The story of how we met is one of our favorite stories to tell. I know it sounds cheesy but the way we met is very much a fairytale. I almost feel as if people think we are lying when we tell it, BUT we have many witnesses to prove our love story to be true. Just not as many pictures for proof!
When the stars started to align…
I was a single mom for 6 years working 2-3 jobs at a time to make ends meet. This mama needed a vacay STAT. I finally saved some money and had been in the talks of visiting one of my best friends overseas. She worked for Princess Cruises as a medic on the ship. We would talk about how I needed to go and visit her. The only problem was she was international and it never worked out for me, I didn’t even have a passport. She came home and was done with her contract. I regretted not taking the chance to travel and visit her. Then she got a last minute call to leave within a week for a 30-day contract. We decided we were going to submit my name for travel with her on the ship, which needed 45 days typically for approval. With quick math, you probably have figured out that likely that approval to visit her probably wasn’t going to happen. Fast forward a bit and I still haven’t heard from her but maybe a brief email checking in. We skyped a week prior to the departure of the last leg of her contract and my last chance to get on the ship and travel. There was no update on me being approved but she said she would check just in case and that I should get the kid’s arrangements set. Then three nights prior to the ship setting sail, I got the call. Yes, you read that right- 3 nights as in TWO DAYS after I had to be in a different country. Mind you, I had no passport. So naturally, I said heck YES, I will be there. There’s something you should know about me, I am a fly-by-seat of my pants kind of gal. I bought my ticket that night to Italy and called my family right then and said it’s on and thanked them for the help with the kids. My Mom, of course, was not happy about this idea. Good thing I didn’t listen to her on this one. Ha! The next morning we went to the Passport Office and I got an emergency passport ( you can get that with proof of immediate travel).
Another thing I should note is that I had no clue who would be picking me up in Italy because I had not talked to my friend again since we got the green light, but, whatever it was fine. I figured I am a big girl, I can get through being a single mom then I can travel by myself to another country with no plans but to get on a ship that I don’t even think I knew what it was called. It was fine, I was fine, everything was going to be fine.
Meanwhile, Mr. Garcia was Grooms-manning (just made that word up) a wedding and then taking off to Italy to embark on a last minute vacation with his family. He had just booked said vacay a month earlier after much convincing from his family. He was rooming with his Mom and Aunt, and ready for a family vacation.
I don’t think either of us had any plans of meeting anyone.
Let me set the visual for you of the airplane ride over to Italy. I am on my first international trip by myself and boasting in pride internally for navigating my way by myself. I had just ended things with a guy briefly dated because I knew it wasn’t right. This was after being in a serious relationship for some time before that one. For some odd reason, I decided that I needed to put into the universe what I would want in a man. After all, this was the first bit of time I got to myself in a long time so it was a good way to clear my mind. I think about all the things I would want in a man and move on to trying to take a nap. I told myself I needed to take a break from dating and that I didn’t need to date anyone for a long time.
I couldn’t fall asleep because I was so damn excited. So I start looking at the people who are on the plane and listening to conversations to discover that a lot of the people around me are on the same cruise. I notice one thing else that they all had in common too, they were all about 30-40 years my senior. I was thinking well this should be an interesting cruise but at least I will get a lot of self-discovery and exploring from it. Plus, some much-needed gal time with my friend. At the very least, I would be able to ask them for help on how to get to the port.
We got off of the plane and to my surprise my friend was there waiting for me in baggage claim. Thank freaking goodness, what a relief. She laughed on the way to the port as I told her about all of the “old people” on my flight. She said oh yeah, that is going to be pretty much 90% of the ship with the rest being couples and families. She assured me we would still have a ton of fun which I didn’t doubt for a second.
The first night we explored Venice, I fell asleep in an Opera. No big deal. I was tired, okay. Fast forward to the second night and some much-needed sleep my friend and I hit the ship on her day off, which was also a day at sea, We were playing Disney Trivia with these old guys from Canada at a bar on the ship (shout out the old guys as I mention them every time I tell our story!). As we are playing I look over to my left and see this guy standing with his family by the elevator, he was the only attractive guy I had seen yet. I turn to my friend and say “dibs”, haha. We must have caught his eye because then he came over shortly and played from the opposite side of the bar. He killed it at Disney Trivia and my friend and I joked that maybe he was one of those Disney weirdo’s, like really who knows that much about Disney as a grown man? I mean he knew more than me and I had two kids at home who I took weekly to Disneyland. Come to find out he worked for Disneyland so his Disney knowledge made sense, and it didn’t seem as weird anymore. We ended up all hanging out for the night and meeting up with his cousins that night at the ships night club. Yes, I met his family the first day I met him. Funny in retrospect. We ended the night and at this point, my friend and I weren’t sure if he was interested in her or in me.
We met in the middle of the
Mediterranian Sea”My Husband
Remember when I mentioned he was staying in his Mom and Aunts room? Well. I was staying in the medical quarters in my friends room since I was so last minute there was no rooms ready for me on the ship. So he and I had no way to get a hold of each other and we didn’t exchange numbers. As big as ships are though, you see everyone constantly. So we would see each other and say hey let’s meet at said time for a bottle of wine, etc.
We decided to meet one day and head off the ship into Istanbul, Turkey to explore just he and I. That’s right, I went off into a different country with a man I barely knew. I’m spontaneous like that. Maybe not the smartest idea looking back but hey it worked out. We like to say this was our first date. Which ended in us almost not making it back on the ship due to the taxi driver dropping us off way too far from the ship and barely make it back for cut off time to set sail!
We met up everyday.
Every day we would find a way to meet up and hang out. It was a great way to pass time on the ship because my friend ended up having to work most of the cruise. I remember I went off to Rome by myself to explore and when coming back to the port I ran into he and his cousins, so we all stopped for a drink before boarding again. Honestly, I didn’t think much of all of this at the time. Just thought it was an international rendezvous and I would never see him again. I mean we all need one of those in our life, right?
Except it wasn’t really international…
Turns out after getting to know him more he lived only an hour from me in the states. How random is that? But, we still didn’t exchange numbers. We would meet up and talk all night, have wine, go to fancy dinners and watch the ship movies, etc. It really was such a fun and simple way to get to know each other with no pressure and no expectations. However, remember that mental list I made on the plane of what I would want from a man? He was checking things off that list little by little. I ignored it though, I wasn’t ready for anything serious. We needed to leave all of this in Italy.
The ship docked in Barcelona.
When it was time to disembark and be on our way. Paul came to say goodbye and I really didn’t think we would see each other again. He waited until the last 2 minutes before saying goodbye to get my number. If you ask him, he will say I made him take it by saying ” Are you going to take my number or what?”. Charming, I know. I don’t remember it that way though. We will flatter him and believe that as the story though, okay?
When I got back to the states and checked my phone he had text me to make sure I made it safely. You guys, I cried! Not like ugly cried but happy cried. I was tired, like really tired. We mentioned getting together when he was back from the last part of their trip, they stayed in Barcelona to explore more. When he got back we had our “first date” in the states at Mimi’s Cafe. That still makes me laugh, it was his choice. I guess he had to bring me back to reality. I remember we talked about not wanting to date. We both had ended serious relationships about 6 months prior. We said we would just “go on adventures” and hang out when we had time. Why ruin a good thing?
That quickly led to us hanging out pretty often. I think the no pressure approach helped. A few months down the line he was in Hawaii for work. Remember how I mentioned he worked for Disney? He invited me to spend Valentines Day with him there, so I bought a ticket and we spent our first Valentines in Hawaii at Disney’s Aulani Resort. I think this was the turning point in our relationship to no longer just hanging out. We kinda had something here and went with it.
Fast forward another year later, we got engaged at Disneyland! It was super cute the way he and my friend ( yes, the one from the cruise) set it all up. You can read about that here. A funny thing to add, when we got engaged he no longer worked for Disney but now worked for a cruise line. Fitting, right? We got married in Barcelona where we departed from each other. Where we originally thought it was the end of our story but where life really began. You can read more about our wedding here. We now have a baby together named Nova, you can read about her birth story here. He is an awesome Dad to all 3 of our kids.
To think that all of that happened from two people who didn’t know each other and didn’t know that they would meet deciding on a last minute trip. Two people giving a simple yes last minute . I can’t think of it being anything else but the stars aligning. The universe placing the two of us in the right place at the right time, changing our lives forever. The universe is always conspiring to give you what you want. You just have to trust it and say yes.
So, I love you because the entire universe
conspired to help me
find you.The Alchemist Paulo Coelho
This is the cruise we met on, Princess Cruise’s Mediterranian Greek and Italian Cruise. Click here, if you would like to see the itinerary. We definitely recommend!
This post in not sponsored.