Next Stop: Canada

Well, it’s been a little longer than I would’ve liked since posting here… but I’m all about not apologizing for living my life these days, so… #sorrynotsorry. 😉

We have plenty of drafts saved up that we’ll be working on in coming weeks, but we have officially booked our first big trip for 2019 and the next country we’re going to explore together…

Next stop: Canada!

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OK, so it won’t be our actual next stop, because it’s not until July. We’ll likely be making a couple other trips between now and then. But it is our next BIG trip, and it all started with purchasing these tickets to see Queen + Adam Lambert!

But…why?

Good question! Mike and I both love classic rock––always have, always will. When we were planning our wedding and discussing music for the various portions of the day, Mike had this idea that “Somebody to Love” by Queen would be an awesome processional song. “Something about Freddie Mercury’s voice in that venue would just sound incredible,” he said.

It was odd that he chose that particular song––it’s always been a special song to me since I sang it with chorus in 9th grade. And it turns out that he and his buddies used to drive around in high school singing along to the song as well. And so, it became our processional song. And it did sound absolutely incredible in Corradetti Glassblowing Studio.

Once we’d decided on that, we were looking for a first dance song. And it didn’t take long for us to settle on “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen. Short, sweet, not too slow… and exactly how we feel about each other. It was perfect.

So in a short time, Queen became “our” band and the soundtrack to our lives. When it came out that the movie Bohemian Rhapsody was being released just about a week after our anniversary, we just looked at each other and smiled. It was meant to be.

Tickets to see the movie on opening weekend were part of my anniversary gift from Mike, and when it was announced that Queen + Adam Lambert were going on tour in the summer of 2019, we knew we were going to get tickets no matter what.

Why not closer to home?

After a few days trying to win tickets to the Washington, DC show, I said, “Well, you know, we don’t have to go to the DC show…” So we looked at the list. First of all, traveling to DC on a Tuesday night for a concert and then getting home and trying to function at work on either that day or the day after was going to be a nightmare. We contemplated Philly on a Saturday. Or Boston. Or New York.

Then we saw that the first show on the tour is in Vancouver, British Columbia. We had recently thrown the idea of visiting Vancouver out there anyway, so we decided… why the heck not just make a vacation out of it?! The first show of the tour means they won’t be tired or losing their voices just yet, Vancouver looks beautiful from everything I’ve seen, and we can cross another country off our list!

We’re still trying to determine if we’re going to spend a whole week in Vancouver or if we’re going to try to roll in Portland and Seattle on the same trip, but we are PUMPED about this adventure next summer.

Have you been to Vancouver? What do you recommend we check out?!

Maastricht: The Little City We Never Knew We’d Always Want to Return To

When we planned our first trip to Europe in 2016, we had no intention of going anywhere other than Germany.

The main point of the trip was to visit Lindsay’s cousin Lauren and her husband, Alex, who live in Dusseldorf. Truthfully, when we showed up, we had no plans other than that. Once we were there, Lauren and Alex took us all over Dusseldorf and to Cologne for a day. We also decided we would venture to Heidelberg and Munich on our own, but other plans would be made, too.

See, everything is closed on Sundays in Germany. Everything. So, often Lauren and Alex will drive into the Netherlands into a town called Maastricht on Sundays for shopping, sightseeing, and a quick escape. That’s exactly what we decided to do on the first Sunday we were in town. I had zero expectations for this little side trip, but was excited to cross another country off my bucket list.

The city of Maastricht (on the Maas River) was so quaint and beautiful. We loved wandering the streets with Lauren and Alex, grabbing drinks and bites to eat here and there, stopping in shops, finding little alleyways and interesting sights. What Lindsay didn’t know at the time was that there was a reason for all the shops we were going in and out of.

 

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This picture of us by the Maas River was taken right before a very important moment in our lives––but Lindsay was absolutely clueless about it.  Soon, we all kept walking along the river to a spot where we could go down to the banks and there was also a bridge (below) that you could walk under.

 

Wilhelminabrug Panoramic

All the way to the right where that graffiti is will always hold a special place in our hearts…and Lindsay had no idea that was the case when she took this photo of it. There, under Wilhelminabrug, Mike pulled out a lock from his pocket and asked Lindsay to put it on one of those railings with him as a love lock––he had just learned about love locks the day before when we were in Cologne. Lindsay hesitated, because she’s a goody-goody and there were no other locks on this bridge. Were they breaking a rule?! Heaven forbid… 😉

But Mike convinced her to do it and then they threw the key into the Maas after it was on the railing so no one could ever unlock it. It was then that Mike got down on one knee, pulled out a second key, and told Lindsay that key was hers to keep forever and asked her to marry him. Lindsay was in shock, but said yes! He put a (key)ring on it!

As it turns out, Mike had decided before we left the States that he was going to propose on this trip… he just had no idea how. He had already talked to Lindsay’s parents to get their blessing. He talked with Lauren and Alex the first night we were there after Lindsay passed out in bed and told them he needed their help. But on day 3, that Sunday, he still had no idea how or when he was going to do it. He went for a walk that morning and came across a lock on a bridge near Lauren and Alex’s house and remembering the thousands of love locks we’d seen the day prior in Cologne, he knew that was how he wanted to propose.

But remember… everything is closed in Germany on Sundays. So he told Lauren and Alex his plan and enlisted their help in finding a lock once we got to the Netherlands. At one point, Alex excused himself to go buy floss––yes, floss. And Lindsay didn’t think anything of it. They had just moved into their house and everything was in boxes. So needing floss was reasonable! Turns out, he was going to buy a lock.

The Lock

“Did you get your floss?” Mike asked when he returned to the cafe where we were having drinks. “Sure did,” Alex said. Lindsay was clueless.

After leaving the cafe, Lauren and Lindsay stopped in a chocolate shop and the exchange between the men happened. From there, it’s history.

Before leaving Maastricht, we stopped in a store for some champagne, cheese, crackers, and dinner supplies. When we got back to Lauren and Alex’s, we celebrated and called my family. The rest of the trip was spent as a newly engaged couple!

Post-Proposal Prost

 

The Travel Factor

Long before Mike and I took our first weekend trip together, travel was a major factor in our relationship.

We met on New Year’s Eve 2014, and just a few weeks later, I had to travel to Orlando for a work trip. Most of our first year together would actually be punctuated by travel, both solo and as a couple.

A New Tradition

During my first 4-day trip in our young relationship, I think we FaceTimed every night. We hadn’t even called each other boyfriend and girlfriend yet, but I still have numerous selfies I took  in various work attire and sent on to this cute boy I was seeing with notes like, “Do I look enough like a cruise ship director in this?”

As I sat in MCO while waiting for my flight home, I decided to stop in the gift shop to buy him a treat. We were just a few weeks into dating, but we had covered the ever-important topic of favorite candy, and I knew that he loved Mounds and Almond Joy. He was appalled that I do not like coconut in any form outside of oil or milk for cooking… actually, he’s still appalled that he married such “a hater.” So when I saw Coconut Patties in the gift shop, I knew I had to buy them for him to show how supportive this “hater” was of his likes. My co-workers still joke that they knew right then I was going to marry him! I’ve traveled to Florida at least 4 more times since then, and each time, I’ve brought home a box (or two) of Coconut Patties for my man.

“I Think I Love You”

In April, Mike was taking a trip with his buddy to the Dominican Republic. They’d been planning it for a while and I had a bit of anxiety about it. By this point, we were deep in this relationship, and I was sad that I wouldn’t get to see or talk to him for more than a week. The night before Mike was flying out to DR, we actually got in a fight. Not our first (nor our biggest), but it was significant. I don’t remember now what it was about, but it hurt pretty bad at the time. After we talked through whatever it was, there was a little bit of quiet and when I looked at Mike, I saw his eyes were glistening a bit. I gave him a questioning look and then he grabbed my hand and said, “I think I love you.” I breathed this huge sigh of relief as my heart swelled. I knew I loved him, and now, knowing he felt the same, I didn’t feel as upset about him leaving for a week.

The Travel Factor

Then there was my big trip to the Middle East the month after that, which will get its own post (or two). But the point is, over the years we’ve each traveled without the other, to places like Florida, Utah, Texas, Illinois, Vermont, Abu Dhabi, and the Dominican Republic. And the places we’ve traveled together are just as varied. But this one factor, The Travel Factor, has always been worked into our relationship.

We both know there is so much more to this world than our little corner of it in Baltimore, and we can’t wait to see what else is out there. So whether we’re exploring the lakes of Western Maryland or Europe, the beaches of North Carolina or Jamaica, the mountains of Virginia or Switzerland, we’re eager to see more, do more, and go farther.

Meet the Shermans

She’s just a small town girl, living in a lonely world… Wait, no. That’s a Journey song, and it was the top song on the “Do Not Play” list for our wedding. So let’s start this over again…

We’re two Baltimore natives who grew up just a couple miles apart and had a couple near-misses on attending the same schools, yet our paths didn’t cross until our late 20s at a bar on New Year’s Eve. I’m sure we’ll get to our meeting story at some point, but for now, let’s go over the basics here.

Let’s Meet the Shermans…

Him: Mike. Almost 32. Grocery store general manager. Beer lover (especially Belgians and Germans) and pizza fiend. Never lived outside of Baltimore. Tough on the outside (tattoos and a motorcycle), total softie on the inside.

Her: Lindsay. Not-quite-as-almost 32. Editor and writer. Cider convert (fibromyalgia requires me to eat a gluten-free diet) and cheese addict. Went to North Carolina for college and spent a semester in Australia. Soft on the outside, even softer on the inside… but learning how to fight and get stronger every day, both inside and out!

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Conquering Lindsay’s fear of heights at the top of Mt. Titlis in Switzerland on our honeymoon – Oct. 31, 2017

Five years ago, it’s unlikely that either of us would have predicted this partnership in adventure. Yet here we are: Two 30-somethings with two very different experiences growing up, seeing the world, and forging our paths. Since those paths converged, we’ve learned a lot about and from each other.

This blog will be our attempt at documenting our lessons in navigating marriage, life, and the world. We hope you’ll join us for the journey!

Until next time,

Lindsay & Mike
(but mostly Lindsay…I am the writer, after all)