As excited as I am to start watching the dates, this episode was obviously tough because of the tragic loss of Eric. I remember that first date so vividly, and to be honest, I cannot bring myself to watch it back. I am really happy, though, that you get to watch and see the Eric that we were blessed to have met.
Eric led a life that many of us strive for but few actually do. I'll never forget wanting to impress Eric as much as I could on that first date. I mean, after all, he was a handsome, humble world traveler who did some pretty incredible things, so I was hoping he would love this adventure just as much. And he did! I will never forget how happy he was and the smile he had on his face at the beach, in the helicopter and snowboarding. For a guy who had seen the world, he enjoyed the simplest things, like building a sandcastle and drinking hot chocolate. I can look back and know that even though we may not have traveled to another continent or some far-off land, we had an adventure of our own that day!
The group date this week got so much raunchier than I could have imagined! Last season on my first group date, I had to push myself out of my comfort zone, and although I didn't like it, I remember feeling very proud afterwards. I was proud because I knew I was doing something for charity, and that's the same feeling I wanted the guys to have this week. Little did I know they would all just dive right in!
The audience went nuts for the guys. I mean, they were going crazy putting dollar bills everywhere! The women in the audience cheered so loudly for firefighter Carl. He was working the room, for sure. I was impressed by Marcus and his solo act, and I knew Kelly and Sharleen were, too. He was definitely one of their favorites. The biggest surprise had to be Dylan, though. He was the guy who was beyond nervous that first night, and there he was dancing up on Chris Harrison! Chris was such a good sport – hilarious!
I can't thank my friends Kelly and Sharleen enough for coming out to the date. I know they loved the show, but what really made me feel good was knowing they loved my guys. Even though I trust my own instincts when it comes to this journey, it's always good to get some outside perspective.
Although we had a great day, the nighttime took a different turn. It started out with great conversations, including Brian and Marcus, but it all changed when Craig had a few too many. I love seeing the guys have fun, but obviously there was a line and Craig clearly crossed it. I was frustrated that this was already happening that early on. I kept reminding myself that no matter how upset I was, I needed to focus on the guys who were behaving appropriately and were taking this seriously. It was for those reasons that I knew I still had to give a group-date rose out – the first of the season.
Marcus really impressed me on the date. From doing his solo routine with such confidence and also humility to showing me he was serious about finding love, it was clear to me that Marcus deserved the rose.
My date with Chris was so refreshing. After that group date, I really needed Chris to come in and sweep me off my feet, and he really did. I loved getting all dolled up with him for that date. I thought we looked like a very cute couple. My favorite part was talking to this cute older couple and seeing how Chris interacted with them. It showed his depth and sweetness. He really was the perfect person for that date and got me excited about the rest of my journey.
The cocktail party was great. The guys really brought it! They started opening up to me, and they brought fun ideas like Tasos breaking plates. I loved my first kiss with Josh. He was so nervous, and I found it so adorable! I like a man who just goes in for the kiss, and in front of the mansion, dancing, that was the perfect moment. So romantic!
Oh Craig … I adored his song! What was so funny was that he sang/apologized for showing his junk to all the guys, but I never even knew that happened. He was singing and apologizing for something I didn't know about! Too funny. Although he was so sweet, I just couldn't keep him another week. It broke my heart, but I just didn't think this was the right environment for him.
Thanks again for reading and watching. Tune in next week as I drive up north to Santa Barbara for some very romantic dates. You'll get to see what I will look like in the future, and the group date I can confidently say was one of the best days of my life.