On Friday the 11th I invited my parents over for the afternoon and dinner... or so I thought! They were hanging out downstairs and Darren came up to me and said I had 45 minutes to pack 2 date outfits, some walking clothes, and something to sleep in... Apparently we were going somewhere, and he had worked it out with my folks to watch Noah weeks before! My dad just went along with it when I invited them over!
An hour later we were on the freeway, going who knows where.... until we reached the AIRPORT! I couldn't believe it. A little while later and we were arriving in good ole' southern California, the place we met. To top it off, our rental car was a beautiful convertible sports car and our hotel was right next to Universal City Walk with a beautiful view. It was awesome!
Everything was still very secretive. That night, Darren took me to the restaurant where we had our first real date... a packed out and delicious Italian restaurant called Miceli's. Except this time, were were escorted up a spiral staircase to a lone table sitting on a small balcony overlooking the rest of the restaurant! I remember seeing this little table on our first date over 6 years ago and thinking what a lucky girl for her guy to plan such a special time. And here I was with MY special time and MY special guy! Who knew that first date that we would return happily married with 1.5 kids!
The next day we did something I will never forget. I have told Darren that I went to Universal Studios at 10 years old and had always wanted to go back. Not only did Darren take me back there, he got us the 6 hour VIP tour package where they let you in to special places and take you on backlots, etc.! I teared up a bit when I found out - I was so excited! We got to go into the prop warehouse, walk around some lots and sets, feast on a delicious catered lunch, and walk to the front of every line where a velvet red rope greeted us! I love being VIP!
That evening we dined where we had our second date, Koji's shabu shabu. I began to see a pattern that Darren was recreating our first dates! We ate a wonderful meal and walked around Hollywood and Highland. I remembered that very date, what I was wearing, how I had matched my toenails to my top, and how at one point when I took Darren's arm and was chatting he said "I'm sorry, I haven't been able to focus on a thing you've said since you took my arm"...
The next (yes, two nights !) day we returned to a beautiful hard-to-find bluff in Bel Aire that overlooks all of Los Angeles. It's a bit of a hike, but the view is worth it. We stopped at the same cuban deli we had stopped at 6 years ago and headed up. The original time Darren planned this picnic, it was our third date. He was prepared with food, wine, a scrabble board (he knew I liked scrabble), and the music of frank sinatra. This date was also our first kiss :) This time around he had stuff for us to sit on, and pulled out the same music. He is so romantic!
After that it was time to head home to our little boo, Noah, and his best buddy Juju - now sometimes affectionately referred to as Genny.
Getting ready for our tour
On the set of "Life"
It was just like a police station. I even picked up a folder of paperwork and it had printing and case documents, not just a bunch of blank paper as I suspected!
For your enjoyment, some pics from the ORIGINAL picnic on April 13th 2002!
Waiting to figure out where he's taking me - I was always smiling when I was with him.
This was his pic on the Christian online site we met on - I referred to him as "the guy on the couch" - and I loved his eyes.