Twenty five years of wedded bliss. Or as close to bliss as anyone in a relationship for 25 years can muster : )
Our favorite toast when we're out with friends is, "To whores!" There's a funny story behind that, as you could probably guess, but I'm going to leave that out for now and just tell you right up front that I had no intention of toasting to our wonderful life together using that particular sentiment.
That toast aside, we've been talking for a year about how we wanted to celebrate this truly Herculean feat. I wanted to go to Hawaii. Doug wanted to take a cruise. In the end, we decided we didn't want to commit that kind of money. We were just about to book a room for a couple nights at our favorite hotel at the ocean when Doug turned to me and said, "You know, it wouldn't cost too much more to go to Vegas instead."
He was right--airfare and a nice hotel didn't cost much more than spending the same number of days at the ocean. However, as we all know, add in the ground transportation, baggage fees, higher end restaurants, show tickets, rental car, tips for everyone and his brother, and it's a little more expensive after all. But at some point we stopped tallying the cost and decided that after 25 years together we could just relax and enjoy the ride.
And that is exactly what we did.
Also, as everyone knows, as long as you're in Las Vegas, you're pretty much obliged to get married. Only we're already married. So we opted for a vow renewal. Which is odd because it seems like such a hokey, saccharine thing to do--it's really not in my character to buy into that sort of thing. But buy into it, I did!
All I was really looking for was a moment between my husband and me at a pretty outdoor location. I wanted to wear a lovely dress. I wanted a bouquet (which I didn't have in our original ceremony) and pictures by a professional photographer (another item we didn't have 25 years ago.)
I looked online at a dozen little chapels and called the wedding coordinators at a number of the larger hotels. I couldn't get a photographer without also paying for the clergy, the witnesses, changing room, certificate, keepsake silk flowers and the rest of the tacky Vegas wedding trappings. We even dropped in on one of the little chapels at the far end of the strip to see if they'd cut us a last minute bargain. When I told the woman what I wanted, the first question out of her mouth was, "Do you want Elvis to officiate?"
Not. Even. Close.
In the end, we decided that we'd dress nicely, I'd have a bouquet, we'd choose an outdoor location, spend a few moments alone together and take photos with our own digital camera.
Surprisingly, it was Doug who picked a romantic location. He chose the observation deck of the fake Eiffel Tower at night with all the twinkly lights below us. Unsurprisingly, his choice was at least 50% attributable to the 50% off coupon he had for the Eiffel Tower elevator . . .
Surrounded by a bunch of other tourists oohing and ahhing over the lights and the Bellagio fountain show across the street, Doug and I stood aside to talk to each other about the past 25 years, the accomplishments, the disappointments, the changes, the kids, the grandkids, and the future.
Yes, I cried. A little. Or whatever . . . And Doug gave me a lovely silver ring. As he put it on my hand, he got a twinkle in his eyes and said, "To whores!" And I could do nothing but laugh because that sense of humor is exactly the reason I married this wonderful man and have stuck with him through all the good, the bad, and the everything in between.
This is my favorite picture of our trip. We were at Red Rock Canyon. I'm telling Doug how to operate the camera ("No, Doug--tilt the camera down a little or it will cut me off!") and he's intentionally cropping my mouth out of the photo. God love that man! I sure do : )