Valentine’s Day Memory – When Things Don’t Go As Planned

Posted 14 February, 2011 by Trish in Life, Travel / 38 Comments


There are times in life when things don’t go as planned. And it’s easy to throw up your hands and get upset, to write off the event as a failure or begrudge that your plans were derailed. On the other hand, sometimes those moments somehow end up being the most cherished moments in life.

My first Valentine’s day with Scott was an absolute disaster. For Valentine’s Day 2004 we planned to spend the weekend at his parent’s cabin in Taos, New Mexico. I had just graduated from college and Scott was still living in College Station. He picked me up in Dallas and we made our way on the 10 hour trek west to New Mexico. Seven years later the exact details are foggy—such as the time we left and when the weather conditions really started to turn south, but I remember the point at 3:00 in the morning when the temperatures outside were registering in the negative teens and it was so cold Scott’s radio in his Explorer stopped working.

By the time we finally got to the cabin it was frigid and the snow was knee deep. Scott went around to the back of the house to get the house key only to find…nothing. He broke into the house and I bundled up to get warm while he worked on turning on the hot water and heater. Nada. The family friends who used the cabin last failed to prep the water pipes, so everything was completely frozen and the heater wasn’t working. Needless to say we only spent one freezing cold night in the cabin before we were able to find the last condo available in Taos the next day.

After spending most of the day trying to find the last minute accomodations (remember, Valentine’s weekend!), fixing the broken glass window, and wrapping up the water pipes, we were glad to spend a little bit of down time together at a cozy Mexican restaurant in downtown Taos. The hostess found us a table right in front of the live entertainment for the evening – Juan Extraordinare. Awesome! It was not. I can’t even say Juan was Ordinare. My favorite part of the “performance” was when Juan Extraordinare received a phone call and half talked on the phone and half serenaded the crowd at the restaurant. Since we had front row seats, we were privvy to it all—I think poor Scott was going to die with embarrassment and frustration. Top it off with terrible food and even worse service, to date it is still down in our book as the worst dining experience we’ve ever had.

The next day, however, we were able to finally ski! I had never skiied Taos before, nor skiied with Scott who has been skiing since he was a baby, so I was excited and nervous at the same time. Until we were struck down with food poisoning from our dining experience the night before. I’ll spare you the details other than we didn’t get much skiing in that day and Scott and I got to know each other on a whole new level.

There was nothing that could have made the trip a bigger disaster than it already was (nothing we want to think about anyway). That night we ran to the grocery store to pick up some more Pepto and on the radio playing over the intercom played Elton John’s “Your Song.” I will never forget being in the produce section of Smith’s grocery in Taos and Scott taking my hand and dancing me with around the greens to Your Song. In that moment, all the frustrations of the trip melted away as Elton John sang to us and gave us reason to dance. A disaster that is one of my favorite memories.

To borrow from Elton John:

How wonderful life is with you in my world…

Happy Valentine’s Day. I hope your plans go a bit smoother than ours did, but I also hope that when things don’t go as planned you’re able to find a beautiful memory in the mess.

Much love,

38 Responses to “Valentine’s Day Memory – When Things Don’t Go As Planned”

  1. Trish, hands down, you are one of my favorite bloggers. This story was like a train wreck. I’m so glad that you survived. Happy love to you & Scott. :D

  2. Isn’t it amazing how what at first seems to be a very unmemorable experience, ends up being the memorable experience! Juan Extraordinaire! I remember laughing when you first shared the experience with me, and I laughed again this morning as I read your recount.

    Happy Valentines Trini. You are, one of the greatest gifts to my heart. xoxoxo — mom

  3. Wow, what a story! I love Taos, though – so sorry to hear your experience that year was like that! :–) My husband goes skiing every Valentine’s Day, but by himself (with a group), because I don’t ski!

  4. What a great story! Fun to laugh about it now, but I’m sure it wasn’t funny at the time! Hope your Valentine’s Day 2010 is great!

  5. *Vivienne – I’m the type who asks my husband to dance *all the time* and he always refuses, so this is a fond memory. ;)

    *christina – LOL–it WAS a train wreck. But one of my favorite memories. We still laugh about Juan Extraordinare all the time.

    *Amanda – Glad we can laugh about it now!

    *Kate/Mom – Oh that Juan Extraordinare. There are no words to describe his awfulness. Seriously. Love you Mom!

    *Rhapsody – Taos is a really fun area but we were both happy to leave after that trip. Try to go back during the summers instead!

    *Laura – We had some pretty rotten experiences but overall I remember the trip very fondly. Funny how that works! Hope you guys have a great Valentine’s as well!!

  6. Thanks for sharing this memory!
    :-) It reminded me of the night my husband planned to propose to me and had chosen a special restaurant up on a mountain. We couldn’t make it up there because a hurricane had recently hit, and the road was still blocked. Romantic plans that go astray are often the most memorable.

  7. Aw, what a lovely story (in the end)! I was just trying to post some Valentine goodness on my blog, but wasn’t able to embed any of the songs I wanted and gave up. Maybe I should try again.

  8. Sheesh, my dear, you made me tear right up there. Okay, first I wanted to cry over how awful your weekend was…but the real tears came with the lovely romantic gesture in the produce section. :) May every moment of this Valentines Day be as special as you are, Trish!!!

  9. If you can get through that, you can get through anything, I think! Great story. I kept thinking it couldn’t get worse, but then it did! But the dancing? Perfect.

  10. Awww, I love this story! (Although I’m sure at the time it was way less Awww and more Ahhh LOL). But love how he started dancing with you at the grocery store!!

  11. What an awful weekend, except for the grocery store. It’s nice to be able to look back and laugh though, isn’t it?

    We don’t actually do much for Valentine’s Day. We never have.

  12. Hahahah! This post made me half relieved and half sad to not have a terrible Valentine’s Day story of my own. How funny. Have a great night!

  13. Oh Trish, I loved this post! :) Despite of those things you and Scott encountered, you both had gone through it and it shows how true and strong love is!

    I hope you guys have a wonderful Valentine’s!! :)

  14. *Stephanie – Oh no! I’m guessing your hubby still managed to propose–or did he wait until a different evening?

    *Lisa – Hope you get your post to work.

    *Debi – You just can’t beat dancing in the produce aisle of a grocery store. It was a one time deal but I’ll take it! Hope you have a lovely Valentine’s day!

    *Elise – Scott is very sweet but not always romantic. Part of me thinks I might have made up the dancing, but it happened!

    *Jenny – LOL–Yes, we had a lot of Ughs that trip–I think the food poisoning was the worst, but the dancing definitely the best!

    *Carolsnotebook – We generally don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day with much hurrah either–this was possible because we were dating. ;)

    *Bermuda – Every day has memory-making, huh–just have to keep things fresh!

    *Care – They weren’t then, but now looking back…!

    *Michelle – I agree–things are sometimes MORE memorable when things go wrong, but it’s always good to laugh!

    *Topher – The sad part is it’s the only Valentine’s Day I vividly remember. Not sure if that’s good or bad! ;) You and your hubby have a great night, too.

    *Alita – You’re absolutely right–sometimes disasters make the best memories! Happy Valentine’s to you, too!

    *Melody – It’s fun now that we can look back and laugh. “Juan Extraordinare” was a sore subject for a while. ;) Hope you and your family had a lovely Valentine’s!

  15. That was such a disastrous day, but I’ glad there were parts of it that still make you smile.

    Our first valentines day was a disaster as well but I still remember it fondly.

  16. What a great story, Trish. One of those things where at the time it’s awful but it makes a good story afterwards.

    And it probably only brought you closer because you had to survive the “adverse conditions” together. The singing sounded worse than the frozen cabin, actually!

  17. That is a great story and it is expereinces like those that you realize what you have in each other.

    The hubby and I don’t necessarily celebrate V-Day, because I rather celebrate any day of the year. Plus I was a waitress once upon a time too, and I despised V-Day.

    Awesome story Trish :)

  18. Yes, I too remember when this happened. I can’t believe that Scott danced with you in the produce section. Can you imagine Chaz dancing with me in public?

    I should set up a hidden camera of our family dance sessions, Emma looks at us with utter embarrassment. Sad…

  19. Rae

    Wow, that is a terrible trip! But a sweet memory in the grocery store. :) I love that song and I loved this post. Thanks for sharing.

  20. I think it is the awful trips that are the ones you remember best. And the “Your Song” moment just saved it! Love the story …. though I’m glad I didn’t have to live it (sounds really miserable and cold). And I just loved the singer who takes calls in the middle of a show!

  21. This was wonderful!! I even got a bit teary at the end. :) You guys had fantastic attitudes, I think I would have packed up and headed home. And I love the “ordinaire” comment–made me laugh. :)

  22. You know what? In the end, this story was just too sweet for words :p I’m just sorry it was such a disaster to begin with! LOL…I’ve heard that Taos is gorgeous though! I’ve always wanted to go!

  23. Aw! A terrible trip but such a beautiful memory in the end! It’s those unexpected beautiful moments that are often most wonderful!

  24. That’s some story. It all turned out just perfect in the end though and that’s what counts. Hope you two had a great Valentine’s Day.

  25. cj

    Trish, that wasn’t a disaster. That was a test for life and you both obviously passed with flying colors.


  26. Mom and I were just talking about how the most disastrous experiences are always the most memorable and funny….after you get over it! :) Love you sister, happy Valentine’s Day!!