Monday, February 14, 2011


I really have to hand it to Google today, guys.  When I first saw the link in my twitter stream this morning, it didn't quite occur to me how awesome the idea was. My first "map your valentine" for Taylor today was only our apartment address: "My home is where you are, my Love."  Simple, sweet.  I didn't think of any grandiose locations to send him on a heart-shaped map.

But then I got his valentine back and I swooned.  Really!  I almost gasped out loud at work (ok, fine, I did gasp out loud at work.. but no one was near my office) :)

Really, the location might not mean anything to anyone else, but to me, it brought back memories of fresh pasta, hot humid days, warm vibrant nights, ancient history living all around me, and lounging in bed for hours on end, with nothing to do but eat tasty food and read Tolkien aloud to each other.  He sent me the address to the apartment in Rome where we stayed for our honeymoon.

The emotions that swelled seeing that tiny spot on the map with two red flags right there.. it was just so wonderful.  Sure, it's only a bunch of data bits representative of my concept of a certain place at a certain time.  But that place holds real memories and deep meaning for me.

I sent him another GoogleMaps valentine: the spot where we first fell in love, which was the student chapel at Gonzaga University--the place we prayed together and cried together and sang together and vowed before all our community to be together till death.

Nearly immediately after I sent my second valentine, he sent me another--the bridge where he asked me to be his wife, which we visited again on our first anniversary.

I sent him another one, but that location is a bit more difficult to explain... so we'll just say he liked it :)

Of course, for each valentine, I had to zoom out on the map to figure out what the spot was and where on earth it sat.  But once I got the context, I could zoom in on that one place and focus all my memory in the moment(s) we spent there together.

Isn't it an amazing thing how physical we are?  How seeing a reminder of physical places can sweep our whole mind back to that time, that one moment.

I remember the light on the bridge when Taylor said, "Will you marry me, Anne Michelle?"  I remember how I felt when I realized he was going to ask me.  I remember hugging him, still kneeling, as a couple passed us: "Saying 'I do'?"  "YES!" I called after them.

I remember the first meal we cooked in our Rome apartment, how good it tasted, and how T couldn't stand up all the way straight in the kitchen.  I remember taking two showers a day because it was so humid.  I remember spending entire days inside, reading chapter after chapter of the Lord of the Rings.  "Just one more chapter?! Then we can go to sleep, ok? Just one more!"  I remember walking hand in hand along the ancient streets or the Eternal City, blissfully content in our alone-ness together.

Love is a many-splendored thing, the song goes.  And, thanks to Google's Valentines, I want to add the splendor of being places.
"Sometimes, what means the most isn't something; it's somewhere."
Exactly, Google.  Well done.


  1. love it! Love you two. happy Vday to two little love birds.

  2. so sweet, what journey to see on a map!! love you both, Happy Valentine's Day :) lagbb

  3. You two romantics, you. But this is super sweet. A great idea because it's true, we are very physical beings, and places have such meaning in a relationship.

    Maybe next year Mike and I will do this. I love the idea! Good job Google and Taylor!

  4. He, he, he, you make me blush and coo. Andrew and I are not cutsie romantic like this. I like us they way we are, but this is awful cute.

  5. :D maps aren't especially romantic. they're quite manly, really ;)