Monday, November 28, 2011

More wine? But of course.

Ahhhh...the old weekend getaway.

Can't come soon enough, then it passes too quickly.

My wife and I (Shall I call her "Ms. Shallow Pond?" Nope.) get some time away about as often as Rick Perry says, "Gull durn it, maybe I am dumber than an Easter basket full of skin tags," so it was really nice to venture out to La Conner, Washington Saturday.

Nestled among the Skagit Valley's muddy, yet organically fragrant tulip fields, La Conner offers everything a stereotypical Northwest couple desires, regardless of sexual orientation. If you fancy high-waisted denim, antiquing (used as a verb) and enough Gortex to withstand temperatures between forty and forty-five degrees, this hamlet can be your adult bouncy house.

The trip was arranged by my wife as a gift for my birthday last August. She purchased a package through the patron saint of one-offs, Groupon, for one night's stay, a bucket o' champagne, a "couple's massage," a wine and cheese reception and continental breakfast in the morning.

Pretty decent, no?

We arrived with little time to spare prior to our scheduled couple's massage. I'm not going to lie; since it hadn't yet been explained to me, this term could have encompassed any number of activities:

1) Is the couple required to hold hands or maintain contact between any other body parts to stay true to the massage's definition?

2) Does one masseuse masterfully work on two people simultaneously, like a musculoskeletal Keith Moon?

3) Is the couple merely given a five-minute tutorial and left alone in a wicker hammock, holding half a tub of "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" and a remote? "You can start Blue Lagoon: The Director's Cut any time you folks are ready. Bye now," she says as her butt length braid disappears out the curtained French door.

I hadn't the answers. Soon enough, however, we each were comfortably embedded in separate massage tables, attended by our own masters of relaxation. Even as I type this, not until tomorrow afternoon will my gluteal muscles attain their original clinched state.

Afterward, we poured ourselves downstairs to the lobby for the wine and cheese reception. Free events such as these tend to assume an Eastern Block vibe with an air of desperation. Although no one spoke, I could read on each person's face his or her desire to consume as much free cheap-ish wine and stale-ish crackers before the 7 PM cut-off as their gullets could hold.

My bride and I fared well.

We ambled across the street to a brew pub to actually pay for some dinner, sat at the bar and met some interesting locals, one of whom played quarterback for the University of Mississippi during the 1970s. I'm afraid that's two less quality hours my wife and I will have spent together when it's all tallied up.

And I know this sounds weird, but I got his phone number.

We returned to our room, collapsed onto the king-sized bed and awoke the next morning to the sound of flushing toilets and wheeled suitcases overhead. Dread not, however. A continental breakfast awaited, and it, too...was absolutely free.

Again, we entered a room where people behaved as if the complimentary fare could be removed without notice, and the food, while quite decent, had similar Eastern Block-type attributes to the wine and cheese soiree.

The kiwi slices still contained skin and no one knew how to eat them. Some tried; all failed. Stacks of ham and cheese filled a plate. After taking a few slices, I realized the only bread with which to eat them was pumpkin spice.

As we drove back to Seattle through a driving rainstorm, we vowed to spend more time together—you know, more date nights. Sometimes, we forget what life was like before two powerful life forces entered our universe and dared us to make a go of it.

And although we do lose track frequently, it does appear that...we're making a good go of it.

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