Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Twenty Five Years of Shaw Shaw

Speaking of biking, as I so often do, my parents went for a bike ride today. They went for a nineteen mile bike ride between wineries in Northern California, complimented by a picnic lunch. Today is their 25th wedding anniversary and, to celebrate, they are spending the week in San Francisco and Nappa Valley, where they honeymooned twenty five wonderful years ago. Tonight (right about now, actually) they are sitting down to dinner at a little French bistro somewhere in the Valley. They were on the waiting list at French Laundry, a five star restaurant in Yountville, California, but weren't able to get a table. On the phone this evening, my mom told me she is actually glad not to be spending upwards of $500 on dinner and, instead looking forward to a cozy, more authentically french meal.

My parents have a history of five star restaurant anniversary dining. Actually, they have a history of dining at one particular five star restaurant, the only one within a days drive of Washington, DC. It is called The Inn at Little Washington and it is located in Washington, VA. While there are some things that my parents will splurge on, like some good foodie food, they are frugal at heart which is why they always made reservations at The Inn on weeknights and stayed in moderately priced Bed and Breakfasts a few blocks away. In fact, on my parents anniversary last year, my mom was musing about how to celebrate their 25th and she proposed taking the whole family (maybe Josh too) to an intimate dinner there and putting us up in one of these nice little Bed and Breakfasts. At the time, I was without a job and living with my boyfriend in my parents basement. The four of us had a nice dinner together and then watched the tape of their wedding. They were old and mature when they tied the knot, in their 30s and 40s. So the event was very classy and involved a long sleeve off-white dress with no train, a simple bouquet of red roses, a band that played kind of jazzy and classic music, and, of course, a fancy meal. My parents are pretty low-key and I can't imagine their wedding being too stressful to plan but there is one story I have heard over and over again through the years. That story is that they got to go to the hotel ahead of time and try tons of food that could potentially be served at their reception. Their decided upon menu included this one salad that they loved because it had hearts of palm but, at the reception, my dad's salad plate didn't have any hearts of palm! It was a tragedy that they remember to this day. But, of course, it didn't bring down the mood of the night, or taint their memory of the food. It simply indicates that they truly both loved food then as much as they do now. But my dad had to go ruining that by becoming a silly vegan!

My parents love lots of things. But aside from each other and their family and friends, it's hard to think of many things they love more than food and wine and biking and travel. Yeah, it would have been cool to dine at The Inn at Little Washington but I know I can make this happen on my own if it is important enough to me. And I can't think of a better way for my parents to celebrate this landmark than by traveling, biking, and eating in the city where they consummated (not in the dirty way) their marriage. I think it is pretty sweet when you envy your nearly/already retired parents for the awesomeness of their life. I told my friends at work today about their trip and, not having spent more than a few minutes with my parents, they said "your parents are so cool". Because they really are so cool and they let me see that retirement doesn't have to mean scary old age but means a happy and adventurous life. Like them, I want to be something something (ages undisclosed) and bike and eat and drink all the food and wine this world has to offer. But, no dad, I am not wishing my life away.

So bike on Sandy and Betsy Shaw Shaw. Be vegan if you want, drink wine if you want, and continue knowing that an anniversary dinner can be just as special in a little no name french bistro as in a world renowned restaurant for which you need a reservation two months in advance. Thanks for being born with the same last name, thanks for meeting at a halloween party, thanks for falling in love on a sailboat, and thanks for getting married on November 9, 1985 and being great parents for the last 25 years! I know I've only been around for 23 or so but you were parents in the making all that time. Happy Anniversary!

Oh, and thanks for having Nathan too. Life wouldn't be the same without our little Nero.

Oh oh and I heard once you hit 25 years of marriage, the party IS over.........  (or not, it's up to you)

Our little family

Love and Stuff

My parents in France last fall

Never too old for a jumping picture

Party's Over? I don't think so

Inn at Little Washington Foods

One of the four times they biked across Iowa. No big deal

Nathan Shaw. Better known by some (one) as Nero.

Twenty five years of cheesy happy family

Yesterday: Shaw Shaws crossed the Golden Gate by bike

1 comment:

  1. Hey Carrie,
    Love reading your blog-glad i took the time to do so. You are right, your parents are very cool and so are you! We had a blast in October and hope it is not too long 'til we meet again. With Katy moving to Boston in June, maybe we can meet there from time to time! More Shaw adventures to come!