Sunday, August 12, 2012

Thirty Nine Years of Wanderlust With My Better Nomad

Then I Saw Her Face Now I'm A Believer

OK - I am taking a rare leap here and letting everyone in on something that only a few people know. The first time I ever saw my wife (aka My Better Nomad) was the spring of 1969 and, appropriate for any young slacker college student, I was in my red '67 GTO driving pretty fast down a side street in Madison, Florida going who knows where. Like some random cosmic event, I saw her out of the corner of my eye. And, as I have done so many times in my life, both literally and figuratively, I slammed on the brakes, backed up and watched this insanely hot chick walk into the back door of her parents' house. Little did I know, as I drove away, too much of a wimp to stop, knock on the door and ask her to be mine forever, she would eventually be a blind date arranged by two mutual friends. If that is not divine providence, then there is no such thing as divine providence. It was love at first and second sight! After a whirlwind summer romance and four years of a long distance courtship involving many road trips and more fun than two people should ever be allowed to have, we joined hands and hearts  thirty nine years ago this week. These facts are important because, whether you are taking the voyage through life or a road trip to your favorite little place, it must be with someone that gets you. And even though I have yet to fully comprehend my lover, friend, muse and mother of our two incredible kids, one fact is indisputable - that fateful day in 1969 brought this amazing person into my life who still intrigues me and is always on this Nomad's right arm as we vagabond our way through life together.

We're Always Better When We're Together

And going we are. To celebrate our thirty ninth anniversary, we are going to a very cool, small boutique just outside of Charleston, South Carolina, The Inn at Middleton Place. It has been a long established tradition for us to go somewhere new for our anniversary. I highly recommend this for all couples. It gets you away from the the normal every day commitments you have as part of your busy life in a world growing more complicated every day. It also allows you to focus on just each other and experience something new that will make you closer and appreciative of your lives with each other. Like the Jack Johnson song says - "We're Always Better When We're Together". The Middleton has been on my Nomad's List of Places To Sleep Before I Die since I saw the award winning boutique on the cover of an architectural journal some twenty five years ago. The idea of designing and building a minimalist, modern boutique hotel a stone's throw from a plantation that was established in 1678, only a few minutes drive from Charleston, a quintessential southern city with over 2,800 historic buildings , is truly remarkable. I love going to places that I have never been before. It is what travel and discovery is all about. I mean you really can't appreciate the insanity of London or the colors of Tuscany until you actually go there.

There Are Places I Remember - All My Life - Hope This One Will Remain

As I have stated numerous times in this blog, while I adore serendipity, you gotta have a plan when you travel. So I have done a lot of research, including a couple of emails to the concierge to make sure that my bride isn't disappointed. According to all of the reviews and the photographs, The Middleton has everything you could ask for in a romantic get away. Great setting, great food and the oldest landscaped gardens in the US.  There will be those unexpected pleasures that will make this trip one to remember. And the best part? I am going to this really cool place with the best Nomad I know to make sure the memories never end.

The Fab Four said it best:
And I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
And I know I'll often think about them
In my life I loved you more

I'll let you know if The Middleton  is worth remembering next week.
See y'all when we get back.

D.L. Stafford

Travel Quote of The Week - “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Video-Music Artist of The Week - This one is old school  . One of the first romantic "talking" records - "The Sea". With a music score by award winning composer Anita Kerr, instrumentation by the famed San Sebastion Strings, words by best selling and much maligned poet Rod McKuen and recitations by actor Jesse Pearson, this  platinum selling album was a mainstay in every lover's record collection in the late sixties and seventies.

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