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Our Story

This is the story of the beginning of our relationship and the beginning of our engagement:

Dan and Jocelyn met at Petoskey High School, becoming good friends their junior year. They shared many mutual friends and hung out at various parties together. After graduating in 1997, that fall they went their separate ways for a while, Jocelyn to Principia College in Elsah, IL and Dan to Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI. They kept in touch via e-mail on a regular basis, sharing advice on relationships and maintaining their own friendship. The summer after their freshman year of college in 1998, they found themselves back in Petoskey and reconnected with friends and each other. That July, there was to be a Third Eye Blind and Eve 6 concert in Traverse City at the Cherry Festival and Jocelyn was already planning on going with her friends Pete and Sarah (who happened to be dating at the time). Jocelyn and Dan suspected interest in each other and she decided to invite him as a friend. The concert was great and the two cuddled a bit and held hands.

The night after the concert, Sarah and Pete went back to Petoskey and Dan and Jocelyn had plans to stay with her parents in their big old brown beast of a tent. First, they went down on the beach at Camp Leelanau for a peaceful moment with the driftwood, the stars, and the deep blue lake. Jocelyn really wanted to kiss him, but was too nervous and didn’t know if the time was right. After several minutes, they returned to the car and drove to the campsite where her parents had set up the tent. Upon rolling in on the two-track, they discovered her mother sitting by the campfire (in the middle of the road) waiting for them to come in. After a brief chat, they soon went to bed. That night it rained hard and the old beast was having trouble resisting the weight of the moisture. Jocelyn woke up, facing Dan, and saw him awake and looking at her. She didn’t know if she should whisper something or just stare back. Before she knew it, he had moved his head close to hers and kissed her gently. Almost immediately, her Dad jumped up from his sleeping bag (nearly sending Dan into a terrified stupor for fear of being beaten alive) and promptly began to push the ceiling of the tent up, forcing the collecting water out of the drooping top. Once they realized that her Dad was completely oblivious to their intimate moment, they relaxed, smiled at each other, and went back to sleep.

The following day (the 6th), after packing up camp, they headed to Traverse City to spend some time at the Cherry Festival downtown. Dan and Jocelyn walked around town and the open air space with his arm around her waist. Dan’s parents were staying at Petoskey State Park that weekend and he had plans to stay at the campsite that night. Jocelyn stopped by the park later to meet up with him again and they walked down to the beach and sat on a picnic table under the pavilion. Dan sat in one direction on the bench, facing the lake, and Jocelyn sat the other way, so they were face to face. They talked about the idea of getting together and Jocelyn said that she might be difficult to date; at least that’s what her previous boyfriends would say. Dan said he wanted to be together and then they kissed again, only this time, a little longer. Fast forward six years of life and love. Jocelyn’s teaching summer school this year and knew she wouldn’t be home for their anniversary, July 6th. She was able to come home for 4th of July weekend and spent the weekend with her family, Dan, and his family. Little did she know...

Prior to coming down, Dan had told Jocelyn he wanted to do something nice on their anniversary, like go for a hike or something. She told him she had made reservations at Funistrada, a local Italian restaurant and that she would love to go for a nice hike together in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. He arrived at around 2 pm that afternoon and they spent a nice afternoon together, even napping for a little while.

They finally got ready to go to Funistrada, and Jocelyn asked Dan what he thought she should wear. He suggested she wear her peridot jewelry, something she thought nothing of, since he did buy many of her peridot pieces for her. At Funistrada, they tried wrapped grape leaves as an appetizer (yum!) and each had a delicious salad. They ordered a bottle of Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie (from the Alto Adige region in the Italian Alps). Dan ordered Lemon Artichoke Chicken and Jocelyn ordered the Shrimp and Artichoke Fettuccini, both delicious. They also enjoyed dessert: two orders of Tiramisu. The dinner was delicious and they were feeling warm from the wine, so they eagerly headed out to the backside of the Sleeping Bear Dunes near Glen Haven for a hike.

Jocelyn changed into jeans and a long-sleeved shirt and her raincoat while Dan fooled around with the bag he was planning on bringing. She assumed he was bringing his camera, but didn’t ask him what else he had packed. They walked up the sandy path (very familiar to Jocelyn from many summer trips during camp) and soon found the side path towards Lake Michigan. It was raining in a mist – a cool, comforting mist that refreshed their wine-filled heads. They walked down to the beach where they encountered a swarm of flies; no thank you! Dan suggested they get up on the ridge where the breeze would likely keep them away. As Jocelyn was walking a little behind him, she saw the bag again and asked, “So what’s in there besides the camera?” “Stuff,” he replied. “Stuff?” Jocelyn thought. “Hmmmm, something might be going on here, this is a bit fishy.”

Up on the ridge, there was a perfect breeze and an amazing view, the world opening up to them in a vista of water, pine, and sand. Jocelyn casually sat in the sand and Dan said that he had packed a blanket for them (“Oh,” she thought, “that’s what’s in the bag, ok”). They settled comfortably into the soft sand and then Dan brought out his travel wine glasses and a flask of some Cabernet Sauvignon, which Jocelyn thought was quite romantic. They chatted for a while about several things, but she kept commenting on the incredible water below them, swirling and undulating with a mix of treachery and unbelievable beauty.

Dan told Jocelyn he had brought an anniversary present for her. He rustled around in his bag for a few seconds and pulled out a ring box. He opened it and inside the box was a beautiful ring of diamond and peridot... Jocelyn was speechless and looked at Dan helplessly. He smiled, “will you marry me?” She screeched in girlish hysteria for a second and said, “yes!” He put the ring on her finger and she was trembling and felt her eyes welling up in the corners. They kissed perhaps the most wonderful kiss they’d ever kissed. This moment should be the one that lasts.

They sat up on the ridge for nearly an hour, remembering their first week together six years earlier and laughed and talked and kissed. Jocelyn said that they needed to be getting back since she still had some planning to do for the next day’s classes, and, reluctantly, they headed back down the dune to the car.

The next day, after school finished up, they went to the Foothill’s Café in Glen Arbor for a nice brunch. After a relaxing afternoon, Jocelyn realized that she had a gift certificate for a restaurant in Suttons Bay called Hattie’s and that they should call for dinner reservations that night. They also called to find out the hours of Black Star Farms, a winery and B&B whose wine and cider they had tasted at the Asparagus Festival in Empire several weeks earlier.

After buying some hard cider and Riesling at Black Star, they headed down to the waterfront in Suttons Bay to pass the time before their reservation. They walked down the pier and Jocelyn called her parents to tell them the news. They wandered back up the pier and headed to the restaurant. Dinner was great: delicious house salads and bread, a Burgundy Pinot Noir, Tenderloin for Dan, and Spinach Ravioli for Jocelyn. For dessert, Dan had blueberry cobbler and Jocelyn had a Turtle Mocha Torte and an espresso.

The drive back to Glen Arbor was leisurely in the misty rain, reminiscent of the previous night. They got back and Dan wanted to try to start designing a website for them, a good idea, but Jocelyn was a bit tired and knew he had to get going soon. He got packed up, found his car keys, and kissed her goodbye. “Parting is such sweet sorrow,” oh, how Shakespeare said it best.

All Rights Reserved. 2006.