I’m exhausted, though I may also be poisoned from the Skinny Cow Cookies and Cream ice cream I ate today (the package was opened… I ate it anyway), so if I die, it was nice knowing all of you.
Thursday, I turned 32. It was a marvelous day, working the temp job, visiting a wedding venue, grabbing sandwiches and cupcakes, watching the Cubs win… I tried to post later on Facebook that I was having a great start to my 32nd year, but Paul argued that I was starting my 33rd year, tried to say something about birth and how my 32nd year ended the day I turned 32, but all I could hear was that he was trying to make me OLDER and I would have none of it. To satisfy my neuroses, I changed the post to say I was having a great start to 32!!!! and all was right in the world.
Friday, we drove down to Brown County, stopping at night to stay at Story Inn, which is located in this town called Story that’s literally like a block long. It was quaint and our room smelled musty. I was just grateful to get there, because we took a backroad, which was long, windy, full of deer just doing their thing, and not particularly well-maintained. My vision isn’t that great to begin with, but my depth perception is worse, and every time we went uphill I had a sneaking suspicion that we would fall off the edge of the earth (I am not unlike the baby who thinks that if the keys are under the blanket, they are gone, never to be seen again).
We had dinner at their restaurant though, which was pretty fucking fantastic. Paul had duck and I had a filet and both were amazingly good. We also drank (Dragon’s Milk for him, wine for me), and when Paul gets drunk it’s kinda funny. By the time we got to dessert (our choices were chocolate or lemon pound cake – and of course we went with the chocolate), Paul was on a roll about the disastrousness of putting lemon in anything: “You can put hints of lemon on things. Lobster? OKAY. But lemon pound cake? NO. That’s AWFUL.” Before we left, the chef gave us two tastings of said lemon pound cake, which Paul actually liked and it made me laugh harder (it was, he said, a hint of lemon, which is all that lemon deserves).
We walked out of the restaurant and went two houses down to our room, pausing to appreciate a sky in which stars were visible. Neither of us slept particularly well, but got up reasonably early to have breakfast at the restaurant again, check out, and make our way to the Brown County State Park. (I should mention here that our room had a tub, and no shower; I made an executive decision that I would just wait until we got back to Indy to shower in civilization. Paul wanted the “experience” of taking a bath in a claw tub “that wasn’t cemented to the floor!” … but quickly changed his mind when we discovered there was no hot water.)
Paul had planned this trip as a birthday present to me; once we decided we were moving to Indy, going to Brown County was a thing I said I wanted to do. But he also knew that inside the park, they offered horseback riding, which is something he’s ALWAYS wanted to do since I met him. Now, I have nothing against horses, but I really dislike horseback riding; it makes me nervous but I knew I couldn’t tell him that because then he wouldn’t have gone at all, his dreams would be crushed, it’d be my fault, and then 70 years later he’d be like, “AND I NEVER WENT HORSEBACK RIDING BECAUSE OF YOU!!!!!” … so I sucked it up and was like, “YEAH HORSEBACK RIDING LET’S FUCKIN’ GO!!!” I almost didn’t make it ON the horse, because my body doesn’t like to contort (for normal people, this is called climbing up and on something; for me, it’s like, “what are you doing? No… no, I would not like to do that. I would NOT like to do that. HEY!”), so it took me three tries, and the guy holding the horse got a little mad at me, but whatever.
They gave Paul the biggest horse (whose name was Tiny) and we rode a trail uphill and downhill for 35 minutes. Paul made friends with Tiny; my horse, named Bonanza, was an asshole and I imagined my death in various ways for the entirety of the trip. Tiny, at various points, wanted to pass me, but Paul – the horse whisperer – got him to follow with the exception of the very end of the trail in which Tiny decided he wanted to drink water from the babbling brook instead of being corralled back into the barn.
Once I got back down from the asshole horse, and my legs stopped shaking, Paul was like, “WASN’T THAT GREAT! THAT WAS AS GREAT AS I THOUGHT IT WAS GONNA BE!” at which point I told him I loved him, but that horseback riding wasn’t my thing, and I only did it so that he would… but that maybe he was a natural! He was like, “Babe, it wasn’t that bad; did you see the nature along the trail? All of the Fall?” And I said, “No, I was imagining my asshole horse Fall…ing, so that kind of took precedence…” Paul then regaled me with tales of how he talked to his horse the whole time, how they had an understanding, how they were friends. I can only hope that their fast and fierce connection lasts the test of time.
We then decided to do some hiking which wasn’t terrible. I had some minor CP moments where my legs stopped working and I couldn’t move going downhill, but otherwise just took it slow and steady. At one point Paul wanted to scramble across a log that was laying across an open ditch “just to see if he could”, but I got him to NOT do that.
We stopped in Nashville, IN for a short while; we would have stayed longer, but there were like 17 festivals going on simultaneously, and neither of us function nicely in crowds of people. So we grabbed pizza on the way home, and then ended our adventure by watching the Cubs win the Pennant from the safety of our couch.
We met with two photographers today; both were nice, both gave venue recommendations. I think one takes better pictures, but I’ll cross that off when I absolutely need to. I need a venue first, and hopefully, the date won’t be an issue.
Wedding planning is exhausting, but it was nice to get away for the weekend, be out in nature, laugh a lot with the guy I love. I can’t say that I was always in the moment or that I stopped worrying completely, but I tried to be grateful more often than not, so… that’s improvement.
Have a good night, friends. Be kind to yourselves.