As I stood there in the shower, the warm water lightly massaging my neck, something hit me. It wasn’t the condensed water on the ceiling, or even the ceiling’s plaster itself, but a thought. An idea. I shut off the water, and reached past the curtain to grab my bathrobe. I tied its belt around me into a loose knot and stepped over the tub’s wall and onto the wooden floor of my bathroom.
“Hon!” I called out, hoping my wife’s response would tell me where she was and would keep me from having to search through the house for her.
“What?” she asked, and I headed for the room she was in.
“Let’s take a trip,” I said. “I’ve got nothing but time before I start pilot training, and we should do a nice epic trip now, while it’s still just the two of us. And, without needing to worry about needing to find ‘kid-friendly’ places.”
“Okay,” she replied, fast enough to make me wonder if she hadn’t already been thinking something similar. “Where to?”
“I don’t know yet, someplace out west. Maybe Seattle?”
And so, the seed had been planted and over the next few weeks, she and I would work out the details. As I began to map out our route, I realized that we’d be passing through many of the same areas I had traveled through on my motorcycle trip the year before, and it became a challenge to not make this a repeat of that trip. And once finances and work issues forced us to cut the timeframe shorter, it became even more of a challenge.
We wouldn’t go to Seattle, but to Moab, a place where I had wanted to take her once before, and where I wanted a second chance to do some adventuring, after damaging my motorcycle there previously. And to justify it financially, this would become our anniversary gift to each other, something far more memorable and personal than the traditional paper gift dictated for the first year of matrimony.
We sat down on the couch, and I pulled out the Rand McNally from under the coffee table and flipped to the page for Texas. I started showing her the route I had planned out, pointing out various attractions and things to do along the way. She seemed more and more excited as I went on, and by the time I was done, she had given me the green light to start making reservations.
Now all there was to do would be to wait the remaining months until we could leave.