Proposal Location: Avalon, NJ
Wedding Location: South Jersey
Towards the end of our senior year...I can't expain it, but something just changed. The "I wonder" seed somehow was planted into both of our minds.
We began dating in May of 2003 and decided to be casual about it, being that in August we were heading to college (in the same state, about a 1.5 hour distance away). We knew full well that young love (or any love) doesn't always last, and that we should accept that it would difficult. More-so even than lovers, we became absolute best friends. Our love has blossomed into something more incredible than either of us had ever imagined.
The summer before our senior year of college, I was to turn 21 on August 12th. We were spending that week at our shorehouse and I was DEFINITELY ready for the vacation. I was THRILLED about my 21st birthday, and my parents were coming down the following night to take me to Atlantic City, to my first casino trip! My best friend who lives far from me was also due to visit. I had much to be excited about.
We got down to the shore on Friday, August 11th. We settled in and unpacked, and then Jeff suggested dinner at our favorite little restaurant in Avalon, just us two. We had dinner and then decided on a walk on the beach (the sun was about to set). Since early in the relationship, we began a tradition of shell collecting. Each time we visited "our" beach, we found the most perfect shell we could find and inscribed the date, our initials, and the occasion onto it. 3+ years in, we had a great little collection going. On this walk, the idea was to find a new one.
Jeff said we could walk to the jetty, and if we did not find anything, we'd come back. August is the height of tourist season, so all that was left were little fragments. I was slightly dejected when we could not find any nice shells. We planned to head home and come back later. As I began strolling back, Jeff fell out of step behind me. He called out "Check out that one over there...from here it looks like it might be a nice one". It was! I made a comment about how I couldn't see how I could miss it. It was upside down in the sand.
I picked it up and turned it over, and was completely startled. It had words on it! The inscription read "SRH & JMG...5/21/03-8/11/06. I love you, will you marry me?"
I whirled around to see him on bended knee. He said everything I could have ever hoped to hear and asked me to marry him. For my best friend in this world, there was nothing I could have said but "YES". We then cuddled on the beach for a while.
It was a flawless night and beautiful week!
We're enjoying our long engagement (we were both finishing college to become teachers). We're now finished school and are beginning to build our lives together! :-)