Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

They Were a Natural Fit; Even a Break-Up Couldn't Last

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

They Were a Natural Fit; Even a Break-Up Couldn't Last

Article excerpt

Byline: Robyn Brody

Their friends didn't try to fix them up. It just happened "organically."

That's how Marti Blais and Drew Kestner describe the way they met when mutual friends gathered at a restaurant and bar in Avondale in 2010. There was a definite connection and they quickly realized they had so much in common.

"We get along on virtually every level," Drew explained. "We have similar political and religious views. We like to travel, we like the same architecture and we love visiting historical sites and seeing bits of history."

Marti said that she had a checklist of requirements for a mate and "he met all my criteria."

Even with all their similarities, their relationship stalled a bit and they took a break from dating each other. It was an amicable separation and they still kept in touch. Then, Marti decided to move to California to work as a travel nurse. Drew was trying to figure out his direction in life. In 2014, when Marti was visiting Jacksonville, she randomly ran into Drew.

"I was floored. It was pure chance," Drew said. "I was stumbling and stammering. I realized just how much I missed her."

Within two months, Drew sold almost everything he owned and moved to California to be with Marti.

In May 2015, they took a trip up the California coast. They spent a romantic day touring places such as Hearst Castle and Solvang, a Dutch village. As they roamed through little shops, Marti took note of a ring she liked. They bought some souvenirs and continued walking around. At one point, Drew told Marti he needed to run to the car to unload everything they were carrying around. Instead, he actually sneaked back into the jewelry store and bought the engagement ring she admired.

When they got back home later that night, he surprised her with the ring and proposed.

"How did you get this? …

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