11/1/14

Did I Ever Tell You About The Time I Met My Future Husband In A Hotel. In Vienna, Austria...


Being that I'm American, and First Time Dad (FTD) is Australian, we're frequently asked, "How did you meet?" Here is the very true, well-documented fairy tale with a twist of Homeland Security, topped off with a beautiful baby boy.

Picture it: Vienna, Austria. June 19th, 2008. Sunny. Warm. Riot sirens blaring...

I was at the end of a two-week holiday traveling through Europe with a girlfriend from a small village in Austria. We parted ways so she could get back to work, and I could catch my flight back to the States. I hoped a train, solo, to Vienna where my flight was scheduled to depart two days later. I figured I'd just wander around the city and take it easy during my last 48 hours in Europe.



Vöcklabruck, Austria. 2008.
Little did I know, the 2008 Euro Football (soccer) Championship was in full swing, bringing an extra 200k+ spectators with it to the streets of, Vienna.




A few minutes after I exited the train station riot sirens went off. I was alone, standing outside the Wien Westbahnhof, station and freaking out. 

Time for Plan B, hide in the hotel until my plane took off two days later.  I hailed a cab and spent the afternoon seeking refuge in my tiny room. 

Later that night, I was sitting at the hotel's bar finishing up dinner, when FTD walked up.

I didn't really pay much attention to him until I heard him say to the bartender, in a very desperate tone,"Two fingers of your best scotch, my good man.”  I couldn't help but laugh out loud. The poor guy was clearly in need of a drink! 

He heard me laugh, turned and said, “Ha, someone speaks English!”

I laughed again and told him I was American.

He stuck out his hand and said, Australian.

When our eyes and hands met, A HUGE rush of fiery energy shot through my body.

I lost my breath.

He later told me the same thing happened to him.

Long story short, we ended up talking and laughing until the bartender threw us out.

It really was love at first sight. 

As we slowly slid off our bar stools, due to the very tried, mildly-annoyed bartender's insistence, FTD asked if I would like to take a midnight stroll through, Vienna.

Of course, I said yes.

Of course, I knew he could be a psycho serial killer picking up lonely Americans.

Of course, I knew this was probably not a wise decision.

I didn’t care.

I was in love.

We stepped out onto the street, he took my hand in his, and off we went.

This photo was taken the night we met by a street vendor.
Around 3am we made our way back to the hotel.  He told me he hoped to see me again, gave me a kiss on the cheek and went to his room.

I had NO intention of ever seeing him again.

I'm American.

He's Australian.

We were from opposite ends of the earth.

Nothing about that had any promise of a future.

I've had my heart broken once or twice before; no way was I going to sign up for that again!

I could barely sleep, so I spent the wee hours of the morning telling myself he was too good to be true and was probably a psycho serial killer after all.

I woke up mid-morning to the phone ringing. Since he was the only person I knew in Vienna, that would call my hotel room, I ignored it.  I snuck out of the hotel for lunch, walked around the packed streets and retreated to my room for a nap.

When I woke up there was a note under the door from Mr. Wonderful Psycho Serial Killer. It said how much he enjoyed my company, and really hoped to get to see me again.

Ugh. I couldn’t hold out anymore.

He answered my call on the first ring.

We met in the lobby 20 minutes later. He took me on a short tour of the area around our hotel and then invited me to dinner with him and his grandfather. I declined but agreed to a drink afterward.

Long story longer….

We met for the drink and ended up walking the streets again hand in hand.  At one point we stopped and sat on a bench where he pulled out a set of teardrop earrings. He said he purchased them for me earlier in the day when shopping with his grandfather.  I was speechless.  He was way too good to be true!

The next morning he came to my room to help me down with my luggage. In the lobby, he told me he ordered a car service to take me to the airport because, “He wanted to make sure I made it safely to the airport and wanted me to see the Vienna city center on the way.”

LORD HAVE MERCY!

As I pulled away from the curb, I looked back at him standing there and burst into tears. Why was I leaving my true Prince Charming on the side of the road in Vienna? This was a once in a lifetime meeting, and I was leaving! 

Needless to say, I cried the whole 10-hour flight home. Once back in the States, there was already an email from FTD telling me how much he enjoyed meeting me, and to please let him know when I had made it home safely…. I cried some more. 


We emailed and Skyped incessantly the entire month of July. By the end of the month, he (finally) asked me to come to Australia. 

ASAP.

He was running a business and could not leave. I was changing jobs so the timing was perfect for me.

I flew to Australia on August 13, 2008.

He was not kidding about Australia having a winter!
Say hello to my mountain man!

Happily, I became his mountain woman...
I fed wild birds every morning! 

On December 4, 2008, WE flew back to the states together. (So much for 2 weeks!) He spent the holidays in the States meeting my family and friends. Of course, they loved him and gave me their seal of approval. Not that I doubted it. 

We spent the next two years stretching Visas out to the max. Never separating, always traveling together.  We were sick in love!  Then in May of 2010 my mother called me in Australia to let me know we needed to come home quickly, my grandmother was very sick.  We went to get his Visa from the US consulate and were told, "NO!" 

Not only was it a 'no' to the Visa, it was a, "No more Visas for 5 years." He was no longer going to be considered a tourist. He had spent too much time in the States over the last two years and was officially a flight risk. Our only option was to move our wedding plans up to ASAP.


USCIS told us that I had to fly back to the States alone to file the I-129F Fiancé Visa paperwork to get FTD back into the states. I still had to fly back to my ailing grandmother, so I booked the next flight out. Leaving FTD in the Melbourne airport, not sure when I would see him again, was devastating.

I went home and filed the paperwork immediately.  I also filed every letter possible to expedite the process, called my congressman and anyone else I thought could help. I spent nearly 4 months in agony, scared, unsure and most of all annoyed. It did not matter how much I loved FTD, both the U.S. government and the Australian government dictated whether or not we could be together. I hated it.

We were Aliens in love. 

Thankfully, it didn't take a year for the Visa to come through. We were back together on September 1, 2010. Not wanting to waste any more time, we married on October 10, 2010 (10-10-10)



We settled into married life with ease...


We dropped anchor in the States, slowed down and started a family.  





Today, we are a crazy lot. There's never a dull moment...






The Aussie made this to hang over our fireplace.


Six years of marriage and a beautiful son later, life is pretty damn good. 



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