I was scheduled to go to a conference in St. Louis, and Jeff had committed to go with me even before things became unstuck, and we decided that it was even more important that we spend some time alone together after the big reveal. He suggested that we actually go early and spend a romantic weekend together. He found a lovely bed and breakfast called the Rock Garden Cottages in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. We had a nice drive through Arkansas, spent a little time exploring and then checked in. The cottage was perfect – charming brass bed, gas fireplace, and a made for two jacuzzi tub. We went to dinner at a lovely Cajun restaurant that had a very elegant ambiance and great food. When we finished dinner, we walked out to find ourselves in the middle of the Eureka Springs Christmas Parade, which we watched until we were too cold, and then we went back to the hotel and had wine and bubbles in the tub – VERY nice!! The breakfasts were in the main house and were gourmet – I have never in my life had such wonderful food. We also went out to the Pea ridge battlefield and explored Eureka Springs, and then had picnic food in the cottage. The weekend was actually more romantic than our honeymoon!! Feeling very happy with life, we set off for St. Louis.
Jeff was a little erratic in the car on the way to St. Louis, and totally freaked out when we did not have internet in the room, but by the next morning he calmed down, and we were able to enjoy the rest of our stay. We had a nice hotel room on the 30th floor, with a view from the window of the St. Louis Arch, the Mississippi River, and downtown St. Louis. We had a great night with dinner in the hotel followed by much snuggling. When we got back to the hotel, I discovered that Jeff had moved us to a much better room with a far superior view of the Arch, river, and downtown from the bed. We walked, and walked, enjoyed great food and a little shopping. Our time in the hotel in St. Louis was actually pretty magical – lots of love, some of it more adventurous than we were used to and certainly more plentiful than in the last 20 years. Although I had one or two sad moments, and we had one or two awkward moments, it was one of the most amazing weeks of our marriage, and we came home closer than we have been in years.
We did have one hitch. While we were in St Louis, J received a message that one of his friends from high school had died of cancer, and another friend was organizing through a message chain on Facebook a group to meet before the memorial service, and then to have dinner afterward. Once J posted a message saying he would be going to the service and dinner afterward, the OW posted a message saying she would be coming too. J freaked out because he knew that she had not been friends with the deceased in high school and had not seen her since then, so it was an obvious attempt to see him. The next morning he sent his friends a message that we were still in West Memphis and would not be back in time. Less than an hour later, she also sent a message saying that she would not be able to make it after all. I thought this was predictable, but Jeff was totally unnerved.