Long before we started dating, we were just friends. (Awesome way to start a relationship, highly recommended, 10/10!) But before we were friends… we were complete strangers. Here’s how it went down.
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Two Xanga bloggers by the names of @gerkshinobi and @onlyjustbegun join an online community (also known as a blogring) for people who like photography. One lives in the Bay Area, the other lives in SoCal. They stumble upon and subscribe to each other’s blogs on July 15th, 2008 (to this day, nobody knows who found who first). They have 0 mutual friends in common.
The two develop a friendship by reading and commenting on each other’s blogs, both of which often focus on photography.
Fern (@onlyjustbegun) visits LA. While chatting online, Garrick (@gerkshinobi) asks if Fern has ever tried Sprinkles cupcakes. She replies no. He then offers to deliver a box of cupcakes for her to try. They meet briefly for 5 minutes. It’s awkward.
Fern launches her photography business. Meanwhile, the two chat online often about photography, with Garrick giving Fern Photoshop tips and advice.
Garrick, Fern, and Helen (Garrick’s high school friend) spend a day together at Disneyland. Fern suspects there might be a romantic interest between Garrick and Helen. Helen suspects the same between Garrick and Fern. In the end, both are wrong because Garrick is just hanging out at Disneyland with two good friends who happen to be girls.
JetBlue Airways releases a promotion on their website which allows visitors to book $14 roundtrip flights from SFO to LGB and vice versa. Fern tells Garrick about the promo and they both book trips to each other’s respective cities – not to visit each other, mind you, but to also visit other friends in the area while they are in town.
As it turns out, neither of them has friends who are available to hang out during the week, so they end up spending a lot more time together than anticipated.
Garrick also steps up his Instagram game and Fern is dazzled by his iPhone photography skills.
Their first “date” takes place at a diner called Bake N’ Broil in Long Beach. Neither party agrees on who made the first move, but it was probably Fern.
After 5 years of platonic friendship and a few months of dating, the two become Facebook official. Soon afterwards, Fern packs up her belongings and relocates to Southern California.
Garrick accompanies Fern and her family to Malaysia and Singapore, where he meets her extended family for the first time.
They also take a three-week road trip across the United States, shoot a wedding in Canada, and travel to Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Friends and family start asking Garrick if he still has a job.
The two travelers make a special trip to New Mexico to attend the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and celebrate Fern’s birthday. Everyone suspects that Garrick will propose to her on this trip. Garrick successfully convinces Fern that the tickets for hot air balloon rides are completely sold out, then surprises her with tickets when they arrive at the festival.
They ride in a hot air balloon and have a magical time.
He does not propose.
The next day, they drive 3 hours from Albuquerque to the White Sands National Monument, where they had stopped by on their cross country road trip. While they are wandering through the desert, Garrick gets down on one knee and takes a ring out of a film canister. Fern is too shocked to speak. They come home from New Mexico happily engaged. Those who suspected a proposal were right. 🙂