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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

GratiTuesday - Kidnapped!

Our family has had an interesting year this past year.  Many of our usual activities had to be put on hold, and with all of the changes, our usual dates and routines changed, too.

One thing that I've missed a lot was time with my husband - intentional time.  New schedules have made this very hard to find - and so this past weekend, my husband kidnapped me.

Not really, of course, but he made arrangements for our kids, planned something for us, and wouldn't tell me what it was.  We've each done this for the other a few times in our marriage, and it's always fun.

He woke me up amazingly early so that we could hop a train to Charlotte!  Neither of us have ever been on a train before, and it was fun to experience something new together.  We were surprised at how many people were riding, and everyone connected with the train was very kind.  It was a neat experience.

From there we headed downtown and hit up a visitor's center to see what was available within walking distance.  Neither of us have spent much time in downtown Charlotte, so we played tourist - something we used to do regularly but haven't done in years.  I really enjoyed the Wells Fargo Museum.  The displays were very interactive, and I didn't realize just how many pots this company has had its hands in over the years.

A major highlight of the day for me was taking a carriage ride through the historic district.  I've always wanted to take a carriage ride, and this one was beautiful - in a Cinderella-like white carriage with dark velvet seats through an old section of the city full of restored Victorian houses.  Who knew it could be so quite and lush so close to the downtown district?

This was Winston.  Winston is the Percheron who led us safely through the city.  He was very kind.  :-)

When we realized that the public library was so close - and so big! - my husband insisted that we go and peek in the windows, at least, since I like books so much.  I didn't want to go in for fear I'd never want to come out.  The pillars outside each had quotes from famous authors.  I especially liked this one from Elie Wiesel.  His books are very stark and provocative, and it reminded me of the scripture even the stones will cry out.

Sometimes I feel guilty when we do things like this.  For us, this was a very extravagant date, even though we spent most of the day walking around, talking to locals, sitting by beautiful fountains, and seeing the sights.  At the same time, though, it felt great to know that my husband wanted to put the time and effort and resources into our marriage.  We're very happy together  - but I think that putting intentional effort and building memories is worth a bit of extra expense occasionally.  We'll go back now to at-home movie dates and talking by the fire, but we're already laughing about Winston, crowded buses, and deciding which pizza we'd try if we ever go back to the Public Market.  

I think I like being kidnapped - at least by my very creative husband.

For more GratiTuesday, visit Heavenly Homemakers.

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