Adam & I recently celebrated our first year wedding anniversary. And, whenever there is a milestone event, I often ponder over what to buy him as a gift. You see, we already have most of the day to day things that we need. We’re not big wearers of jewelery, power tools are fun, but he can buy the right tool that he needs whenever he wants, and well…flowers die. So milestone events are often a bit of a conundrum and short of buying him crazy expensive gifts like new cars and exotic vacations, it can be a little difficult to get anything of great meaning.
However, like many couples at our stage in life, TIME seems to be the greatest commodity. There never seems to be enough time to spend together because life so often seems to get in the way. So instead of planning the usual dinner out at a nice restaurant along with gift exchange, I planned to surprise Adam with a more meaningful anniversary customized for just the two of us.
For those of you who don’t know, we spent our honeymoon in Thailand and had the most amazing time together. It was Adam’s first international vacation (and first vacation in over 10 years) so it was particularly memorable for him. One of our most romantic nights that we had on our honeymoon was while we were staying at the Four Season’s resort in Chang Mai. We ordered a multi-course meal to be delivered to our patio off our room which overlooked the rice fields. The view was spectacular with all the lightening bugs flying over the fields and lighting them up. We could hear live Thai music playing from inside the resort and the service was impeccable. A couple of hours into the evening, the skys opened up and a huge rain storm surrounded us while we stayed under the cover of our private patio and soaked up the amazing view, decadent deserts and signature cocktails. I’m not doing it justice, but trust me…it was a very romantic evening for both of us.
Knowing how memorable that evening was and how much Adam enjoyed the honeymoon in Thailand inspired me to surprise him by recreating “an evening in Thailand”. The evening started with us both arriving downstairs to our prepared table on the deck overlooking the river. A Thai music CD that we purchased on our trip was playing softly in the background and the candles were lit. Our server (a trusted friend I hired) welcomed us and directed us to our seats fine dining style. She even pulled out the chairs and placed the napkins on our laps once we were seated. The table settings were bamboo and linen style to add to the theme. I had pre-printed menus and pre-purchased all the food items so that we could actually choose from three options of appetizers, entrees and desserts to make things feel more authentic. After placing our order, Each course was prepared to order by our onsite personal “chef” (another trusted friend with a flare for cooking hired for the evening) and was served with a fantastic eye for presentation and with impecabble service. The meal portion of the eveing took about two hours in total which gave us plenty of time to watch the sunset while sipping cocktails. After we finished our appies and entrees, our server lit the patio fireplace and brought out after dinner hot toddies.
While we let our food digest, preparations were already in place for the second surprise of the evening. At around 9pm, I told Adam to go upstairs and put on a robe and then meet me back downstairs. The room was lit up with candles, the mats were laid out and sprinkled with rose petals and a Sounds of Thailand Relaxation CD was playing. Shelly from Sabai Massage was ready and waiting to treat us to side by side full body massages. We spent the next hour luxuriating in relaxation and being pampered. It was heavenly.
The hour went by too fast of course, but we were able to top off the night with a hot tub and toasted our lives together over glasses of fresh popped champagne. For our first anniversary celebration, I imagine that it will probably be remembered as one of our most romantic and intimage evenings together…and who knows, we may even make it an annual tradition. Special thanks to Shelly and Noel for making our first anniversary so special.
And for anyone looking to surprise their sweetie on a special occassion, remember that you don’t have to spend tonnes of money on expensive gifts and department store items. Sometimes, a little bit of creativity is worth a lifetime of happy memories. You know what they say…it’s all in the planning baby!