Van n' manda

Van & Amanda: A Love Story

  • The day we *almost* met

    The day we *almost* met
    Cabot Community TourAmanda delivered a Congressional Record Statement to Cabot Creamery on behalf of Representative Chellie Pingree. Van very nearly attended the same event as a representative of Healthy Androscoggin's 5210 program... So close!
  • The day we met

    The day we met
    Amanda: I saw this picture on your OKCupid profile and my heart went all a flutter. We decided to meet at Bull Feeny's in Portland and we got along right away. As I recall, I was nervous and babbling, and you laughed at all of my jokes-- even the bad ones. You also said "Pshh-- Shakespeare's easy" and I swooned a little. Van: You found me on I thought, "who is this mysterious, beautiful woman? I must meet her!" It was my first Old Port experience. Set the bar pretty high. :)
  • V's First Trip to the Lakehouse

    V's First Trip to the Lakehouse
    Amanda invited Van to come stay at the Lake House for the day. She prepared an impressive feast of (clams, corn, steak, and lots of other food) in an appeal to Van's stomach (it worked.) We drank tequila and later went kayaking, where Amanda showed up both Van and the neighbors with her mad skills.
  • First date in L-A

    First date in L-A
    V: We met at Gritty's in Auburn for dinner, then walked across the bridge and had drinks at Pedro O'Hara's. Amanda: I remember something about ducks. Weren't there ducks?
  • Summer Beer Tasting

    Summer Beer Tasting
    Van's first visit to SoKel. Amanda's beer won the contest (as usual!)
  • Went to see "Two Gents" in Monmouth

    Went to see "Two Gents" in Monmouth
    Probably the most romantic phrase ever uttered: "Would you like to go see some Shakespeare?" Van invited Manda to see Two Gents in Monmouth. We also took a walk to the general store, bought mints, and sat on the porch to chat before the show.
  • Dinner at SoKel

    Dinner at SoKel
    Amanda made a legendary Coq au Vin.
  • Picnic on the "beach"

    Picnic on the "beach"
    We had a picnic dinner in Rancourt Park in Lewiston. Tipsiness, spontaneous Shakespeare, and random canoe fishermen abounded.
  • Van meets the Ficketts, and Return to the Lake

    Van meets the Ficketts, and Return to the Lake
    Amanda invited Van to Sam Burns' wedding reception party where Van got to meet the Burns-Egans's AND Debbie and Bob for the first time - surprise! Later that night we drove into Naples for a walk and stayed the night at the Lakehouse.
  • Hiking at Grafton Notch

    Hiking at Grafton Notch
    Our first road trip! We drove up to Grafton Notch near the NH line and hiked the Table Rock trail. Van wore his English cap and quoted Tolkien, and Amanda got mischievious with a banana peel. We ate leftovers from the beach picnic.
  • Second weekend in Lewiston

    Second weekend in Lewiston
    We had dinner at DaVinci's on Saturday, and on Sunday went to see the matinee of Henry IV in Monmouth.
  • Third Weekend at the Lake

    Third Weekend at the Lake
    We began a rainy weekend back at the Lakehouse with a homecooked dinner, movies, and wild Maine blueberry pie. Van's friend JP later came to stay for a few days.
  • Trip to CT

    Trip to CT
    Our first adventure outside of Maine. We drove down Coastal Route 1 in search of real Maine blueberries to bring Van's mom... slight madness ensued. Amanda: A treasure hunt, intrigue, tall ships, hot rods, a petting zoo, near-death experiences, ravioli joke-telling, tea, space suits, Food & Books, mini-golf, the Gnome National Anthem... and that only scratches the surface.
  • Return to Maine

    Return to Maine
    After three whirlwind days of epic trip-ness, an exhausted Manda and Van stopped along their trip back up the coast at Old Orchard Beach. There, sitting on the terrace of the Brunswick Hotel, serenaded by a guitar-playing fat guy in a tie-dye t-shirt, they officially affirmed their love and committment to each other for the LONG HAUL...
  • Farewell Dinner at Sonny's

    Farewell Dinner at Sonny's
    We had a really lovely dinner at Sonny's (one of the places we had been on our first date) the night before Amanda left for Williamsburg.
  • Amanda Returns to Williamsburg

    Amanda Returns to Williamsburg
    A new phase begins...
    V quoted Hamlet as Amanda got ready to leave "Doubt thou the stars are fire;Doubt that the sun doth move;Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love."
  • Van's 1st Trip to the Burg

    Van's 1st Trip to the Burg
    Van: Flew down to Williamsburg for the first time for a three-night stay. We toured the colonial village, attempted to drive to Virginia Beach. A: Possibly the best part: Van sang sea shanties to me in the car for a solid 40 minutes. <3
  • Walking in Washington

    Walking in Washington
    We went on a long walk in Washington D.C., trying to forget that V was heading back to Maine in a few hours. We also interrupted a kickball game and had a lovely dinner at a Thai restaurant.
  • Manda n' Van on Google Chat

    Manda n' Van on Google Chat
    We spend a lot of time on google chat... it's what pretty much keeps us going. Just the comfort of seeing eachother's faces seems to sustain our enduring hope that we will, in fact, see each other again (especially when 750 miles starts to seem like an infinite distance). <3 Sometimes we get sleepy.
  • Manda's Fall Break in Maine

    Manda's Fall Break in Maine
    Amanda returned to Maine for three very short but blissful days. The Fryeburg Fair, Thorncrag, and Wallingford's!
  • Fair!

    The view from the ferris wheel where Van soothed Amanda as she realized the precariousness of the ancient piece of carnival machinery.
  • Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary

    Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary
    We sat under this lovely tree and took in all the beauty...
  • Google chat

    Google chat
    And sometimes it's Manda who gets sleepy...
  • Seeing "Earnest"

    Seeing "Earnest"
    Another reunioun in Williamsburg. Van got to see two performances of "The Importance of Being Earnerst" in which Manda played Lady Bracknell. Van brought Amanda a rose at the beginning of the show and after each act. We also visited Jamestown, had a delicious breakfast at the Trellis, and hung out in the Law Library.
  • Famous Boyfriend!

    Famous Boyfriend!
    Aricle about Van and 5210 Program! A: Van was featured in the Sun Journal for his work with 5210! So proud of him!
  • Amanda receives a care package

    Amanda receives a care package
    Van mailed Amanda the best care package of all time. It included a Maine/Moose covered pot holder, some chocolate, a coin from Botswana with an African Fish Eagle on it, a pound of Amanda's favorite coffee, CD's for the trip home, and Van's heart... <3
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    Winter Break 2012-13 - Part I

    Manda came back to Maine just as Van was finishing his last day of VISTA work in Lewiston. The 21st was a long day for both, and they were finally reunited when Van collapsed on the SoKel couch where Manda was napping. After a somewhat uncomfortable night of adjustment to the "unique" hide-a-bed, the venturesome duo drove to Connecticut where they spent two nights at Van's parents'. On Christmas eve Manda took a bus back to Portland to spend Christmas with the Ficketts, while Van stayed behind.
  • Christmas (Eve) in Connecticut

    Christmas (Eve) in Connecticut
    The view from Van's "bedroom" window at the Hill cabin after a light Christmas Eve blanketing.
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    Winter break 2012-13: Part II

    Van returned to Maine just ahead of Winter Storm Euclid! It snowed for a solid 36 hours while we happily holed up at SoKel with Tara, Raychell, Henry, and Logan. The front yard was buried 3 feet deep and we had a grand old time clearing out the driveway and getting Tara's Jeep unstuck. On Saturday the weather finally cleared up and we were able to move Van out of Lewiston and into his new temporary place in Old Orchard Beach.
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    Winter Break 2012-13: Part III

    Now relocated to OOB, the fearless Winter Warriors spent their first New Years Eve in Portland, enjoying a sumptuous dinner of burgers & fries at Wild Willy's followed by drinks and desserts at Bull Feeny's. A little tuckered, they headed back to the Sandpiper Inn in time to polish off a bottle of bubbly and watch the Times Square Ball drop. On New Years Day they expolored that strange other-world that is Old Orchard in the dead of winter. More adventures followed over the next week...
  • New Year's in OOB

    New Year's in OOB
    We took a walk down the beach on a beautiful New Year's Morning, glimpsing the renowned annual "OOB Lobster Dip" from a distance. Later on we "classed it up" with cheap beer and fried food at The Strike Zone, then made tuna casserole and drank PBR back in the motel room. :P
  • Evening in Freeport

    Evening in Freeport
    We took a shopping trip so Van could buy a new hat and Manda could get boot laces. We couldn't pass up the opportunity for a photo op in the "trout bubble"! Afterwards we decided to see "Lincoln" at the Nautica theater.
  • A walk around Peaks

    A walk around Peaks
    For a final adventure before Manda's return to Williamsburg we decided to hit up Portland again, having a delicious brunch at Bintliffs Cafe and then taking the ferry to Peaks Island. We hiked around Peaks for about an hour, exploring some of its rocky beaches and wooded, scenic backroads. It was well worth the trip!
  • Our 6 month Anniversary!

    Our 6 month Anniversary!
    A: I can't believe we've known eachother such a short time... So odd-- feels like I met you yesterday, but that I've known you all my life. <3 V: Half a year and going strong...
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    Van 1, Nemo 0

  • Van's Birthday!

    Van's Birthday!
    We weren't together on Van's birthday, but we made the best of it. =) Amanda also had a picture of us at Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary printed and mailed straight to the new apartment.
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    Home for spring break!

    Amanda came home for spring break and we spent our first week together in the new apartment. Amanda cooked (perhaps a little too much), and we had coffee together every morning before Van went to work. We went out to dinner at Run of the Mill in Saco, we built a blanket fort, and we danced the salsa...
  • Amanda comes home for the summer!

    Amanda comes home for the summer!
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    Fixing up the Lakehouse

    Because Van is a Saint among men, we spent all of our free time fixing up the Lake house this summer... it was hard, and it was stressful, and we got frustrated and tired and mad-- but we stuck by each other through it all. <3
  • Amanda's Birthday!

    We spent a quiet evening together at the lakehouse. Van bought Amanda 2 beautiful art books and cake. =)
  • Van & Amanda's 1 year Anniversary!

  • Epic road trip

    Epic road trip
    Van and Amanda went on a 3 day road trip-- through NH, MA, CT, NY, PA, NJ, WV, and VA. We stayed in 2 hotels, and then spent a night at a camp site on Skyline Drive before heading down to Williamsburg.
  • Amanda Comes Home to visit...

    Amanda came home for 2 days. Though it was a very, very brief visit, we filled the weekend with lots of good things: we made dinner together on Friday after Amanda came home from the fair, then we went out to breakfast ad stopped at an orchard for cider donuts and hot mulled cider. Van picked out a pumpkin. Then we visited Tara for a bit and followed it up with a lovely dinner at Espo's on outer Congress street.
  • Roger & Joan do Halloween

    Roger & Joan do Halloween
    2nd Halloween as a couple, but the first time we had a chance to celebrate together! We decided, after much deliberation, to go to the PSF Halloween party as Roger Sterling and Joan Holloway-Harris from AMC's Mad Men. It was the right choice.
  • Hangout Pumpkin Carving

    Hangout Pumpkin Carving
    Spending Halloween apart is tough, so Amanda and Van carved pumpkins together over google hangout. There are some pretty silly pictures from this event, including one where Van modeled the face for the smaller, being-eaten pumpkin.
  • Love lock

    Love lock
    Amanda mailed Van a padlock with instructions to take it to the Love Locks fence in Portland's Old Port. Love Locks fence in Portland Van closed the lock onnto the chain link fence and sent Amanda this picture of himself. <3
  • Amanda Graduates from Law School

    From this day forward, A&V won't have to be apart for long periods of time anymore.
  • Van's fantasy comes true

    Van's fantasy comes true