Sunday, March 9, 2008

Seven Year Itch

Today marks seven years since jb and I met and fell in love. To mark the occasion jb planned a surprise trip and whisked me away to Cleveland yesterday. I should mention that this is the first time jb has been away from the store for more than a couple hours since we opened and the first time she's left PA in over eight months. So from the beginning, jb was a little (read: a lot) nervous about the trip. Still, she had planned this little get away for us, arranged for her brothers to hold down the fort while we were away, and had managed to keep it it all a secret - so there was nothing that could keep us from romantically celebrating our anniversary.

jb and I have an anniversary tradition that involves three elements:

1. Visiting an under-appreciated city
2. Staying in a Bed and Breakfast
3. Disaster

Usually we only have to plan for 1 and 2, and then number 3 will fill itself in. For example, last year we went to Baltimore, stayed in a quaint B&B, enjoyed the aquarium, and then got food poisoning from our anniversary dinner.

So naturally, jb was nervous hearing the weather reports coming in leading up to our trip, she even considered canceling, but then when Saturday rolled around there wasn't much sign of snow - some freezing rain, and a bit of flurries as we were heading out - we figured we'd just take it slow.

The closer we got to Cleveland the worse the weather got - and the worse the roads got. Even on the highway we couldn't see the road - usually only one lane was drivable. Visibility was so bad we kept thinking our windshield needed to be cleaned - but no matter how much we would wipe it we still couldn't see more than a few feet ahead. We passed countless abandoned cars and the few cars that were still driving were going super slow. The two hour drive took us over four hours.

Once we got into Cleveland it was like a ghost town. There were very few cars on the road and we saw a few people walking in the middle of the street. jb tried to stick to her plans and drove us to the Cleveland West Side Market. We turned into the parking lot and promptly got stuck in the snow. Luckily three men with shovels were walking by and they dug around us and then pushed us out of the parking lot. At that point, jb and I figured we should probably just head to the bed and breakfast and bunker down.

We found the b&b, but the snowdrifts were so high that it was impossible to park on the street - and to walk from the road to the door we had to wade through waist high snow. The inn keeper was not expecting us in this weather - obviously. jb borrowed a shovel and managed to dig a space out to park in about a block down the street. At this point - we felt a little ridiculous, but figured there could be worse things than being snowed in together at a bed and breakfast. We began to thaw ourselves out and talked about what kind of food we wanted to order in. Unfortunately, no where we called was open. Not a single place. Our tummies were growling and we weighed our options. Wait until tomorrow morning or brave the weather again.

We bundled back up and headed back out into the storm. The one block to the car felt like miles with the wind and snow whipping at us. We started to drive and managed to get stuck three times in two blocks - and each time I had to get out of the car and push us out. We almost turned around when we saw a Kentucky Fried Chicken - I've never been so glad to see a KFC in my life. They were closing as we got there (because of the weather). We got some food and headed back to the b&b. At this point we were finally able to settle in for the night. We ate KFC, got under the covers and watched episodes of the office on my laptop.

Poor jb. Her romantic plans were derailed because Cleveland was in a state of emergency. Still, it was so nice to have nothing in the world to do for a night but snuggle in bed. The next morning things were looking much better. The snow had stopped. The roads had been plowed. The sun was shining. We headed out and visited the botanical gardens on our way out of town. Once we got back to Pittsburgh we stopped for Sushi and now we are tucked into our own bed and we can officially say we survived another year.

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