What an exciting couple of weeks we've had, filled with new things and adventures.
Jason and I celebrated our second anniversary (second of being married, third of being together) on July 4 with a spur-of-the-moment long weekend trip up to Old Orchard Beach, Maine--our first real vacation together! Of course, I documented the trip with my anniversary/early birthday present: a new Nikon Coolpix S550 camera! I love this baby. It's tiny, fast, and a lovely step up from my previous Coolpix 800 (circa 2000). It was high time for an upgrade, and the excitement I felt when Jason took me to the store to pick it out was eclipsed only by the high of hitting the road in our freshly-washed Corvette, beachbound.
Beaches are a special place for us. Our first date was a trip to the oceanfront in Virginia Beach on July 4, 2005. We've been together ever since that day, and we got married on the same beach a year later (made legal at court the next day). So this year, we decided to make it a beach three-peat.
Old Orchard Beach is gorgeous, in a charming, non-commercial Maine way. It almost reminded me of going up to the UP. We caught the fireworks on the 4th, and spent the next day having fun in the sun, reading in the sand, walking along the beach, and sticking our toes in the waves. We had a beautiful, romantic dinner out that night at Pepperclub, a restaurant in Portland known for its vegetarian food. Getting dressed up for dinner + going to a restaurant with multiple veg options = a very happy Heidi! They even had egg-free key lime pie--swoon! The next day we did some outlet shopping before heading back home. Not even the thought of all the cat poop we'd be returning to could wipe the smiles off our faces.
The whole thing was perfect. I don't think I have smiled so much for three straight days in my whole life. Even the waitress at our special dinner commented that we just kept smiling at each other. We're just so happy to be together, be married, and enjoy some quality time together. I think that's the most important part of marriage--to always have fun being together! Maine definitely brings out that side of us--and it's only two and a half hours away. OOB, we'll be back.
Thursday night we continued the celebration with my surprise present for Jason: tickets to the Dropkick Murphys concert at the minor league baseball park in Lowell. Well, it was supposed to be a surprise, but he let his curiosity get the better of him and he searched online until he found out where we were going. He admitted it a few weeks ago while we were out to dinner. I kicked him under the table and gave him shit the rest of the night... at least it gave us the opportunity to be excited together. I had to tell him to reserve the evening for me. Since he travels so much for his job, I had to make sure he got permission from his boss to work in house that day, to guarantee that he'd be in town for the evening. So all he had to do was look up July 10 events in Lowell, that nosy bastard.
Jason introduced me to The Dropkick Murphys. They're a Boston punk band, plus bagpipes. (And who doesn't love bagpipes? I freakin' love bagpipes! Maybe it has something to do with studying abroad in Scotland?) They're one of the few punk bands he likes that I've listened to and legitimately liked every song I've heard. So when I saw that they would be coming to town, I knew we had to go.
The opening act was a girl punk rock band that I had never heard of and didn't particularly like. We sat in the stands and had pizza and hot pretzels during their set. Then we headed onto the field to check out the merch booths and get closer to the stage. The co-headliner was the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, who, Jason informed me, are a ska band. This meant nothing to me until they started playing the third song, "Where'd You Go," which is on the Clueless movie soundtrack. Cue the lightbulb over my head. I thought they were cute all dressed in coordinating plaid suits, and it turns out that I like ska music more than I expected. They even brought this couple on stage for a song--and he proposed! She, of course, said yes. The icing on the cake was their final statement before leaving the stage: an Obama banner drop. Right on!
The Dropkick Murphys took the stage preceded by a corps of bagpipers. The ballpark was full by that time, both on the field and in the stands. Everyone went crazy! It was a great show, despite all the smokers and drunk people who appeared down by the stage as soon as the sun went down ($7 cups of watered down Bud? No thanks.). We managed to snag a spot on the fence (keeping people off the grass), so we stayed away from the crowd surfing and moshing. Highlights of the show were the three sets of fireworks they set off and the little girls they brought out to do Celtic step dancing (à la Riverdance). For the encore they let people come up on the stage to dance to "Kiss Me, I'm Shitfaced"--and lots of people certainly were. Jason said he smelled marijuana, but you know me, I've been in the presence of people smoking pot exactly once in my life (in Scotland on study abroad, wouldn't you know--is there some link between bagpipes and weed that I missed?), so I couldn't identify that smell if my life depended on it.
The two of us were just shitfaced with happiness.
After a week-long celebration, I rate this our best anniversary yet. I can't wait until next year!