Germaine and Ori

How We Met

Just as I turned 15 I started hanging out with a new group of friends. Out of that group of friends there was one guy that stood out to me the most. He wasn’t the loudest of the group but always knew how to make me laugh. He was two and a half years older and kept telling me to reach out to him when I was older. As we started hanging out more frequently there was no denying we had a certain kind of chemistry. But Ori was never the one to make the first move in furthering our relationship. He was super shy when I was around and I knew if I wanted this guy, which I really did, I had to take matters into my own hands.

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So one night, after we all said good bye to each other, me and my best friend were on the way home when I decided to text him for the first time. I made a joke about something that was said that night because I just wanted anything to break the ice. Soon enough that first text led to a continuation of flirtation which then led to spending every day together since. Every time we would go out with our friends, they kept referring to me as his girlfriend, but we still hadn’t had the conversation about our title just yet. One day when were sitting outside of his friend’s house waiting for him to come outside, I just went ahead and asked him. “Why is everyone calling me your girlfriend when you never even asked me?” and he responded “Well, I didn’t think I needed to ask you, but will you be my girlfriend?”

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As cliché as it sounds the rest is history. The one thing I do remember from that day is that I went home that night wrote “March 8, 2007” on a yellow post it and put it on my cork board so I would always remember when we first became girlfriend and boyfriend. I guess at that age I could have never imagined that 10 years later that date would be so engrained in my mind and that this year we would be planning our dream wedding.

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How He Asked

I had always talked about how I dreamt of doing a road trip down the coast from San Fransisco to Los Angeles and go wine tasting and hot air ballooning in Napa Valley. We finally found the right time to go and started planning our trip. When I was looking for hotels in Napa Valley I had found one that offered a romantic package deal that included a Hot Air Balloon ride. I thought it couldn’t be more perfect so we booked it along with all of the other hotels and flights and the countdown began. When we landed in San Fransisco, we hit the ground running and wanted to explore as much as of the city as we possibly could during the couple of days we had there. We rented a car and did all of the touristy things including a trolley ride, a drive on the Golden Gate Bridge, a visit to the painted ladies and so much more.

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From San Fran we headed to Napa Valley to spend the day wine tasting where we went to three different vineyards and decided to have a low key dinner since we had to wake up early in the next day to embark on our Hot Air Balloon ride. With a 6 AM call time, we anxiously woke up that morning, filled with excitement for the ride. As we got to the hotel lobby we let the receptionist know that we arrived and were waiting for our pick up. Then, 6:15 rolls around and we still haven’t gotten picked up or an update as to where our ride was. At around 6:30, I got up and asked the receptionist what was going on considering we’ve been waiting for over 30 minutes without any answers. “It seems someone forgot to book your hot air balloon ride and now I can’t find a company that has availability,” she responded. My face just dropped but it was nothing compared to the look on Ori’s face. I couldn’t believe that this was happening. This was supposed to be one of the highlights of our trip and with such a busy schedule for the remainder of the day and our plans to start the drive south to Los Angeles in order to make it to my sister’s house for dinner, we couldn’t stick around for an extra day to reschedule. As disappointed as I was, I knew there had to be a reason this was all happening. If we would have went on that hot air balloon we would have had to take the interstate to Los Angeles because of time restraints.

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But since we ended up leaving Napa at 7 AM, we had a few extra hours and decided on the most gorgeous scenic route down the Pacific Coast Highway. During our drive, Ori was desperately looking for another place to do a Hot Air Balloon ride. He found a company based out of Temecula (about a 2 hour drive south of Los Angeles) that had availability for a private ride the next morning. We decided we would stop by my sister’s house for dinner and continue the drive and stay the night in Temecula. That morning I woke up with butterflies in my stomach, we were finally going to go on the Hot Air Balloon! As we got to the meet up spot, I became more and more excited. Ori was acting completely normal so I didn’t have the slightest clue that even though we were going up as boyfriend and girlfriend, we were going to come down as an engaged couple!

We jumped aboard our basket and waited as the captain fueled up our strawberry shaped balloon. As we started ascending in the air, the views were simply breathtaking. There are no words to describe the beauty that was in the silence and in the sunrise that morning. The captain went on explaining what was down below and even told us about a couple that recently got engaged while in flight. I turned around to gaze at the vineyards sprinkled on the ground and as soon as I knew it, Ori took out a ring and asks me to marry him.

With tears streaming down my face, I said YES. He put the ring on my finger and it was the perfect fit. We just kept hugging and kissing. Focusing less on where we were and more on what just happened. The rest of the ride was pure bliss and I couldn’t wait to tell all of our family and friends. As we got down on the ground a bottle of champagne and a celebratory breakfast was waiting for us.

We quickly FaceTimed, called and texted all of our loved one and were so overwhelmed with love. We continued our celebration the remainder of the trip with dinner with my sister and our friends. As soon as we landed back home our whole family surprised us at our house and decorated everything with plenty of balloons, flowers and presents. On fourth of July we had a huge Engagement Barbecue to celebrate with everyone else.

To my future Husband: I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in love and in life. A decade of love is just the beginning, forever is what we have to look forward to.