Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and Jill and I both got a wonderful surprise that helped us celebrate our love courtesy of Carnaval San Francisco.
If you remember, Jill and I met at Carnaval almost two years ago.
That was 8 days before I was going to leave for China.
I was meeting my buddy, Jon-David, to hang out and watch the parade. It was going to be my last Carnaval for 3 years since I planned to stay in China for the duration of my contract and wanted to see other places instead of coming back to the bay area.
Little did I know I’d meet the love of my life, Jill Loeffler.
I posted about our first date, the next day, and how we had a “First Date Re-Dux” when we got back to San Francisco about 2 months ago now. By the way, we are leaving San Francisco in 14 days. Time really does fly in so many ways!
I tagged Carnaval San Francisco in my blog because I wanted them to know how much we appreciate them and how important they are to Jill’s and my story. BiancaEstella de la Rocha, noticed my blog post and how we met at Carnaval. She wrote to me and asked if we’d like to be featured in the Valentine’s Day edition of DRUM BEAT.
DRUM BEAT is their official newsletter and we were both blown away and humbled at the same time.
Bianca told us that she would put us in contact with Valencia Newton and she would do the interview.
Valencia contacted us, about a week or so later, and we set up a time to meet.
We met at a coffee shop on Market Street and had a great time.
Valencia is someone that we instantly took a liking to since she is so happy, gregarious and outgoing.
She is also the current Queen of Carnaval San Francisco!
How cool is that? Jill and I got to be interviewed by the Queen!!!
Valencia told us this was her first time she had professionally interviewed someone and we were quite surprised as she had a lot of questions, seemed at ease, and was very professional and concise. I, on the other, tend to babble and Jill rolled her eyes more than once and said, “Yep, this is Aram. He gets excited and tends to talk a lot.” Jill worked in journalism, and on the radio, and so she knows how to do interviews and how to be interview. I tend just to talk and want to have people “raised up” by my excitement. I think, in looking back, it is another reason why we do so well as a couple since we balance each other out. She grounds me when I need it, and I ground her when she needs it (which is not that often. Jill’s a rock and I’m constantly amazed by her stability and ability to know what is the right choice in almost any occasion).
The interview took about an hour and we talked about everything from falling in love, blogging each day, running San Francisco Tourism Tips for the last 5 years (and the last 1.5 years in CHINA!), minimization, getting engaged in a hot air balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey, what we have planned for our new website and also what Valencia’s dreams and hopes are. It was like we were friends that had known each other for years.
Valencia is going to be a natural at this and I see someone that is ready to take the world by the horns!
We were told the edition would come out on Valentine’s Day and Valencia let us know we could read through and do corrections with the different drafts. About 2 weeks later, she sent us the first draft and it was almost perfect. She had done an excellent job of getting the facts straight, making a very coherent and exciting article, and almost being 100% correct. We were really pleased and excited to know that our story was going to be in print sometime soon.
Another exciting part was the photograph that Valencia chose for the interview: It was of us in Santorini, Greece, at our friend Vassilias Micheal Chryssos‘ bar and restaurant, Palia Kameni Cocktail Bar. It was a very romantic night and we met up with Vassilias here in San Francisco as he and his girlfriend, Soneth, are traveling (and working) in California for a few months.
I’ve posted the interview below. Please do me a huge favor and go to the Carnaval SF Facebook page and “like” their page. Also, go to the Carnaval and support them with your patronage, your money and you joy. This is an organization that does so much, for so many, with so little. Along with allowing us to meet and fall in love, it is one more of the reasons that Jill and I love Carnaval SF.
Click here to see the PDF version of the Valentine’s Day DRUM BEAT featuring Jill and me! We are on page 3 and 4. Valenica, who interviewed us, is in a photograph on page 2 dressed as the Queen and standing with the King.