Only on rare occasions do I hijack this blog, but today is one of those days. Today Heidi and I are celebrating our 8 year anniversary! A little over 10 years ago I laid eyes on her for the first time and I have never been the same since. For those of you that don’t know how we met, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and keep reading.
The year was 2001 and I had my first real job out of college as a graphics coordinator for the production of all the Senior Tour golf events for the year. It was a pretty cool job to have as a young single guy as I got to travel the country (flying) to 30+ events and have a fun job in sports. In the meantime, Heidi took a job with a marketing company where she would travel the country (driving in a Tahoe…road rules style with 3 other co-workers) to golf tournaments getting people to sign up for MasterCards.
At the beginning of the year one if my best friends told me about a girl he knew from college, Heidi, that was traveling around to golf tournaments and I should go check her out/introduce myself. I decided to check her out that week (ya, she was hot!) but I was too shy to introduce myself. It wasn’t until a few weeks later when we were both in Valencia California when we finally met. Our mutual friend Chad was living in LA so he drove out to Valencia to have dinner with me and he invited Heidi and her friend to join us. After that night I knew I had to pursue this girl. She was beautiful, funny, outgoing…just perfect.
The next time I got to see her was in Jacksonville, Fl where I lived. She was there doing The PLAYERS Championship which happened to be postponed to finish on Monday because of bad weather. I was flying on a red-eye back from California on Sunday night and we agreed to meet up Monday night for dinner and drinks with her crew that she traveled with. She was supposed to leave on Tuesday to drive to Atlanta for her next event, but I wanted to see her more. I offered to drive her and her friend up to Atlanta on Wednesday if they wanted to stay and hang out on Tuesday. If I was playing a card game, I basically just showed her all of my cards when I offered to drive 12 hours round trip from Jax to Atlanta just to get to spend one more day with her. Well, she didn’t stay…just kidding! She stayed and we had a day that we will never forget. We stayed up until about 3AM just flirting, talking, and getting to know each other. The next day I drove her and her friend back to Atlanta and actually dropped her off at her family’s house (I think they thought I was crazy!)
A couple weeks later I drove up to Hilton Head to see her (much shorter drive than Atlanta!). This is where we had our first “date”. I came to her tent around noon and we walked to lunch right under the famous lighthouse in Harbour Town. I remember it being such a beautiful day… we grabbed a hamburger and some peel and eat shrimp and found a bench to sit on and get to know each other better. That night we went to a fun place called Wild Wing Café that was right across the street from her hotel where we had a big table of people (her co-workers and a few of my CBS friends)…we had a fun night eating wings, drinking beer, and listing to the live band. When the night was over I walked her back to her hotel. We were having a pretty deep conversation which had the theme of her not wanted to a relationship right now and just wanting to have a fun year traveling the country. We got to her room and continued to talk just outside of her room when I couldn’t stand it anymore… I grabbed her and planted one on her…Our first kiss! If she wasn’t confused before, I just escalated it to another level for her. What is this boy doing? Didn’t I just tell him I didn’t want a relationship?
Well, from then on I stayed persistent…I wasn’t going to let this one get away. For the rest of the year we continued to date, but not just your average dates… this was like dream dating. Since we were in a different city every week our dates after Hilton Head were in Birmingham, Nashville, Boston, Cape Cod, Grand Rapids, Chicago, Park City, New York City, Napa, Minneapolis, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City. Talk about adventure! It was such a fun way to start a relationship… a part of our life that we will never forget.
I love you Heidi Rodenbaugh Armstrong…you are the woman of my dreams, my best friend, my lover, and the best thing that has ever happened to me. Thanks for a great 8 years of marriage!