With nearly two dozen entries to choose from this year, agonizing isn't quite the term, but it was darn difficult to choose our favorite "Tell Us Your Love Story" submissions.
"There was such a variety of entries this year, all ages, and all sorts of tales from 'love at first sight' to an 'ah-ha' moment that drew the couple together," said Tricia Swenson, of TV8. "Some were funny, some were romantic, and some had many areas where fate came into play. They were all inspiring! We had a lot of longtime locals write in, some stories from those who are newer to the valley and even a few from couples who don't even live here but visit here quite often and heard about it through www.vaildaily.com and tv8vail.com's live broadcast of 'Good Morning Vail.'"
Here are some of the favorite stories, and be sure to check back Tuesday to read the top three entries. The winners also will be featured on TV8 on Tuesday morning's "Good Morning Vail" show.
When we were friends, we would ski together any chance we would get, and Feb. 14, 2011, was no different, but it was by chance that we arrived at the Bear Lot at exactly the same time. We skied together and went to our jobs like every other day. "Some Valentine's Day," I thought to myself as I reached my car ready to go home. That's when I saw her lonely car, Harriett, sitting right next to mine. It's not too late ... I quickly wrote, "Be my Valentine. Love, Your Secret Admirer," along with my phone number, on a pink piece of scratch paper and placed it precisely under the windshield where it was surely visible from the driver's seat.
Only, she didn't notice the pink note. As she turned on the wiper spray to clear her vision, the pink finally caught her eye. Intrigued, as it went back and forth across the windshield, she picked up the barely legible note.
We fell faster than both of us imagined. Last Valentine's Day sparked the beginning of our new journey together. From friends to love, every moment with her is amazing.
Happy Valentine's Day, Courtney!
Will McLoughlin and Courtney Crowther, Edwards
As a tradition, my family does a reunion trip every summer. In 2009, my family decided to come to Vail, where I was living on a break from college. That July, my uncle had booked a whitewater-rafting trip for us with Timberline Tours. As we got there, I noticed a particularly cute guide and said, "I call tan hat!" When we got to the put-in site at the river, "Tan Hat" immediately came up to me and told me he was going to be my guide. On the river, he and I talked and continued our conversation off the river at the lunch site. By the time we got back to boathouse, I figured I would never see him again. Instead, Adam ("Tan Hat") stopped me and asked for my phone number in front of 22 members of my family. After a month, I had to go back to school in Missouri. Over the next two years, we built our relationship two states away, and Adam proposed within those two years. I moved to Vail in August, and we still can't believe how much we've been through together, but it was all worth it!
Lacha Frank and Adam Garcia, Avon
it was June 11, and many friends of Jim Popek ("The Pope") attended a benefit to help him offset major medical expenses. The first stop of the Poker Run was at the Gashouse where I unknowingly acquired an admirer from Fort Collins who had spied me from afar.
My sister and I left the Gashouse and, while walking the bike path back to Miller Ranch, heard a loud whoop as a mountain biker tried to clear the switchback cutoff. We gasped as we watched him upend his bike and flip back over onto his head. Then, we laughed hysterically when the biker rose up from the ground and slinked back on his bike. At that moment, another biker rode up on his trusty white steed and introduced himself as a friend of the fallen biker. As I grasped his extended hand, I felt an extraordinary jolt go through my entire body, and when he asked if we were going to the next stop, I responded with a resounding "Yes!"
That biker later relocated from Fort Collins to Edwards, and three years later, on the bike path where we met, we toasted champagne to our wedding day!
Joanne Casey and Jeffery Culotta, Edwards