Nearly A Decade After The Fairytale Meeting, He's Still My Prince Charming #HappyValentinesDay

It's truly amazing how real the magic still feels. How electric his touch still feels. How I still get butterflies in my stomach when he kisses me. It's hard to believe it's been nearly a decade since Prince Charming of Melbourne, Australia, swept me off my feet during our fateful meeting in Vienna, Austria. What's not hard to believe is that I'm still madly in love with him.

In honor of Valentine's Day and our magical decade together, below is the Fairytale story that took us around the world, brought us toe-to-toe with many, many border agents, on both sides of the pond, and loads of love, laughs, miracles, lessons and a little boy that took our breath away...

 The following is 100% true and well-documented...

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

After two glorious weeks of traveling through Europe with a girlfriend from, V√∂cklabruck, Austria--a small village located in the western part of upper, Austria--I hoped a train solo to Vienna, Austria, 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.

Oh, how wrong I was. 

As I exited the Wien Westbahnhof, train station, riot sirens began to blare. After getting over the initial shock of the sirens, I looked around and noticed no one seemed alarmed. Then I overheard a couple talking about how this was the third time the sirens had gone off today.

An English speaking cab driver approached me and asked if I needed a ride. 

I happily accepted the offer, then reached into my back pocket for the piece of paper I wrote the hotel info down on. It was gone. 

Semi-freaking out, I looked up at the cabbie and said, "Oh, No! The piece of paper with the hotel's information is gone. I had it in my back pocket."  

He shook his head, "Probably got picked. The 2008 European Football Championship is on, the city is drawing opportunist from all over. Which hotel are you staying at?" 

"The Hotel Kummer," I answered. Thankful, I could remember.

"I know exactly where it is. Mariahilferstrasse."

The cabbie grabbed my largest suitcase, and pointed to his cab, "Follow me."

"What's with the sirens?," I asked.

"The fans are drunk and out of control near the stadium. I wouldn't recommend going out at night by yourself."

As we drove down Mariahilferstrasse, toward the hotel I noticed the street were in fact, PACKED. Like New York times three. 

After checking into the hotel, I went for a short walk, then retreated to the hotel's restaurant for dinner, before seeking refuge in my room for the night. As I took my last bite of dinner, out of the corner of my, I see a guy walk up to the bar. 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. The poor guy was clearly in need of a drink! 

The guy turned toward me and said, “Ha, someone speaks English!”

I laughed again. "I sure do, I'm American."

"Bloody Hell." He said with a mischievous tone and exhale. He stuck out his hand, looked me in the eye and said, Good to meet you, American. I'm 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!)

It truly was love at first sight.

Prince Charming and I ended up talking and laughing until the bartender threw us out at closing time.

We both slowly and reluctantly slid off our bar stools. It was clear neither wanted the night to end. Prince Charming invited me to take a midnight stroll through, Vienna. I learned through our conversation he was a dual Australian and Austrian citizen and knew the city well. He was traveling through Austria with his Grandfather visiting relatives. (His paternal family fled to Australia to escape the war.)

Sure, I knew he could be a psycho serial killer picking up lonely Americans. I didn’t care. I was mesmerized by this charming, brilliant, HYSTERICAL man with the most amazing blue eyes.

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

This photo was taken during our midnight stroll by a street vendor.

We walked the streets, hand-in-hand. Window shopping, sight-seeing and regularly stopping at park benches to sit and talk. 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.

As I watched him walk back to his room, it was in that moment I told myself I could NEVER see him again. 

I was sobering up and seeing the situation for what it was. 

I'm American.

He's Australian.

We are 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!Still, 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 the call.  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 slipped under the door from Prince Charming. It said how much he enjoyed my company, and really hoped to get to see me again.

Ugh. I couldn’t hold out anymore. I called his room.

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.

Later that night, we met for another stroll. At one point we stopped and sat on a bench where he pulled out a set of teardrop earrings and handed them to me. 

"I was shopping with my Opa earlier and I say these and thought of you." They have tourmaline in them."

I was speechless.  He was way too good to be true!

Long story short...

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.


As I pulled away from the curb, I looked back at him standing there. He looked as sad on the outside as I felt on the inside. I 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 thing, and I am leaving! 

Needless to say, I cried the whole 10-hour flight home. 

Once back in the States, there was already an email from Prince Charming 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 2008. By the end of the month, he (finally) asked me to come to Australia. ASAP. He was running a business and couldn't leave. 

I flew to Australia on August 13, 2008 for what I planned to be a two-week trip.

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! 

About a week into my Australian excursion, I canceled my flight home. We were the real deal and no fucking way was I leaving him again. I did it once. It sucked.

Four months later, on December 4, 2008, WE flew back to the states together.  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. We were sick in love!  

Then in May of 2010, my mother called me in Australia and said 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. I was a few months from the same fate with the Australian government.

We moved up the wedding from when we can afford to have both families there, to ASAP!

I had to fly back to the States alone. Holy shit that sucked! I spent nearly 4 months in agony, scared, unsure and most of all annoyed. It did not matter how much I loved Prince Charming, both the U.S. government and the Australian government dictated whether or not we could be together. 

After quite a fight, a hell of a lot of paperwork and an egregious amount of money, 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" became, "three", two years later. 

Today, ten years later, I'm still wildly in love with my Prince. There's no one else I'd rather spend the next ten hundred years of my life with.

To my wonderful husband, I loved you then, love you now and will love you forever. Happy Valentine's day.