In this blog post I am taking a break from thinking about the pandemic. I think you will appreciate the break as well.
Back in January, before any mention of Covid-19, Steve and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary during the latter part of our visit with our kids and grandsons in California.
We began our celebration on the day of our anniversary, January 19, with our kids and precious grandsons Isaac and Oliver having breakfast together in our family home.
We chose a small boutique hotel, Avenue of the Arts in Costa Mesa, for a romantic getaway. Having arrived at the hotel a bit before the usual check-in time, our room was not ready yet. The concierge asked us if we had a place to eat lunch and proceeded to recommend Euro Café, a fabulous outdoor café that serves delicious healthy food and organic coffee. It was another beautiful, warm and sunny day in Southern California even though it was the middle of January.
After lunch we crossed the street to stroll through the well known shopping mall South Coast Plaza to “window shop” ha ha. Soon after, my phone buzzed with a text from the hotel letting us know that our room was ready. When we arrived back at the hotel they greeted us with a surprise – they had upgraded us to the penthouse suite on the top floor.
Waiting for us in our room was a bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and a hand written anniversary card from the hotel manager. They took such good care of us and really made us feel special. We spent some time enjoying the beautiful suite, the atmosphere and the view.
We chose Mastro’s restaurant for our special dinner but we had a dilemma. Virtually across from our hotel was a Mastro’s Steakhouse restaurant, however there was another Mastro’s in Newport Beach that had more of a fish and seafood based menu. We decided on Mastro’s Ocean Club Restaurant in Newport Beach.
It was indeed a very unique and amazing restaurant overlooking the ocean, with beautiful atmosphere, incredible food – freshest fish – and impeccable service. Our servers – and there were a number of them taking care of us throughout the evening – made sure that our 40th anniversary celebration dinner was everything that we had hoped it would be down to the personalized dessert.
Steve and I were considering going someplace in the USA for our anniversary. We came up with a number of choices including New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas. Since it was so close to us leaving to go back to France on February 4th, we chose Las Vegas, Nevada. There are lots of good memories that we have from over the years and it was only a four-hour drive from our family home in Southern California.
We wanted to use our Marriott Timeshare points to stay at the Marriott Grand Château. We took my parents there for their 50th wedding anniversary over 15 years ago. And we had an awesome time. It is located right off the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. Again we were treated like royalty when they heard that we were celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary. We were given a room on the 36th floor providing amazing views of the Strip, overlooking the excitement.
We are grateful and thankful for not only the big things in life but also all of the little things as they make a big difference, having a positive impact on our lives every day. We were like two kids at Disneyland.
While we were planning our trip to Las Vegas, we found out that Van Morrison was playing at Caesar’s Palace. Our friend Teena plays percussion in his band. She heard that we were in Las Vegas celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary and invited us to the attend as her guests. Of course she made sure that we received VIP passes with all of the perks, including being seated in the fifth row from the stage!
After this incredible concert, we met up with Teena for celebration drinks and hung out until after midnight.
We walked back our hotel, bedded down for the night and woke up to another beautiful day.
We had a delicious lunch at our favorite restaurant at the Paris Hotel – Mon Ami Gabi, preparing for our drive back to our kids and grandsons in Southern California.