On our first date, Alan was going to take me on a tour
of the Airbus 330 (one of the airplanes that he teaches on at Northwest).
Unfortunately, that night, they had to put the plane back into service and
it was sent off to Amsterdam. It was about 6:00pm so we decided to go grab
a bite to eat instead. We decided to avoid the Mall of America so the next
closest place was TGI Fridays. One of the first things I noticed about Alan was
his smile. He has a smile that can brighten any room. We began talking
about our flying experiences, travels abroad and all our outdoor fun.
While I was sitting there, I remember thinking, WOW, we have so much in
common. We did a lot of talking and laughing.
As we left that evening, he asked me if I would like to
join him rollerblading sometime. I thought of course I would. So we laced up
our skates and headed out. I found myself gasping for air while avoiding the
stones and rocks on the path - for sure I didn't want to crash and end up flat
on the ground. Ok, this was a complete cake walk for him - he's competed in
a number of rollerblading marathons over the years. To this day, he doesn't
break a sweat when he skates with me.
In the coming months, we spent more and more time
together. Among other things, we went to The River Dance, The Christmas
Carol, Bruce Hornsby show and a Vikings game. We enjoyed
some fun outdoors
as well - snow shoeing, ice skating and running the snow packed paths around
the lakes. We
decided to run the Rock 'N Roll 1/2 Marathons this year (Phoenix in January,
Nashville in April and Virginia Beach in September) which has proven to be
challenging but a lot of fun!
On March 16 - one of the first warm days we had this
spring, we decided to go for an easy run around the lakes. It was a
beautiful day-with the sun out warming the ice. As we got near the last 1/2
mile, he turned to me and said, "Let's slow down and enjoy the day." So we
did just that and passed through the finish line (a green trash can). It was
at that moment, he got down on his knee and asked me if I would spend the
rest of my life with him. I can honestly say that was the best day of my
life! We had plans to go to OceanAire that evening for dinner but he said
he had to make a quick trip to the Mall of America first. It turns out he
had plans to go to TGI Fridays all along. It was fairly crowded but we ended up
sitting at the same table that we had on our first date.
Later in the month, we took a plane ride home to
Mitchell, SD for Easter. We went running out on the country roads and on a
few tractor rides as well. Alan's mom (Roberta) prepared some fabulous meals
The big day is just around the corner and we are very
excited. Julie, her mom (Carolyn) and sister (Lori) are doing a great
job of planning all of the events.
Just a little bit about us. We met on August
2004 at a TGI Friday's in Bloomington, behind the Mall of America.
You can say it was a "blind date", but we were able to pick each
other out of the crowd without a problem. From our first meeting, we
knew that we had a lot in common. We both like sports, traveling
and new adventures.
In the following weeks and
months, we roller-bladed, ran around the lakes and toured Julie's old
stomping grounds at Northwest Airlines.
The first chance we had to spend some significant time
together was on her birthday in October. We did a
number of fun things
outdoors. We started out on a bike ride on the Cannon Falls trail which goes
from Cannon Falls to Red Wing, MN.
I planned a nice relaxing ride with a picnic along the
way. Little did I know what her definition of a bike ride was.
All of you that know her will understand what I am about to say. I
failed to articulate the fact that it was going to be relaxing sight-seeing
tour and once she mounted her bike it was high gear for the next 20 miles.
After reaching Red Wing, 20 miles later, I was able to finally catch my
breath, not to mention get off the bike seat (ahhhhh). Prior to that,
the farthest I had ever ridden a bike was 15 miles.
On the way back to the car, we stopped by Welch Mountain
Ski resort where there was an art fair going on. We stayed for a short
while. Since we were there, she asked me if I wanted to run up the ski hill.
After a sarcastic "sure, why not", she was up and running in her bike shoes.
After about ten seconds of looking around, I started up the hill after her.
It was either that or get on that bike seat again, the lesser of two evils I
guess. For all of you that have ever considered running up a ski hill,
here is one word of advice, it's a lot longer that it looks (that is why
there are ski lifts). Oh, and it is a lot easier running up the hill
than down. Once back on our bikes, we made the last ten mile
trek back to the car for some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I
was just glad to get something to eat at that point.
Later in the evening, we went to the California Pizza
Kitchen. As the night was drawing to a close (and it was her birthday
and all), I made a quick stop at Byerly's on the way home to pick up a
Killer Brownie and some candles (you have to have a cake and candles, don't
you?) That is just one of our adventures with many more to come.