For all the cynics out there who question if true, lasting love really exists, I'm here to tell you it does. And we have a stack of stories to prove it.
Local media outlets KZYR, TV8 and the Vail Daily partnered with the Vilar Performing Arts Center for a "Best Date Ever" contest. The rules were simple, tell us about the best date you've ever had, and win a chance to go on a pretty kick-butt date on Tuesday night in Beaver Creek, which included dinner for two at The Metropolitan, two tickets to see Air Supply (and meet the band after) and a one-night stay at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek.
We got nearly 30 entries for the contest in all, some of which made us laugh, some made us tear up, and others were so fantastic we were frankly jealous. But the winning entry came from Shelley Gile and her and her husband Michael Sanner who got to go on their special date Tuesday night.
Gile wasn't expecting to win the contest and she hadn't told her husband she'd entered until Tuesday morning when a friend texted her to say she'd heard the winning entry read on air on KZYR Monday evening.
"I went so balistic when I heard," Gile said. "I've never won anything in my life. I was screaming and yelling and so was Michael. We were so excited."
On Tuesday night, Gile and Sanner enjoyed their date night.
"It was so fun," Gile said. "We had such a blast. I can't remember having that good of time, we rocked out and had a great dinner; it was wonderful. Thank you guys for choosing us - we enjoyed the night to the maximum."
It certainly sounds as if the couple's Tuesday night date ended a bit better than the date Gile wrote about in her contest entry.
Without further ado, here's the winning entry:
Best date ever? No contest. We were three months into our "relationship." We'd initially fallen for each other while on a September mountain biking hut trip (where he paid me the best compliment ever by telling me I had great "pluck") and things were going swimmingly. We made it through Christmas and then, uh oh, the dreaded New Year's Eve. Was he up to the task?
Oh my, yes! He planned a day of "the trifecta of winter sports" to be followed by a wildly romantic and extravagant New Year's Eve dinner at Beano's Cabin (mind you, we are locals .... Beanos is pretty out there for locals). We spent the morning skiing at Cooper, the early afternoon skate skiing at the golf course and ended this day of sunny bliss ice skating on Nottingham Lake. It was getting late, I had to get home to wash my hair, I still hadn't fully committed to an outfit and BAM!! Down I go on the ice, with my elbow hitting first, followed by the rest of me.
"Ow! Ow, Oh I'm fine, really! No really, I'm fine!"
He calmly told me I was ash grey and I wasn't going home to wash my hair. He was taking me to the ER. From 6 to 10 p.m. he sat with me while they lined up a surgeon for later that night. I begged him to go home, telling him I was fine. Silly of him to wait, really. "Go home. See you tomorrow."
He was back at my side less than an hour later and said he couldn't stand to be away from me. He stayed with me in the hospital for three days. I fell madly in love. Best date ever. That was 22 years ago. I'm still madly in love with him.
Shelley Gile, Avon