At this time I, Bobby, was still in medical school. I was back in Chicago to do my trauma rotation at Advocate Christ Medical Center where I had to drop off paperwork. The office wasn't where I thought it was so I found myself lost in the hallway. I spotted someone who's shirt said 'Pediatric Emergency Room' on the back and thought - she has to know where I need to go. I asked her for directions (thinking she was beautiful with a great smile) and she kindly walked me to where I needed to be. We walked and talked for a few minutes. She told me about her job and was surprised by how much I valued her work as a Child Life Specialist and I shared my story of how I decided on attending medical school and fell in love with the ER. When it was time to go our separate ways, I couldn't let her walk away, so I took a deep breath and said 'WAIT'... when she turned around I fumbled over my words but then asked her if she would ever like to have dinner sometime. She surprisingly said "Sure" and gave me her work e-mail. After Victoria went back to the pediatric emergency room and embarrisingly told everyone what just happened, she answered my e-mail, we shared our phone numbers, and she agreed to meet me for lunch on Sunday at Volare in the city. We had a four-hour lunch laughing and talking and the rest was history- I dropped her back off at her apartment where I met her best friend Genny. As I walked back to my car, I thought to myself I think I'm going to marry her someday.
Bobby planned a surprise trip off my bucket list to Napa Valley, California at the beautiful Calistoga Ranch Resort filled with vineyard tours, wine tastings, room service, private sommeliers who doubled as drivers, and a spa day (he. gets. me.) On one trip, he informed me we had a private tour of a reserve wine tasting/vineyard followed by a fancy dinner so we got to dress up for the romantic afternoon. We arrived at Aonair Vineyard located in the St. Helena region of Napa Valley. Little did I know- everyone at the vineyard that day had been expecting us from the owner/our tour guide and our driver to the undercover photographer and other guests. We began our tour and took a ride up to the top of the mountain where the private vineyard was located. Overlooking the lake and vineyard, we sipped a glass of reserve champagne and Bobby asked me to see the sites with him. He took my hand, told me how much he loved me, and then took both hands (meanwhile I was already sobbing and blacked out for most of the super sweet things he was saying) but heard him tell me that I'm a kind and genuine woman who he wants to be his wife and the mother of his future children. With my full name, Victoria Reneè Martello, he told me he would choose me forever - asked me to be his forever partner & wife and then to marry him. I said YES- kissed his sweet face and was shaking while he was trying to put on the ring. It was the most magical day! After not sleeping, we got on the flight home two days later & he told me there was a package waiting at our complex's clubhouse that we had to pick up before meeting our parents for lunch. He encouraged me to dress up as this was the first time our parents would see us after getting engaged. Instead, we walked into a huge surprise party with so many of our loved ones from near and far - the ugly crying continued - and it was absolutely perfect. We were showered with so much love and are so grateful to share these memories with the ones we love most.