Two years ago today…

Two years ago today, while on a spontaneous trip to Amsterdam with a friend, I wandered into a bar and met the man with whom I hope to spend the rest of my life. I still can’t believe it’s been 2 years…
It was our first night out exploring the city and it was early for the Dutch, about 10:30pm, so we decided to grab a snack and a drink in a small Dutch looking pub in the square before heading out later in the evening. We walked in took a seat and 

With Courtney the night I met Sebastiaan!

ordered a glass of wine. I immediately noticed the bar tender, a tall handsome blonde blue-eyed guy with he cutest Dutch accent. He was super friendly, explained the menu and offered us a tasting of their featured beers. We spent a good part of the night flirting (well I was flirting) with this mysterious Dutchman and drinking probably a few too many, much too strong beers. The next night we returned to the same place and discovered my mysterious Dutchman was named Sebastiaan (with two A’s, soo european!). He told us to meet him at the bar later and we could go out with him and his friends to a few of their favorite hot spots.We ended up going out with Sebastiaan and his friends several times that week (our trip was extended due to the blizzard of the century that happened to hit DC while we were gone, no complaints here!).

Our first picture together! (of course his eyes are closed...typical)

By this point of the trip I had already started doodling Sebastiaan’s name in my journal and imagining what oh so Dutch last name I was going to have in the very near future. We exchanged numbers and he kissed me goodbye telling me we would keep in touch and see each other again soon.There was just something about this guy I couldn’t let go. A few days after we arrived back in DC it was Valentine’s Day. I wasn’t sure if the Dutch had bought into this ridiculous commercial holiday, in fact I assumed they didn’t, but I thought, what the heck and sent Sebastiaan a quick “happy valentine’s day” text and hoped for the best. I got a text back a little while later with a text bouquet of flowers (I know, I know) and a message saying that he missed me and was thinking about me. The next two months Sebastiaan and I talked on the phone everyday. We talked for one, sometimes two hours a night. We talked about our families, politics, religion, our favorite movies, pretty much everything. I shared things with Sebastiaan over those two months that I don’t think I’d ever told anyone. I’d anxiously await his phone calls each night and we’d talk until I went to bed.
Before I went to Amsterdam with Courtney, I found out that I had been turned down for a promotion at work. Looking back, as disappointed I was, it was probably the best thing that could have happened. I decided that I was going to quit my job, leave New York and do a 3 month long internship in Florence, Italy.The plan was to go to Amsterdam for a week to visit Sebastiaan before heading to Florence for the summer. I was literally counting down the days until I would have the chance to see him again.
Two days before my flight was scheduled to leave the volcano in Iceland erupted. Yes,

A volcano? Seriously?

the volcano that caused the most disruptions to air travel since 9/11. My flight was cancelled. All flights we cancelled. I finally found a flight out of Newark, NJ and bought a train ticket from Baltimore to NJ the following day. My brother offered to drive me to the train and along the way our car starts making suspicious noises. I reassured Kylen that everything was OK, (trust me I know so much about cars) and to keep going no matter what. When the smoke started coming out from under the car Kylen thought better than to heed the advice of his crazy little sister and pulled the car over. I called my parents in a fit, it was obviously their fault the car broke down, and had a cab come pick me up on the side of the highway and bring me to the train station. I think everyone thought I was absolutely nuts but I was going to get on that flight if it killed me! So I finally make it to Jersey, and the flight is cancelled. All flights are cancelled. So I’m stuck, in JERSEY of all places and the love of my life is a mere 7 hour flight away! OK, so I may have been a bit hysterical. After trying to pay off several ticket ladies I gave up and crashed with a friend until I could find a flight straight to Italy a few days later. I was sure my life was ruined forever.
Two weeks into my internship in Florence a few friends and I decided to take a weekend trip to Amsterdam. I was finally going to be reunited with my long lost love. Once we landed in Amsterdam I had a bit of a panic attack… Wait a minute I barely know this guy… what if I wasn’t what he remembered? What is he wasn’t what I remembered? What if it was totally awkward and weird and I had spent the past 3 months talking anyone’s ear off with in a 10 mile radius about this guy.
A few minutes later I got a text from Sebastiaan telling me to meet him at the bar at 9pm.  I got all dolled up and made my way down to Leidseplein to the bar. It was 9pm on the dot, clearly had to keep him waiting a bit, so we popped into a nearby bar to kill some time. Around 10pm I built up the courage, or liquid courage, enough to walk into Sebastiaan’s bar. I saw him from a distance and couldn’t help but smile. I walked in, he smiled, walked out from behind the bar, kissed me and all the nervousness I was feeling immediately melted away. We spent the week together, I met his family, his friends, saw a bit more of Holland and extended my stay twice.

A few weeks later Sebastiaan came to visit me in Florence. We had the most amazing time. We had a picnic in the Boboli Gardens, ate incredible food, tasted delicious wines and even took a train for the weekend to Venice.

Boboli Gardens in Florence

It was during this week that I knew that I was going to do whatever it took to make this work. I called my parents and told them I wasn’t coming home. I told them I wasn’t going to accept the job I had waiting for me and I was moving to Amsterdam (to live with a man they’d never met..). I was terrified but I knew that it was worth the risk. I knew he was worth the risk.

It’s been two years since I walked into that bar but honestly, in some ways it still feels like yesterday…
(This weekend Sebastiaan and I are off to Prague to celebrate!)

2 thoughts on “Two years ago today…

  1. Jessica Greif

    Awesome story. Happy anniversary! I’m with you: when you know, you know. Enjoy Sebastiaan and your life together!

  2. Beverly White-Seals

    What an amazing 2 years! A blizzard, a volcano, a hurricane and an earthquake. . . the love you two share has really rocked the world. Not to mention 6 more stamps on your passport. I couldn’t be happier that you’ve found your soulmate…………Mom


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