The Idea of It All

She thought she knew exactly how it would all turn out, but it was the idea of it all really, she realized so many years later.

She planned the wedding meticulously, despite the unwanted interruptions from family members who decided to take that time, after all those years, to assert their independence and bring their own unhappiness to the table.

She knew exactly what it would look like, where it would be, and what she would wear. She knew this was right, he was right, and after a near decade of courtship, everything would finally fall into place.

No longer teenagers, they were what some would consider ‘stable’; quite a surprise after the rebelliousness they had endured. But she knew what she wanted, and wasn’t going to settle for anything less. She knew the waiting had paid off, and with any sort of luck at all, it would be the fairy tale ending she believed in.

The day broke, cloudy yet calm. Even at her young age, she realized the need for quiet as she prepared. The scent of tuberose and strong coffee met her as she walked to the six foot window, parting the lace curtains to catch a glimpse of the garden below that would host the ceremony. It’s good luck to have rain on your wedding day, she whispered to herself in quiet affirmation.

A flurry of activity punctuated the morning, as ivory satin and lace draped her body. Her grandmother’s gown fit with an exactness that couldn’t be merely coincidence; the lace mantilla framed her chestnut brown curls and trailed behind her with just the right touch of elegance.

Cautiously, she made her way to the top of the garden staircase. The fall air crackled with anticipation as the strains of the brass quintet trickled to her ears. This is it, she reminded herself. This moment, this place, this man. This is the beginning.

Slowly, notes from Pachelbel’s Canon in D broke her daydream. Quietly grasping her father’s arm for stability, she took her first step down the path like every young bride, simultaneously confident and unaware of what was yet to come.

It was the idea of it all, really. All the planning, anticipation, worry. And all these years later, after children, after illness, after struggle and dodging life’s curve balls, it is still there-not quite as she imagined it would be, but when is life ever just what we expect?

This post was inspired by the novel The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson. Allie Crawford has the life she always dreamed of-and discovers she’s stronger than she eveer imagined. Join From Left to Write on April we discuss The Idea of Him. Join us for a live chat with Holly on April 3.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Travel with mamawolfe: Healdsburg and Camellia Inn

Once a year, my husband and I get to take a weekend away to a bed and breakfast – you might remember our last adventure to Hanford House in Sutter Creek, California.

20130721-100702.jpgThis year our destination was Healdsburg, California, and in true road trip style, we made several stops along the way.

I love watching Food Network’s Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, and when I travel and don’t know where to eat, I always search for a place Guy Fieri has visited – so far, I’ve never been disappointed.

We stopped at La Texanita in Santa Rosa, California, and were delighted with our meal.  You seriously don’t want to miss this food – the chicken huarache was one of the best I’ve ever had!

La Texanita huaraches
La Texanita tacos

Simple veggie tacos were so yummy, made with homemade tortillas…what a difference a tortilla makes!

La Texanita huaraches
La Texanita huaraches

After enjoying a sunny table outside and stuffing ourselves silly, we finished our drive and landed at Camellia Inn in Healdsburg.

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I love to take photos of the room before we mess it up!

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We had so much space to spread out; I could have stayed here for weeks!

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The rooms were beautiful, yet comfortable. It felt like a real living space, not something manufactured to look like one.

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Our room was tucked off the side of the main house, but just a short walk across the covered veranda took us into the dining room/living room area. I loved discovering all the collections!

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Just to keep pampering us, the owners of Camellia Inn host a wine and cheese tasting by the pool at dusk. We settled into the chairs, enjoyed the gorgeous warm evening and finished just a few bottles of local Zin.

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One of my favorite parts about this weekend was that everywhere I found myself I was able to sink in and enjoy the moment, the food, the wine, and the people. Downtown Healdsburg has a huge array of restaurants to choose from, and we eventually settled on Willi’s Seafood and Raw Bar. Our appetizer of fried calamari could and probably should have been an entire course.20130721-101021.jpg

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But we had read about the warm lobster roll sandwich, so we had to try that,too!

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As if we needed more food…but couldn’t resist the home made breakfast served family-style in the dining room.20130721-101101.jpg

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If you like botique-style shopping, Healdsburg has a lot to offer. We usually go for the antique stores, but on this trip I was entranced with these bright colored fabric and festive designs.

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For us, no trip to Healdsburg would be complete without a stop at Madrona Manor, the country inn where we were married 19 years ago.20130721-101149.jpg

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It still takes my breath away.

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Now, there’s an organic vegetable garden lining the path I walked during my bridal procession.

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The cutting garden is astounding – rows and rows of flowers, so many different colors and textures. I wanted to stay there all day.

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I can’t say enough good things about Healdsburg; it’s really one of those places where you can just sit back and enjoy the day.

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Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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