While it seems like Andrew's idea to circumnavigate materialized out of thin air, the seeds were planted when we brought our respective histories together. So, let's start from the beginning:
It was 5:30 p.m. sometime in the third week of February, 2003. My work as a filing clerk at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in downtown Salt Lake City was finished for the day. As I headed toward the train to ride back to the University of Utah dorms, I passed a small crowd of friendly Salt Lake City riffraff that gathered every day near the doorway. The riffraff was usually composed of ragamuffin teenagers, some which may have been runaways, and a few allegedly Vietnam vets begging for money. I would see them every day as I came and went to work. On this particular day, one scraggler missing several of his teeth blocked my path to the train.
“Hi pretty lady….want to go on a date?” offered the scraggler.
“Uh, no thanks.” I reply.
“Come on. One date.”
The scraggler sighs, “Okay, do you have money? I just want to buy a cheeseburger.”
I dig into my pocket and give him the change I have left over from buying a peanut butter chocolate dipped cookie at Ms. Fields for lunch that day (ah, the diet of a college student). In that moment I determined my dating life was not going according to plan. I recently had a string of dates with poor outcomes, and there was one common thread emerging….they all asked me out. So, as I rode the train back to my dorm, I declared: "I am going to go out on ONE date, with the hottest guy I could think of. Just for fun, even if it was just one date.” Past performance indicates that the hottest guy I could think of wasn't likely to ask me out, but hey, I could ask him.
The first person that sprung to mind was a guy I met at a dorm party I went to with my roommate in August that school year. Dark hair, blue eyes, and smart. He was studying to be a chemical engineer and had brewed his own beer for that particular party. Never mind that the RAs shut the party down, poured our liquor down the sink, and I had never seen this fella again. I asked my roommate: "Hey, you know that guy at that party, that one time in August?" But, she did remember, and she said "you know, he is single right now." (What luck.) So, she gave me his phone number.
"What the hell", I thought. I gave him a call.
“Hi. My name is Leslie. I'm sure you don't remember me at all, but that's ok. We met at a party last August. Remember, you brought your home brew and the RAs shut down the party? I was just calling to see if you would want to go out some time.”
“Um, oh, yeah…I remember that party….Uh…Ok?” He responded, searching his mental rolodex for whomever I could possibly be. “What would you want to do?”
It was snowy and muddy outside still, so we couldn’t well go mountain biking, but I figured he would probably like hiking, too. “Well, I was thinking maybe next week, Friday or Saturday afternoon, we could go hiking?”
At this point, Andrew’s voice brightened. “Hiking? Sure, yeah! That would be fun. Sounds good.” We worked out the logistics for meeting each other, and the plan was set. As Andrew would later confess, he had absolutely no idea who I was.
The next Friday, I stopped by the liquor store and bought a couple full strength, craft beers. I knew that a guy who brews beer would rather have a full strength tasty beer than Utah's watery 3.2% Budweiser. I stopped at the grocery store and bought some cheese and apples. I packed the beers, cheese and apples in my camelback, filled my water bag with ice to keep everything cold, and met him outside the dorms.
After confirming he was "Andrew" and I was "Leslie," we began the climb to Flintstone’s Living Room. Chit chat came easily, as we kept a brisk pace up the trail. At the top, we took a seat on the slabs of rock arranged into “couches” and “chairs” overlooking the Salt Lake Valley. I pulled out the beer, cheese and apples. Andrew played it cool at the time, but my roommate/spy later reported that at a party the following evening, he informed a "number" of people he had gone hiking with a new girl and "SHE BROUGHT BEER!" (*Winning*)
We enjoyed the view and our beers, then hiked down. It was a great hike, we never had an awkward lull, and neither of us were ready to call it a day. So, Andrew invited me to grab coffee where the good conversation continued.
Half way into my mocha latte, Andrew asked, “Do you like the symphony?” I took piano lessons since I was nine, and even entered a handful of classical piano competitions in high school. So, I do enjoy the symphony. “Sure,” I said. “Do you?”
"I go to the symphony pretty much every Friday. It's only $10.00 for Students. Let's go!" And next, we headed to Abravenel Hall for the symphony. I marveled that I found a fella who mountain bikes, is implementing his lifelong goal to become a chemical engineer, and enjoys the symphony. Andrew marveled that I didn't talk too much during the symphony.
Things were going so well, it made Andrew anxious. As we walked from the symphony to the train, Andrew had to set things straight. ”Ok, so I just need you to understand. I'm a chemical engineer, and I'm really busy. I probably can't see you more than once per week, at most."
“PSsshaa!” I think. But instead I say, "Yeah, that's cool, I understand. I'm heading to law school in the fall, and I have a lot going on, too. In fact, I’m going to San Francisco to check out Hastings Law School in a couple of weeks. So, I might be moving away. Not sure yet.”
Game. Set. Match.
After we got that out of the way, we enjoyed the rest of the evening. On Tuesday night I received a call from, none other than, Mr. Andrew Godfrey. He wanted to bring pie over the next night after class. Hmmm….let me think it over. I'm pretty busy…. I let him off the hook, and indeed he brought over pie. He asked me to join he and his dad for a mountain bike ride the next Saturday, and somehow, he weaseled his way into joining me for a road trip to San Francisco to check out the law school. Because, Andrew has never met a road trip he didn’t like.