In anticipation of Valentine’s Day which is right around the corner, I thought I would share with everyone my romantic love story. When I was 17 and at one of those notorious high-school-friend parties, I met the love of my life. He was 19 and oh so tall and handsome! We spent many wonderful years together during which the Draft for Vietnam loomed darkly. Finally, Teddy, decided to enlist in the Navy to try to avoid Vietnam. Off he went to Basic Training and then was stationed on an aircraft carrier for 2 ½ years. He was just about to come home on his first long leave (30 days) after 3 years when his leave was cancelled and he had three days to report to Vallejo, California, for Special Forces training to be on a River Patrol Boat in Vietnam. Of course, we were shattered. I was able to spend time with him during his training but always the dark shadow of Vietnam loomed. We were engaged to be married and so afraid of what the next year would bring. As it turned out, Teddy survived the long, frightening year in Vietnam but our relationship did not. Due to family and other outside influences, we didn’t get married. I have to tell you, though, that I loved him all my life. I thought of him every day over the last 40 years and when I was at my darkest, I would sit down and write him a letter pouring my heart out (of course, I never mailed the letters). We both married others and lived our lives as best we could. Two years ago, after I had been divorced for several years and I knew that Teddy was also divorced, I sent him a birthday card. It took a while but he finally contacted me. At first, we just talked for hours on the telephone and made plans to get together. As time went by we realized just how much we really did belong together but here I was in California and Teddy was in Florida. Hence the 5, 6, 7 hour daily phone calls for four long months. So, we started to plan a trip driving from Florida to California. It would take 2 ½ weeks and we would go through Alabama, Louisanna, Texas, New Mexico & Colorado. I can tell you that it was magical. By the end of the trip we knew that we should have never been apart and that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together! Today, Teddy and I are partners at the Old Monterey Inn and we both glow with happiness. On November 2, 2009, we had dinner at Fandango to celebrate what would have been our 40th wedding anniversary. We can testify that storybook romances do happen and people can feel an overwhelming love and connection. Romance is definitely always in the air at the Old Monterey Inn!