Thursday, February 28, 2008
Retreat with Rick!
Well, we're back. And we honestly had the best time away that we can remember.
It was a gorgeous day on Sunday when we drove to Collingwood. The roads were clear and dry, the sun was shining, and the view was terrific. We passed through small towns, by picturesque farms, and under the shadow of those great windmills designed to create wind power. We were thankful that when we reached the top of the Escarpment, it was still clear, and we could see for miles and miles. We even noticed Wasaga Beach clearly identifiable even though it was about 15 miles from our vantage point.
We stopped at a grocery store in Collingwood and picked up some cheese, fruit, nuts, and other goodies. We were planning to spend quite a bit of our time just being together in the room. After we got checked in, we unpacked, then headed out to take advantage of our free movie. We saw "Vantage Point", which was intriguing in its presentation of a crime seen from the vantage point of about 8 different people.
We got back to the hotel in time to go for a swim. There was something wrong with the hot tub attached to the pool, but the result was that the entire pool was as hot as the hot tub should have been! It was like being in a gigantic bath! Rick and I were nearly alone (just two other people present) so we enjoyed just being together. We measured the pool with our feet, dreaming of how big we'd need to build a pool to accommodate all the grandkids.
The evening was spent just enjoying each other. We talked and laughed and played and cuddled...no cares in the world...just the two of us, together, alone.
I woke up first in the morning, and when Rick finally stirred, I had his coffee and breakfast ready. We planned to spend some time just talking, and I had a list of potential subjects for Rick to read over and decide what he wanted to focus on. We had both just read "Love & Respect" so that was a good starting point. It did us both good to share our hearts. There were insights gleaned from the book that surprised both of us, and we were able to honestly communicate our hopes and dreams, fears and failures. We laughed, we cried, and we connected in a way that was very meaningful to both of us.
Really, that talk was the highlight of the trip. Everything else was icing on the cake.
We headed out to the car later, and drove to Wasaga Beach. Rick wanted to see what part of Wasaga Beach had burned down recently. We drove past some "cottages" that had to have belonged to multi-millionaires. They were beach-front properties with wrought-iron gates and stone driveways. Nice.
After a lot of exploration, I commented that I wanted to eat at "Catch 22", a seafood restaurant I had seen in a brochure. When we got there, it exceeded our expectations. Lovely restaurant. Beautiful decor. Great food. And goldfish the size of trout! (Not to eat - alive, in a pond, inside the restaurant.) Rick had the fish and chips, and I had Georgian Bay Whitefish. The chef substituted the rice pilaf, which had wheat in it, with a stacked log presentation of zucchini, baby carrots, and onions. It was great!
We then headed to the "Scandinave", a Norwegian style spa. We went from steaming hot ponds with jets and a waterfall, to cold plunges, resting cabins, a sauna, a steam room, and an outdoor fireplace! It was so relaxing. There was to be absolute silence in the resting rooms, but we were permitted to speak in muted voices in the pools. Rick and I had such a great time together. We couldn't believe that four hours had gone by when we decided that we were relaxed enough.
Unfortunately, when I was getting ready, I had an incident. My right ear had water in it, so I stuck a Q-tip in it to get the water to drain. When I pulled out the Q-tip, to my dismay, I realized that the end of the Q-tip had come off and was still in my ear.
Rick graciously took me to the hospital, and patiently waited for me. Hours passed, and they finally called my name. It took a bit of work, but with long needle-nosed pliers, and a syringe made for a horse, the doc was able to get most of the cotton out of my ear! I felt terrible that I had spoiled Rick's lovely evening; Rick was just glad that I was okay.
So, by this time it was 8 in the evening, and we decided to use our coupons to eat in the dining room at the Resort. Again, God provided us with the entire place to ourselves. The food was out of this world: I had a half-rack of lamb with steak and vegetables; Rick had a center cut steak. Everything was done perfectly. We topped it off with chocolate mousse that was served on rectangular plates, with fruit placed precisely in the perfect position to set off the mousse and make it all delectable. We didn't even finish our meal until close to 10 pm. It was so wonderful to sit there, chatting quietly, enjoying the ambiance and the food, and most of all, each other's company.
The next morning we packed up and went to listen to the presentation. We took a tour of the resort, and it was fun dreaming of the possibilities of travel to exotic places. However, it wasn't to be. At least not at this time of our lives.
Rick wasn't feeling well by the time we left for home, so he slept most of the way, and I drove. I had time to reflect on our marriage, on God's goodness in providing us with a getaway in the middle of a stressful time, and on the joy we had experienced together during our time away.
It was good to get home.
But we're so glad we went.