Today's love story is extra fun for me because it's mine!
It was the day after Christmas in 2017. I was on my way back to Charleston from my parents house in Virginia. I got stuck in construction traffic, literally a parking lot on I95. So, naturally, I whipped out my phone to see what kinds of dudes live around middle of nowhere Virginia. A few swipes in and there he was. 400 miles away.
Obviously, I swiped right.
We met the next day for drinks at Edmunds Oast Brewery. Stayed out too late, didn't eat dinner as we should have (which made my next day running 8 miles, training for a half marathon horrendous). And then we "casually" bumped into each other at New Years Eve in Avondale.
Three years, one international trip, 10 national trips, countless road trips, a pandemic, and a house later, he proposed.
But he didn't just propose, he spent 5 months planning an epic proposal that traversed states and included several of my favorite people.
It was the morning of January 9, 2021. Jack and I were supposed to go for a hike at Congaree with his coworker and family. But as I was getting ready, his coworker called to say they had a major setback with their project and had to work through the weekend - Jack had to drop everything and go in to work.
After he leaves, I put on a pot of coffee and get a text message from him, saying he meant to grab a book for his coworker. He asked me to grab it. Surprise. There was no book. Within the box set was a false wall that opened up to a reveal a box. Within the box was a cryptex (yes, like from the Da Vinci Code).
I immediately texted my best friend, Kayla (you can actually read about her love story here), and told her I was getting engaged that day.
I go to grab a cup of coffee and ponder the code for the cryptex, when I'm interrupted by an FBI Raid level pounding on my door. I open the door to find Kayla and Jack's younger sister, Molly (who at the time lived in Iowa). They tell me to put on my shoes and whisk me away to the local coffee shop, where my neighbors and good friends are waiting with the first clue. That clue sends me on a quest to get my hair done, nails done, and tacos.
At the Taco Spot, my good friend Jeff shows up with the next clue. From there we are on an adventure that involves some of my favorite people and places, each clue leading to the next. Until the final clue which has the code for the cryptex. I open the cryptex and find pedicab tickets.
Our pedicab is waiting outside for us and we are whisked away, Kayla brandishing a wand and Molly a sword (much to the demise of our driver). We turn a corner and are ambushed by Crazy 88 swordsmen/women in masks screaming at us. The pedicab stops short, Molly shoves me out and yells for me to run, that she will defend my honor. I run (and by run, I mean I very awkwardly trot/amble) down Philadelphia Alley.
(photo by Victorious Photography)
And there he is.
I casually greet him with an "oh hi," turn around and pull out my phone to Instagram the Crazy 88s jauntily bounding towards us. Jack, ready to propose, ready for tears and excitement, has the perfect WTF moment while I update my IG followers (all 200 of them).
Needless to say, I said yes and accepted the most beautiful, custom-designed ring. The center stone and two of the halo stones are from his grandmother's ring which make it even more amazing.
Now we are in the throes of wedding planning and are excited to start our next adventure!