Photo: David Schooley
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Alex Chen

When David Met Serena


Sometimes finding the love of your life is as simple as stepping away from the computer screen for a bit and enjoying the great outdoors.. That’s how David and Serena did it. The following is a Greenbelt Alliance love story…

It was April 28, 2013. He was David D. Schmidt, Bay Area native and veteran Greenbelt Alliance outings leader since ’92. On this beautiful spring day (naturally), David was co-leading a wildflower hike in the Marin Headlands with Greenbelt Alliance Outings Coordinator and possible Cupid-in-disguise, Ken Lavin. She was Serena Enger, recent Bay Area transplant by way of Boston and veteran Greenbelt Alliance outings goer since ’08. So was it love at first sight?

As he puts it: “When we sat down for lunch, I looked around and saw her and I wanted to have lunch with her. So I sat down next to her and we talked for a while. At the end of the hike, I wanted to keep in touch so we exchanged numbers. I was hoping that she would go on a date with me, and she did… although she made me wait six weeks.”

She says: “He came bearing books, and as a librarian and passionate reader, I was pleased. He had such an impressive and poetic knowledge of wildflowers, the history of the bay, sustainable development, and so forth, but he was also a very kind person, and that attracted me to him.”

“I was hoping that she would go on a date with me, and she did… although she made me wait six weeks.”

Their ensuing courtship reads like a Greenbelt Alliance outings calendar. On that first date, they went for a hike in Sonoma’s Jack London State Historic Park. On date two, they explored the Presidio and Golden Gate Park together. Date three took place in Rancho Corral de Tierra, a big swath of land stretching southward from Montara Mountain to Half Moon Bay.

David and Serena were a match made in the greenbelt. They’re both avid readers. They both enjoy history and politics. They like watching foreign films together at the Castro Theater. And they obviously both love Greenbelt Alliance outings.

Six months after meeting, David proposed to Serena on top of Mount Tamalpais.

“We hiked along the Matt Davis Trail on Mount Tam that’s above Stinson Beach—it’s a beautiful area with those quintessential rolling, mound-like hills of Marin County with great views of the Pacific and the whole Bolinas Ridge,” Serena recalls. “And David proposed to me on the trail as the sun was setting and we had this tremendous view of the Pacific Ocean behind us.”

“We did have to hike back with headlamps, but a very happy day for both of us.”

Today, David and Serena are happily married and living in San Francisco. So this weekend if you find yourself still looking for love in all the wrong places, skip the bars and online dating sites—try looking elsewhere like David and Serena. Maybe in the greenbelt. On one of our upcoming outings, perhaps?

Happy Valentine’s Day from the matchmakers at Greenbelt Alliance!

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