Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Queen of Hearts: Part 1

I named this blog the Adventures of an Ace for a reason. My goal from the start had been to write about poker, sports, travel, and life experiences.  I have written plenty of posts on poker and golf.  It's time to write about something else.

The following story will be made up of several posts.  The story is not related to poker even though the title might suggest otherwise.  Don't say I didn't warn you.  Just for fun, I'll refer to Ace in the third person.  As Al Galdi says every morning on the local ESPN radio station, "And away we go."

Ace moved to the US 20 years ago.  His English vocabulary consisted of some basic words and a few curse words every kid picks up no matter where they live on the planet.  You might be wondering, didn't he have English classes in school?  The answer is yes.  Just like you, he had foreign language classes in school and passed them.  Each summer he forgot most of what he had learned.  I'm sure many of you had similar experiences with foreign languages.

Nevertheless, Ace got his act together once he reached the shores of "the most free country in the world."  Just to clarify, Ace flew to America from the Old Continent.  He knew that to succeed in the US of A, he had to do well in math and English.

Ten years ago, he came to the DC area after graduating college.  He's had three jobs.  He left the first one because it was a bit too far from DC.  The second job was going well until they decided to move the office from Arlington to Baltimore.  As for the third job, as Goldilocks would say, this one is just right.  The workload is manageable.  The coworkers are pleasant.  The pay is OK and the vacation policy is great.  They even paid for his master's degree which cost close to $35,000.

Ace has a good group of friends.  They joke that it's like a mini United Nations due to so many of them (or their parents) being born outside the US.  After building up his social circle and getting his career on the right path, it was time for Ace to focus on the ladies.  He went about it like any other guy.  He met some girls thru friends and he met other ones by going out.  Luckily, he did not run into any completely crazy women.  One or two were a bit peculiar but they were inside the limits of normal.

One thing that frustrated Ace was the slow pace of meeting women that intrigued him.  There is no shortage of women in DC; but finding the ones that are very compatible proved elusive.

The first time Ace heard about the app dating business was in February of 2014 during the coverage of the Winter Olympics.  Over the next nine months, Ace refused to try it.  He was always skeptical of online dating and app dating sounded just as sketchy.  But as more and more of his friends were trying it out and having fun, he finally gave in after Thanksgiving.

He spent the next ten months going out on dates.  Unsurprisingly, most of the women he met were originally from outside the US.  Just like in poker, the app dating deck produced some favorable and some unfavorable flops.  And then it happened.  In September of 2015, the app dating deck revealed the Queen of Hearts.  On a sunny afternoon during the last weekend of the summer, they went on their first date. 

On the first date, Ace learned that the Queen of Hearts (QoH) had been in DC for three years.  She moved to DC for grad school, graduated, and accepted a job offer.  She was born and raised in the Caribbean and English is her second language.

The two of them found out that they had a friend in common.  Ace's good buddy (also from the tropics) dated a girl that went to high school with the QoH.  Over the next few months, they kept going out and getting to know each other.

The QoH had many great attributes that Ace liked.  She was educated, beautiful, bilingual, tall, athletic, and laughed at his not-so-funny jokes.  They played tennis together and participated in a social volleyball league.  Ace even took her to a golf driving range.  Afterwards, the QoH suggested that golf should be reserved for Ace and his buddies.  It was a win-win for both of them.

In early 2016 they were officially in a relationship.  By officially, it meant telling their families.  They had planned their first trip together but it didn't happen (see what happened here).

In May, Ace accompanied the QoH to a wedding back home.  He met and stayed with her family.  It was a great trip that included delicious food and beautiful beaches.

In June, they toured the White House.

In July, it was time for the QoH to meet Ace's family.  That trip was a little bit longer since Ace's parents live in Europe.  It all went well and afterwards the couple flew to Greece for a seven day vacation.  They spent an afternoon in Athens and the rest of the time on the islands of Paros, Mykonos, and Santorini.

Hellenic Parliament

Stone Theater - Acropolis

Paros Island

The Great Door (Portara) - Naxos Island
Mykonos Windmills

Fira, Santorini

Oia, Santorini

The couple went to Canada for the Labor Day weekend.  You can see some of the photos here.

And in late November, the lady organized a road trip to one of the most famous projects in her profession.  Ace didn't know much about it before the trip but he truly enjoyed the experience.  Here is a photo of the famous Pennsylvania residence.

to be continued...

1 comment:

  1. The Queen of Hearts looks and sounds almost too good to be true -- you are a lucky man.