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Andrew had been at his job for a year or two when his company hired an intern named Julia. The two were assigned to the same project and, while the relationship was strictly business, the chemistry between them was noticeably special.
In fact, it was so good that Andrew asked Julia out a few years later. For their first date, they went to Andrew's favorite restaurant in Hoboken, a casual yet elegant spot called Court Street.
"We spent the evening reading weird trivia facts from a stack of cards on the table at the restaurant," Julia recalls. "After that, we went to a nearby bar and danced together the whole night. We were the only ones on the dance floor, but if you asked me, in that moment I didn’t even notice."
Their relationship grew from there, thanks to the one thing that can make or break a relationship: the long car ride.
As Andrew and Julia both have family members who live hours away, the two would regularly go on long drives, talking and listening to music all the while. When not visiting family, the couple would drive to national parks for weekend adventures. "Andrew loves driving, and I love just hanging out with him," Julia says.
During one of these long drives, Julia remembers, they started talking about where their relationship was going and, from there they began to discuss a lifetime plan.
"I was sure long before we were engaged that Julia was the one," Andrew says. "I still vividly remember the butterflies I had when I first told Julia I love her."
Neither Andrew nor Julia will forget their family gathering on the Jersey Shore at Belmar. The two young lovers planned for both their families to meet them there.
The Perfect proposal.
That afternoon, Andrew and Julia took a walk on the beach with Julia’s family dog, Maya. Unknown to Julia, Andrew's brother was close by, ready to take proposal pictures. Andrew's mother also was in on the plan, making sure not to let on to Julia (although, Andrew recalls, his mother shared every detail to anyone else who would listen).
"While we were on the beach, Andrew got down on one knee and asked me to marry him -- I immediately said yes!" Julia remembers. "When we walked back to my family's house, my grandparents, aunts and uncles were all there to celebrate. And that night my pop gave a toast."
Andrew admitted to being "very nervous" before proposing, "but I did my best to keep the words simple”. He shyly added.
Andrew also was more than a little nervous about finding the right engagement ring. He had a rough idea of what Julia wanted, but he brought Julia's mother along to help him shop. They chose Braunschweiger Jewelers, where a sales associate named Brian helped Andrew find the diamond that perfectly fit his budget -- and Julia's taste and style.
That engagement ring -- a four-pronged round diamond – is still very precious to Julia. "I clean it all the time so it looks extra sparkly -- bling bling!" she says.
Andrew and Julia are planning a fall 2023 wedding. "We're looking at venues now and taking our time to make sure we get it right," Andrew says.
Undoubtedly, from that day forward there will be many more adventurous car rides -- and a life-long journey of love ahead for Andrew and Julia.