I was in Utah for the summer, home from Ricks College.
But first, let me back up a little.
My mom moved to Utah from Arizona with my siblings and me when my parents divorced in 1994. It was devastating for me, having to leave all of my friends and go to my first year of high school in a new school. I was not happy about it. After giving it a (torturous) year, I moved back to Arizona and lived with my dad and step-mom for my junior and senior years of high school. That's when I met Wendel. His family had moved into our ward the year we had moved out. We also attended the same high school. We never went on a single date or even hung out but I thought he was funny and he claims to have thought I was cute. He did sign my yearbook.
He left on his mission after my junior year. Since we were in the same ward, I was at his farewell. After, he was passing out little cards with his MTC address on them and telling people to write him. I was all about supporting missionaries and tried to write at least one letter to most of the guys in our ward for support, so I took a card and sent off a letter. He wrote back and we ended up writing about once every two or three months while he was in Russia for two years. [This was not romantically-intentioned at all for either of us. He had a girlfriend who was writing him and I was dating someone else. Really.]
Fast forward to the summer of 1999, the summer we went on our first date. Wendel's family had moved to Utah while he was on his mission and I was there staying with my mom until school started up again. We pretty much knew no one else, so it made sense to "hang out" together when he came home. We dated that summer and had a blast.
We weren't dating exclusively by any means but we had a great time. Our first date was Lagoon (an amusement park in Utah for those who don't know). After, we stopped by my house for a few minutes before going to dinner and Wendel invited my family to join us (my mom and brother and sister). We went out for Chineese, he paid and they were sold. He made us laugh the whole time. He told the waiter that it was my birthday (even though it wasn't) and they brought out a fruit swan for me. It was pretty cool.
We also went hiking with my sister, he made me Russian food, we went bungee jumping, out to dinner (including to Olive Garden, where he taught me the art of "fat-dogging"), to temple square, up to Ensign Peak (don't worry, we didn't kiss for another three years), and probably many other places I don't remember right now. He even hunted down a text book for me that I needed for a tour I was going on back east with Ricks and couldn't find anywhere. And he paid for it.
Of course, we didn't get married for another five years but that's another story.
I'm just feeling a little nostalgic with it being 10 years since that summer.
Man, I feel old.