A couple weeks ago my wife and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. Since we are working to become debt free, and this time of year brings about additional expenses (weddings, graduations, etc.), I decided to plan a frugal anniversary date with a twist. Instead of hitting the same old restaurant, movie theater and ice cream shop in our home town, we took a day trip back to the place we met and recreated parts of our first date. This may not be a feasible plan if you have since relocated across the country, but if you are still in the same geographic region it can be a memorable experience.
photo by blmurch
The great thing about this anniversary gift idea is that if you are recreating your first date, and you married young, you are probably reliving a time when you were flat broke (at least that was the case for us). For this reason, the costs to recreate those magical memories should be low. My wife and I met in college and spent nearly two years there together before we both returned to our respective homes to finish school locally. I was no good at long distance dating so instead of relocating I proposed! Thankfully, she said yes.
Back to School
We lined up Grandma to watch the kids and spent the Saturday morning following our anniversary riding over to our old college town (about 2.5 hours away). Besides attending the occasional football game, neither of us had been back after leaving school and it was surprising how much things had changed. My plan was for us to have dinner and then go back to the little hole-in-the-wall place we had an ice cream on our first date there nearly twelve years prior. Unfortunately, the hole-in-the-wall ice cream place was now just a hole in the wall – it was no longer there. Plan B? Find another ice cream place nearby where we enjoyed a peanut butter fudge ice cream from a second floor balcony and watched the sunset over the school’s campus.
“We Feel Old”
If there was any downside to our anniversary trip it was that we felt old strolling around a college campus. We are too young to have kids of our own attending, and too old to be grad students, so we felt a little out of place. Oh well, it was fun to see the old sights and spend time with my former college sweetheart. If any of you have an anniversary coming up I highly recommend a first-date recreation. Go a step further than I did and make sure the place you plan to visit is still there. Nothing kills the mood like finding the place you had your first date reduced to a pile of rubble.
Ask the Readers: What did you do to celebrate your last anniversary?