Gina and Brian
How We Met
As told by Gina: Brian and I met in college, just before he was about to graduate, leave for basic training, and then move to Memphis from Maine, where I had one year left of school. Needless to say, we didn’t have time on our side, but our connection was instant and undeniable. Despite this, our first date didn’t happen until a year later. But good things, take time, and…it was a good one. One that involved fake mustaches, quesadillas, a little adventure, and lots of laughing – a very accurate forecast of our now day to day. We saw each other sporadically, and Brian tried to woo me from afar by sending me surprises in the mail, and by showing off his impeccable trivia skills – the key to my heart. On the day of my graduation, Brian flew up to Maine to surprise me and ask me to be his girlfriend (the best graduation gift!!!) Since then it’s been adventure after adventure together, and we haven’t looked back.
As told by Brian: I first met Gina at the local watering hole of our college town. I asked a mutual friend of ours to put in a good word for me before I used a stupid scene from Along Came Polly to start a conversation with her about the grease on her Pizza… A true Romeo and Juliet fantasy romance beginning. After breaking the ice, Gina and I got to know each other slowly, running into each other through mutual friends and around town- but every time we connected it was sort of like everything else around stopped. Gina definitely lives in her own happy world, I joke constantly about how she is a bit of a space cadet, getting to know her was like she was taking me on an adventure to her spacey world, where the only things that matter are flowers, puppies, pizza, smiles, and time is not exactly a priority.
How He Asked
As told by Gina: This past summer I was living and working in Sicily, Italy. About halfway through the summer, Brian flew out and met me in Venice. Being that it is arguably the most romantic place in the world, part of me definitely hoped for a proposal, but as the days went on with no ring in sight, I started to think it wasn’t going to happen. Eventually, we flew back to Sicily together and I took him hiking down this beautiful gorge, surrounded by waterfalls and swimming holes. We spent the day swimming and laying in the sun (and drinking homemade wine) and by sunset, we were the only two left. I was ready to head back, but he kept insisting that we stay and hike to the biggest waterfall around. Upon finding it, I pulled my camera out to start snapping photos when I heard Brian, who was standing behind me, say, “Take a picture of this”. I turned around and saw him on one knee. I was absolutely speechless and so unbelievably happy.
As told by Brian: I had planned to purpose last summer for a little while but hadn’t quite known what to do, how, or where to do it until Gina made plans to live and work in Italy for three months… “PERFECT! I’ll visit, we’ll go to so many romantic places, but which one is right? Rome? Naples? Venice? Catania? And I’ll have to get a ring, but that’s easy…” Not quite. About two weeks before I left for my trip, I was still ring-less, didn’t know exactly where we were traveling, and needless to say scrambling. By some miracle, Catbird Jewelers in New York hooked me up with the perfect ring for Gina on short notice AND Gina planned our trip together, first stop Venice. It was all coming together, we even planned a trip to the small island of Burano, just outside of Venice, Gina raved about how pretty it was… the perfect spot!
I carried the ring around in my pocket the entire weekend, St. Marco’s Square, the Grand Canal, even Burano – nothing truly felt like us. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful, magnificent even, but the moment just never really presented itself like I had hoped until we finally found a small sanctuary of privacy on a quiet doc overlooking the Grand Canal. We sat and watched the gondola drivers push their boats around the corner across from us, while we ate fried seafood from Styrofoam cones and drank prosecco. But it still just didn’t quite happen…. so we traveled to Catania the next day, hiked Mt. Etna, ring still in the pocket… hike down, ring’s still in the pocket… Until FINALLY, we make an impromptu trip to a swimming hole said to have a cool waterfall and a nice hike. Then it all happened how Gina explained it… it was awesome, one of the happiest proudest days of my life. I can’t wait to go back with Gina after a long life together filled with all the flowers, love, puppies, and obviously pizza too.