Last night James and I did one of our favorite low-key Christmas traditions, walking across Capitol Hill to see some of our favorite holiday decorations. We started at Starbucks, loading up on those amazing sugary holiday drinks before wandering over to check out The People’s Tree in front of the Capitol. The tree was from Minnesota this year, and I have to hand it to the fine people of the land of 10,000 lakes: your decorations totally topped last year’s. We especially loved the car license plate that was strapped to the tree amidst precious ornaments made by (I like to imagine) schoolchildren. After marveling at the tree, we continued on to Union Station to bask in the glory of the wreaths, check out the Norwegian tree and trains, and hit up the recently opened Shake Shake. Union Station has been under construction most of the time I’ve lived here, but it will always be one of my favorite buildings.
This walk, beyond being a lovely Christmas activity, is a special one for us, as it marks all the locations where I tried to orchestrate my own proposal in that horrible December of 2011. It takes us to Union Station, the first site where I was sure he was going to propose, so sure in fact that I demanded to be led with my eyes closed the last block to enhance the moment.
It also brings us right to the Capitol Tree, site of the infamous I’m-not-leaving-here-without-a-ring showdown of 2011. I’m not exactly proud of that moment, but it happened, and now it is hysterical. This past Wednesday, the three year anniversary of our engagement, we went to see The Nutcracker, laughing about my terrible response to James’ proposal three years ago and the Nutcracker performance that we didn’t even make it in to see. Walking around our neighborhood last night reminds me how far we have come. Once sites of a lot of angsty tears and frustration, they are now places where we laugh, share cheesy fries, clink Starbucks cups, and feel so blessed that it turned out exactly the way it did.