Thursday, January 19, 2017

Date 2: Rach’s Star

Hi! For those of you who do not know me, my name is Mike and I am Rachael's husband. As you probably know, Rach and I had a resolution to date each other more in this new year. Well, I got to plan date number two and Rach agreed to let me guest write the blog post for this date. Please be kind as this is the first time I have ever attempted to write something like this. I am far more comfortable with technical writing based on the nature of my job.

If you recall our first date (here), Rach introduced some of our history into the mix to both make it fun and reminiscent of our early years together. When I started to think about planning my first date of 2017, I figured I better follow suit and bring some history into the mix. I did just that in a fun way and realized for some reason we had not done this “thing” ever before now (Keep reading…it will all make sense later).

To start off this story I must explain the history part that is both sweet, in a young love kind of way, corny, and a little sad (the sad part is a funny story that I discovered while planning this date…keep reading!). When Rach and I were dating back in high school, which seems so long ago now, I decided to "name a star" in her honor. It was a sweet, cute, and lovely jester at the time and was part of a bigger love we both shared for laying around at night in the summer to star gaze. So as any young man would do, I found a website online that allowed me to pay a price for a package that would "name a star" in her honor. I aptly named it "Rachael's Star" (I know…very original).

With all of that in mind, let’s move onto the actual night of the date. I decided to take Rach out to dinner at one of our all-time favorite local restaurants for some tacos, fish tacos to be exact. We both had been having mad cravings for some really good tacos, so I tried my best to fulfill that desire. The place was Las Olas, and if you are ever visiting Wilmington, it is a must try. At dinner I gave Rach our traveling journal to read my entry. The other thing to know about me is that I love riddles and more than that, I love giving Rach riddles to solve that provide clues for whatever we might be doing. She read my entry and the riddle, took a few minutes and solved it on the spot.  She was surprised how quickly she solved it, but she aced it.  The riddle is below.
At night they come out without being fetched 
                   and by day they are lost without being stolen.
                  What are they?

Side story from after dinner that made Rach and I laugh to the point of crying. While sitting in the car about ready to leave, I noticed a guy sitting at the outdoor table at the Dunkin’ Donuts next door talking on the phone. Seems innocent at this point, but then I noticed and immediately pointed out to Rach that he was picking, or itching depending on how you see it, his belly button constantly.  He literally did not let up for a solid five minutes and we sat there and laughed.  Keep in mind that we were not laughing at him, but it was constant, very awkward, and hard to watch. Laughing was the side effect of all those feelings.

Once we got over the hysteria of the moment, I started into the surprise, star gazing on the beach and attempting to find “Rachael’s Star.” This may sound crazy and it actually is crazy, but we had never attempted to actually look for her star until now. I drove us down to Wrightsville Beach and parked at a local restaurant with direct beach access.  We strolled to the dark beach and took in the beautiful moon, crystal clear sky, and the soothing sound of waves crashing. We took in the star gazing for a while, failed to take a decent shot of the moon shining over the water, and then I pulled out my phone…I know it sounds bad, but I had my reason.

At this point you may be wondering how I planned to locate a random star in the sky, let alone see it without a telescope, but that is where my phone comes into play. Our technology today is amazing, and I found out through some internet searching that a certain star app can help you see all the stars in the sky via augmented reality, and provide the coordinates for wherever you point the phone.  This combination allowed me to locate Rach’s star with a little effort. Unfortunately, her star was below the horizon so we could not see it in the sky, plus we would need a telescope to pinpoint the actual star because it is so faint in the sky.  I was able to show here the general point where the star was located and she was very excited.

At this point I went on to tell her the story (sad story referenced above) of my work to find the paperwork on the star, researching on the internet on an easy way to locate the star, and a way to be able to gaze upon it in the night sky. This research lead me to a massive discovery of fraud and deceit. As I started looking for the website of the place that allowed me to name a star, I found my way into various forums that had discussions on the merit of these websites. What I discovered is that there is only one international body that officially names stars and you are not allowed to buy naming rights, just so you know. All the other websites that sell you on the ability to name are star are just a gimmick. The specific site I used is no longer around and actually shows the website is for sale.

If you read over the certificate they sent you would guess that these records would be kept for all eternity, but what that really meant was as long as the company is still in operation.

Rach and I both had a laugh about the legitimacy of her star in the sky, but in the end, we both agreed she still had a star up there in the sky that was named in her honor…we have the coordinates!

This was one of the best dates we have had in a while and I look forward to the many more dates we have ahead of ourselves this year.

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