Meet New Willow Writer, Gwen! Hear how not even the ocean could keep her and David apart!

June 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm (Willow Writers) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hi!  My name is Gwen and I’m getting married at the Willow Room on May 10 of next year.  I was offered the fun task of being one of the Willow Writers after stopping in after our trek to my parents’ house from New Bern, NC  last weekend to show my future mother and father-in-law our reception site.   We were so excited to show my future mother and father-in-law the site we had chosen for the reception, especially since they had just flown in from Hungary to meet my parents for the first time.  Hungary you ask?  I’ll get to that in a minute.

My fiancé, David, and I met in a bar in Orlando approximately 7 years ago.  I am living proof you can meet a man in a bar. Seriously!  Don’t laugh!  Perhaps I am just superbly lucky.  I was living in Orlando, FL and going to school at the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!) and he was in rescue swimmer school in Pensacola.  He wasn’t the smoothest guy I ever met as he walked up to me and says:  Hi.  I’m in the Navy.  I asked to see his dog tags (which he happened to be wearing),  as proof.  At the end of the evening of dancing and talking he said it was nice to meet me and walked away.  I’m watching him walk away as he turns around and asks for my number.  We hung out platonically (honest!!) for the next few days before he left for Pensacola and continued to talk on the phone for hours each day.  This habit continued during the time he was stationed in Atsugi, Japan and he has even called me from various ships while deployed.  In the absence of phones we took to email.  We both tried to date other people and remain friends during the 3 years he was in Japan but we always seemed to be drawn back to each other.

Three years later his time in Japan was coming to a close and I had the opportunity to choose internships for my occupational therapy master’s degree.  I was able to find a traumatic brain injury clinic, Centre for Neuro Skills, in Encino, California and lived with relatives in Manhattan Beach which is about an hour from his hometown of Riverside, CA.  He kissed me for the very first time on the front porch of my aunt and uncle’s house on September 9, 2011.  He says he knew he needed to marry me that day.  I must be a better kisser than I thought.  Haha.

Fast forward a couple of years, 2 major moves around the country, and moving in together.  His parents called one day to ask us to visit them in Hungary for a few weeks after Christmas.  His parents have been living there a few years as his Dad is an engineer for Boeing.  We were so excited to get to see parts of Europe on that trip to include Hungary, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.  Little did I know David had other plans…

gwen1 gwen2 gwen3 gwen4 gwen5

My favorite day of the year is New Year’s Eve.  We were touring the Palace in Budapest, Hungary where the former kings and current Prime Minister live.  The grounds, even in December, were gorgeous with the statues and churches,,, not to mention the view of Budapest.  After touring the grounds (and getting the chance to warm up since the high temp that day was like a February day in Pittsburgh) we returned to the hotel to get ready for dinner.  After dinner I found myself with his family on the bus on the way back up the hill to the Palace.  Confused, I asked why we were returning since we were just there earlier that day.  His Dad responded to my question with a vague answer which only added to my confusion.  His family and I wandered into the Palace grounds then realized David and I were suddenly alone (his family hung back on the steps leading to the overlook of Budapest).  Next thing I knew David was on one knee.   ❤


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