Our lives together began in June 2004. Andrew & Allison first met at UCR the summer before their freshman year of college, as a part of the summer honors orientation. We stayed in the same dorm hall, and made friends with the same group of people. When Fall arrived, the summer friends met again, and we all continued hanging out together. It was obvious after a month or so that Andrew and Allison were growing closer to one another than to others in the group. By December, Andrew finally worked up the nerve to ask Allison on a date. The story here varies depending on who tells it, but suffice it to say that the agreed-upon sequence of events involve:
- A mutual friend interrogating Andrew in front of the group
- The rest of the group wondering aloud why he hadn't asked Allison out yet
- Andrew's subsequent embarrassment
- His silly and hurried escape from the crowded room
- Allison coming to find Andrew to make sure he wasn't too traumatized
- Andrew managing asking Allison out (to a coffee shop, of course!)
Our first date was at a quirky little coffee shop called Back to the Grind, in downtown Riverside. We both enjoyed the ambiance of the cafe, the excellent coffee, and, of course, the company. Obviously, we hit it off. (It would be hard to explain the last eight years if we hadn't.) We managed to sneak in several more formal "dates" and even more informal hangouts before the academic quarter ended, and actually planned a week-long series of day trips with friends between the end of the quarter and Christmas. Honestly, it was probably more an excuse to see one another during a time we would normally have been apart than spending it with other friends. At the end of that week, on a brisk, 80-degree December day at Huntington Beach, Andrew and Allison went for a private stroll along the beach. Just as the sun was setting, Andrew leaned in and asked if Allison minded if he kissed her. It was sweet and romantic and innocent and perfect.
"Very Serious" Dating
Over the years, our relationship grew and matured, although we always found ways to keep ourselves from becoming too much like serious adults. Things like Andrew hiding a basket of flowers in the hedges along Canyon Crest Drive to surprise Allison with (as she wondered why we were pulling over for no reason in the middle of a busy street), or Allison covering Andrew's car in car chalk hearts for Valentine's Day while he was at work (letting his co-workers know what she was doing to tease him about his car being vandalized), or taking a relaxing drive around the urban Orange County coast while Allison calling out Left/Right/Straight at every intersection, never knowing where the car would end up next, and enjoying a romantic and adventurous dinner at the random restaurant we found after a few hours. And, of course, taking frequent trips to Disneyland, the San Diego Wild Animal Park , and camping trips in the desert just to stargaze.
Life, the Universe, and Everything
We have also done our fair share of more extravagant things over the course of our relationship. To celebrate our Forty-Two month anniversary, Allison planned a surprise weekend away for Andrew, with a trip to Sea World to spend a day playing with dolphins. We've taken trips together to the San Francisco Bay area to visit family and friends, gone horseback riding on Catalina Island, and gone on wine tasting trips around Santa Ynez, Paso Robles, and Napa, where we got engaged.
Adventures and Travels
Visiting the Atlantic
In October 2011, we traveled east to visit friends who had recently moved to Maryland. We vacationed for a week, exploring Washington DC and the Smithsonian Museums on the National Mall, enjoying the science and history. We wandered the back roads of Maryland as we drove to the Delaware coast (even discovering a little hidden pirate town along the way), dipping our fingers in the Atlantic Ocean and enjoying authentic east coast clam chowder. In Baltimore, we tracked down the Charm City Cakes studio and indulged our "really bad eggs" sides in a grog-filled pirate cruise through the harbor. At the apex of our trip, we drove through the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia, taking in as much Fall foliage as we could get and even stopping for wine tasting in the idyllic river valley.
European Vacation: Ireland & UK
Our most recent vacation has been, by far, the most epic. We had the opportunity of our lifetimes (so far, at least!) to spend two weeks in Europe. Our first week was spent in a tiny village in the Midlands in England. We toured the country, visiting Stratford-upon-Avon, Stonehenge, London, and even Cardiff, Wales. During the second week, we drove across Ireland, experiencing the land and culture, squeezing in as much as we could see, eat, and drink in Dublin, Killarney, Galway, and Limerick. We toured Blarney Castle and the Rock of Cashel in County Cork, took in the idyllic beauty of the Ring of Kerry, and ferried across the narrow Irish Sea to explore the ruins of O'Brien Castle on the Aran Islands . Now, we are looking forward to enjoying our honeymoon in Belize, making even more great memories!
Julian: Apples & Autumn
We first began our yearly tradition of spending a day in Julian back in September 2006. Since then, we've ventured up (or down, depending on where we've come from) to the quiet mountain town in search of pie and Fall colors every September or October. We spend the day strolling Main Street, eating pie, browsing craft fairs, and getting lost in the old used book shop. Some of our best Autumn memories were made here. It just felt right when we found the chance to get married here, too. Now, our family and friends can join us in enjoying the lovely October weather—and the pie—that keeps us coming back year after year!