Jumping out of order with my "flashbacks" seems fitting, since yesterday was another anniversary for us - 5 years ago, Ed and I met for the first time! I'm sure I've shared this story before (I love our meeting story), but basically, I'd just come back from a demoralizing 20 mile run (8+ hours, 95 degrees, me carrying pepper spray the entire time convinced I was about to be eaten by a mountain lion at any minute), and the graduate housing RA told me that there was a new person moving into the apartment below mine - would I like to meet him? Despite being very hot and very sweaty, I said sure, and was introduced to Ed. He stopped to chat (flirt) while his brother continued to move his heavy furniture, and finally asked if I'd want to go for a run together sometime (the running outfit made this a pretty safe request). Of course I said yes, gave him my number on a post it (that we still have to this day), and a week later took him on a crazy 7 mile run through the redwoods.
And that was it. We've spent close to every day together ever since, and it keeps on getting better :).
So, let's rewind to June 27th. Picture a young couple, their furniture gone from their home, having just returned from 2 nights of backpacking. This is their last taste of California, before they head to this:
If you can put yourself in their shoes, you can understanding how wonderfully excited they would be to be staying in such an amazing place.
In true to form fashion, we arrived early so that we could go on a wonderful trail run before check in. Ed left the planning up to me, which was good and bad. The bad part was that one of my favorite trails (troop 80) was closed, so it knocked out a whole bunch of my favorite loops. The good part was that we ended up doing an amazing loop I never would have otherwise chosen that gave us the perfect goodbye taste of Mt Tam.
We began by heading down the Ocean View trail, one I apparently had never taken Ed on that is actually one of my favorites. I couldn't believe how much fun it was running down this trail. It brought back so many fun memories of running this trail in college, back when trail running was brand new and surprisingly amazing at every step.
If I could only run one trail for the rest of my life, single track redwoods might just have to be it.
In what seemed like next to no time, we hit the bottom of the valley and entered Muir Woods, complete with lots and lots of tourists.
However, our time on the valley floor was all to short.
In next to no time, we were climbing rapidly, at which point I started to question my loop choice quite seriously.
Now, don't get me wrong, it was beautiful. Jaw droopingly, I miss those redwoods so much I could cry right now, beautiful. It was also crazy steep. I may have made Ed stop and pose for pictures so I could catch my breath.
I made Ed pause with the switchbacks because it was so exciting to hit a less steep part of the trail.
Finally, we hit the pan toll sign, and I knew we were getting close to the end of this slogging uphill, which made me very excited.
Once we got there, we stopped, we rested, drank water, and, if I''m not mistaken, ate some cookies we'd packed.
Then, we were back on the trails, Matt Davis, to be precise. I was worried, because in my memory Matt Davis was full of exposed uphill, and I was so not ready for that, after 30+ miles of backpacking only two days before.
But, since there really wasn't any other choice, we kept going.
And, I am so, so thankful we did. Because, what I did forget was that this part of Matt Davis was actually quite flat and/or downhill, and full of spectacular views.
Seeing San Francisco from this vantage is one of my favorites.
And, the Pacific Ocean from here is even better. I have to admit, looking at these pictures right now, when I feel so far away from California, almost makes me a little teary. I cannot wait to make another visit sometime soon.
I know I said redwood single track was my favorite, but this comes a close second.
We grabbed a quick "us" picture, to commemorate our anniversary, as we came to the close of our trail.
Finally, with one last glance at the view, we headed downward and we were back at the inn, done.
After such a wonderful time on the trails, it was equally wonderful to check into our room and get cleaned up.
We promptly popped open our bottle of champagne and spent a ridiculously relaxed afternoon in our room, drinking bubbly, reading, and taking in the spectacular view.
At around 6ish, we headed up to the deck for dinner, a place we've rated many times before.
Here, Ed surprised me with my anniversary gift - a bottle of August Briggs Cabernet Sauvignon.
(we were also given complimentary glasses of champagne to celebrate our anniversary)
While it might look like just another bottle to most, it was the wine we bought on our first "anniversary" (dating, not marriage). After we bought it, I said we should save it for the day we got engaged (I was very, very optimistic about our relationship, even at that point!). Needless to say, after Ed proposed on Mt Tam, back on May 8th, 2009, Ed pulled out that bottle at dinner right there at this table.
So, when the waiter showed up not long after we ordered with that bottle, I didn't know what to think! I was so surprised, that it took me a few moments to put everything together. Finally I realized that Ed had somehow managed to buy that same wine, hide it among our dwindling possessions, and surprise me here with it tonight.
We asked the waiter to take our picture - it was our anniversary after all!
Dinner was lovely, as always. We started with a yummy goat cheese salad.
While Ed got a gingered carrot soup that was heavenly.
For the main course, I had a filet that was lovely,
While Ed had Salmon.
And, throughout the whole meal, we had this view to keep us company.
For dessert, we had the molten chocolate cake with ice cream that was so, so delicious.
At about this point, we started crossing the threshold from crisp to downright cold, so we moved inside to have our second dessert - lemon sorbet with a gingersnap.
The perfect end to the perfect evening.
While celebrating at home last year was lovely, this was a beyond perfect way to celebrate our marriage. Especially since we still had a whole nother day to celebrate yet to come.