In the summer of 2010, Nicole and her closest friends from Harvard Business School decided to join a group of their classmates on a trip to South Africa over winter break. That same summer, Brian shared a house in the Hamptons with friends from Princeton, who also happened to be Nicole’s classmates from HBS. As fate would have it, they invited Brian and a few others to “crash” their trip to South Africa.
As many of you might remember, the Northeast was hit by a huge snowstorm that Christmas. Nicole’s flight to Cape Town was delayed, but she somehow made it onto the only flight out of Boston on December 28th. Brian had spent Christmas with his cousins in Zimbabwe before joining the group in Cape Town. On day two, Nicole cleverly sat beside Brian on the bus ride to the Cape of Good Hope. She opened with “soooo, you played football at Princeton?” Brian was intrigued by her football knowledge from that very moment. He has Nicole’s dad to thank for teaching her the signal for touchdown when she was 14 months old. Can’t you just picture little Nicole with both arms extended above her head?
On day three, Nicole and Brian spent several hours at Café Caprice in Camps Bay. They talked, they danced, they talked some more, and then, they almost died on the taxi ride back to the hotel. Eek! The next day, Brian started feeling really sick. (Reminder: never drink tap water in Africa). However, he somehow managed to climb Table Mountain… twice as fast as Nicole, haha. On Brian’s last night, the whole group went to La Colombe for dinner. Nicole conveniently sat at the table, keeping the seat to her right open, hoping Brian would sit by her. He didn’t.
Nicole quickly realized Brian was really not feeling well and offered to help in any way she could. Brian was touched by her kindness. They exchanged contact information, and before he landed in New York, they had made plans to see each other again.
Nicole had just one semester left and was frequently interviewing for jobs in New York, so they saw each other every couple weeks until Nicole officially moved to New York that June. The rest is history…
Brian surprised Nicole one sunny Saturday morning in September by proposing in Central Park.