Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I'm Mark. On June 12, 2010 I met Erin in Oakland, CA.

I spent some time trying to come up with a clever way to introduce this blog and start things off, but the story of everything that Erin and I have done since we met is the adventure. So you have the basic information of who, what, where, and when to serve as an introduction. The "why" is something I'm sure you'll pick up along the way. ...and if that's too obscure or you have no patience then you can skip to the end where I'm sure I'll give it away.

Adventure #1 - June 12, 2010

Barney's Gourmet Hamburgers on College Ave.

I got there first and had the pleasure of watching as Erin strolled down the sidewalk to meet me. In this day and age of internet dating there is a great deal of importance placed on the pictures we share of ourselves. I had certainly been attracted to Erin when I saw her pictures, but seeing her in person was simply stunning. She smiled. We said hello. And I knew that this was a woman I wanted in my life.

We sat in the lovely patio at the back of the restaurant as the weather was on the warmer side of cool for that particular day in June. For those interested in the cuisine at Barney's, Erin and I both agree that they most certainly make a tasty burger. To be fair, we were a bit more focused that night on getting to know each other than critiquing the restaurant. I'm pretty sure I won some bonus points when an elderly couple at the table next to us spilled their water and I lept to the rescue with a stack of napkins.  

Hi.  I'm Erin. 
Mark's reading my latest grad school paper for me right now, so he told me to jump on here and put in my two cents.
Mark really likes the fact that he played the chivalrous gentleman with our table neighbor.  I'll give him a little bit of a bone there - I did think he was very sweet in helping her.  :)
I don't think he's giving Barney's enough credit though!  Oh man, they have an entire page of burger options.  I know they're a chain, but come on, they're good.  I don't even remember what I had - I want to say it was called a Paris Burger or something, but it was the second time I've eaten there and both times it's been fantastic.  But I don't think I've been able to finish my burger either time - they're rather large.  Which is good for me, because I like leftovers.

Ok, so maybe Erin was a little more interested in the food than I was! I'm pretty sure Erin had some sort of burger with Bleu Cheese. I'm lactose intolerant so I tend to be more aware of dishes with dairy products. I want to say I had some sort of Hawaiian burger with pineapple. Dinner went very well, but the night was still young.  

Our next stop was McNally's. Also on College Ave.

If you're looking for a good Irish bar in the Bay Area you can't go wrong with McNally's. Surly Irish bartender, Irish locals, and some sort of funky pool table with lots of bumpers on it. Isn't pool hard enough without a bunch of obstacles built into the table?! Neither Erin nor I were of a mind to get drunk as we were more interested in actually getting to know each other. She did display a fine knowledge of alcoholic beverages that would do her heritage proud. I'm pretty sure she could have drunk me under the table if she wanted to. Thankfully, my tolerance for alcohol was not put to the test and we meandered back toward my truck. I was quite pleased with the evening and was prepared to drive her back home, but Erin wasn't quite ready to call it a night.

Lake Merritt

Lake Merritt is quite a scenic landmark right in the heart of downtown Oakland and I happen to live nearby. I figured this would be a great place to stretch our legs, digest our delicious burgers, and carry on our getting to know each other. What I failed to realize is that the time was well past midnight and the majority of the pretty lights around the lake were now off.

We parked next to the lake anyway and meandered along the path (yes there was plentiful meandering on this adventure). I quickly became aware that this may not be such a grand idea so late at night, and hinted at walking back the way we came to get back to my truck. Erin was set on walking all the way around the lake. I had never actually done so, but knew that it was about 3 miles. None of this mattered though. I was smitten and ready to walk into the darkest corners of Oakland if Erin felt like it.

We made it back in one piece and Erin only sat down once to complain about her decision along the way. To be honest I was concerned about our safety the whole time we were walking around the lake, but what kept me going anyway was the strongest pull I've ever felt toward another person so quickly after meeting them. I just wanted to keep walking and talking with Erin. I was falling fast and more than anything else I wanted to hold her hand and find out if she was falling with me.

I got Erin back to her place safe and sound.
Smiles all around.
The first of many adventures had drawn to a close.

Oh and by the way,
We saw each other again the next day.
And since then our Love only grows.