How We Met
January 2013, There are many different ways to start a love story. You have Romeo meets Juliet and you have ours…our love story started with one of the greatest catches in Baltimore Ravens history. On January 13th 2013 Jacoby Jones of the Baltimore Ravens secured a pass that solidified the Ravens heading to the AFC championship game in a game known as the Mile High Miracle. Fridays before any game in Baltimore are a throwback to undergrad life and what it’s like to cheer for the home team. It’s because of Jacoby Jones that Daniel and I met that fateful Friday night in Federal Hill. Before we get there, I’m not even from Baltimore. In our serendipitous story, this was only the start of what had to happen for the stars to align.
August 2012, I (Taylor) moved to Baltimore, MD to work for an education non-profit. I had never been to Baltimore prior to driving into the city on the day of my move. Working with students, 1:1 left little time to mingle with adults and really meet anyone in my new city. Fast forward a few months…my friend had invited me to a last minute happy hour to cheer on the Ravens on a “Purple Friday” at the bar called No Idea (yes, that is the actual name). Going back to our man, Jacoby Jones, the only reason the Ravens were playing the following week and the only reason there were “Purple Friday” happy hours going on throughout the city was because of that catch. Begrudgingly, I went as exhausted as I was but thought it would be good to get out of the house. Sitting there for just a few moments, I thought I recognized a guy standing at the bar. My friend tried to tell me I didn’t know him but, I was confident we had either met or known each other from undergrad at Florida State University (my alma mater, Go Noles!).
Walking up to him, I tapped him on the shoulder and asked if he went to FSU. While he denied me almost immediately, the guy standing next to him ironically had. Little did I know, Daniel had been at the happy hour with a mix of his personal friends, work friends, and friends from out of town as they were attending a good friend’s wedding the next night. While I really wanted to chat with Daniel, this guy had gone to FSU so I thought we may have things to talk about. Now, you should know I’ve been a “glasses wearer” since I was 12. I had been wearing those trendy, thick, black rimmed ray bans when this guy thought it would be a good idea to take them off my face and put them on instead only minutes after meeting me. Immediately turned off, Daniel used that opportunity to swoop in. We talked for the next hour about so many things including music and our love of our bubbe’s (grandmother’s) matzah ball soup.
That night walking home, I had called an old friend and told her I met the guy I’m going to marry. She laughed at me– I guess I would have too– and Daniel and I went on our first date just a couple months later as it took the both of us time to strike up the nerve!
how they asked
Michael Franti and his music have been pivotal in my life. His music has been there through the highs and lows, the good times and bad. It would only be appropriate that the song “Life is Better with You” he wrote for his wife, Sarah, would become our song too. We rewind a few years at the beginning of our relationship to a night where Daniel and I were cooking in the kitchen, this song came on and we both danced the night away in our apartment. After this special moment, we fell deeper in love with Michael Franti as this song became our song. We saw Michael for the first time in concert in the summer of 2015 at Artscape, an open-air art festival in Baltimore, MD. Swaying to his tunes and meeting him at the end of the night, left me on a high I thought I would never be able to attain again. Somehow, as always, Daniel managed to surprise me the following year with a meet and great prior to seeing him perform in the summer of 2016. The jubilation of a Michael Franti concert is visceral and leaves you wanting more.
In early 2017, the summer tour was released and I not only texted, called, left a voicemail but also probably emailed Daniel multiple times that we needed to get the tickets to their Red Rocks concert as Trevor Hall, another favorite artist of mine would be opening for Michael. Being part of the Michael Franti fan club, we were able to purchase tickets a bit before they were released to general public and I was thrilled to luck out and get absolutely amazing seats right in the middle of the venue. Shortly after we bought our concert tickets, Gina Caputo, the world-renowned yoga teacher released that she would be leading yoga at Red Rocks with Michael Franti prior to the concert. We instantly scooped up tickets for this as I found my practice a few years prior and would be graduating with my 200-hour certificate in the early spring. The concert tickets, the yoga tickets, and Red Rocks were all coming together to be the idea that sparked the best day of my life. Little did I know that behind the scenes Daniel was putting in some additional work on his own to come up with his proposal idea.
Unbeknownst to me, he had already been emailing, tweeting (and recruiting my mom to help) to reach out to Michael Franti’s tour to see if his proposal idea could be somehow be incorporated into the show. Unfortunately, because of the size of this show and venue the tour manager gave us the pass but that didn’t stop Daniel. We then fast forward to July 13th 2017. That day was a dream. When we got to Red Rocks for the yoga session, I felt like I was in complete euphoria…which honestly helped Daniel as he seemed like he was up to something. He kept walking off whether we were in line to get into the venue or when we got in to get our spots for yoga. It was all part of his sneaky plan! We practiced yoga and danced to Michael’s tunes for about an hour before we were asked to leave the venue so they could clear it out to get ready for the concert. We retreated to the parking lot to change and get ready for the evening festivities. Looking back on everything it was truly beautiful how some of Daniel’s hidden puzzle pieces started falling into place, which leads me to the next chapter.
Walking back to the venue, these two women complimented my dress and we talked to them for 15 minutes also finding out that they were only sitting 7 rows behind us! After we finished talking with them we walked into the venue, then walked around the breathtaking promenade area with all the food and drinks taking in the scenery. The Rockies are absolutely breathtaking in every sense of the word. Eventually, we made our way to our seats to hear the first and second acts, Hirie and Trevor Hall. Ironically…and I would say almost magically, the ladies from the parking lot had actually read their tickets wrong and ended up having seats RIGHT NEXT TO US. At some point, I went to grab some water which is when Daniel recruited our new best friends, Lindsey and Grace to help out and be our photographers for the night. Thanks, ladies! After Trevor Hall, Daniel knew I would need to go to the bathroom and as we were walking out of our row both Lindsey and Grace said they had to go too, hmmmm. As we were walking out of the row the venue was around max capacity since everyone was gearing up for the main act, which resulted in us almost losing Grace on the way to the bathroom…but luckily found her at the top. Grace decided she no longer had to go and would wait for us at the top.
Lindsey and I trotted down a flight of stairs to the bathroom and when we got out, she asked us if we wanted a picture towards the back of the venue, over-looking the Rockies and the beautiful city of Denver. Dan immediately said yes and brought me over to the somehow very quiet ledge area where he starts talking to me about our relationship, where we were in that moment, Michael Franti, and how “Life is Better with You”, As you will see in the video, it hits me…just look for the facial expression! Next thing I know, Dan is down on one knee asking if I want to spend the rest of my life with him. In tears, I respond affirmative and can’t stop crying, kissing, and holding him.
Among this, we’re hearing cheers from the crowd of concert goers who were watching us and we because of our amazing photographers we have the video and pictures of the entire moment (from head on and a bird’s eye view because of where both Grace and Lindsey were located).
Dan eventually asks me if I want the ring since I honestly hadn’t even noticed it and HOLY MOLY- heck yes I do. We were able to spend the rest of the night jamming away to the artist who will forever hold a special place in our hearts.
To top it all off at the end of the concert Michael hung around to take some photos with the hundreds of fans who swarmed the stage at the end of the concert. To perfectly end this fairy tale of a night as Michael’s security guards are pulling him away we yell “we just got engaged at your concert” and he stops, walks over to us, and takes his last selfie of the night.
As he is snapping the photo, he utters the words that started it all…“Life is Better with You”.