August 11, 2012
Both Garrett and I distinctly remember getting to our "honeymoon suite" and being thoroughly disappointed because it was nothing more than an oversized Motel 6 room with a king-sized bed. But seeing as it was 10:30pm and we were on cloud nine, we just dealt with it.
Fast forward to our anniversary this year: even though 5 years isn't that long, I guess it's the first "milestone anniversary" in a marriage, and seeing as our anniversary celebrations in the past have included nothing more than a dinner at Chili's and a matinee, we decided to spend a kid-free night away from home. Garrett had made reservations at a hotel up near Denali National Park where we could enjoy some good hiking and a nice get-away.
As we pulled up to the hotel, I knew we were in for a treat. It sat on the edge of a cliff and overlooked the Nenana River and looked absolutely regal. The main lodge was sooo nice! The lady at the check in counter greeted us with more good news, "Looks like your lucky day. You're being upgraded to a private cabin." Sa-weet! It was a bit of a hike to the cabin, but it was nice and secluded and we were promised a fabulous view. Then we stepped inside our cabin: full-sized bed, scratchy little blanket, small bathroom with a tiny shower (no tub), and no view seeing as our windows were right in front of large spruce trees. It was even worse than the wedding night honeymoon suite (and was actually more expensive!?). It was like a room I'd pay $30/night to stay in, except the bed would have fit only myself. We immediately walked back to the lodge where Garrett kindly explained that for the price he paid, we were promised their best room with a king-sized bed and a view. We were told that there were no king-beds available but were offered a room with 2 queen beds and a view for a discount. This room was worse than the cabin! It reeked of smoke, was dark and dingey, and was probably last updated in 1965. We got our money back and left.
We decided to head to the Princess Lodge--one of the only other hotels in the area--to see what their rooms had to offer. Because it wass a weekend and their space was limited, they only had their non-updated rooms left, and still at a hefty price. The room was better than the other hotel, but still pretty Motel 6-ish. So we looked at each other and thought, "We came a long way (180 miles) for a pizza lunch! Let's go back home....." We decided to try out a little bit of hiking through Denali Park before driving home, but thanks to the crummy weather we couldn't see any of the beautiful mountains and were hiking in rain. Garrett looked at me. "I know that hotel room wasn't great, but did we really drive all day for this just to go home and watch a movie in our living room?! Let's try the Princess again."
So we went back to the Princess Lodge where Garrett explained at the front desk that it was our anniversary, the hotel we had reservations at completely fell through, and we REALLY didn't want to have to drive home tonight. The nice lady at the front desk completely delivered: upgraded room right on the Nenana River, hot tub overlooking the river right outside of our room and right next to the resort's spa (where Garrett treated me to a deep-tissue massage!). We ate at a delicious restaurant there, walked through the little village's tourist shops, talked to tourists from all over, relaxed in the hot tub, watched the Olympics in our room, and got a great night's sleep. Ahhh, it was so nice to relax, recharge, and spend so much alone time with Garrett. I didn't realize how much we actually needed that, so THANK YOU MOM for watching the girls for us! And I am so grateful to that lady who hooked us up with a decent room that supposedly hadn't existed an hour earlier. :)
And to my sweetheart ~ thanks for being so awesome. I really am the luckiest.