A long time ago, a married couple told us that they go away at the beginning of every year to thank God for and celebrate the past year, and plan and pray for the upcoming year. Last year, we tried to do a “retreat at home”, and it went something like this:
Sleep in until 10 am. Eat breakfast. Read the Bible. Answer a phone call. Wash dishes. Have couple time to chat. Lunch. Nap. Answer another phone call. Get stressed about work. Clean the kitchen. Eat dinner. Talk on the phone. Clean the kitchen.
Needless to say, it was only mildly retreat-like. So this year, part of my Christmas present was that Varun would plan our weekend away. *Note: this was our first hotel-stay (not at a dingy airport motel) since our honeymoon!*
I had NO idea where we were going and was rather impressed at Varun’s thorough planning and secret-keeping skills.
We arrived in a small town of about 25,000 people and couldn’t believe how quaint everything was. (Obviously, we have become city-slickers). We ate our packed lunch in the car and I initiated a game of tic-tac-toe on the icy windshield. Varun told me on no uncertain terms to prepare to be beaten.
Here is our Hotel. (I know, right?) I was shocked and slightly amazed too!
We spent time napping, reflecting, praying and discussing. We even came up with a (pending) family mission statement. There was also organic beer to be drunk and lots of cookies and chips. At dinner time, I had the fabulous idea to order in, seeing as it was snowing, we were curled up on the couch and we were on vacation. However, apparently when your hotel is on a “rural route” and it’s blizzarding, people don’t deliver anything. After calling every restaurant in town, we tried for fast-food pizza.
When I called to order, a man with a thick Punjabi accent answered the phone and I jokingly mouthed to Varun that I was skeptical about Indians making pizza. After a humorous exchange with the proprietor, he “begged” me to go and pick up the pizza and get a “very big discount”. Hungry and amused, we began driving. (Snow storms make you remember all kinds of things on your List of Car Stuff To Do: 1. Fix the broken windshield wiper 2. Get wiper fluid*).
As we drove, Varun began postulating how many Indians lived in this town. The owner of Pizza Depot, it would seem, was also interested in this fact as he was beyond excited to see Varun. He looked to me, looked to Varun, looked back to me and said, “But who was on the phone?!” Varun explained our life story. They exchanged family names, birth place and realized they were from a similar region. Ramesh, the pizza guy, pulled out a deck of cards and began showing us card tricks. We were clearly the only customers they had had all night and his kids eagerly put their jackets on to go home, but also watched his tricks in amusement. By the time we got in the car, we had a new friend, cold pizza and an invitation to visit whenever we’re in town so that his daughters-in-law can “teach” me how to be Indian.
Excited to explore all the hotel had to offer, we went to the pool/sauna. Somehow we had the bright idea to go in the sauna until we were too hot and then lounge in the hot tub. For Varun, this was a lovley experience in being hot. For me, it was a recipe for Nearly Passing Out on the Edge of the Hot Tub.
I love this guy!
*About the windshield wiper fluid. We have had our car for 1.5 years. This weekend we had the following conversation:
Varun: So, when was the last time you added fluid to the wipers?
Me: Oh, I meant to ask you that. Wait…
Varun: If you haven’t…
Me: And I haven’t…What is coming out of there? Is it just water? Cuz that would explain a lot.
Varun: Maybe they do it when you have an oil change?
Me: We are terrible at being grown-ups.