5 Years and Counting, plus places to stuff your face in Fayetteville

23 Aug

Amongst all the gushy declarations made on our 5th anniversary adventure to northwest AR, I think my favorite came from Ike: “At this point, we’re stuck with each other.” I couldn’t have put it any better myself.

Big smiles before our big dinner at James at the Mill.

Big smiles before our big dinner at James at the Mill.

After 5 (glorious) years of marriage, I’m left wondering what my life would be without this man. He’s the person who spends extra time in the morning making me a separate pot of decaf, the guy who buys me flowers when I have to get excessive blood drawn and that special someone who helps me with freelance projects when I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.

Eagerly awaiting our food.

Eagerly awaiting our food.

We wake up talking, spend all day im-ing and then discuss our days on the way home. He’ll even come with me shopping.

I guess my life would be a decaf and flowerless wasteland filled with too much work and not enough talking? Bleak.

Not to say there haven’t been bumps on the road. We’ve dealt with our share of job loss with a special side serving of long-term hospitalization. We even get in fights now and again, and he holds the special honor of being the person I can get most ridiculously mad at. He’s seen me at my worst, but doesn’t resent me for it. And he can guide me gently out of those behavior ruts that make me feel guilty.

Picturesque view of the inn from James at the Mill.

Picturesque view of the inn from James at the Mill.

Even on our love nest weekend, we got in a spat over where to eat on Saturday night. We had made reservations to try out Tusks and Trotter. But after our fabulous 5-star dinner at James at the Mill (with a 5-star price tag to match) the night before, I was starting to doubt our choice. This Tusks place had a lot of large, meaty entrees for over $20 a pop.

Even the bread was fancy. Didn't stop me from eating it, though.

Even the bread was fancy. Didn’t stop me from eating it, though.

I just couldn’t imagine feeling good about a heavy meal with a hefty price. So, on the way to the restaurant I started to drop those subtle wife hints. “Are you sure you want to eat at this place?” “I don’t know what I feel like ordering there” and so on. Yes, I know. Even after 5 years, I still forget that being upfront is the best policy in a man-woman relationship.

My fancy chicken meal at James at the Inn. I really dug the risotto.

My fancy chicken meal at James at the Inn. I really dug the risotto.

Perceptive man that he is, Ike soon realized I wanted to ditch our reservation. At which point, I immediately reversed my position, and kept repeating, “No, it’ll be fun, let’s do it.” To which he emphatically refused.

We finally ended up in a McDonald’s parking lot at a “where should we eat standoff.” Ike knew he couldn’t have fun at a place I wasn’t going to enjoy, so (to my protestations) we picked another place.

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Really fancy chicken fried steak!

The night ended with seriously good grilled cheese sandwiches at Hammontree’s and apple pie at a local coffee shop. A sweet and savory conclusion to what could have been a disastrous evening. A testament to our maturing relationship? I think so.

Other trip highlights:

Our cozy room at the Inn at the Mill. I think we both enjoyed the robes more than anything.

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The aforementioned 5-star dinner at James at the Mill. Banana cake finished our feast.

The waiter said it was the chef's grandma's recipe. This lady knew what she was doing.

The waiter said it was the chef’s grandma’s recipe. This lady knew what she was doing.

Of course we ended up here on Saturday morning.

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From Washington to Warhol, Crystal Bridges did not disappoint.

They also have a cool Washington exhibit going on until September 30th, lots of hand-written notes and such.

They also have a cool Washington exhibit going on until September 30th, lots of hand-written notes and such.

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And seriously, why didn’t I think of an entire restaurant built around grilled cheese?

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This: an amazing cookie sandwich from Rick’s Bakery. I don’t think I can die completely satisfied with my cookie consumption without another one.

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Don’t want to forget the fancy crepes we had at Arsaga’s (like seriously mine had chocolate ganache, swoon).

I adore sweet breakfast. This definitely hit the spot.

I adore sweet breakfast. This definitely hit the spot.

Before we headed home, we got lost in a huge used book store! Elliott won the day here. I got two baby-centric books and that’s it.

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Enjoy your weekend! I get to spend mine celebrating my new baby cousin, Corinne. I should be back soon with more, thrilling life updates. Until then!

28 weeks. Hello 3rd trimester.

28 weeks. Hello 3rd trimester.

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