How We Met: Mike and I met while I was still living and working in Scranton, PA. Mike had just moved to Scranton to start Medical School and I was working on changing jobs and moving to Delaware for a fresh start. It was Cinco de Mayo of 2012 and I of course could not miss going out with my friends on this night, especially when I knew I would be moving to Delaware the next month. Mike was at the same bar as my friends and I but we had no idea who each other was yet. I remember looking around the bar while standing with my friends in a circle and caught the eyes of Mike as he was walking past. He stopped dead in his tracks when we made eye contact and came right over to me and introduced himself. He bought me a few drinks and we talked and danced the night away. At one point I even forgot his name and made my friend introduce herself to hear him say his name! The next day I figured it was just a fun night with a nice guy but I wasn’t looking for anything serious since I knew I was moving. Mike asked me out a few times after this but I always told him no…Why would I start something with someone while I was moving? Despite me telling him no numerous times, he would not stop pursuing me. One day, I came home from work to find flowers delivered. I opened them up and they were from Mike. At that moment, I decided maybe this guy deserves a chance. And that’s where our relationship began. I moved to Delaware in June and we have been going strong long distance ever since.
how they asked: It was the weekend after Thanksgiving in 2013 and my family got the news of the passing of my great uncle. His funeral was set for that Saturday. Mike met me at my place in Delaware and we traveled to the Jersey Shore that Saturday for his funeral. On the way home back to Delaware, Mike told me he planned a surprise trip on Sunday for us and that I needed to be ready to leave in the morning to go to Baltimore, Maryland. I was so excited and asked what we were doing. He explained he signed us up for a dolphin encounter at the Baltimore aquarium. Mike and everyone in my life knows how much I LOVE dolphins, especially being able to interact with them one on one. I was so excited and touched that I started to cry.
The next morning we got up early and started to head down to Baltimore. During our drive Mike was very fidgety and kept complaining about how hot he was. I on the other hand was cold…It was December after all! I thought it was odd he was so fidgety but didn’t think too much of it. We got to the aquarium and met with our group to start the dolphin encounter. We learned a lot of information on the dolphins and then were brought into the pool/tank area where we were going to interact with them. There were a total of 3 groups of 2 and we each had our own dolphin and dolphin trainer. We were having a blast petting our dolphin, doing tricks with her, and taking photos with her! Towards the end of the encounter the trainer had us both lay on our stomachs so we could lean over the edge to pet the dolphin. As we were laying on our stomachs our trainer did a signal which sent our dolphin swimming to the other side of the pool to meet another trainer. This trainer placed a long white buoy in our dolphins mouth and she started swimming back over towards us with it. I figured this a new toy we were going to use to play with her. The dolphin started to get closer. She swam directly to me, came up out of the water a little, and handed me this white buoy. I grabbed it and read what it said on it: “Mandy, Will you Marry Me?”. It took me a few seconds to realize what was happening but when I turned to my left in awe, Mike was down on one knee with a ring!!! It was the most amazing proposal I could have ever imagined!
Photography & Dolphin Encounter: Baltimore Aquarium