Our anniversary celebration was positively wonderful!
Last Wednesday marked our second wedding anniversary. We kicked off the festivities by dining out at Water Street Café in Maplewood. It's one of those intimate, low light, warm colors, cool music restaurants with small menus and square plates. It was perfect.
The meal itself is worth detailing. Trust me.
We shared a plate of warm medjool dates stuffed with goat cheese & basil, wrapped in bacon with a balsamic reduction. Yowza. And I do mean yowza. I think I could have eaten a dozen of them and called it a night.
Then we ordered a flatbread with kalamata olives, chorizo, spinach, roasted red peppers, and mozzarella and split a maple-bourbon salad with spring greens, pears, gorgonzola, candied almonds, red onions, and maple-bourbon vinaigrette. Yes sir!
The rest of the week carried on like usual, but by Saturday morning we were peeling out of town like Bonnie and Clyde.
We spent the day roaming the small town of New Haven (Missouri, not Connecticut). It rests on a hill right next to the Missouri River, with a little square of historic buildings that once bustled with the energetic commerce of the steamboat industry but now hums with the quiet chirping of the cicadas. This calm is regularly interrupted by the whooshing and whistling of trains storming through.
We settled on the adjective "sleepy" to best describe New Haven as there is next to nothing to keep one's self occupied. Despite the number of homes, we saw very few actual human beings. Matt kept referring to it as "our town" since we appeared to be the only folks for miles. So we explored a few antique shops and sat next to the river, me reading, Matthew writing.
|The Historic District, and yes, that is City Hall.|
|The Visitor's Center (left) and a random caboose (right).|
A few points of interest from our exploration:
Around mid-day, we found a scenic view atop New Haven's big hill; this was the perfect spot to enjoy our Tex-Mex to go.
There were two teenage girls riding their bikes in an unending loop around the historic district. The entire day. I repeat, the entire day. We started to imagine them as the witches from MacBeth, constantly watching and circling us, cackling to themselves.
No matter where you go or how far you travel, there is always an antique store waiting to creep you out with vintage toys.
Being good visitors, we visited the Visitor's Center. When asked for a restaurant recommendation, the friendly volunteer in turn asked us what other towns we would be visiting. After our reply of none, she seemed at a loss and just trailed off without offering a suggestion. I feel like she needs some additional ambassador training.
A troop of Lewis and Clark reenactors had just sailed their way down the river and were starting to set up camp. This happened to coincide with a wedding party hoping to take pictures along the riverfront. The ensuing scene provided ample entertainment and prompted some debate as to whether or not these two events were somehow related, like a reenactment-themed wedding. Turns out not.
We stayed overnight at a bed and breakfast built in the late 1800s. I'd like to note that Matthew and I are B&B enthusiasts. We often muse aloud together about how we will run our own B&B someday and brainstorm clever puns as potential names. With that critical credibility established, we thought Central Hotel was great (although breakfast was somewhat underwhelming). It had a warm, rustic feel but was fully updated and had a clean newness to it. Plus, our room was HUGE and boasted its own balcony. We spent a good part of Saturday afternoon sitting on the porch, returning friendly unsolicited waves from Townies.
On Sunday we had another batch of peace and quiet but of the one-with-nature kind. The Shaw Nature Reserve, for those of you who don't know, is a 2,400 square foot private reserve run by the Missouri Botanical Gardens. The farther one gets from the entrance, the rougher the terrain becomes. It really was so beautiful. It is not easy to turn off my ever-changing, ever-growing mental to-do list, but this hiking trip had instantaneous success. You should give it a try! By the end of the day, we were exhausted but in a good, happy way!
|Some of you may know that the thistle, thanks to our recent trip to Scotland,|
is a special flower to us. We were excited to find one!
So here we are back home with two years of matrimony under our belt. I am so grateful to have little getaways like this, time to be with Matthew, looking for adventure, laughing at things that no one besides us would find funny, gazing up into trees, talking about everything, being reminded of how blessed we are.
Fall Recipe of the Week: Butternut Squash Chili