Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Nine year anniversary

We had a really lovely three-part anniversary this year that combined some of our very favorite things--fancy food, skiing at Solitude (oh, Solitude, I love you!), and going to the temple.

For our anniversary, we decided to use the gift certificate to the Tree Room at Sundance that my brother-in-law Jordan had given us for Christmas.  It was the loveliest night.  We were able to get a reservation the actual night of our anniversary, so I think this is the first time—ever—that we have actually made it out to dinner on our anniversary.

Now excuse me if I gush a bit (note: at one point during the meal Neil asked me to talk about something other that the food and I completely ignored him).  First of all, the atmosphere was incredible:  a snapping and fragrant wood fire, soft music, tables spaced generously apart, and instead of hard uncomfortable chairs, and plush leather couch-type seating that was perfect for relaxing and feeling utterly unhurried.  There seemed to be a veritable army of soft-footed waiters who perfectly orchestrated the removal and setting of each course—at one point I think I counted four at our table alone (and then I stopped counting).  Each course was perfectly timed; the only meal with which I can compare it is a four-hour feast in a tiny little hotel on the French side of the Channel (I ate an entire bucket of moules marini

So here is what we ate:  first the chef’s amuse-bouche of pureed pear with goat cheese and fried parsnip.  Then we had kalamata olives with olive oil and fresh thyme, paired with a roll whose top crust was covered with nuts and seeds, and broke open to reveal a delicate interior studded with white grapes.  After that we had a goat cheese tart that combined a perfectly flaky crust with a mild and savory goat cheese that had just the right amount of bite, topped with baby watercress and a lemon vinaigrette.  And then…oh, and then…I had roasted duck breast with butternut squash risotto and crunchy caramelized Brussels sprouts, and Neil had the moistest, most tender and succulent steak I have ever tasted, paired with buttermilk mashed potatoes and perfectly cooked spinach.  It was so amazing that I ate every bite of the duck fat--I don't think I have eaten animal flesh without cutting off the fat since I was about eight.  (And no, they didn't exactly have vegetarian options, and I regretted it not one whit.) To finish we shared a fig and almond tart with a scoop of goat cheese ice cream (yes, I know it sounds weird, but it was amazing).  When they brought our bill—with truffles—the waiter informed us that our dessert was on the house and wished us a happy anniversary.

Anniversary part II—we went skiing for the first time since we graduated from BYU in 2006.  I can happily say that it is indeed like riding a bicycle (although we didn’t ski any black diamonds because it was super icy and rocky—the base was only 29 inches!!!  I was so glad we had decided to rent rather than bringing our own skis with us, because I lost count of how many rocks I heard those skis grind over.  Utah has only had .1 inch of snow in December, and it was in the forties most of the time we were there).  We had a fabulous day and it was wonderful and perfect, and my blisters were just as impressive as Neil’s moguls. 

Here is an interesting tidbit for you--my sweet and endlessly patient husband is the one who taught me to ski when we were first married (we used to chaperone ski bus trips, so we got in for free), and he is not only one of the most amazing skiers I've ever seen, but he is an even better teacher.  I love him a hundred times more whenever I think about how he pulled me up over and over and never once berated me for falling down and making stupid mistakes (and once sliding all the way down a double-black diamond run on my backside after I got too scared).  Skiing is our "thing" now, and I am SO grateful we were able to go, because when we are skiing I remember all those good times where he was so patient and so loving and where I tried my hardest to be good at something that I knew was important to him (and fortunately I've progressed to the point where I can ski exciting things).  It's one of the things that was really crucial in setting the tone for the early years of our marriage.

Anyway, because Neil is a million times better than I am, he carried the camera the whole time, so there are literally 100 pictures and about 10 videos of me skiing, but I will spare you those.

And anniversary part III—we did sealings together in the temple where we were sealed nine years ago.  I was so grateful for the chance to look across the altar at my dear husband and listen to the sealer’s words and remember the covenants we made with each other and the Lord nine years ago. 


Neil said...

As much as I love skiing, I love making you happy even more. We had a great 9th Anniversary. I love you very much.

Kayli said...

Happy anniversary! You guys look so cute together in the ski picture, and so elegant in the dinner picture. I'm glad you got to ski!
And awesome that you could go to Arches-- I've never been there! And how nice to be thought of as you were giving your kids Skittles power! ;)

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