Early Saturday morning, my MOH (maid-of-honor) and I trekked across the Bay Bridge and hailed a taxi to Crissy Field, the starting line for the David Clay Jeweler's 1st Annual Diamond Dash. We had received instructions to get in line at half past eight, and getting there at 9:00 AM, the organizers still had no clue where to set up their tent, how to check dashers in, etc. Not a way to kick off an event and we had a sinking feeling the dash would be ill executed. Since we were on foot versus bike as the David Clay organizers had urged (probably because they got a kick back from Bay Bikes), we thought we'd get a head start by getting to the Palace of Fine Arts. Forty-five minutes later, 30 min past the official start time as communicated by the organizers, we got our first clue - to name a rare flower at the Crissy Field Wildflower Preserve! Darn! We double backed, and the next clue asked us to count the V's of the bridge crossing the marsh. 74. Clue #2: Go to the lone pine tree and what number is on its doggie tag. And on and on. The dash was a bit self-serving because one of the clues we got towards the end was: Who is the greatest jeweler in all of San Francisco? And then, "if you want to continue, text in I love David Clay." What?!? That's some shameless self-promotion!
Around 12:30 PM and not having really gone beyond the area between the Palace of Fine Arts and the St. Francis Yacht Club, we received the SCRMBL. At that point, you would get the final clue no matter where you were but you had to wait 5 seconds for every point you had lost. We had just gotten the question, "What is the name of the structure at the only address on Marina Green?" when we were directed to head to the "Marina Green and use this key to get the first letter. Key: (Bench # from Fort M. Letters from Top Left). What's this letter? (14, 16)?" By then, we were tired, hungry and dehydrated. We walked rather than ran the half mile to the Marina Green benches, as they were already swarming with crazed couples around plaques affixed to the benches. My MOH and I found bench #14 after a game of deduction (heck, we really didn't want to start at one end and actually count 14 benches) and earned the next clue: Go to the following benches and collect the letters for (21,55), (13,25) and so on. We split up and met in the middle to decipher the bewildering anagram: BOBXW,etc. WTF?! Our hint told us think about the alphabet being off by one where b might be an a and c might be b. We moved up the letters and got: ORVGAWANE. We were stumped. Orange Ave? Could we have messed up counting letters? I looked across the water to the little point at the end of Yacht Drive. It was then that a fellow contestant passed by shaking his head with disappointment,"It was the wave organ over there!" and pointed to that strip that she and I were sitting straight across from. A wave of frustration washed over me for a brief moment since I hadn't thought about the wave organ. But then, whoever figured out wave organ among the 300 other contestants surely deserved the $15,000 1.5 carat Hearts on Fire diamond!!
So that was my adventure in competing for a classic wedding engagement ring without spending more than cab fare and 6 hours of walking on a beautiful Saturday in San Francisco. If you're on a budget like us, who says that you have to have a diamond? I just discovered Turtle Love Committee (TLC) and they make it easy to find truly unique engagement rings and wedding bands that fit your style and won't break the bank. They have a collection of engagement rings and wedding bands in sterling silver and semi-precious stones, believing that the decision to spend a lifetime together should be about love and commitment, not about expensive cookie-cutter jewelry. Definitely splendid! Check out Turtle Love Committee here>>