Three years ago my brother and I volunteered to help run a Special Olympics Sailing Regatta that his wife's family was hosting on Lake Norman just outside of Mooresville, North Carolina. Little did I know, Jacob was coming up with the Charleston Special Olympic Sailing Team to coach. We met at the meet and greet social the first night after the opening ceremony and found out we both went to the College of Charleston at the same time! The reason we never met while we both were at CofC was due to the fact that he ran the community sailing program of the CofC Sailing Team while I sailed for the varsity team. Those programs ran at opposite times. We were so glad the world is smaller than we thought as we ended up starting to date almost a year later when Jacob moved to Norfolk to start his position as Adult Programs Manager at Sail Nauticus.
He told me that a member from Sail Nauticus had helped set up a thank you dinner for us at one of the nicest restaurants in Norfolk. That checked out with me because Sail Nauticus members did things for him all the time. As we are heading out, two and a half hours before our reservations, Jacob said he desperately needs new, comfortable pants that fit and that we had to stop at the mall on our way to dinner to get a pair. It was ten days before Christmas and traffic in the mall is stressful in itself, but I got more stressed when Jacob leaves me with the car while he runs in to get his pants. So after I pick him up and there is still about an hour or so left before dinner so we grab a few drinks at a bar a block away from the restaurant. I hadn't noticed Jacob was having a few more than usual. Finally, we head to Byrd & Baldwin Brothers Steakhouse for our 6:30 reservation. When we get there we are told they lost our reservation! So we got a private tour of the wine cellars until they could put our table together. At the end of the tour, the manager stops at a room across from one of the cellars. I follow him into this quaint little room with exposed brick, a burning fire, lit tea candles all over, and our table set for two. I turned around and Jacob was on one knee holding the ring, popped the question, and of course, I said yes! The night wasn't over at dinner though, he planned for my parents, my brother, his now-wife, and my aunt to be at the place we were going to get a champagne toast dessert. It was the cherry that topped off the most perfect night!