10 years ago (well, last May), my husband pledged his undying love to me, and I took his last name. At the time, we had too much going on and not enough money to take a real honeymoon. But hey, that’s what happens when you’re 21 and still living on furniture your husband pulled out of the barracks.
So we made a promise to one another. We swore that on our ten year anniversary, we would go to the Mediterranean. We would soak in the Tuscan sun, and wind our way through the Venetian canals. We promised that ten years from then, with everyone saying we would never make it, we would be stronger, happier, more in love than ever before.
We did it.
When Jason was on this last deployment, we started to plan. Next thing you know, the perfect itinerary came out. We would be in Capri on our actual 10 year wedding anniversary. We knew it was a long shot. It was 18 months away, and there was hardly any chance that we would just happen to plan it during block leave. Chances were they’d be at NTC, or gunnery, or any myriad of things that the army throws our way. Who knew if we could actually save the extra money to do it, because we were determined not to hurt our savings, or put any of it on a credit card. But we booked it!
Our Motto for last deployment became: You, me, and Capri
Just booking it gave us something to look forward to. It gave us hours of internet time together, looking at the different ports, discussing which shore excursions we thought would be best. It kept us looking forward to the time he would be home, and we would be together, and kept us from dwelling on our time apart. The idea of this cruise brought us a little peace during the war, a small bright spot of hope.
It all started to fall together. Jason caught a mad sale on airline tickets. Family flew in to keep our little guys. We booked hotels, we paid for shore excursions. Gunnery came up (of course), and for just a moment, I thought it had all been in vain. But Jason’s guys rallied for him, and he got to shoot late. We were able to take our perfect ten year anniversary vacation! As the icing on the cake, the cruise company called a week before we left and gave us a sweet deal on an upgrade. We went from not knowing if we’d be able to go, to a penthouse suite with our own butler. Um, yes please. Do you ever say no to a butler?
Some how, we had finally found the perfect time.
Not to say that it didn’t come with its own challenges. Our flight was delayed, almost making us miss our connection into Venice, and ended with an airport running scene while they called our names over the loud speaker. Thank God Jason runs for PT. Howvever, non-ruck-marching me didn’t know to pull the straps on my back pack taut to run through the airport, which left me smack dab on my you-know-what in the middle of Philadelphia international. That’s how I rock a vacation.
Venice, was just as gorgeous as I remembered it being, but it was even better with Jason. Then again, he makes everything better. Three days there, and I was ready to buy an apartment and stay. Well, I’d send for the kids… right?
|On our second day, Jason found his addiction: Gelato|
|Walking in the front
door of our Suite
|The view off our balcony. I’ve never seen anything so peaceful!|
|Looking back through the
livingroom and bedroom.
We Heart NCL!
From there, we did the tours! We walked the streets of Athens, and we finally got to touch the ruins I’ve always wanted to see. We toured the archaeological museum of Greece, we kissed on the beaches of Mykonos. We made some pretty fantastic friends. We toured Ephesus, Turkey (I finally got to go to Asia!), and then we saw the splendor of Istanbul. It was dream-like, and wonderful every step of the way.
|Yay for the Parthenon!|
|Ephesus has the most amazing ruins that we’ve ever seen!|
|Mykonos is starkly beautiful!|
|Kalafatis Beach, Mykonos. Yes. Please.|
But Capri… Oh, Capri. We boarded a little private sailboat, and off the shores of Capri, on our ten year anniversary, we renewed our vows. Perfection. Utter, blissful perfection. At that moment, it didn’t dawn on me that we were just between deployments. All that mattered was that he is the love of my life. Ten years, three deployments, four duty stations, four little boys… it’s the same now as it was ten years ago. He’s it for me.
|He’s pretty amazing, that man of mine.|
|That water is simply breathtaking. All of it!|
Ah, yes, this is the good part. This is when I looked at my husband and told him that he was still my everything. “I vow that I will always wait for you; no matter how far you go, or how long you’re gone. I swear that I will always be your home.” Among so many beautiful things said between us, my favorite from him was, “You and me against the world, today, tomorrow, and forever. Without you, there is no me.” Is it any wonder I love him with all of my heart?
The rest of the trip FLEW by!
|Checking out the Circus Maximus in Rome|
|Leaning tower of Pisa! Well, it’s still leaning, you know. 😉|
|On the Ponte Vecchio in Florence Italy. Right after this, we went on a scavenger hunt to find a coin that my cousin had left me stashed in a tree the month before when she visited Florence!|
|We were rained out in St. Tropez, France, but we made the most of it! It was pretty funny to have people recognize the country club logo on Jason’s jacket while we were there.|
|Outside La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Barcelona was a wee bit nuts with protesters, but the days we spent there were filled with amazing architecture.|
Happy 10 year anniversary, baby.