I moved to Charlotte and joined a sand volleyball team. Ryan is friends with many of the people who were on my team (let me kindly clarify, he was not a member of our undefeated team). I went out for drinks with my new friends/teammates during March Madness not knowing that the drinks were to celebrate a birthday for Ryan, whom I had never met. Ryan and I briefly chatted around the pool table and he will forever hold it against me that I never wished him happy birthday. We "happened" to keep bumping into each other when out with friends and on Cinco de Mayo we connected over some whiskey margaritas after a failed attempt to find queso. Our first date, started with some queso and tacos (I think Ryan realized I really like chips and queso) then Ryan led me on a thoughtful scavenger hunt through Charlotte to help me get to know the city. He put a lot of thought into our stops and somehow connected each place to something I had said when we were previously talking. It was clear to me then what a great guy he truly is. We continued to go on thoughtful and adventurous dates and it developed into our beautiful relationship which continues to grow.
One evening some friends and I were at Ed’s Tavern playing pool and celebrating March birthdays, including my birthday. This group of friends was also on a sand volleyball team with other people I had not met and was going to join us later that evening. When the other members arrived, I immediately noticed Mallory’s fun personality and how she interacted with the group. Given that we are both fairly quiet people we did not interact much that evening, but I had hoped for future opportunities for our paths to cross. A few months later on Cinco De Mayo, Drew and I were searching for the best margaritas and guacamole based on the request of a volleyball team member. At the time I didn’t know that team member was Mallory and apparently she was on the quest for the best margaritas and queso, not guacamole. Finally by the time Drew and I went to the third bar, an Irish bar, since all other culturally appropriate bars were at capacity, I told him we weren’t taking another Uber. Luckily when the mysterious team members arrived, Mallory approved the margaritas, but the queso would have to wait for a location with a larger menu. Since that Cinco de Mayo, we have shared many fun memories at this Irish bar and we are excited to continue creating more memories with each other and our family and friends.
We went on a hike to Crowder's Mountain where we had gone on one of our first dates. We ended up going on a Saturday so we planned to get there right when the park opened to beat the crowd. The hike can get really busy and many people were eager to get out and active during the summer COVID quarantine. It being our first hike with the new pup we of course needed a picture once we got to the top. We searched for a secluded spot to follow social distancing recommendations and to enjoy the peace at the mountain top. Once found, we prepped for the picture. Mallory gingerly guided the impulsive puppy to a stable spot on the rocks while Ryan set up the tripod. He had a great idea to use video to "ensure we got a good picture with the impulsive puppy." When the tripod and the puppy were set, Ryan joined Mallory. We posed for pictures and then as Mallory turned to maneuver the dog to more solid ground Ryan dropped to one knee. He beautifully proposed, she said yes, and Calli (our puppy) eagerly joined the excitement. We all seemly floated all the way back down the mountain.