Realizing that both Nate and I would have a free afternoon (which doesn’t seem to happen often enough), I had circled March 15th on the calendar and drew in the appropriate hearts and smiley faces that would designate a Date Day. And while my husband came up empty when asked for date ideas, I proudly rose to the occasion. It’s not like I want to brag or anything, but I’m kind of the queen of coming up with simple – yet fun – activities for us to do.
Mistake #1, as pride goes before the fall…
In my defense, I was trying to be creative, while staying within budget; and I thought I had just come up with the best possible idea for our afternoon together. Honestly, New England offers a plethora of activities that often are taken for granted. And while most might think that the melting snow and muddy grounds of March are a nuisance, others realize that it is the sweetest season of all.
Maple syrup season!
I found a Maple Syrup farm online that was located in the heart of New England. The pictures portrayed a whimsical farm, complete with gift shop and tours on how they make maple syrup. In my mind, I saw Nate and I walking through the warm, sunny forest, as we learned about the trees and how the sap was drained from them. And then I’d take interesting pictures of the boiling process and share my newfound knowledge of maple syrup with all of my readers.
It was such a lovely dream. Simple, but somehow so appropriate for a warm day. Just the thought of spending an afternoon outside, after having been cooped up so often this winter, sold me onto the idea. Besides, I had wanted an excuse to take out my good camera again, and I was sure that this would be the perfect opportunity for that.
Photo-opportunities for me… A learning experience for Nate… It was the perfect date idea for March! (Besides, I had actually taken a similar tour as a little girl with my family, and I had absolutely loved the experience).
The first clue as to how the day would really turn out, however, was the rain that started to fall on our drive to the farm.
“Is it supposed to rain?” Nate asked, as water droplets began to hit the windshield.
“Nope,” I assured him. “This is just a passing sprinkle.”
And then the heavens opened up, and a downpour again proved that weathermen don’t always get it right, even if they’ve promised you for days that this would be a warm, sunny afternoon.
“Hey, look, apparently it’s still Christmas out here,” I said with a laugh, trying to take our mind off the rain.
Every other tiny house – closely lined together along the winding, bumpy road – still had lights… and July 4th decorations, abandoned cars, and chickens.
“Hey, look, that car doesn’t have a door,” Nate said. I turned just in time to see that he was right. The car driving in the opposite direction didn’t have a driver’s-side door, and I could see the driver’s pajama pants as plain as day.
“Goose,” I blurted out.
“That’s not nice…” Nate began.
“No, GOOSE!” I shrieked back, just as a large goose waddled down a driveway at full speed and made a dive for our front tire.
Nate swerved, and we hit a pothole dead on. Or maybe it was a small swimming pool in the middle of the road. Either way, I bounced so high on impact that my head hit the ceiling, and I’m pretty sure our muffler screamed in a high-pitched panic.
But the attack goose was spared, so I guess that’s really all that mattered.
When we finally pulled up to the ‘whimsical’ farm and it was actually a wooden, three-walled structure the size of a shed, I realized that I maybe shouldn’t have set my expectations so high. The tour-guide standing off to the side of the property was wearing full-camo as though we were going to be hunting down maple trees. That wouldn’t have surprised me, as there was no forest to be seen. There was just a muddy field with a handful of skinny, maples.
We ended up driving past the farm, muttering to each other about how we both suddenly wanted to drink a cup of coffee instead. We pulled into the first coffee shop we passed, and I said, “Look, just like old times! We’re having a coffee date!”
I pushed open the door of the coffee shop just in time to see the barista standing behind the counter with a hand down her shirt in order to adjust her ‘girls’. She noticed us walk in and calmly took out her hand as though this was a perfectly normal activity for a Saturday afternoon.
Anyway, I did what any self-respecting woman would do. I began to giggle.
I couldn’t look at Nate, because I was pretty sure that I would die right there in a coffee shop. Death by laughing too hard. Or at least I would have cracked a rib.
By the time I got back into the car, I almost had tears running down my face.
I laughed and exclaimed, “Best date EVER!”
Not really… But certainly the craziest! And at least we experienced it together. 😉