Virginia and Shaul

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How We Met

In August 2012, I moved to Grenada for the first time. Shaul had already lived there for 1 year while studying the pre-medical field. During the first week of classes, I remember not knowing anyone and being nervous living alone in another country.

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As I walked into physiology class one day, this handsome guy with a huge smile asked me my name. As I replied, Virginia, I knew that he was someone unique and special. We had our first date at a cute little beach-side restaurant called “Umbrellas.”

He ordered the blackened fish and I ordered the blue cheese burger. We shared stories about ourselves and before we knew it we had been in the restaurant for longer than we expected! Before heading home, we took a long walk on beautiful Grand Anse Beach under the clear skies, staring at stars and the moon.

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From that night on, the rest of our story is history. We became study partners helping each other through Medical School by supporting and motivating each other to reach our goals. On our free time from studying, we enjoyed the beauty of Grenada by visiting waterfalls, taking snorkeling trips, enjoying restaurants, going boating, cooking dinner together, having movie nights, and most of all enjoying the beautiful beaches of Grenada.

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Whenever we had a stressful day, a long walk on the beach always relaxed us.After living there for 2.5 years, it was time for us to travel to NY to complete our medical education. Before leaving Grenada for the very last time, we went to Umbrellas on our last date there. He ordered the blackened fish and I ordered the blue cheese burger.

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We ended the night with a long romantic walk on Grand Anse Beach. We were both (luckily) placed at a hospital in Staten Island, NY. I am a native New Yorker, but Shaul is from Abaco, Bahamas and had never experienced NY before. Beginning the next chapter in our lives in NY was an amazing experience.

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Even though we moved to NY we still continued our love and connection at the beach. My family spends every summer at our beach house in Long Beach Island, NJ. Shaul and I took several trips down there and took long walks on the beach reminding us of where our love began.

How He Asked

It’s been over four years since I met the love of my life, but that morning it felt more like three days. Throughout our journey of love, we came to develop a special relationship with the beach. For one, we met on the beautiful Caribbean island of Grenada in the West Indies and had many dates of long walks on the beach.

Aside from this, Virginia has always loved the beach. Since she was a baby her family has spent every summer in Long Beach Island, NJ at their summer home. As for me, I am from Abaco, Bahamas, so beaches are second nature to me.

When thinking of the perfect proposal to my future wife, the only place I could have pictured it was on a beach. Since I knew how much 76th street beach in Harvey Cedars, Long Beach Island, NJ meant to Virginia, I knew that this would be the perfect spot.

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This beach is not only a place where she and her family have gone for many years, but it is the beach where she learned to swim, built her first sand castles, worked as an ocean lifeguard, and so much more.

As I planned this proposal, I knew how important Virginia’s family was to her. Each spring, her family goes down to their beach house to open it up for the season. I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to surprise her, since she would not suspect a thing!

Her older sister who lives in Florida came home for what Virginia thought was her week of vacation (little did she know she was only home for the weekend) and her brother who goes to college in Pennsylvania came home to see her visiting sister.

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Friday evening, her parents, older sister, younger sister, younger brother, and the two of us all traveled down to the shore house. The next day, Virginia’s mom thought it would be the perfect opportunity to “take pictures” on the beach to use for the family’s annual Christmas card.

Her sister made sure she was presentable for pictures and and when it was time, both of her sisters brought her up to the beach. As we walked along the beach, Virginia stated- “Look, someone left their towel on the beach.”

To her surprise, as we got closer, it was a blanket (full of rose pedals) on the sand with all pictures of us on Grand Anse Beach in Grenada to help us feel just like we were there! That day it still felt like the first second I saw her.

I found the person in this world that accepts me the way I am -not only accepts but loves who I am. So… that day was another cool morning- now in Harvey Cedars, Long Beach Island, with family, friends, and sand once again beneath our feet with sun over our heads, thousands of miles from the beach where this journey began- I asked …Will you Marry Me?…. For me time stood still, what felt like seconds for others seemed like hours for me.

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In my mind I thought, would she grant me the joy of spending the rest of our lives together? Would it still be us against the world? ….”YES!!!”

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Now the beach, to us, does not only symbolize a place where we both have grown up, or a place where we both met, but a place where I proposed to the love of my life. One day we will be able to bring our children to the beach and tell them the story of how we began!

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