Now lets start Friday. I picked up Megan after the stressful morning (As Clint would say the adversary did not want us to meet, but me, my friends I will endure to the end. I was not missing my time to meet her).
Megan is a great sport. She understood right away that I was in rare from being in my jeans and hoodie. I looked at her all unkept and told her this is not me. I am a suit and tie guy. I wear blazers everyday this was just a bad day (and I proved it later with my properly showered attire).
ButI pick her up looking like scrub and proceed to take her to the Pebble Beach house for her sleeping accommodations. Now we have to understand the Pebble house. This house is on the 18th green of Pebble Beach – 17 mile Drive. I know, I know it is a horrible place but someone has to live there.
We decide to grab food, and from that point on the conversations begin to just roll - the tires story, the day story, the plans for the weekend all of it just rolls out. I am taken back most of this time. It’s all kind of blurred. Going through my head is, 1) wow she is soo pretty, 2) she is taller than I thought, 3) man I look like a scrub and, 4) i hope i don't smell....
But I know we talked and had a good time. People called me to make sure she got in and then we were left to our own devices. We ended up eating our sandwich and the rain started coming in. So my plans were not plausible. We hop in the car, and I decide to drive to one of my most special places... this is my happy place and I wanted to share it with the person who makes me happy.
We go north on Hwy 1 and kept driving. We talked about everything under the sun from family to school to work to friends to the kitchen sink. I am still sitting in my car going... What’s that smell? Is it me? I hope not. Wow, she is pretty. There’ss that smell again...
Seriously though. I was enamored with her. I wanted to soak in as much as I could. I wanted to share all that I am and just be with her. I let the Spirit guide our journey and we went nowhere, but we were where we were supposed to be. We eventually got to my special place...Pigeon Point Lighthouse just north of Davenport on Hwy 1 (check the pictures from Megan's post and see that the place is beautiful even when it is stormy and windy.)
I talked about how I love the analogy of the light house. I love how light houses operated and how when I retire how i’d like to own/maintain a light house. We kept talking about futures, never really saying us.... but that was always at the back of my mind.
This is a good point to interject something I find to be very important about the "us" factor. I have been a convert to the Mormon church for less than 6 months. I lived 29 years on this earth doing things my way. They didn't work, part of the reason I was drawn to the Gospel. But where this is going, which I am sure you are wondering, is that I have interacted with women a certain way my entire life. I know how to deal with those types of women, crazy that is.... but when it came to Megan I didn't know how to act in the physical sense. She sat there across from me and I wanted to hold her hand, but resisted. She looked at me like I was the one for her and I wanted to kiss her, but I resisted thinking this isn't the proper way to act as a strong priesthood holder honoring my covenants with Heavenly Father. I am so new I didn't know what to do. Well I knew what I wanted to do, but I wanted to respect the faith. Hoping for insight I had read the law of chastity and that give me very little direction of what to do and I was for sure not going to tip my hand to Megan with Amanda's words echoing in my head "WOW HER!! you have to WOW her!" So that first night I was just trying to read her body language and show her some of the best of me that not a lot of people know about.
Now back to the weekend. We got in the car after leaving the lighthouse and I was about to turn to go back to Monterey and Megan asked if we were headed home. I said this was my happy place, but I did have other plans... she said she was enjoying what we where doing, so I turned the car and headed further north.
Another good stopping point. I love San Francisco by the way. I knew that this path on Hwy 1 ended in SF. Now I don't know if Megan knew that, but that is where we were headed.
So North on Hwy1 we go. This is where Megan asks for the conversion story. I love this story, but I will not repeat it here. Eventually I will get to that blog and update that one. We talked about my conversion and took roads I have never taken before and drove our happy way up to SF. We hit Half Moon Bay and Clinton called... he let the cat out of the bag about going to SF and I could see the excitement in her face. That made my heart go pitter-patter because I wanted to show her everything. I was excited to see her excited and I just kept smiling.
Now we have been driving for about 2 hours all over Hwy 1 and surrounding areas. Megan kept reminding (and still does) about the importance of drinking water. So in HMB we stopped for water and restroom. While we were stopped I was texting furiously to my friends, telling them that she is super awesome and we are going to SF. We left the gas station but not before I asked again if she liked my rims.
I was going to be staying with Amanda and Clinton. They live in a yellow cottage that is part of a series of houses (think mini-cute-yellow-housed-compound) in Pebble Beach (they actually charge you $10 just to drive through the area if you’re not a resident). Their house sits on a rocky escarpment overlooking a sandy beach right next door to the 18th green of the Pebble Beach golf course. It is absolutely fantastic!!! The pictures hardly do it justice.
We dropped off my stuff. This entire time the conversation was so easy. It was just like all the time we had spent on the phone, only better because I was able to look at him. To see his face and is expression. And best of all to see his smile. I don’t think I stopped smiling the entire time.
By now it was after 1pm (2pm my time) and I was hungry so he took me to a favorite sandwich shop of his called Companos. The adorable owner Bennett, was a wonderful man who insisted on coming out from behind the counter to give Chris a hug and then of course he had to hug me. This was the first of many indicators that Chris is a very well loved man throughout his community. We couldn’t go anywhere without Chris meeting someone. And everyone we met just raves about all that Chris has done for them with an occasional anecdote about a party or fun time they had with him. It always made me smile.
This is also were I’ll interject with reason #108 why I love Chris…he always introduces me to everyone immediately. He’s very conscious of this. Usually within about the first 10 seconds of meeting someone, Chris will pause the conversation and say something like, “I’d like to introduce my friend Megan. Megan this is…” He would do it every time, without fail! I never felt like a third wheel. I felt like I was important to him, even when he was having a conversation with someone else.
Anyways, back to the story…we took our GINORMOUS sandwiches back to the yellow cottage to eat while Chris talked on the phone to his mother for a bit, taking care of business. Reason #109…Chris loves his mother. Ladies, how can you not like a man who loves his mother. They have a very, very strong relationship. From what he’s told me she is a remarkable woman who has single-handedly raised a strong, caring, intelligent, and loving man. Enough said!
After lunch Chris says he’s going to take me for a drive to a special place. And truthfully, just being able to talk with him face-to-face, to just be with him, was all I was concerned about, didn’t really matter what we were doing. Besides, pretty sure there wasn’t a bad view to be had along the coastal highway. We just started meandering through the hills of Pebble Beach, driving along the coast. The views were breath taking, and we talked, and talked, and talked. Chris seems to be under the impression that I remember everything we talked about, but (I hate to burst your bubble, hon) I don’t remember the details just that it was wonderful!
Along the road I saw a picturesque old light house along one precipice. I pointed it out to Chris and watched a smile spread across his mouth as he quickly pulled his car off into the light house parking lot, turns out that this is one of his very favorite spots, Pigeon Point Lighthouse. By this point there’s a drizzle on-and-off and the ocean is frothing up along the rock faces below the light house. A chilly breeze, ok nix that - make that a down right cold breeze, is blowing in from the ocean. I’ve got my camera out and I’m trying to bury it under my coat while I’m burrowing under it. At some point I find myself tucked behind Chris trying to hide from the wind. At this point I’m thinking…man it would be easier to stay warm and a whole lot more romantic if he had his arm around me. Heck, I’d settle for a warm hand hold. But I wasn’t about to make the first move.
Please excuse all the photos...but there were so many great things to photograph.
We walked around the light house. And Chris got the first glimpse of my interest in photography. I warned him before I arrived that I “like to take pictures”. Pretty sure he underestimated me and my interest. Most people do. When you say you like to take pictures they assume you mean you’ll bring your camera and snap a few pictures. Not me. My camera is almost attached to me, and I’m usually up in someone’s face, leaning over a wall or ledge to get up close and personal with the vegetation, or wandering around the backsides of buildings or down alleys where all the really interesting things are. He was wonderful. Patiently waiting for me while I snapped away, and even offering up smiles when I turned the camera on him.
I would like to also point out that by this point, my appearance was going down hill rapidly. It had been drizzling and raining on and off and the wind on around the light house had whipped my hair into a ragged frenzy. We’re heading back to the car and I catch a glimpse of myself in the car window – AGHHH…it’s Belaxtrix LeStrange, for real! And there’s no way to repair the damage so I just shrug it off and figure it’s a good sign he hasn’t said anything.
We climb back into Chris’s car (after the obligatory, “so do you think the rims look ok?). As we’re pulling out of the parking lot, Chris looks to be turning down the road back to the yellow house. I ask if we’re all done, kind of disappointed because I was really enjoying the sightseeing and LOVING the time to just have Chris to myself, face-to-face, to talk with. He looks across the counsel and smiles his mischievous smile and says, “No problem”, and turns the car north along Highway 1.
I did try to ask him where we were headed next. His response, “It’s a surprise.” We just kept driving and talking, and talking, and talking. It was amazing, because we really never ran out of things to talk about. It was during this drive that Chris shared with me his conversion story, about how he first heard about the Gospel, and the roll that Clinton and Amanda played in his conversion. I am so glad that I waited to hear him tell me about it in person. They love that this man has for God and the Savior is tangible. He takes his covenants and his testimony of the Gospel very seriously, and it was moving to hear how his life has changed. The good things that he had in his life prior to converting to Mormonism, were strengthened – his love for his mother, his love for his friends/brothers, his desire for his own family, his compassion for others – all of these things were given an eternal perspective. And then all the “other” stuff, not inline with the Gospel teachings fell away. I admire the personal strength and integrity of this man. Pretty sure I was falling head over heals in love with him at this point – and we still hadn’t held hands, and it wasn’t because I wasn’t throwin’ out the signals.
About 45 minutes into our drive, Chris gets a phone call from Clinton, who was checking up on us. Clinton asks where we are headed. Chris looks over at me and gives me that smile again and says, “I’m taking her to dinner in San Francisco.”
*big ol’ cheesy grin from ear to ear*
I was going to San Francisco to have dinner with Chris…girls, have you ever heard of anything more romantic! I had never been to San Francisco, but it was definitely on my list of “Places to See”. Leave it to Chris to decide dinner in San Francisco would be the perfect way to cap this amazing evening.
Come back tomorrow for our whirl-wind trip through San Francisco