

And then it was back to reality. Our house still stood. The children were clean and fed. The babysitters had done a great job, and we were greeted by lovely little squeals and hugs.

How do you celebrate your anniversaries? Are you patting each other on the back or making a big deal of it?

Margaret Mitchell's desk at The Atlanta Journal.

Margaret Mitchell's desk at The Atlanta Journal.

(One bonus shot that I just liked. This was Margaret Mitchell’s desk when she was a reporter for The Atlanta Journal. They said she went to interview a woman who has just returned from Europe about ladies’ hemlines. The woman apparently witnessed Mussolini’s takover of Italy so Mitchell’s story turned into an expose on the Facist takover of Italy!)

11 comments Add your comment

[...] Editor’s Note: There is a corollary blog below about our anniversary get-away — includin… [...]


April 13th, 2009
4:10 pm

I am trying to see if my comment will post. We had big travel plans for our 25th anniversary but ended up putting our dear Ole Yellar down, a 14 year old Labrador Retriever. He was so sick and I could not leave him home with the kids as we were all a wreck. I am treating myself to a trip to Montana for my 50th birthday, as it is the last of 50 states that I have not yet visited!


April 13th, 2009
4:11 pm

I am now finding this interesting, as it appears my comment did post and I am MAJOR computer challenged…must be a stroke of luck!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

April 13th, 2009
4:40 pm

I’m pulling it up every time and from all the different links so I’m not sure what problem people are having — could they not read it or not post a comment — Last week I was seeing all the problems you guys were seeing so I’m not sure what’s going on or if it’s just a loading problem because of all the photos.


April 13th, 2009
6:34 pm

What a fun anniversary! I fantasize about my hubby planning an entire event for us. I always do all of the planning. For our 5 year anniversary he got me diamond earrings. We have not had a “childless” trip yet. We are talking about going somewhere really special for our 10 year, in 3 years. It will take that long to save up the money! : )


April 13th, 2009
7:17 pm

Congratulations on your anniversary! We celebrated our 15th last September. I always told my husband for our 15th Anniversary, I wanted to go to Paris. In 2007 we adopted our children and Paris went by the wayside (for now). I figured for the next few years, the closest I’m going to get to Paris is at Epcot in Disney World. So, we’ll take the kids there and I’ll pretend I’m in France.


April 13th, 2009
7:21 pm

What a self absorbed, train wreck! The AJC cuts Jim Wooten but leaves this crap? yea, good luck with that!


April 13th, 2009
8:10 pm

I do not recall any memorable trips from my 5 years of marriage…the kids were too little and we had less money.

The current person and I are in the ‘dating’ stage — at least we say we are….The big question has been is it ’serious’. Yes we date only each other. We have some similar interests, and yet..

Like you said in Mayo/Mustard….He is athletic, I am a book worm. I want a hardback, he has a ‘reader’. I have a 19″ CRCT and he has a 17″ Flat pannel. ( I do have the Flat Screen TV and DVD player). I was out scouting Target for the Hannah Montana CD (for the kids) and he was getting it for them on iTunes.

In fact, most people don’t ‘get what you see in him” Still when we have broken up it is not longer than 3 months, and usually less than 3 weeks. We call each other every few days while were ‘broken up’ and finally admit we miss the other. The last few ‘dates’ we have agreed we are content.

He does not comment on my ‘hints’ of marriage. He talks about possibly having a home together in the ‘future’ but does not define he word. He has things he wants to work on before owning a house, I am ready to buy one tomorrow (except for the mortgage loan paperwork!).

Does that make us serious?

I have received exactly 3 roses in as many years. A host of help on upgrading my computer, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen when I spout about the ‘ex’, advice on finances, support on what to do about children and aging parents. He still remembers our first date.

He is in many ways my best friend.

Does that make us serious?

However, to my knowledge we have never ever marked the anniversary of our dating. I seriously wonder if we did marry if we would do more than a pat on the back to mark the date each year. However, if we did, I know we would spend time doing the give and take that has marked our relationship thus far.

Did I get to mushy?

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

April 13th, 2009
8:27 pm

That was mushy — well said!


April 14th, 2009
10:19 am

My husband and I usually just exchange cards and go out to eat on our anniversary. We did go away for a weekend on our 10th and also our 14. We didn’t go anywhere too fancy or spend a whole lot of money. It was so nice to get away and be together.

For our 10th, we went and stayed at the Chattanooga Choo Choo and slept in a rail car. There are lots of things to do in the city.

For our 14th, we decided to go to the Gatlinburg area. We hiked, went to Cades Cove, drove around in Cataloochee (until we hit a road closed sign). Lots of fun!


April 14th, 2009
10:50 am

For our 10th anniversary it was also my wife’s 40th birthday. Trying to balance both delicately I surprised her with a night out for her and several of her closest friends – a girl’s night out! I had all of her friends meet us (it was a surprise for her) at the Westin Hotel at Perimeter Mall; there, a limo picked all the girls up and took them to the Buckhead Diner for dinner, my treat. Then, after dinner, I have no idea what they did or where they went, but the story is they ALL had a great time – again, my treat. They all spent the night at the Westin (still my treat). I kept the kids (ages 3 and 1 – we went to Chuck E Cheese!). My birthday was the next day, when I turned 40. She got me a big screen TV!

Fast forward 15 years to our 25th anniversary when we were both turning 55. I had planned to take her to Paris, but her company was going through a buyout and they would not let her take vacation! She was even planning to retire, but they still would not let her off (she eventually retired 5 months later)! So, my romantic plans of a 25th anniversary in the “City of Lights” was kaput! She still has not lived that one down – and we still have not been to Paris – she says we can go anytime – I say you are only married once for 25 years! Oh well – so much for trying to add additional romance to our lives!