Monday, March 07, 2011

Not a Clarinet

When Lauren and I first started dating Lauren told me a story about how she played the Clarinet when she was in grade school and that she wished she never gave it up. She said she was more interested in learning the piano or guitar now as an adult, but continuing the Clarinet would have given her a good musical foundation. I took a mental note with my mental pen and the following Christmas I bought Lauren a Clarinet. Lauren was appreciative of the gift but the Clarinet sat in a closet for years until we sold it at a garage sale. Somewhere between her first statement about the Clarinet and the second statement I ran out of mental ink. The Clarinet was one of the best/worst presents I have ever given Lauren.

A couple of months ago I asked Lauren what she wanted to do for her birthday, which is this week. Although her birthday is not a milestone birthday or anything I suggested we try to get away for a weekend. I am smart enough not to state her age, but a weekend without the kids would be a nice change of pace to celebrate the eighth anniversary of her 29th birthday. Lauren told me she would love to go shopping/antique-ing, go out to dinner at a nice place "nothing too fancy-schmancy", maybe a little bit of pampering, sleep in, and she would love to be able to go with me on a nice run through the country side or some other scenic place. I took some serious mental notes while she described her perfect weekend.

I checked with my mom to see if she could take the boys overnight one Saturday. She said yes. Checking that off my list made planning everything else easier, or so I thought.

I suggested we look into bed and breakfast places in Lambertville NJ or New Hope PA. Both places are quaint towns on the Delaware River, close to home, with plenty of shopping, restaurants and antique stores. For a few weeks I emailed several places looking for deals or discounts and to see if I could offer advertising space on the blog in exchange for a discounted stay. I learned two things; one, Bed and Breakfasts are expensive and two, my blog has no influence whatsoever. I told Lauren that staying overnight somewhere may be out due to budgetary restraints but since both places were close our house we could always just go back home. My mom would still have the kids and Lauren could sleep in.

This past Friday I used this thing called the Internet and did some searches for discounted B & Bs. There was a place called the Golden Plough Inn in Peddlers Village that was offering a serious discounted rate for one of their deluxe rooms, with a fireplace and Jacuzzi. Peddlers Village is a small village comprised of over 70 plus stores and restaurants adjacent to an small outlet store shopping center located in the heart of Bucks County PA farm country. Lauren and I have been to Peddler's Village dozens of times but we never stayed overnight.

We dropped the kids off at my mom's Saturday at noon and headed out for Lauren's birthday weekend. We walked in and out of antique stores without having to repeat over and over again "don't touch anything in the store." Lauren shopped in the outlet stores and actually tried on several outfits without having to park a stroller in the dressing room. We browsed an art gallery and had a conversation with the owner without once being interrupted by a screaming child. We ate a delicious dinner at a casual restaurant while drinking beer and not once did we have to scooch under the table to search for a missing blue crayon or dropped fork. We went to our room and sipped cheap champagne while sitting in a Jacuzzi.

Lauren relaxing in the Lobby of the Golden Plough Inn.

I reviewed my mental birthday notes. Shopping/Antiques- Check. Non Fancy Schmancy dinner-Check. Jacuzzi equals pampering -Check. Only two more requests to meet to give Lauren her perfect get away; go for a scenic run and sleep in.

Sunday morning we slept in until 6:30 AM. Most people would not consider that sleeping in but it was later than we normally wake up. Lauren looked out the window. It looked like it had rained earlier but now it was only a slight drizzle. We checked the weather channel. It was 53 degrees, perfect for running a nice, scenic, country side farm run together. We started our run at 7:00 AM

At 7:04 AM the skies opened up and we were drenched. Lauren decided that since we were already soaked we may as well continue running, after all it was her birthday wish to run with me. However, there was really no running with me. It was more like her running ahead of me.

We ran down nice country roads. In the pouring rain. I was nervous we would get hit by a car.

There is horse (no I do not mean Lauren) in this picture. In the pouring rain.

My favorite part about Peddler's Village is the names of the stores. I can't help but snicker like a 12 year old.

We ran past Knobs and Knockers (snicker). In the pouring rain.

We ran past the Cock and Bull (snicker). In the pouring rain.

We ran past the Nut Kettle (snicker). In the pouring rain. Do you know where the Nut Kettle is located in Peddler's Village? Just South of the Cock and Bull. I am not kidding.

We ran down some more farm roads. In the pouring rain. My clothes were soaked. I was hot and cold at the same time. I was tired. This was becoming the best/worst present ever.
Do you see how far ahead of me she is? We didn't really run together, it was more like me being nervous, panting, out of breath, just trying to keep up with her. Which after some thought, really sums up how I felt about her when we first met 13 years ago.

Happy Birthday Lauren.


Anonymous said...

I find it funny that the night of your wedding, I stayed at the Plough and Stars. I had to borrow money from Skip and FG had to drive, but the hot tub was nice.

Melissa said...

Happy Birthday Lauren!

nice gift William!

Anonymous said...

The photos look blair witchy ish

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday to your beautiful wife!

I will refrain from commenting on the shops and locations. I'm trying to not give into a guy humor... but the local testosterone is beginning to overwhelm me.

Effie said...

happy birthday Lauren!! What a nice present--a weekend away!

Those signs made me giggle--I may have to drag my hubby to that town just to show him the signs first hand!

Anonymous said...

You should open up a poop and boogies store in that town.

Mama D said...

Yay! I love Lahaska! When I was a baby, my parents would walk around Peddler's Village in order to get out of the apartment...of course, me still being in a stroller at that point made it less likely that I would break something. (A few) Years later, that was one of the first places I took my husband to introduce him to parts of my childhood.

We also snickered over Knobs and Knockers, after eating at the Cock and Bull.

Perfect birthday trip, Bill! I'll have to get my husband to read today's post, since my birthday is in a few weeks ;-) Happy birthday, Lauren!

April said...

Favorite. Post. EVER!

And Happy Birthday to LAUREN!!!!

James (SeattleDad) said...


Happy Birthday Lauren.

The Absence of Alternatives said...

Awww. The last sentence? You are such a suck up! :-) Tis very sweet that you are still trying to suck up to your lady. :-)

Michael from said...

I'm touched!

You do know Stephen King nearly died after getting hit by a car while out for a walk/run by the side of the road, don't you? See where I'm going here?

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