An Anniversary Surprise: Crossing The French Laundry off my Bucket List

French LaundryI got a really wonderful surprise this weekend. Yesterday was Ethan and I’s fourth anniversary (and Bastille Day!), and we had planned to spend a night in Napa over the weekend to celebrate. But we’ve both been very busy at work lately and the details of what we would do were pretty tentative. At least that is what I had thought!

Two or three years ago, after we had moved to California, I told Ethan that someday I would like to eat at The French Laundry in Yountville, CA. It was one of the thousand things on my unwritten bucket list. To my surprise, Ethan had a viscerally negative response to this comment and said that even if he was a millionaire, he would not eat there.  He made it clear that apparently he believed that it would not only be financially irresponsible, but perhaps borderline unethical to eat there while there were children starving in other parts of the world. He made valid and rational points as we were barely able to pay our rent at that point in our lives, and we were sustaining ourselves on rice and frozen chicken patties. So I accepted the fact that this would be one of those items that would remain on my bucket list forever.

So, I was very surprised, when you guessed it—Ethan surprised me with dinner reservations at The French Laundry restaurant! This meant so much to me, but not because we were going to an expensive or renowned restaurant as I’ve been just as happy going to $20 anniversary dinners in the past. The reason it meant so much was that he planned this for me so that I could have this experience, and he wanted to help me cross off an item on my bucket list. He wanted to share this unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience with me, even if it wasn’t necessarily something that he would have done on his own. Such is the power of love and compromise! We all need people in our lives who support us in our dreams whether they’re small and frivolous (like eating at a renowned restaurant), or big and serious (like taking a new career path, or having the courage to embark on a round-the-world trip). I feel very lucky right now.

Thank you so much honey, I love you!

And yes, here is an article on how to book a reservation at the French Laundry and another about our actual experience of eating at The French Laundry.