It’s still a little unimaginable that Christmas has come and gone again so soon. The last couple of months have flown by, even though 12 months ago seems as though it was just last week. The last 12 months have brought many changes and events in both of our lives, as it has to many of you all.

Al left her job in Syracuse, found a teaching job in Northern Virginia, and then moved to Alexandria over the summer. To think, all of this happened the second half of the year too. In October, we finally decided to give this blog a try and share some random stories but also document the many things we love doing in the VA/DC/sometimes MD area. We’ve also hinted at looking past a little, since you really can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.

Christmas morning 2012, Al was leaving for LA in a couple days to visit a friend for New Year’s, and other than seeing her perform (The Man Who Came to Dinner) we hadn’t seen each other in 10 years. So, on Christmas morning, I sent Al a message asking if she was interested in seeing Les Miserables in Buffalo that night. Downfall of asking someone out on Christmas night, in addition to the high chance of them saying “you’re crazy”, is that nowhere is open beyond around 9pm ( if they are even open in the first place). A movie seemed like the one shot I had.

To my surprise, she said yes. You see, as we probably haven’t shared, this was not the first time I asked Al out. WAY back in 6th grade, roughly 17 years prior she turned me down, so this was another shot. And why not? It was Christmas after all.

We decided that I would pick her up around 8pm and since she was right around the corner having Christmas dinner with her family, I had plenty of time to over-think every detail of the night to come. This, mind you, is not something I’ve been used to since early college years. In full disclosure, I should also admit that I changed my shirt 3 times and left 30 minutes early to pick her up even though she was literally right around the corner! Leaving early gave me an opportunity to drive to 3 gas stations that were closed before finding an open one.

Al walked out of her Aunt’s house with a green blazer on, and thankfully went in for a hug right away. Sometimes first dates are a little awkward with beginning and ending gestures. I opened and closed her door (jumped into the air behind the car to click my heels) and then we were off. We actually made it all the way to the theater, snow all around us, and realized there was no way we could make it through a movie without talking…so on to plan B -which I always have. My advice to anyone on a date, “ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN B”. I always have an alternative, or two places in mind when going out, so if you feel the mood is wrong at one place there is a backup. Wouldn’t you know, in picking a movie I completely forgot about PLAN B.

There we were driving on Transit Road, away from Buffalo, and I was quickly realizing around 9pm on Christmas night nowhere was open. Therefore, the first drink we ever had was at TGIFridays, Blue Moon for both of us. At around 10pm, our bartender told us they were closing up soon, so we quickly paid our bill and headed back to the car (still without a plan for the evening). We headed back toward our hometown and decided to stop off at my parents place. There was a 2006 Octagon from Barboursville Winery in Virginia sitting on the counter that I told her she should try. She had already learned I loved wine and she had already said she didn’t like red wine all that much (Al mostly only drinks red now) so I figured this was an acceptable Plan C. The 2006 vintage is one we now hold dear, and are doing our best to acquire as many as possible. 

The rest, as they say, is history. 

The moral of the story is that we are both open books, so here is a little more about us beyond just sharing our opinions on things to do and places we highly recommend. And my personal advice: for as confident as you may be, once in awhile it’s OK to be nervous and think about every step twice as you seek comfort in a new situation. When you meet the right person, the games have to change, and you just have to leap hoping there are pillows on the other end and not a hardwood floor.

For anyone who thinks a moment is going to pass them by, reach for it. If you ever think you’ve missed your chance, turn around and look for it. For anyone who is thinking of taking the risk, isn’t it better to know than wonder, “what if”?

So, this Christmas, it was much more than presents being given and received, cookies, family and friends. This Christmas Al and I got to escape for a couple hours at the end of the night and open the same bottle of wine we did 12 months ago, and recall fondly how truly amazing 2013 was for us.


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    1. Followed Al for years now, and am loving reading both of your takes on all the new adventures in DC! Happy nee year to both of you, and those pups!

      1. Lauren, you are fabulous – thank you for sticking by me all this time and supporting me from afar – happy New Year!!! xoxo

    1. Cute! I love hearing about how couples first got together :)

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