My tenth wedding anniversary will stand out as special and memorable for several reasons, not the least of which is that it began with zip lining in the Redwoods. Whereas ten years earlier, I had been primping and preparing, donning a white dress and a veil, on the morning of May 15, 2014, I was outfitted with helmet and a harness.
I’m a bit odd about heights in that I’m very afraid of them–but only sometimes. Put me near the edge of a cliff with no railing, and I’ll start to panic. Heck, even descending a long, steep staircase will sometimes make me terror-stricken, but put me in a tall building where I feel no real danger of falling, I’m fine. You’d think that zip lining would fall into the panic-inducing category, but for me, that’s not the case. Maybe it’s the harness and the clips, but for whatever reason, I’m OK with zip lining (and I knew this, having done it previously).
The fact that some of the higher platforms swayed a bit in the wind was only temporarily unnerving, and overall, the whole experience was wonderful and exhilarating.
In addition to the thrill of zipping, the gorgeous panoramic views of the forest, and the pleasure of “meeting” Walter, an 800-year-old Redwood tree, we were treated to an absolutely astonishing display of beat-box talent by Joey, one of our guides. Seriously, I don’t know how a person makes so many interesting sounds all at once.
After zip lining, we figured, seeing as it was our tenth anniversary and all, some bubbles were in order, so we headed out to Korbel cellars to taste some sparkling wine and have lunch (because, as we had been reminded on the preceding day, lunch is important to me). We had visited Korbel during our honeymoon. Although they no longer featured a sparkling Merlot for us to sample (no loss there unless you think cold, fizzy Merlot sounds like a good idea), we did have the opportunity to recreate a photo op from our first trip there.
Side note: As I was perusing photos from our honeymoon, I was struck by how few pictures we took. I don’t miss the days of film cameras when I would be conservative with my use of film during vacations and parties but then, inevitably take half a roll of cat pictures so I could finish the roll and get it developed. Now, I can feel free to properly document my vacation and still take plenty of cat photos!
Our next stop was Hartford Family Winery, where our tasting included an unusual chardonnay with lots of lemon notes, which became our first of many wine purchases. As swirled, sniffed, and sipped, “99 Luftballons” happened play over the speakers in the tasting room. It was a song I had not heard in a while, and I have always enjoyed the German version because a) as we learned last episode, I’m prone toward falling in love with German words, and b) there is something very amusing about hearing “Captain Kirk” stuck in the middle of lots of German.
Next, we were off to Iron Horse Vineyards for more bubbly. We had tried to visit Iron Horse on our honeymoon, but we had arrived too late in the day, and the tasting room was closed. As we learned during our tasting, for quite some time, the tasting room closed at 3:30 pm and had only recently started staying open later. When I say tasting “room,” that’s not exactly right. It’s actually an outdoor bar where you can sip your bubbly, enjoy lovely views of the vineyards, and watch birds in the distance as they ride the thermals. Ian and I both burst out laughing when “99 Red Balloons,” this time in English, came over the speakers. “Wow, I can’t remember the last time I heard this song,” our server remarked.
“For us, it was about 15 minutes ago,” I said.
I suppose that, if you were so inclined, you could read some less-than-favorable things into, on your tenth anniversary, seemingly being followed by a song about mistakes that eventually lead to nuclear war. But I won’t. I’ll just think of it as a funny coincidence to make the day more memorable.
The afternoon was waning, so we headed back to the inn, where we gussied up a bit and enlisted an inn employee to take an anniversary photo (a tradition we have kept every anniversary so far). Ian donned what we have come to call his anniversary shirt. Somewhere around our fifth anniversary, I was looking back at the photos and realized he had worn the same shirt in all but the first one (when he did not yet own said shirt). From then on, it was just expected that he wear it. He did skip a year last year (gotta keep me guessing and change things up every now and then, you know), but the shirt was back for our tenth.
We had a lovely dinner and, of course, more bubbly, at Bistro Des Copains. Afterward, we settled into lounge chairs in the inn’s courtyard and enjoyed some stargazing without interference of city lights, savoring the moment, dreamily wondering about moments yet to come.