Last week I had the pleasure of dining out with my wife in Islamorada. We had a gift certificate for Pierre’s, and we were in the area so I didn’t think reservations were necessary – apparently they were. The dinning room was closed for a private party so we were directed to Morada Bay, the sister restaurant of Pierre’s where our gift card would also be accepted. We made our way over the beautifully landscaped walkway to the beachfront dining at Morada Bay. If you were to dream of a perfect oasis in paradise this would most likely be it. After a short wait relaxing in the loveseat Adirondack chairs, listening to live music and watching the setting sun bleed into the Florida Bay, we were escorted to our table. This was not our first time here. In fact this place is one of our favorites. My wife and I enjoyed a fantastic bottle of wine, a delicious meal and embraced the romantic atmosphere. Peering into each other’s eyes we once again recognized how lucky and blessed we are to live in paradise, to have found each other and to still be deeply in love.

    Next week will mark 25 years of wedded bliss for Ganine and me. Ours is the classic ‘love at first sight’ story. We met in a private nightclub in Las Vegas. I was out with a couple of lady friends when Ganine’s boyfriend introduced us and asked if I would have a dance with her. The disc jockey was playing a romantic Julio Iglasis bolero and in the middle of the first dance Ganine said, “Talk about falling in love on the first dance!”  That was it – I was already in love. The rest of the evening we spent learning more about each other.

    We were both from Rochester, New York and grew up less then twenty miles apart.  Her brother graduated from the same occupational broadcasting school I did. Ganine and I also lived in Los Angeles at the same time, just blocks apart. We were both professional dancers. It was destiny. We were meant to be together. Our strongest connection was and still is the romance. Both of us believe in the fairy tale of living happily ever after. We met in January and after a few dates we were already planning our life together. For the next few months we spent every available moment together, dancing and talking until dawn. In May, we were married. The wedding was anything but conventional. Ganine’s gown was something out of an MGM musical and the bridal party could have started in any showroom. Four hundred of our closest friends came to witness our vows followed by a reception fit for royalty. It all seems like just yesterday. Who could have imagined 25 years could go by so quickly?  Like any fairytale, we have faced challenges together.  Through good times or bad, we have had each other to rely and depend upon. Through it all, we have stayed more than husband and wife – we became and still are lovers and best friends. Our greatest joys are our son, traveling, sharing wonderful meals, the friends we have made over the years, and of course, dancing together. We still enjoy the thrill of holding each other, looking deeply into each other’s eyes and moving together to the music. I believe the final words that will be written about our love affair and life together will be… and they lived happily ever after.

    Dream the life you live and live the life you dream.

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