It just came to our attention this weekend, that Gizmo Guy and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary in May. With everything that’s been going on lately, it managed to slip past both of us.

When we celebrated our first anniversary (with a chiming mantel clock I still prize), we said that for our 25th, we’d buy ourselves a Grandfather clock. (I’m a clock collector, as I’ve blogged about before.) We priced a few grandfather clocks, and though they are indeed lovely, the ones I like cost over $3,000 and frankly I couldn’t justify spending that type of money. Instead we spent a weekend (with Curly tagging along) in Ottawa – not exactly romantic, sharing a hotel room with a 12 year old on your anniversary. (We didn’t want to leave him home alone in then-17 year old Guitar Hero’s care and we had no one else we could ask. And no, there was no snow there in May, this shot is from another one of our trips there during Winterfest where you can skate up the Rideau Canal for miles.)

But this year … well, this anniversary we want to do up a bit better. Among our friends who married at about the same time – right out of college – we are the only couple still together. None of the others made it even ten years. Add to that, we’re remembering friends who were our age who have lost their battles with cancer. So we both wonder if we’ll be around to celebrate #40. (Maudlin thinking, but it is in the back of both of our minds.)

We discussed taking another trip, but figured we’d have to drive rather than fly. And Gizmo Guy has let his passport lapse, so we can’t head across the border. So we’re left with Ottawa again, or Montreal, (each a five hour drive) or Quebec City (slightly over eight hours), all places we’ve been multiple times before. And frankly, there are only so many times you can visit the National Art Gallery or the Canadian Parliament, or Notre Dame and Old Montreal, or ride the funicular between Lower Quebec City and the upper part before you shrug and say “yeah, been there, done that, I’m bored.” (Terrible because they’re all lovely cities, and there are lots of things to do for the average tourist.)

We both agree that our ideal vacation (within Canada) would be to head back to Banff, Alberta. But then you’re talking air fare and hotel bills, and car rental, which means you’re talking a minimum of $2,000 to $2,500. (Outside of Canada – England is top of the list, followed by a mid-winter visit to the British Virgin Islands. One of these years …)

So now we’re having to make a decision – should we be practical and just have an evening out – which would be completely forgettable since we do that fairly regularly. Should we do what we did for our 25th and go on an overnight/weekend trip to one of those three cities even though we figure we’d be bored, but would be easier on the pocketbook? (or do you have any suggestions for other towns within a day’s or so drive?) Or should we say, “Heck, how many times do you celebrate your 30th anniversary, and how many people ever make it this long? Let’s make it memorable” and spend our hard earned savings and book a flight to Banff? How do you fulfill your taste for champagne on a beer budget?

Needless to say, my conscience (and practical pocketbook) is at war with my romantic side.

The Cost of Romance
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6 thoughts on “The Cost of Romance

  • March 16, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Well, May is a month and a half away. How difficult would it be for Gizmo Guy to renew his passport? Not being familiar with Canadian passport rules. Please excuse my ignorance

  • March 16, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    We have a passport office in the next town over that is supposed to get it back to you within a couple weeks. Although when I had to renew mine for my trip to Dallas last year it took … 5 weeks I think it was. Of course, that was right as they changed the rules so they were really busy. But it can take up to four to six months. I’d hate to make reservations (especially a flight) and then not be able to go because the passport hadn’t arrived.

  • March 17, 2008 at 10:57 am

    I’m far too romantic to let my 30th go without intense fanfare. Heck, I have an anniversary scrapbook that commemorates each anniversary for its own charm and exquisiteness.

    I say, celebrate yourselves with gusto!

  • March 17, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    When I lived out your way you had to go to Scarborough to get a passport.

    I don’t know, my pocket book has been screaming at me lately.

    And you’ve just reminded me that I’m turning 30 next month.


  • March 17, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Amy, my pocketbook is whimpering just at buying the latest paperback.

    And you should hear me screaming, knowing that I’m old enough to be your MOTHER! AAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHH = Loudest scream evah!

  • March 19, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    I think you should go to a quiet dinner, take the vacation money and get the grandfather clock. 🙂

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