Long before we became the Santa Monica Luskeys, we subscribed to the philosophy of the extended celebration. Let me give you an example of what I mean. For my Mom's 5oth birthday, she received a gift (and by gift I mean a monumental, heirloom worthy gift) each month for the entire year. You see, she wasn't just celebrating her 50th birthday, she was celebrating her 50th year. Now, we are not yet in a place where we can participate in the diamond-of-the-month club, however, we do agree that when celebrating life's simchas one should celebrate in a big a way as possible. So it was no surprise that celebrating our second year of marriage was accompanied by several discussions, planning meetings and eventually the proposed phases.
Our actual anniversary was on a Tuesday and we celebrated by going out to a romantic dinner: Phase 1. (Stay tuned for a future blog post about how we celebrated on our anniversary.) The weekends before and after were taken by Max's Bar Mitzvah and Labor Day Weekend so our first real opportunity to "get away" and celebrate our anniversary was this past weekend - Phase 2!
We decided on Long Beach as the celebratory destination because we had won in a raffle (courtesy of our dear friends Emily & Alan) a fabulous evening including wine tasting, a helicopter ride and a dinner for two! Brian launched into some intense online research to find the best place to stay in Long Beach and decided on The Queen Mary, a retired ocean liner that sailed from 1936 to 1967 and has since been converted into a (supposedly haunted) hotel tourist attraction. We drove down to Long Beach Saturday afternoon (the entire drive took us less than 30 minutes) and checked into the hotel just in time to scope out the ship's promenade and freshen up for dinner.
We enjoyed our wine tasting at Risotante daVinci while we waited for our helicopter ride. This proved to be a good idea because a certain someone (ME!) was a little big nervous (TERRIFIED!) to get on that helicopter...
"Cheers! Hope we make it back from our helicopter ride!"
It looks like we're smiling, but I'm actually crying.
Just kidding. Or am I?
We not only survived the helicopter ride (we recorded the entire flight on our flip camera which we will post as soon as we figure out how to do so) but we actually enjoyed it and went onto have an awesome Italian meal to complete the perfect evening.
Sunday morning we woke up early (the walls on The Queen Mary are paper thin and our room seemed to be sandwiched between two European families with very young, very loud children) and went to brunch. We decided on Claire's at the Long Beach Museum of Art.
Salmon Avocado BLT
Grilled Salmon Filet, Avocado, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato
Served on Focaccia Bread with Tarragon Aioli
I devoured the Salmon Avocado BLT (pictured above) with the bacon on the side (for Brian) and Mr. Luskey enjoyed the Shrimp Omelette (featuring three large eggs, jumbo shrimp and topped with avocado and tomato bisque). Delish!
Being the planners/dreamers we are, we have high hopes to continue the celebration into a big trip sometime in 2011 when we have more PTO days from work. Hawaii?! No matter where we decide to go or if we decide to go at all, I know our plans will be based on meals and laughing. And, really, what else is there in life?