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San Diego: City of Love

San Diego TripSam and I have different versions about how we went from living in the same college apartment building to kneeling at the altar in 1985. Suffice it to say, mine is correct. The greatest point of contention adoring differing of opinion is where and when Sam finally decided I was the woman of his dreams. This is the true story.

I fell in love after our third date. I was walking from class to class on BYU campus, when a thought unwittingly popped into my mind. “Won’t it be great when I marry Sam?”

The idea — apparently bursting from my subconscious — was terrifying. I was only 20 years old and had vowed (publicly) not to consider marriage at least until I was 26 and had a master’s degree and a blossoming career. I responded by heading to the library where I was determined to stay until I rustled up a date with some other guy — any other guy — for the weekend.

I succeeded, but it was too late. I was smitten. So smitten that I soon told my two best friends (Marc and Todd) that I was going to get married on August 9 — six months to the day after our first date. (To be clear, I had known Sam for almost a year before we dated.) Their response:

“Which guy are you going to marry?”

While they were sworn to secrecy, having set a semi-public wedding date did lend a bit of pressure to convince Sam to go along with my plan.

My family vacationed every year in the beautiful La Jolla area. By the time winter term finals were over, my parents were already lounging on the beach. The plan was that as soon as my brother, David, and I finished our final exams, we would head out for the drive to California.

The night before the impending trip, I was on a date with Sam. I told him about the trip. He teased me about how tough it would be to hang out on the beach for a week. Later that night, as we sat talking about the trip — and apparently in a hormonal rush —I blurted out, “Well, you should come!”

We chuckled and went on talking. A couple of hours later he said, “I think I will.”


He went back to his apartment to pack and I freaked out. I got little sleep that night and got up about 6:00 am to call my folks.

“Hi, mom! How’s it going? Are you having fun? I miss you guys! We’re leaving in a few hours. I…kind of…invited Sam.”

Mom was quiet and then finally spoke. “Well, honey, do you really like him that much?”

“Yea, I think I do.”

“Well, OK, then. Drive safely.”

A short time later David, Sam, and I headed to Capri by the Sea in the yellow LeMans.

Up to this point, Sam and I concur on the details. But this is where the stories diverge. I’ll make it short and sweet.

Sam and I spent the week in the ocean, in the pool, at Sea World, going to movies, walking on the beach at sunset. Romance was in the air and Sam fell madly and deeply in love with me. Within just a few weeks, we were engaged.

This is how it happened.

The moral of the story is that San Diego is a great place to get your designated future husband to fall in love with you. You heard it here first.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Johnjohn March 8, 2011, 1:18 am

    Ha ha! What I want to know is how different your husband’s version is? I’m pretty sure my story is the real one at our house. 🙂

  • John March 8, 2011, 7:41 am

    Great story Alison. Most people don’t think of San Diego as the city of love, but I think any place where you can have a romantic walk on the beach at sunset is a place where love can grow and mature. Thanks for sharing Alison, and good luck to you and Sam.
    John recently posted…The One Thing You Can Use To Find Email Addresses Online For FreeMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 8, 2011, 11:31 am

    Thanks, John. San Diego will always hold a special place in my heart. 🙂
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Blog Post Promotion- The Ultimate GuideMy Profile

  • Carrie March 9, 2011, 4:47 am

    Well said @John. This is true. A place where 2 people can go for romantic strolls etc, is definitely a place where love can grow. I have been to san diego myself, I can understand how you feel Alison.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 9, 2011, 9:50 am

    Carrie, there’s just something about sunset over the water. 🙂

  • Alison Moore Smith March 9, 2011, 5:35 pm

    Yes, SueBee, she’s getting married on April 27. I’ll be blogging about some of the vendors we’re using and ideas about how to plan a wedding. Fun!

    And since I have three more daughters after her (and two sons), I’ll have lots of wedding posts in the coming years. 🙂
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Blog Post Promotion- The Ultimate GuideMy Profile

  • SueBee March 9, 2011, 5:18 pm

    So this is where it all began! You must have done something right. Isn’t your daughter getting married any time now?

  • Alison Moore Smith March 10, 2011, 7:23 pm

    Oh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have me crying!!!!!! I have never heard that story.

    Denise is my wondrous sister-in-law who made my sweet brother’s life complete. Yea, for San Diego. And love!

  • Denise Moore March 10, 2011, 6:58 pm

    I have to agree with the mysterious effects of the family condo…. It’s where Dave and I shared our first kiss, walked on the beach, went to the Zoo, and went to church. and I had my first taste of See’s chocolates. Before that weekend was over I knew I’d be marrying that man and after our first kiss he said, ” would ya think about maybe marrying me?” it was so cute and I was smitten. The rest at first bumpy but now is history.

  • Dragonrider October 7, 2011, 4:53 pm

    Ok, now the only remaning question is how to bring her to San Diego 😉

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