Editor at large: Wedding bells ring nearly seven years later

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Natalie and Chris at a hilltop garden overlooking Granada, Spain (Dec. 2010).
Natalie and Chris at a hilltop garden overlooking Granada, Spain (Dec. 2010).

I had already gotten on the bus to the airport when I was surprised by my cell phone ringing. My caller ID showed a number I did not recognize.

“My flight was cancelled and they put me on a later plane,” Chris’s voice said on the other end. I was surprised and grateful that he was able to find the number for my Spanish cell phone, but I had traveled far enough on the bus that there was no turning back at that point. I would be waiting at the Granada airport for an extra three hours or so before he would arrive.

It was the first of many, many mishaps we had that December 2010, including getting lost at night in London and being stuck in the snow until about 4 a.m., unknowingly wandering onto a cycling path in Amsterdam and nearly missing Chris’s return flight to the U.S. because of a bus scheduling error.

I was studying abroad in Granada, Spain and Chris decided to come visit me for three weeks so we could spend Christmas together–and, of course, travel Europe a bit together. But it was also during that winter that I first knew the relationship we shared was something special.

Nearly six years after that, Chris and I were married on Sept. 3. I am sharing this with you because, we are now on a three-week-long honeymoon traveling through New Zealand, Australia and Fiji–and I plan to share some of our experiences with you through this column.

Before we go, I would like to introduce you to Chris.

Natalie and Chris suited up and prepared to go skydiving near San Diego. (Dec. 2011)
Natalie and Chris suited up and prepared to go skydiving near San Diego. (Dec. 2011)

We first met our freshman year of high school, I believe in biology class. We both attended Quartz Hill High School in the California desert between Los Angeles and Bakersfield. We became pretty good friends the following year in AP European History. He was someone I could rely on, and he could rely on me as well.

We were both quirky and weird and we just got along. One day, Chris brought his unicycle over to my house and tried to teach me how to ride it. He didn’t know how clumsy I was yet. After a solid two days of lessons, I was able to get about three full pedal rotations before I would panic and fall over. The lessons stopped.

We both had decided to attend the University of California, San Diego. Sophomore year of college, Chris asked me to be his girlfriend. That was nearly seven years ago.

Since then, we have gone on many adventures together. We traveled through Spain, London and Amsterdam. We went skydiving for our second anniversary. We explored Boston while I was there for grad school, and spent a week in Washington, D.C. for my spring break. We learned how to scuba dive together. We’ve gone on several hikes, played many video games and adopted a dog together after moving to south Snohomish County.

Chris and Natalie at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. (Aug. 2015)
Chris and Natalie at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. (Aug. 2015)

Chris proposed to me on Aug. 22, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan, on a bridge overlooking a koi pond in the old imperial garden. Chris hugged me from behind and told me he never wants us to stop having adventures together. He spun me around, got down on one knee and presented my ring. I excitedly said yes!

Our wedding was held back in San Diego at one of our favorite local brewery/restaurants in front of a group of 68 of our closest friends and family, with my little brother officiating. (The ceremony site also happened to feature a koi pond.)

With everything we have done together, I have learned a lot about myself, Chris and our relationship. I am accident prone. Chris is particular. We have learned to roll with what life throws at us, and we like to have fun.

And that’s why we will be spending the month of September exploring a corner of the world neither of us has traveled to before. It is my hope that you come along for the ride.

Cheers,
Natalie Covate, Editor

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