God works in mysterious ways and sometimes when and where you least expect it! During my sophomore year of college, I decided to go on a last minute spring break trip to Destin, Florida with a few girlfriends. I was definitely planning on a “girls only” weekend, but little did I know this trip would change my life forever! On the first day, my friends and I were laying out when we spotted two guys walking onto the beach. I decided that we needed to meet these guys who kept looking over at us, so I went over and asked if they could watch our stuff while we went for a walk (surprisingly, I found out that they both went to UGA and that Doug lived only about 15 minutes away from me at home...I know...it’s a long way to go to meet a boy from home!).
While the girls and I were on our walk, I couldn't help but think how cute the boy in the white bathing suit was! When we got back, Doug started to tell me an elaborate story about beach burglars jumping out of the sand dunes to steal our stuff, and how he came to the rescue and sent them running. Then, I cheesily said, "my hero!" and put my hands over my heart! At that corny moment, a few little sparks began to fly.
When we left the beach, we all went to the hot tub together. We hung out all day and that's where I realized there was something special about this boy! Later that day, the guys invited us to play golf. We all started out together, but Doug and I decided to break away from the group and play by ourselves. That night we all decided to go dancing…. Doug and I danced all night and sang all of the words to every song! Now there were definite sparks in the air! During spring break, we also had a sports day. We were getting ready to play wiffleball, and I warned Doug that I played softball growing up and that I earned the nickname, "Slugger". Of course, he didn't know what was coming to him! Our team was winning, and it was my turn up to bat. I hit a line drive so hard that the ball broke in half. Doug has called me "Slugger" ever since!
After hanging out all week, Doug and I played golf on our last day there and then went to the pier at sunset and talked for hours. To make the week even better, Doug and I had our first kiss on that pier. It was absolutely perfect, and Doug and I have been together ever since!
It was spring break, and I was headed to Destin with my buddy, Austin, not having a clue as to what would be in store for me on this trip. After a long drive down, and some rain the first night, Austin and I headed to the beach the afternoon of March 9, 2008. We saw a group of girls over to the left, and decided to sit close enough to keep an eye on them, but also far enough away to not seem creepy. I spotted the blonde girl right away, and focused my attention on her. Shortly after, I officially called "dibs" on the blonde girl. Not 10 minutes after that, what do you know, she comes walking our way. I tell Austin to play it cool and let me do the talking. Here was my chance. She came up and was as cute as could be, and politely asked if we wouldn't mind watching their stuff if they went for a walk on the beach. I told her not to worry and to enjoy the walk, and knew I had to come up with something good for when they came back.
After a short walk, here she came again. This time she came to sincerely thank us for watching their stuff. I told her it was no problem and the only issue I had was to fight off a band of ninjas that came up over the sand dunes, but that after seeing them off, all of Julie and her friends' precious belongings were fine. She told me I was her hero and batted her big blue eyes just to prove again how cute she really was. It didn't take long for us to get talking and find out we both went to UGA, as well as attended rival high schools and lived about 20 minutes apart in Marietta. Some would say this was meant to be.
Julie then informed me that she and her friends would be going back to the pool area and told us we were invited to come along. Playing it cool again, I told her that we might see them down there but were going to stay put for now. I waited about ten minutes and told Austin we were following them. So we met them at the hot tubs, and continued getting to know each other. We were informed of the girls' plan to go over to club overboard that night, and quickly managed to snag an invite. But before that, Austin and I had to get these girls out on the par 3 chip and putt golf course. We started out as a large group, and it became clear. Doug and Julie knew what they were doing. No one else did. So we ditched everyone else and finally got to hang out by ourselves for the first time. I played surprisingly good, impressing Julie with several lucky birdies and we started to build a connection that would prove to be very special indeed.
Later that night, Austin and I went to the club with the girls. When we got there everyone stood around awkwardly for a while, but something happened and before I knew it Julie and I were happily dancing the night away. Julie and I continued getting to know each other better and better over the course of the week by throwing the football and sharing grapes and cookies.
I absolutely knew she was the one for me once wiffleball happened. Tip: wiffleball is a great spring break game for meeting people. I conjured up a bat and ball from Wal-mart and we got a game going on a cloudy day. I made sure "Slugger", as she referred to herself this day, was on my team. After striking out Austin numerous times with a wicked curve ball and belting out home runs from both sides of the plate (making sure to be very impressive), the most incredible and spectacular thing happened. Julie smashed a line drive so hard that my wiffle ball broke in half. While this absolutely ruined the game, it did win my heart.
The final day at the beach I knew I had to make sure something happened. I had to make sure this would continue on when we got back to school. I invited Julie to go golfing again, this time just the two of us. After playing nowhere near as well this time, we finally arrived at the "boat hole" that runs parallel to a pier that juts out onto the canal towards Destin Harbor. After completing this difficult hole, I had us put the clubs down and enjoy each other's company. It was sunset and being on that pier overlooking the water was a perfect place to be. After thinking way too much about it and letting myself get very nervous, I finally went in for the first kiss. It was an absolutely perfect beginning to the incredible relationship I share with her, and sealed the perfect ending to the best possible spring break I could ever imagine.
The night began when Doug and Julie went out to dinner at The Back Porch, one of the places they went on spring break when they met. Julie had no idea what the night was going to have in store. Dinner was great, but things began to get interesting on the way back. Rather than turning right into the villas where they were staying, Doug turned left towards the beach. He told Julie that he wanted to take a walk on the beach, and he led her towards the spot they had met the year before. They enjoyed a moment remembering that first day and how it had changed their lives. After Doug stole a kiss, they headed back to the car.
After arriving at the villa, Doug announced a bathroom break. (Really this was an excuse to go grab the ring!) Doug had Julie thinking they were just going to their spot on the pier where they always made sure to spend some time on every beach trip. But Doug had other plans. He led her on a walk around the complex, making stops at the hot tubs and the condo where Julie had stayed on spring break the year before, and they recollected the memories that took place at those locations. Doug then took Julie walking through the par 3 golf course where their first date occurred, and they stopped when they made it to end of the pier.
Julie began carving the notch in one of the boards down there where they had carved their initials, signifying 1 year after they had met. Doug began to get a little nervous. After talking and reminiscing on the pier for a while, Doug began to enjoy dragging the event out as long as he could. Long silences didn't bother him because he was just enjoying being with Julie at their favorite place. But that ring had other ideas and began to burn a hole in his pocket.
Doug then slipped Julie a sweet letter, detailing many things that he wanted her to know, but was scared he would forget to say when the big moment came. As Julie read she began to cry (Doug teared up, too, although he doesn't like to admit it!), and as the letter came to a close Doug went ahead and told her how she was the girl of his dreams and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Doug got down on one knee and pulled out the most beautiful ring in the world! And Julie said yes!