In November of 2005 I decided I was ready to move away from Florida. I had lived there since I was ten years old. I had no idea where I was going to go, but I had a few options on the table: New York City, Charlotte and Washington D.C. That November I was in Atlanta with my family for Thanksgiving. My Aunt and Uncle had offered to show me around the D.C. area if I wanted to come up. So in January I decided to take a trip up there. My oh my it was cold!!! My Uncle had set me up with a head hunter to help me see what was out there. In the matter of one day I had a head hunter interview, same day job interview and a job offer!?!? I wasn't nearly ready for this! My intentions were to just get a feel for the area and go from there. So with the job offer on hand, I had the weekend to think it over. I TOOK IT.
At the end of February I drove from Boca Raton and made a pit stop in Orlando to pick up my Mother. She wanted to drive up with me to keep me company.
On the road...
I started my new job on Monday, March 6, 2006 at Grant Thornton, LLP (GT) in Vienna Virginia (now in McLean). If you are curious what GT is, it's a public accounting firm. I took a job as an Executive Assistant in the Not-For-Profit department. Little did I realize that public accounting was a bunch of young people. My age! At the end of the week, GT hosted a Happy Hour (HH) in Arlington for the new employees. I figured I should go as I was one of the two new employees and it was a good way for me to meet some of the other people in the office. I arrived shortly after it started to munch on some food and grab some water. Yes, water at a HH. I'm not much of a drinker. A co-worker (Tracy) took me around and introduced me to everyone at the HH. Nearing the end of the night for me, probably around 8pm, yes sad but true, I was introduced to some of the stragglers. One of those stragglers was a boy named Joe. I remember seeing him and thinking wow he's cute! So shortly after the stragglers arrival, Tracy walked me over there for an introduction.
A few random things he said to me...
Joe: Where are you from? Amanda: Oh, I just moved here from Boca.
Joe: Where's that? Amanda: Near West Palm Beach.
Joe: OHHHHHHHHH you must be rich!?!?! Amanda: No, no... not me... Just everyone around me.
Joe: Can I buy you a drink? Amanda: No thanks, I'm drinking water.
Joe: I'll buy you whatever you want? Amanda: No thanks, and the drinks are free...
(seriously who is this guy? lol)
Joe walked in the copy room as I was making copies. Pure coincidental I assure you. As it was NCAA basketball season, he was asking me if I was watching the games as University of Florida (UF) was in the tournament. Not really, as I didn't attend UF. Did he not hear anything I said at HH? We had an internal instant messanger at work and he started to instant message me. Oh boy... More basketball talk... Boring... In the mist of it all, he requested my phone number. He started to call me almost everyday and inviting me to hang out with friends... and I declined every time. I think the main reason I kept declining was that I lived far at the time with my Aunt and Uncle. Plus I enjoyed spending time with my family.
Somehow, no idea how, but Joe brought up the topic of motorcycles. He and his good friend Ed were talking about each getting one. I had mentioned that I had ridden quite a few in my day and loved them. I mean I did and still do have a motorcycles license. I remember showing him the motorcycle I wanted. The blue Ninja 636. It was only a matter of a week and he and Ed each bought brand new motorcycles. What did Joe buy? The blue Ninja 636... To this day he denies that I ever wanted that bike, but rest assured I am not a liar. If you are curious, I also purchased a motorcycle a few weeks after that. A Honda CBR F4. Impressed yet? lol
At this point, we still never spent any time together outside of work. He'd ask if I wanted to go to lunch with the everyone and I'd politely pass. After the invite Joe and his friends would walk through the lunch room and I would be sitting with another Executive Assistant who was probably my Mother's age. No offense Mom. I'm sure he was like what the heck is wrong with this girl? For one, I was spending time with a lady twice my age and two, what the heck??? Why doesn't she want to come out with us?
Another week or so went by...
Joe had a trip down to Louisiana for work. While down south, he stopped by one of his friends places to spend time with them. I remember him texting me several times while he was down there. Mind you, we still had never hung out outside of the casual passing of the halls, random IM's, texts and phone calls.
He returned from Louisiana on a Sunday. It had probably been a month or so of living in the area and I had just finished cleaning my new apartment. I had no furniture yet, but for those of you who know me, you know I'm a clean freak. So I was disinfecting before my furniture arrived from Florida. He had called me while I was cleaning and asked if I wanted to hang out. Little did I realized he lived in an apartment just up the road from me... So I
finally said yes... I guess persistence is the key. We decided to play catch outside. I remember him wearing some really dorky sunglasses and Birkenstock sandals. Eww... After awhile of catch it started getting dark and was time for me to head back to my Aunt and Uncles, he invited me inside to see his place. I said sure for a few minutes. Fresh vacuum marks and a clean apartment? I had never seen a boys apartment so clean? That may have been his first step of winning my heart... cleanliness in a boy? After a little tour, he presented me with a New Orleans shirt with Hurricane Katrina information on it. That may have been his second step of winning my heart. PRESENTS!?!?
Not too long after our first 'date', Which by the way was tricking me into going shopping and then dinner... He had asked me to go home to West Virginia for a wedding. It had only been three weeks! THREE WEEKS and this kid was asking me to go home to meet his family and go to a wedding? I remember politely declining more than once, but once again Joe's persistence was the key to convincing me.
~*~ It didn't take long for him to win my heart... FOREVER. ~*~
Our first picture
West Virginia - April 2006
Age 23, boy do we look different?
Not too long after that we made it public...
If you want to know more you can read:
Our Engagement Story
Our Wedding Story