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Another Year, Another…Romantic Getaway? » Jolana Malkston
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Jul 152015

Macho Guy and I celebrated another wedding anniversary this week. Well, maybe celebrated is too grandiose a word to describe how we marked it. We didn’t do a romantic getaway, as is our wont. It isn’t as if we’ve done it all. We haven’t.

We had fits trying to think of a new and unusual getaway this year that was also romantic.  That is so embarrassing for a writer of romance to admit. Oh, the shame of it all.

Our first big anniversary getaway was a tour of Italy. Our anniversary falls in July, which is undisputedly the most wretchedly hot and humid month of summer. We traveled through Italy on a tour bus with inoperative air-conditioning, drowning in perspiration. Have you ever tried to bite into a semi-liquid chocolate bar from Perugia? Most of the hotel rooms were “naturally air-conditioned” too. It was so hot that summer in Italy I gave up wearing a bra. I gave up wearing makeup too because it melted and slid off my face.

07-15-15 Italy

Great Britain was the next big destination for a romantic anniversary getaway. This time, we decided July weather would be too uncomfortable for travel. MG prefers cooler temperatures, so we postponed the trip to October—when airfare and hotel rates were lower too. As we were leaving for the airport, MG chided me for choosing a London Fog jacket lined with Thinsulate™. It isn’t winter yet so take something lighter, he said. You won’t need anything that heavy, he said. You’ll wish you’d taken something lighter when you have to lug that jacket all over the airport and all over England, he said. He made me doubt myself and I caved. I took a lightweight unlined jacket instead. Big, big, colossally big mistake. That year, England had its wettest and coldest October on record. In my attempt to stay warm and dry, I dressed in several layers—which is to say that each day in England I wore every item of clothing I packed for the trip, with the exception of two dressy evening outfits. Memo to Self: trust your own instincts.

07-15-15 England

We travelled with another couple on the Hawaiian anniversary getaway. They were also celebrating a big anniversary. The thing about travelling with other people is that sometimes you have to do the things they want to do that you would rather not do because you would sooner crawl naked through shards of broken glass, or have your wisdom teeth pulled without anesthesia, or exercise daily, than do those things that they want to do. Those two were avid golfers like MG. The three of them wanted to play golf on Maui. They played. I hacked—you really couldn’t call what I did golfing. One of the things I wanted to do was the helicopter tour of Maui with the flyby of the Haleakala volcano. I got to sit next to the pilot and literally had a bird’s eye view of the landscape below and of the volcano. The copter dove and wove as it flew over the island, none of which bothered me a bit. The others, well, they all got sick to some degree—headaches, dizziness, vomiting when we landed—even sicker than I got playing golf. Revenge can be so sweet.

07-15-15 Hawaii

The weather put a damper on the anniversary cruise to Alaska. It would have been a fairly romantic getaway if it weren’t so darn wet nearly all the time. It rained every day but two, the only days we got to use the veranda on the cabin we booked. We couldn’t see the coastal mountains for all the rain clouds. The waves were choppy from the wind and rain, and it wasn’t long before MG got seasick. That also put a damper on romance. Drat. While he languished in the cabin, I visited the spa and worked out. It almost felt like being single again.

07-15-15 Alaska

We dared to plan another romantic cruise getaway for another big milestone anniversary. This time, we settled on the Mediterranean. In our excitement, we told MG’s family about our plans. It turned out that three of them had always wanted to do a Mediterranean cruise. Their eyes lit up. They thought it would be a great idea if we all went on the cruise together. O joy. The more the merrier. Doesn’t that sound romantic? MG could have told them that the cruise was to be a romantic anniversary celebration for just the two of us. No such luck. He couldn’t disappoint his older sister, who was recently widowed. So, when we all gathered around the computer to book the cruise, MG and I were in the minority. We didn’t get to book the cruise line and itinerary of our choice because we were outvoted. The others voted for Carnival, which caters to the party crowd and has less expensive fares than the cruise line of our choice. There was no opportunity for a romantic moonlight stroll on the promenade deck because there was an hours-long party on deck every night. The deck was lit up like Times Square and the band was louder than an H-Bomb blast. So much for romance. The cuisine wasn’t all that great either. ::sigh::

07-15-15 Carnival Cruise

To mark our next big anniversary, we never left Michigan. We stayed at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island—just the two of us—on a three-day romantic getaway package. It was so lovely and elegant. They filmed Somewhere in Time there for good reason. It is definitely a very romantic setting. We had a large room with a king-size bed, a dining nook, and a sitting area. Our welcome package in the room included champagne, cheeses, crackers, fruit, Mackinac Island fudge [Yum!], and fresh cut flowers. We also received a romantic carriage ride up to the island’s bluffs, and high tea one afternoon while being entertained by a trio of musicians. The meals were exquisite, the service impeccable, and the views absolutely gorgeous. Love the rockers on the porch too. I would go back again in a heartbeat.

07-15-15 Grand Hotel

So, we finally decided that this year we would do Detroit—go to a Tigers game and then stay at one of the luxury hotels, maybe visit a casino and/or the Henry Ford Museum, do something to please each of us. Well, those Tigers foiled our plans by having away games scheduled this week and almost for the rest of July. If we stick with the plan, we’ll have to celebrate in August some time. I think we’ll work it out. MG is so pumped to finally go to a Tigers game that it should put him in a very good mood—if they win, of course. In the meantime, on the evening of our anniversary, we satisfied MG’s craving for a Bloomin’ Onion and had a casual dinner at The Outback. It wasn’t spectacular, but then I didn’t have to cook, so yay!

07-15-15 Outback

You would think that travelling to faraway places would be more romantic than your own backyard. Oddly enough, we had better luck in the romance department closer to home by staying at the Grand Hotel. It appears that Dorothy was right after all. There’s no place like home, because home is where the heart is—and the romance too it seems. #romanticgetaways #anniversaries #cruises #GrandHotel

  4 Responses to “Another Year, Another…Romantic Getaway?”

  1. We’ve done some of those type of romantic getaways! In fact, for my first marriage (of the young and poor) we went to Myrtle Beach with his family and stayed in the same cottage with his family… and got yelled at for spending so much time in our room! Look… sex with your new in-laws and their friends listening in… not a honeymoon.

    Finally, we decided on it wasn’t so much where we wanted to go (Been to Palmer Hotel in Chicago, and Traverse City) but that we didn’t put the pressure on each of us to make it this huge romantic deal. Just being together was the best part!

    Enjoy your anniversary! And I wish you many more!

    • Thank you, Melissa. 🙂

      I agree that being together is the best part. I think that is a big reason why the Grand Hotel experience was the best. We were on “home ground” and didn’t feel pressured to be Gable and Lombard. We just relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company in an ideal romantic setting. <3

      It would have been nice if the weather had cooperated on more of our trips, if motion sickness hadn't been a factor on a couple of them, and if there were no tagalongs on others. If only. ::sigh::

  2. At least you used those earlier “romantic” getaways for an entertaining piece of writing. Can’t wait to forward this to some others who will get a kick out of it, too.

    • Thanks, Paul. I’m glad you enjoyed it–probably more than I did when I originally experienced those excursions. Of course, I can look back and laugh about them now. 😀

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