Ben and I met during during the second week in December 2008 at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium's annual Zoo Lights. In the evenings many zoos light up their entire park with LED lights and open to the public for chilly walks amongst the darkened zoo and giant scenes of light. There's also always delicious hot cocoa. It was the first snow of the year and though we both ran in very different circles (Science majors never meet English majors), we both showed up to a mutual friends house to take a break from the dreary season, finals week, and I from a recent break-up, to enjoy the lights.
I think six or seven of us piled into two cars to visit the zoo and I (very strategically) ended up in the one he was in. We didn't talk much at the actual zoo but later he pelted me with snowballs until I had bruises and was so cold, I was forced back home to my empty dorm room to sleep.
Except I was too excited to sleep. I got back inside and looking out at the snow covered campus, I got back out of bed, put my layers back on, and walked campus just to take photos of the beautiful scene in front of me. I was full of butterflies.
We ran into each other once before heading home for the holidays, outside of the library, and I think we exchanged phone numbers over the winter break. I told my mom that I'd met the next person I was going to date and though she told me I needed to take a break, he was too cute to pass up. We finally got together two weeks after we returned from the winter holiday, on January 31st.
Every single year we make it back to Zoo Lights to enjoy our "meetiversary" (this one is the sixth Zoo Lights trip, but at the Oregon Zoo this time!) and remember that first snowy night spent together at a zoo.