Kassandra and Stephen
How We Met
After I finished my internship at Mote Aquarium in Sarasota, Florida, I decided I wasn’t going to move back home to Indiana and instead, got a job at Save Our Seabirds. I was given a tour of the facility and was being shown the shed where rats are bred to feed their raptors (owls, hawks, etc). I spoke to a worker about how much I loved rats when a tall, goofy looking guy spoke up about how rats are stupid and nasty. I quickly gave this guy a quick lesson on how rats are extremely intelligent, easy to train, and make affectionate pets. This tall, goofy kid was, of course, Steve.
We spent the next months rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing wild birds, while giving daily care to the ones who couldn’t be released. We became best friends and started dating each other after only one month. 4 1/2 years later, we are still best friends and our love grows with every passing year.
How He Asked
Last spring, Steve wanted to look at engagement rings until we found “the one.” I was unaware, but Steve had planned to propose in September when the play I was performing in was wrapping up it’s last week. Hurricane Irma, however, forced Steve to change his plans, so he waited until December, when he had better time off from work.
On the morning of December 2nd, my best friend had 2 gift certificates for a mani/pedi and offered to take me. What I didn’t know was that Steve had paid for both of us in order to get me out of our apartment. When we were done, I was insistent that I had to rush to Sarasota to be an extra in a Ringling student’s film, but my friend Sam was acting very weird. Finally, she looked me straight in the eye and said, “Kasey, you have to go home.” It took me a few seconds to realize this was all Steve’s doing.
Sam tailed me home, where I found rose petals in the shape of a heart on the dining room floor with two envelopes in the middle. The first envelope instructed me to get changed into one of the dressed he laid out on the bed. The second envelope informed me I was going on a scavenger hunt and wasn’t allowed to use my phone or social media. Each clue had us driving to the museum where our first date was, then to Save Our Seabirds, where we worked together, and then down a winding wood path through mangroves, where we used to take walks. At the end of the path, standing on the beach, was my best friend from Chicago holding the next envelope. Steve had gotten her to fly down here to be a part of my proposal! Then I was blindfolded and headphones were placed on my head and put back into Sam’s car. As I listened to the soundtrack to Steve and my favorite movie, La La Land, I was driven, walked, and put on a tram where I was sped around to loud jazz music.
When I got out and the blindfold was removed from my eyes, Steve was standing in front of a helicopter, looking like a boss! He proposed to me in front of the helicopter and, after I said yes, my family and friends came out from behind an airplane, applauding. Steve and I took an exciting helicopter ride with my best friend over Siesta and Lido beaches. The night ended with a Venetian boat parade in Venice, FL, an outdoor showing of Elf, Christmas lights, and fireworks. It was the most perfect, magical day of my life.