What kind of narcissist puts their mushy, romance story on their travel adventure blog? What does a modern, 40 something romance have to do with travel, adventure or blogging? Everything! If you get to the bottom of this article and don’t agree just leave a mean comment or send us a mean tweet @colemanconcierg . Don’t worry, we’re just the sort of narcissists who will read it in or on the Coleman Concierge reads mean tweets section, once we get a good assortment racked up. Until then, here is our opening…..when you choose love you jump in with both feet, like jumping into Navajo Falls.
Plenty of Fish in the Sea
Like many couples today, we met online. I loved online dating. I am somewhat literate and take decent photographs so it worked well for me. I planned my 10 minutes of small talk that was based two or three conversation starters. From there I would get my three indicators of interest, then quickly to phase shift. The entire setup worked way better for me than sitting in a loud, smoky bar meeting people who liked to frequent such places. Jenn never did buy the woo I was pitching. Her initial contact with me was mocking my tagline saying “I was the most adventurous nerd she would ever meet”. It took me a while, but when I convinced her that my lure was real, she was hooked.
Our ‘coffee date’ was almost a disaster. I got the day wrong and proceeded to harass her while she was on a date with another man about why she stood me up. At least I was a day early, so I didn’t stand her up. When we finally met, she wasn’t into hearing about my science fiction story I was writing. She didn’t think that qualifying guys for their artistic and creative ability was important, yet, here we are today blogging together. Anyway, she wasn’t wooed by any means…. But she wasn’t offended either. I was kind of like Wonder Breaded. Nothing great, but nothing not to like, so worth a second taste.
The second date was meh too. We had a mutual interest in biking and lived near each other so we met for an early morning training ride down the Rillito River Trail. She was decked out in her full road biking regalia. I sported athletic shorts and tube socks while riding my 29er. Her first thought was – really? I am a morning person and a chatty rider. She was half awake and just wanting to listen to her jams with both earplugs in. Again, she wasn’t real impressed with my style, but I could hang with her biking. I wasn’t too weak, and I wasn’t a dick who would drop her off the peloton so I could get my ride in. I just liked cruising along next to her, albeit chatting in her ear the whole time.
Breaking Out The Big Guns
I knew I liked Jenn by this point, but she was on the fence. I had to break out the big guns. I took her on my famous closer date – sunset picnic at Sabino Canyon. Whenever my ex-girlfriends compare notes, they all agree that this was my best date. I would pick up takeout food from an upscale restaurant in the Tucson foothills and park at the nearby Sabino Canyon. A short hike takes us away from everything and next to Sabino Lake for a picnic complete with a bottle of wine and strawberries dipped in a chocolate fondue prepared in a tea candle-powered hot plate. I had this one dialed in. Jenn said it’s a good thing we had that bottle of wine because my nerd talk would have been too much. Alas, I married an adventure girl and not a nerd girl.
After dinner, I set up my backpack hammock next to the lake and we watched the orange sunset flicker and fade off of the sheer cliffs of Blackett’s Ridge. Once it was dark, the lights of Tucson lit the valley floor beneath us. Jenn liked the view and was impressed by my “short game”. She wondered how a guy this geeky could have so much joie de vivre. My secret was, like any good nerd, I had studied up on the art of picking up women from my playbook, The Game. It wasn’t adding up in her mind – the oxymoron of an adventurous nerd with game. When we got back to the car and parted ways. I was a bit disappointed that my closing date ended with a kiss in the parking lot, but my game was good enough that I scheduled the next date before going home.
Our First Real Adventure
That next date led to another and then another. Pretty soon we were dating and scheduling real adventures together. The first place I took her was someplace very special to me – Havasu Falls. I finally had an adventure girl, so I wanted to see what she could do. It went about like our first bike ride. She was incredibly well prepared and thorough in planning. I was just happy to be there. The way down was slow. Downhill with packs on Jenn’s knee that was one month out from being replaced took some time. Once we got to the falls, I felt heartbroken. The flash flood of 2008 decimated my favorite waterfalls – Navajo Falls.
The river now flows through a different section of the canyon creating New Falls. It wasn’t the same, as you can tell from the before and after pictures but it was a great metaphor about the need to move forward in life and not keep reliving your past. The past always fades and always changes. The future can be new and exciting. New Falls is beautiful in its own right and the local kids loved playing in the shallow waters. The metaphor was reinforced with Jenn’s hike out of the canyon. The knees didn’t stop her from hill climbing like a champ. We made it out under a full moon in half the time with a great pace and smiles on our face.
The First I Love You
Jenn favorite saying with me was “I am still on the fence”. It was my goal that summer to knock her off that fence. I knew she was falling when she agreed to go to the family farm in Ohio. First off, Jenn is not a huge fan of cornfields. Second, it was the trip home to meet the folks. Third, she had the option to meet up an old friend (aka hot single guy friend) of hers in Seattle. I wasn’t a big fan of the last one, but I figured I had to let her choose and I am very glad she chose me that summer.
We always make the best of wherever we go, even Ohio. We chose a romantic weekend in Cincinnati for her birthday. The rustic bed and breakfast wasn’t quite our scene, but cycling the Little Miami Bike Trail was. We also shared our passion for sensation seeking at Kings Island. The “last ride of the night” on Diamondback was probably the single best rollercoaster ride I have ever had. The coaster was solid, fast and smooth but what made it special was riding under a full moon as the fireworks were going off. You can always find adventure and get your thrill on, but it’s those special little things you didn’t expect that makes it memorable. That, and experiencing it with the person you love.
http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/36504288.jpg (Little Miami Trail)
https://www.visitkingsisland.com/images/uploads/image/DBWeb.jpg (Diamondback at Kings Island)