Well. It wasn't that long ago. I'm talking January...but the Frenchman and I have covered a lot of ground in a few short months of being the token of each other's affections--and I don't just mean the space between Kansas City and Chicago--so it does feel like a very long time ago.
Anyhow, before I went on my January visit, he was talking up this surprise. He kept going on about how it was a really, really good one. Then I got to Chicago and he took me on trains, and in cabs, and up to the 96th floor of the John Hancock building, then down Michigan avenue, then ice skating in Millenium Park, then to the Vivian Maier photography exhibit, and none of those wonderful activities was the surprise he was talking about. I left to come back to Kansas City, and still he boasted of his great surprise that was yet to come.
I went back to see him last weekend, and he promised that the first afternoon I was there, I would finally get to experience whatever this big surprise was. All I knew for sure was that it was weather sensitive and I had to not be afraid of heights to be able to enjoy it. I started developing unproven theories about what it could possibly be.
As soon as I arrived in Chicago, it started snowing. We were warming our hands on mugs of hot coffee when Tim made an ever so ambiguous call to "the place" asking if our "appointment" was still on despite the snow. The people said yes, and my man smugly assured me that his great surprise was still happening despite the snow, "because by the time we're in the air, the weather will have cleared."
In the air?
"So...is it an airplane or a helicopter?", I asked.
I still love the look on his face when he realized he'd let that bit of information slip. And he still loves the look on my face when he told me we were going on a sunset helicopter tour of downtown Chicago.
Whose life am I living here, people?
It was wonderful. I'll let the pictures tell the story of the experience, except for two snippets that show how hilarious and genuine my sweetheart is.
We got in the car to drive to the airport (because that's where helicopters take off from, go figure), and Tim handed me his camera bag because I wanted to play with those bad boys on the ride to Midway. I opened the bag and was surprised to find that he only packed one of his Cannon 5D Mark II's. He usually takes two cameras on important shoots.
"Just one?", I asked.
"Yeah", he replied, "if the chopper goes down, I only want to lose one camera."
"Seriously?! What about our lives, mister?"
He chuckled and said something about preserving the value of his estate.
And then, when the pilot was getting us settled in our seats, he asked Tim if he wanted to sit up front to take advantage of the better view for photography. The window space up there was easily three times what is was in the back. Without hesitation, Tim declined the better seat next to the pilot. He wanted to sit next to me in the back, even though it meant his view would be limited.
Speaking of his pictures, here's a few incredibles. If you want to see the whole collection, click here.