One strap dropped off my shoulder while I hunched a different strap into a better position. Arrgh!Â I was carrying my overnight bag, my purse, my camera bag, and some slippery books my husband brought along with no intention of reading. Did I mention our hotel room was on the third floor? Lacking a Sherpa to help out, hunching and hoisting seemed the way to go.
Twelve in-a-blink-of-the-eye years ago my husband and I exchanged wedding vows at this very hotel in Stillwater, Minnesota.Â Back then it was known as the Lumber Baronâ€™s Hotel, but now goes by The Water Street Inn.
My husbandâ€™s romantic soul wanted to reserve a room on the eve of our anniversary, but the hotel was completely booked on that date. Blast their continued success! Undaunted, he got us a night close to our anniversary, and thus we were making the high altitude climb to our room on the third floor.
Despite the dozen intervening years, the hotel felt the same.Â I paused on the same step I paused on back then, listening for my cue to make my way to the alter and to the handsome man who awaited me there. I felt that rush of excitement now, and took my husbandâ€™s hand.
As if the universe ordered a duplication of our wedding night, fat snowflakes drifted past the antique hotel windows. How could I not feel alive when the unknown future danced with a million silvery lights just beyond my reach?
After we settled in our room, it was time to make our way back downstairs.Â We had dinner reservations at the hotel, and I was delighted to discover the room we had been married in now serves as a dining area. Our table was, magically, on the spot we had exchanged vows twelve years earlier.
As we laughed, toasted, and reminisced, we eventually noticed there was one other couple in the dining room with us. My husband told the waitress weâ€™d pick up their drink tab in celebration of our anniversary.Â The couple thanked us, and then bought us dessert.
Twelve years go by incredibly fast when love is the transporter.Â Being back at the hotel to revisit our wedding, the glorious times since then, and dreams for the years yet to come, was the best part of my day. Happy Anniversary, lover.