And on this trip, he came back to me. His newer, more selfish persona surfacing only once that I can remember and then quickly disappeared again until we returned home to Connecticut.
It was during a particularly hard time in his depression. He had stopped eating and was way too skinny; so skinny in fact, that people began asking me if he had cancer. He also started cutting his arms and verbalizing suicide.
A vacation was welcomed.
We flew first class to Anaheim, CA because our friend worked for the airline at the time, and he pulled some strings. Flying first class is something I think everyone should experience, especially on a long flight.
We stayed in a lovely Spanish-style hotel with a nice restaurant-though we only ate there for breakfast because our days were filled with long road trips and exploring the unknown.
What I loved the most about this trip is that he chose to spend time with me instead of working. Of the 7 days we were gone, he only worked for 1 of them.
Being someone who loves exploring alone almost as much as with a partner, I took the opportunity to take a tour of Beverly Hills and Hollywood. It was a little disappointing, but I did see Morgan Freeman while walking down Rodeo drive which made my day. We also drove by The Viper Room.
My favorite moments were these:
*Driving for what seemed like days through the Mojave Dessert with no one around but the coyotes and suddenly being surrounded (yes, surrounded) by the Hells Angels. Matt's reaction was hysterical. And there was, I have to admit, a healthy dose of fear which made it a little exciting.
*Seeing The Valley of Fire. To this day is one of my most favorite state parks. The brilliance of the blue sky against the orange rock formations was so breathtaking that it will forever be burned in my heart.
*2 Las Vegas runs-the first simply to see it and the second simply to eat at the Brazilian restaurant again because the food was that good. Doing things like that is very "me" and having him agree and want to do it too, was worth the bonk on the head I got for falling asleep.
*Seeing the worlds largest thermometer. 'Nuff said.
*Hoover Damn-no damn tour though because of 9/11.
*Climbing Moro Rock, the highest point in CA (I think) only to find a warning on the top that read:
*And of course-but not the highlight, seeing Disneyland. (Which did not rock) I remember they turned all of the water fountains off because of 9/11 and the scare that something would be put in the water. (This was only in October)
Though our marriage was over long before this vacation (looking back allows me to see this) I still smile when I think of our long trips together, driving through the dessert to places unknown with nothing but our water bottles, a map and a desire to share the experience together.
And that was worth more than any house in Beverly Hills.