Russell and I happily celebrated one year together on July 10, 2011. Our actual celebration occurred one week later because I scheduled a wedding shower for our great friends Jamie and Jason over our actual anniversary weekend. I'd never had an anniversary that justified such a celebration before and didn't realize what I had done until the invitations came back from the printer. I'll have to say, the wedding shower was a blast and our anniversary celebration was worth the wait!
Russell is not known for planning skills, so I was curious as to what our anniversary would be like. My only request was "please acknowledge the occasion in some way and if that way is by giving me a card, please write at least one sentence inside of it." Russell far surpassed my request.
He started by ordering a gift in advance that arrived by our anniversary day (which was a week before our actual celebration). This gift was wrapped and it was something I really wanted. I got a jewelry cleaner which I love. Now I know you're saying- "That's kind of like an appliance and you're not supposed to give appliances for gifts." I say it's something I've been needing and wanting and I love practical gifts!
The actual day of our anniversary was a Sunday. Russell worked for most of the day to make
reservations so that we could have a nice dinner on our anniversary. He read reviews and researched menus only to find that every nice restaurant in Northwest Arkansas is closed for dinner on Sundays. Just the fact that he worked on finding a place to go to dinner was enough for me! We ended up going to Burger Life for lunch, a really yummy build your own burger restaurant here, and then headed out for some furniture browsing (just for fun). We ended up having the fastest sushi dinner we'd ever experienced (we were in and out in 28 minutes) at Shogun. Even though dinner was extra speedy, we enjoyed our table by the floor to ceiling windows that overlooked Fayetteville. We followed dinner with Cherry Berry froyo. The sushi was good but we won't be visiting Cherry Berry again. Orange Leaf is definitely better!
Now on to the real celebration: After Russell gave me my gift on Sunday, he revealed the next surprise- we were going to stay the weekend at Pratt Place Inn, a beautiful bed and breakfast nestled in the woods in the middle of Fayetteville. Russell planned this all by himself, hand-picked the room and everything!
Our weekend started with sandwiches from Green Submarine. Green Submarine is located next to a gas station and seems like an unlikely place to find fresh, natural and organic sub sandwiches but let me tell you, these sandwiches are to die for! I know you're thinking "This doesn't sound very romantic" but we weren't going for the romance factor- we were in a hurry to get to Harry Potter!
This was part of my gift to Russell. Most of you know I don't really love going to the movies (I usually fall asleep) and I have not been a Harry Potter follower until I met Russell. I actually quite enjoyed listening to the books in my car and I like the movies but my heart doesn't race counting down the premier of each new movie. Russell LOVED the movie and may or may not have shed a tear or two. I fell asleep during the "most important part" but I'll have to say I enjoyed the movie. My review "FX were great, lights were bright, snake was scary". My career as a movie critic is on the verge of exploding into something big.
The next morning, Russell had an early workout and conference call. I took this opportunity to wrap the Shutterfly photo book that I made for Russell (so excited to get that wrapped after 3 weeks of 5am work sessions) and head to Rick's Bakery (sent from heaven) to grab ouranniversary cake and take them to the hotel. I grabbed some sausage rolls at Ricks for breakfast and to cover up the fact that I had been organizing gifts. I was gone for at least 30 minutes. When I got home, I realized the sausage rolls were unnecessary when Russell asked what I had been doing so quietly for the past hour meaning he had no idea I'd left the house!
We headed out around 10am to the Farmers' Market. Have I said before that I love Farmers' Markets? What a fun start to the day! I bought garlic and tomatoes- not that exciting but needed. We made a stop at The Little Bread Company to grab a molasses cookie that's the size of my face and we took a stroll around the new art galleries in the old bank building. We then headed to Pratt Place Inn.
We have been there once before for our friends Dasha and Dan's wedding in the barn (that was a year ago this past weekend- happy anniversary y'all!) but we hadn't stayed in the inn. The downstairs of the inn was bustling with activity when we arrived. They were preparing for a retirement party and a wedding with all of that action they managed to maintain coziness and quiet. The inn is decorated with heavy antiques and comfy chairs and couches. The parlor and reading room both were very inviting although we didn't spend too much time lounging downstairs. Our room was perfect. Clean, comfortable and well decorated although a little fancy for our taste, it was fun for a vacation!
Russell opened his gifts, immediately crushing the flowers on the
top of our adorable little mini cake, and spent some time looking through the photo book. I'll have to say, the book is prettyawesome- toot-toot (tooting my own horn). I chronicled our wedding and honeymoon and included our blog that we wrote on the honeymoon. The first book is 101 pages and the second book is 28 (has not yet arrived).
We spent the rest of the day shopping and eating, mixed with some napping just pretty much
pretending we were far away on vacation. We both did a great job staying away from our phones and email and just enjoying each other's company. We ended the evening at Bordino's (another
reservation made by Russell...he's getting good at this!) followed by cake and a raspberry lambic ale on the front porch at the Inn. If anyone is looking for a great compliment to white cake and
buttercream frosting, which can sometimes be overwhelmingly sweet, lambic of any flavor is a great balance! Even if you're not a beer drinker, you'll like lambic!
The next morning we had yummy scones, fruit and juice in the room (we also had coffee which neither of us are grown up enough to like) and headed out for a hike around the grounds. Lets just say, we're not certain that many of the guests frequent the trails. We had fun scaring ourselves with fake snake sightings and dodging spider webs.
We then cleaned up and checked out and headed to Greenhouse Grille for the BEST BRUNCH EVER! Sadly, what we ate escapes me right now (I may or may not have eaten there three times since then) but I'll never forget the bacon or the bloody mary! Y-U-M! For those of you who are curious, Greenhouse Grille was started by two local chefs who pride themselves on using only local, organic, in season ingredients in their food. They only carry organic wine and beer and they only have organic sodas. This is our kind of restaurant. We've never had anything we didn't love!
After brunch we drove around and looked at Fayetteville neighborhoods and headed out to see a friend and play with 4 rowdy German Shorthaired Pointers, we were missing Genna. It was fun to catch up with friends for a bit and from there we headed to a beer tasting at BHK Cafe.
BHK Cafe is our favorite light lunch place. They also use natural, organic and in season produce to create small plates that are scrumptious! The chef was conducting the tasting which included 15 beers (don't worry, we had small tastes and poured out what we didn't like). It was a blind tasting so no preconceived thoughts tainted the experience. Russell rocked his beer knowledge and guessed at least 80% of the beers correctly. The chef gave a spectacular presentation and we learned a lot about beer history and how different beers are made. We highly recommend his tasting events (they're really cheap too)!
That sums up the celebration of our first year together!
Look forward to many more blogs about my summer...much has been happening with the Bloodworths!