Dating Charles was better than I ever imagined. Even though neither of us drove at the time of our courtship, we still found ways to spend time together through the week and on weekends. During the week Charles and I would come to school early and leave later just so we could grab a bite, study and spend time together on campus. There were a variety of dates that I loved and will cherish forever, but here a few of my favorites.
Walking the Christmas Lights
For our first Christmas together, Charles and I walked the Christmas lights in the downtown of our city. It was chilly to be walking more than an hour outside, but it was absolutely thrilling to run through the 12 Days of Christmas, and dancing through candy canes to the Grinch song. At the end of the evening we bought some hot chocolate and got to know each other.
Sunday Afternoon Lunch at Clara’s
On a variety of Sundays, Charles and I would try finding a place to eat lunch after church. Unfortunately, there weren’t a lot of restaurants open on a Sunday afternoon in our downtown area. One restaurant that was always open was a classic restaurant on the river called Claras. We spent many Sunday afternoons going to Claras, splitting a plate of chicken wings and enjoying each other’s company.
The Air Show/ Carnival Date
Going to the air show/ carnival our first summer together was one of my favorite dates. We had so much fun browsing through the flea market, riding the Ferris wheel and playing carnival games. One memory I do have from that day was getting conned by a Carney, but hey I guess that’s part of the experience. We ended the evening eating chili fries, and watching the hot air balloons.
Swimming in the River
One day after work, I had about 5 hours to kill before my evening class. Charles suggested that we be spontaneous and find a place to go swimming. He told me to wear my swimsuit under my clothes and bring a towel. So after work we walked all around the city trying to find a place to go swimming. Our goal was to go swimming in the local river that ran through the city. However, we wanted to find a private, and quiet location to do this. We searched and searched for about 3 hours, walking probably 6 miles and arguing a majority of the time. I was tired, hot and just wanted to swim. Charles was determined to find the perfect spot for us. Eventually, after a long brutal walk, we found the perfect location. it was a cute little area off a sidewalk near the river and the woods. Once we arrived we couldn’t wait to jump in and cool off. After jumping in we quickly realized, we had made a terrible mistake… the river was dirty and smelled like dead fish. What was even worse was I didn’t have time to go back home and shower before my evening class. And it was my internship class, something I really couldn’t skip. So, I ended up going to class smelling like dead fish. Thankfully the windows were open and no one said anything. That night I called Charles and we laughed about the whole thing.
Chinese Food after Work
When we were dating, I was working at a childcare center. Behind the childcare center there was a delicious Chinese place that Charles and I loved going to. The best part about this restaurant was the buffet. We loved it.
Coney Island Breakfast
Some morning before work, and even some Saturday mornings we went to our local Coney Island. They had the best breakfast. It was the perfect little diner for us to talk, eat omelets and enjoy each other’s company.
Sometimes, Charles and I had the opportunity to babysit his nephews. Sometimes it was fun and sometimes it was slightly overwhelming. I really enjoyed watching Charles wrestle and have fun with the boys. Charles really enjoyed me getting to know his family.
Movie nights were probably my favorite and what we did most often. We spent a lot of time in my parent’s basement watching movies. Sometimes it was dramas or comedy’s, and sometimes it was classic Disney cartoons. I would usually end up falling asleep by the end of the movie, but we both still had a great time.