Ellie and Neil

Image 1 of Ellie and Neil

How We Met

Neil and I have known each other since we were kids. His dad and my dad went to medical school together at UVA. Our parents were all friends at UVA and spent a lot of time together. His dad ending up being my dads best man in my parents wedding. My dad had started his practice in Rochester, NY (where I grew up) so we would only see the Harrisons when we went to Virginia to see my dad’s side of the family. The last time I saw Neil I was around 10.

Image 2 of Ellie and Neil

As a senior at the University of Delaware I randomly decided to apply to UVA Medical Center for my first nursing job. I thought I was going to end up in NYC but wanted to interview there as a “back up” option. When I went to Charlottesville to interview, Spring of my senior year, my mom told me that Neil Harrison was at UVA for school and she wanted me to catch a meal with him. I remember being frustrated because I wanted to get back to Delaware for a party, but decided I should see him anyways. We ended up going out to dinner and had a great time. Before I left to drive back to school he made me a coffee at his apartment and let me keep his mug, I remember thinking that was the nicest thing. My first experience with that southern hospitality ;)

After interviewing at a couple hospitals in NYC I knew I wanted to go to Charlottesville for my new home after college. When I moved there the following summer, Neil and I were instantly inseparable. We started dating that fall, my dad tries to claim it was all arranged!

how they asked

Neil and I were going on a camping trip at McAfee Knob with two of our best friends, Paul and Katie Lynne. We had been meaning to do this hike for a very long time so we were all pretty excited. It’s around a 4 mile hike to the top…We got there at the perfect moment, right as the sunset was getting good. We wanted to get a picture at the “knob”, the cliff overlook on the summit. It looks coolest if you sit down, but Neil insisted we stand. Then he asked, “Did I show you that rock I found on the hike?” and got down on one knee. As you can see in the video, I was shocked! I thought we were waiting until we both finished school in a couple years. I instantly go down on my knees as well and hug him. All of our family members were not happy with how close we were to the edge at this moment, but we stayed there for a few minutes. I’m not sure I actually said yes until moments later, we both feel like we blacked out. Fortunately our friends were able to capture the whole thing. We spent the night at the coolest hidden campsite, a little cave, near the summit. The next morning we caught sunrise, headed back down the mountain, and went into town for brunch. The whole weekend was magical!

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