Jamie and John

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How We Met

I had recently been accepted to graduate school and moved from Pennsylvania to live in Tampa, FL. I had previously gone to college in Tampa but almost everyone I knew I had grown apart from or had moved away from Tampa. The one person I did know was my best friend from high school Jen who coincidentally moved to Tampa after college. I decided to move back to Tampa the summer before I started grad school so I could meet people outside of my program as I was determined to have a life outside of what I knew would be a rigorous graduate program. After finding a roommate who was also determined to meet people, we made our best efforts to get out and about. My best friend Jen and her now husband, Ryan would often visit a bar called World of Beer (WOB) for trivia on Tuesday nights. One Tuesday night Jen and her coworkers decided to get a group together to go to trivia. One of Jen’s coworkers, Nicole had a big group of neighbors who also enjoyed Tuesday WOB trivia nights who were all there together. The two groups decided to combine and all play together. We all went around and introduced ourselves to one another. I remember noticing how nice Johnny seemed as well as his great hair. After trivia ended I had to walk to my car to move it closer in order to pick up my roommate Johnny immediately offered to walk me to my car and let me park in his driveway. I definitely got the impression that he was a true gentleman right away. After I asked him for his number one night and about a month and a few more rounds of trivia with Johnny offering to drive me home among other sweet romantic gestures, he finally asked me on a date to a local speakeasy. We were both incredibly nervous but I was so intrigued by his world travels, amazed by his ability to make sure every detail of the night was perfect, and his calm personality. I knew he was a keeper and the rest is history!

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how they asked

This past winter my mom decided to plan our first family vacation in ten years with my dad, brother, and me. She ultimately decided on Ireland and Wales. She wanted to go to Wales specifically to see a castle that had once been in our family. While she was planning this, Johnny – being the world traveler he is – had already planned a trip of his own to Egypt, Israel, & Jordan around the same time my mom wanted to go to Ireland and Wales. So, while Johnny was invited and more than welcome to join our family vacation, it just didn’t make sense with the timing for him to come along. I was disappointed but it made sense. After a wonderful visit to Ireland with my family, it ws now time for us to head to Cardiff, Wales. We woke up before 6:00 a.m. on Saturday June 17 to catch an early, quick flight from Dublin to Cardiff. After landing, we had to literally drag our suitcases around Cardiff to museums in order to keep them in the on site lockers while we explored the town and waited for our apartment rental to be ready.

Our phone’s poor GPS signal certainly made it for a long morning. We were finally able to check in to our rental at 3:00 p.m. and I was beyond exhausted so I immediately fell asleep on the couch. My mom however was very excited to visit Tintern Abbey at a certain time of day for the good photography lighting. I told my brother I was going to stay behind and continue to rest but my mom insisted I go as it was a special treat for Father’s Day or so she told me. I agreed to go but made no effort to look presentable due to my exhaustion. After waiting some time to get a cab we were finally off to Tintern Abbey, which was going to be closed by the time we arrived. When we arrived my mom rushed to the gift shop entrance and said it had closed but they were allowing us ten minutes to walk through. As soon as we entered, I immediately started taking photos and telling my family that Johnny would love such a beautiful place and how much I wished he were there to see it.

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My mom continued to tell us about the photos she wanted to take and lead us to the main section to get a good picture of that area. As I followed her voice I briefly saw someone that I initially thought might have been a groundskeeper or employee until I did a double take and saw Johnny walking toward me. I immediately ran to him and started crying. I didn’t even give myself the chance to think about why he was there. He then asked, if I knew why he was there.

Still in shock, I wasn’t able to fully answer. He then said “Because I want to spend my life with you.”, got on one knee and asked “Will you marry me?”. I could barely talk but I knew to say “yes” if nothing else. After lots of happy tears and a few more photos, it started to sink in. I remember asking “Is this real life?” because it felt so surreal. I knew Johnny was good at romantic gestures but this was beyond anything I had dreamed of happening.

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While we all waited for a cab to return my parents told me that Johnny had flown up to my hometown a few months before to ask my dad and mom for my hand in marriage in person. Johnny had to do it one day so he could be sure I wouldn’t suspect anything other than a long work day, which is not that unusual for his job at a hospital. I was in even more shock that he made such an effort to talk to my parents in person.On top of that, once he landed in London, he had planned to take a train to Wales however he missed the train and had to beg a driver to take him on a 4 hour ride to get to Tintern Abbey in time. After we got our cab to go back to Cardiff, we headed off to dinner to celebrate with a delicious Welsh meal and champagne. Then we got to spend the next day together exploring and celebrating the start of the rest of our lives together. I knew Johnny was great with romantic gestures but including the ones I’m closest to in the proposal and making my wish for him to join us come true, truly topped them all.

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