My grandparents liked to take my two siblings and me to different places around the area. I remember being about 7 or 8 and visiting Allerton with them, and my grandma explaining to me that the Fu Dogs were from China. I was fascinated by everything, but distinctly remember the Fu dogs because I thought she meant tofu dogs. I thought we were in the real-life Secret Garden. My mom and grandma made a comment about someday maybe I could get married in the park since I loved it so much.
I did, on July 22, 2017. It was the hottest day of the year, but everything about Allerton still made the day perfect. I’ve also run the fall trail race almost every year from 2006-2019 (even pregnant in 2019!), and the spring Allerton trail races every year since they started. My daughter turns one in March 2021; I’m so excited to take her out and introduce her to the magic of the park this spring.