As we pulled into the parking area for the gardens, we realized that the timing of our visit was… poor. It hadn't occurred to either of us until that moment that it was BOTH graduation weekend AND mother's day, which led to the gardens being busier than either of us had ever seen before. But we decided to brave the crowds anyway, and I'm glad we did.
The flowers throughout the gardens were in full bloom, and Traveler and I got some stunning photos, both putting our macro lenses to good use with closeups, and each of us sneaking photos of the other when we thought the other wasn't looking (and in reviewing those photos later, I was repeatedly struck by this thought: "Gosh, my boyfriend's kind of gorgeous!!!!")
Taking photos was lovely, but the best part of the afternoon was just walking hand in hand through the gardens and finding quiet little spots away from the crowd to steal some romantic moments together. Traveler had spoken fondly before of the times he had come to the gardens with his late wife - it seemed it was a special place for them. As we walked along hand in hand, I asked him if it was weird for him to be there with me. He said no, and that now, the next time he came there, he wouldn't be walking through memories. I was glad, and said that now he would have new memories to add to the happy memories he has of the place. I would never want to replace or erase the memories he has of their time together. I'm glad, though, that he is enjoying sharing new memories with me.
Eventually, Traveler found us the perfect spot to escape the crowds. Tucked off a small side trail, he found a little spot of grass surrounded by trees and plants with a perfect layered view of vegetation, flowers, trees, and the pond beyond, where we could sit down on the grass, hidden from view, only hearing the occasional sounds of people through the trees in the gardens. We sat there for a good long while, the sun filtering through the leaves dappling shade on our faces, me sitting between Traveler's legs, my head leaning back against his chest, his arms wrapped around me. We sat there talking quietly, with him alternating between rubbing my shoulders and nibbling at my ears and neck, and I just felt like I was in heaven. The moment just felt…. perfect. Everything about it, it was just the perfect romantic moment.
Before I knew it, hours had flown by, and it was time to head for home. We spent a lovely evening together, and he was sweet enough to stay the night with me despite the fact that I had to get up at the buttcrack of pre-dawn to catch a flight for a business trip. He went to bed with me around midnight, and didn't complain a bit when I got up and showered at 4:30am. When I got out of the shower, he had gotten dressed and gotten back in bed to wait for me to be ready to go. When I was ready to leave for the airport, he got up and showered me with nuzzles and kisses before seeing me off and heading for home himself. I thought it so sweet that he was willing to get up that early just to stay the night with me and see me off for my trip. I was to be returning the following evening, but we weren't out of touch for long while I was gone.
We texted back and forth throughout my trip, and spoke on the phone for a while in the evening after my meeting. I had to leave to go to dinner with colleagues, and asked if he'd like me to call him when I returned (he did). When I called, I was surprised that I couldn't reach him, but soon found out via text message that he'd gotten drawn into refereeing divorcing friends' drama, and was in the midst of that. He said he'd call me when he got home. I didn't hear from him by the time I went to bed around 2am, and figured he'd either gotten sidetracked for longer than anticipated, or was just so tired that he'd gone right to bed when he got home. About an hour and a half later, I was awoken by the sound of my laptop's instant messenger beeping. I'd forgotten that my computer wakes itself from sleep mode around 3am to perform it's automated backup, which sometimes leads people to think I've just actively signed on and to IM me. The IM went off several times in a row, and I got up to turn it off. When I opened the lid, I saw that it was Traveler. He was apologizing for not having called and explaining what had happened with his friends' drama. I was so bleary eyed from sleep that I could barely read, so I just typed that I was going to call him, and crawled back into bed to do so. We ended up talking for a long time as we both curled up in bed before going back to sleep for the night.
When I returned from my trip the following evening, having worked (including travel time) 30 hours in the past 2 days, I was exhausted. I called Traveler when I touched down, and he hopped in the car and headed towards my place timing perfectly meeting me at a restaurant around the corner to grab some dinner before returning home, where he made sure I was very glad to have returned to him.
Yes, things are going just lovely.