By: Sue Anganes
Every year since our twentieth anniversary, my husband Alan and I have gone away together for a weekend to celebrate. This twenty-ninth year we planned our getaway, but we took five of our kids with us! Since work issues and medical issues have been piling up on us lately, we thought that the kids needed some time away from the stresses of life as much as we did. Because of my son Ray’s medical problems, we waited until Wednesday to make reservations for Friday and Saturday night. If he was too weak, we didn’t want to go.
We found a low cost Holiday Inn Express in North Conway, NH, with an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, and free breakfast, and we booked three rooms- one for the boys; Ray, Teddy, and Charlie, and one for the girls; Tessa, and Charlie’s girlfriend, Rebekah, and one for us (we weren’t going to totally give up our getaway weekend to the kids!) With the days of owning a fifteen passenger van long gone, we all piled into two cars on Friday morning and headed north in the sunshine.
Along the way, Alan and I pulled into a semi-rundown looking diner for lunch. Both Tessa and Rebekah momentarily thought that the diner we pulled up to was the hotel! Much to their relief it was only a diner!
The rest of the trip up was uneventful. As we pulled into the hotel parking lot, Teddy told us that Charlie had told him that the first thing you do when entering a hotel room is jump on the beds. I informed Teddy that if he was kicked out of the hotel he was on his own.
After we settled into our rooms I received an email from my oldest son Andrew. It went something like this: “Hi Mom, We didn’t know that you guys were heading up to North Conway! We were planning to head up there tomorrow….” Somehow, I don’t think he and his wife, Amanda, were actually planning on heading north until they heard that we were, but that will never be truly known. I told Andrew where we were staying, and Alan and I were making bets on what time they were going to arrive the next day. I somehow thought that if they left Massachusetts around 8 am, they would arrive in New Hampshire at around 11:30 am. Friday night we had fun in the indoor pool, and around 9 pm Alan and I decided to leave the festivities and head to our room for the night.
Saturday morning, when we went down to the lobby for breakfast, Andrew and his wife Amanda sitting there at a table eating! Evidently, as soon as they heard where we were staying, they had hopped into their car right after work and arrived on Friday night at 9:30, unbeknownst to us. Now our anniversary getaway was a party of nine.
We had so much fun just bopping around North Conway on Saturday. One of our favorite places to visit is a used bookstore called “The Local Bookie.” Ray bought out most of the store inventory by purchasing thirteen history books. Everyone else found a few treasures, and I think the book store owner made his sales quota for the week as we walked out the door.
Unfortunately by Sunday morning, Ray’s medical issues were making it impossible to say longer. He was too weak to even sit up in his wheelchair so we decided to head home that morning. I was disappointed for Ray’s sake, but I had expected that he might not have been able to keep up for the whole three days.
We celebrated our anniversary in a different way this year. Our romantic dinner was held in front of a gas log at McDonalds, but we wouldn’t have had it any other way. We were so thankful to have the kids with us this year and make some family memories.