This year VH and I will celebrate our 10th anniversary, and I’m still not sure what we’re going to do to celebrate it. Ordinarily, we don’t make much of a fuss when our day comes around: we go out to dinner and sometimes see a movie. Oh, and we show each other anniversary cards at Wal-Mart without buying. It’s weird, I know, but its a tradition for us and it cracks us up.
But since 10 is one of those milestone anniversaries, I want to do something special but I’m not very good at coming up with ideas. (I’m kind of the reason we read cards at Wal-Mart.) Yes, I could ask VH for his ideas about celebrating our anniversary but I’d rather surprise him. After all, I’ve had to live with ten long years of getting teased about forgetting to buy an anniversary card for him on our very first anniversary.
My sister-in-law has a knack for coming up with amazing ideas to celebrate big days. On her husband’s 40th birthday, for instance, she rented a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud that was made in 1958, the year of his birth, and the two of them rode around in style that night. For my father-in-law’s 70th birthday she gave him a flying lesson. To this day he still talks about how he got to fly a plane all by himself.
The trick, she says, is to find gift experiences that appeal to a secret side of a person. Her husband, for instance, is a penny-pincher so she treated him to something he’d always denied himself: luxury. My father-in-law, due to health issues, has had to play things safe for several years. A flying lesson gave him the adventure he hadn’t known in quite some time. For both of them the gift was memorable because it’s something they’d never do for themselves.
Something VH and I would never do for ourselves: go somewhere crazy. We don’t do wild, spontaneous things anymore. It’s hard to when you’re busy homeschooling a 7-year-old and don’t have family living nearby. So I’ve been looking at all sorts of extraordinary gift ideas and trying to find a trip we could take alone together to somewhere so exciting, so remarkable that we’ll be talking about it for years to come.
I think I might actually have found it, too: an Arctic adventure in Sweden that includes dinner under the glowing lights of the Aurora Borealis, an experience day on a dog sled with an overnight at a Musher’s lodge, a snow mobile tour and — this is my favorite part — a night’s lodging at the famous Ice Hotel.
That’s right: a hotel built every December out of ice from the Torne River which which melts away in April. You probably saw something like it in the Bond movie “Die Another Day”, but that ice palace — although based on the Ice Hotel in Sweden – was actually made of plastic.
It’s not just the hotel’s walls that are made out of ice. Everything is: the beds you sleep on, to artwork hanging on the walls, the cocktail glasses at the Absolut Icebar at the hotel and even the chapel where people can get married… or renew their wedding vows.
I can certainly see plenty of opportunities to get romantic on the trip, what with all that cuddling under blankets while dog sledding, sharing a sleeping bag for two at the Ice Hotel and staring at the Northern Lights together. I’m also pretty certain he’d never think to travel to the Arctic circle on his own and probably doesn’t know there really is an Ice Hotel.
We’ve both got passports and I’ve got plenty of time to save up for and buy the tickets. I just want to make sure it’s the right idea before I spring for what’s undoubtedly going to be a bit pricier than anything I’d find at Wal-Mart.
So what do you think, folks? Would that be amazing enough to make it a memorable 10th anniversary?