I never know what to write about myself, what is considered interesting? I write a paragraph and than erase it. So I’ve actually written about a half page already but here I am with nothing on the page but this… Alright, I’m Canadian, eh! I was born on the East coast of Canada in a place called St. John’s Newfoundland, but moved to Toronto when I was 4 years old. I’m probably a little biased but Toronto is the hands down the BEST city in the world. Now you are probably wondering why I don’t live there if it’s the greatest city… well, truth is that it’s too cold. If they could just get that one tiny little detail of winter fixed, I’ll be the first to pack my bags for home.
I left Toronto when I was 21 for a job in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A company I had been working for in Toronto had sent me to a conference in Hollywood (Florida) and during my visit I had networked with some other businesses and one of them offered me an opportunity to transfer. Obviously I did not need much coaxing because I was ready to spread my wings and see the world. My parents however, well they were not as happy. My Mom thought it was horrible idea but knew that no matter what she thought I was going anyway. I bring that part up because now that I’m a mom I couldn’t imagine my kids telling me they were moving all alone to another Country.
While in Florida I did some traveling for the new company, one of those trips took me to Tempe, AZ. I had a few meetings scheduled and a few people to meet in person that I had worked with over email. Just another busy day (or so I thought). In passing on my way back up to my room to change for an event I bumped into a man that had the name Mike on his badge. I guess my staring got his attention and he asked if I was Stephanie. We had spoke over email a few times, and had plans to do business together in the coming months. It was in that 30 second moment that I would have met my husband, John. (Long story on the whole name badge thing…)
John lived in Southern California and had a daughter who lived with him full time, Chloe was 7 at the time we first met. I like to tell people that John was very persistent in contacting me (after work hours) on my cell. While all that is true, a small part of me became just as excited each time the phone rang and it was him (and Chloe) on the line. Several weeks went by and we were now spending hours on the phone after work talking about anything and everything. So naturally the next step was to meet in person and see if our friendship would be just as great in person as it had been over the phone.
Because John had Chloe at home it wasn’t as easy for him to pick up and travel, so we decided that I would make the long 5 hour flight to San Diego and have him drive there to meet me. John took care of all the arrangements, I got a flight and sent him my itinerary and crossed my fingers while boarding the flight. I really didn’t know where we would be going but had a good feeling. When I arrived in San Diego, John was standing there waiting for at the arrivals gate, with a big smile and some flowers. What a gentleman!!
I guess I was so nervous that when he hugged me I was shaking! We laugh about that now but at the time I’m sure I was really embarrassed and trying to act cool about the whole ordeal.
We jumped into his blue suburban and when I asked him what our plans were he said…. Mexico!
Um, I’m sorry…… what?
We were driving across the US Border into Tijuana Mexico and heading 60 miles South to a little place called The Rosarito Beach Hotel. I had been to Mexico before, but never by car!!! I went when I was 18 to an all inclusive hotel in Puerto Vallarta, one of those places filled with Canadians escaping the cold winter.
The hotel was located right on the beach, the decor was very cool old Mexico and the little town surrounding the hotel was like nothing I had ever seen before. My first reaction was “wow, it looks so dirty and … well, poor”. As we pulled into the gate for the hotel I started seeing more American cars and people walking around.
Our weekend kicked off with a beautiful dinner overlooking the Ocean at a little spot called Lafonda’s, we ate like Kings and Queens and snuggled up together under a Mexican blanket that was draped over the back of our chairs. It was perfect.
The weekend was so perfect that I hardly felt like I had hopped on a plane, flew across the Country to meet a strange man and then drove into another Country in which I could possibly go missing without anyone knowing the wiser. <— I’m being very dramatic.
Funny story… somehow we ended up in the little town shops outside our hotel and stumbled upon fireworks. But these weren’t just any fireworks, they were some type of Army grade SEAL bombs along with actual sticks of dynamite. Clearly not your average 4th of July celebration “Family Value Box”. Of course we bought some.
In our excitement we rushed back to the hotel and straight out the back gates onto the beach. We setup a little area and begun the work of setting up our firework display. John insisted on lighting the first couple a great distance away – just in case!
The bang was so loud that my ears were ringing and it had actually left a small hole in the sand where it had exploded. I can honestly tell you i’ve never seen anything like this before.
Naturally, we were both so excited with our find that we decided to stay and continue setting them off. Except for one small detail…their was a sunset wedding taking place just on the other side of the hotel, about 1000ft from where we were getting ready to set off the second batch. Oh how we laughed for hours at that night.
And that ladies and gentlemen was the start of a beautiful relationship.
The best way to keep up with the stories (and believe me I have stories) is to follow my blog and to take a peak at my timeline below to see the years and different adventures.