Royal Oak has its fair share of lovebirds, so we decided to check in with a few of them before Valentine's Day and ask them to share relationship and date night secrets.
Today we take a closer look at what makes Cindy and Doug La Ferle so sweet.
How long have you been together?
We've been married almost 33 years. We met in junior high school in Clawson, but our friendship really grew when we sat across from each other in an art class in ninth grade. We were 15 when we started dating -- in fact, our first official date was in Royal Oak, at an SRC rock concert at the Psychedelic Midway. Right from the start, we knew we were soul mates. Though we ended up going to different universities (Doug to U-M; Cindy to MSU), we remained in close touch and married in 1980.
What’s the secret to a successful and happy relationship?
We believe that friendship is a rock-solid foundation for a good marriage. If you share common interests and values -- along with abiding love and respect for one another -- you'll never run short on good conversation or companionship.
What famous couple do you emulate?
We know many local couples who've weathered a lot of changes and challenges -- and keep supporting each other. Those are the couples we admire.
Why did you settle in Royal Oak, and how long have you lived here?
We both grew up in south Oakland County. When we married back in 1980, Royal Oak was just coming into its own, and we wanted to be a part of its renaissance. It was an exciting time to move here. Both of us admired old houses and tree-lined neighborhoods with an old-fashioned sense of community. We also wanted to live near a real "downtown" with a Main Street -- so we found plenty to love in Royal Oak. We've lived here 30 years.
What’s your favorite romantic night out in Royal Oak and why?
We head downtown for dinner and movie. We enjoy indie and foreign films at the Main Art Theatre, then Lily's Seafood for drinks and dinner. On summer nights, we enjoy people-watching at the outdoor cafes. In the winter, we'll grab a coffee, walk around downtown, or see what's new at Barnes & Noble. Since our work schedules are flexible, we also enjoy having a special lunch together. What Crepe?tops our list of romantic brunch spots in Royal Oak; it reminds us of the cafes in France.
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If you have any other ideas for a great Royal Oak couple to interview, please drop their names in the comments below!