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Your Eastern CT Love Story


In late January and early February 2018, the Chamber ran a social media contest asking readers for their “Eastern CT Love Story.” We solicited memories of how eastern CT’s restaurants, attractions, sights, and experiences played a part in readers’ relationships. Winning entries were selected to receive gift cards, bottles of champagne, and gift certificates to local retailers.

Read the submitted entries below. If you have an #ECTLoveStory to share, email!

I met my husband 10 years ago at Voodoo Grill on January 26. He started talking to me, I asked how old he was; he said he is 23 and I said he was too young! To which he replied “I’ll be 24 in two weeks!”

He won me over with his charm and we continued to talk the rest of the night. Our first date he said was going to be the best date I’d ever been on. I met him and a group of his friends at Peking Tokyo. I was so nervous!!! I laughed at something he said and spit salad all over the table! Our next date we took our dogs for a walk at Haley Farm. My dog rolled in something so offensive smelling and proceed to roll it all over the inside of his truck. I have no idea how he kept wanting to see me! But our third date was also with group of his friends because it was his birthday! I got him a GC to a detailed car wash (to take care of the dog odor; which later he said was a very lame gift!)

On Valentine’s Day was our first dinner date alone; no dogs, none of his friends and he made no plans! Haha, he didn’t know how busy it was on that holiday. Lucky for us we got a table at Anthony J’s , it was wonderful, intimate table and unforgettable. Over the next 1 1/2 years we shared many memories around our lovely community. He proposed to me one winter night. We went to dinner at Anthony J’s (one of our special places now) then we went for a walk and we got to the end of the town dock; he got down on one knee and said some of the nicest things I could ever imagine (but can’t remember) . One June 5 2010 we were married at the Mystic Yachting center. I arrived by boat with my parents, my in laws and my bridesmaids. We walked the dock and I met my husband under a tree to say our vows.

Here we are 10 years later since that first night meeting him. Raising our two young boys in Mystic with a pugapoo, chickens and goats. Living a life better than I ever dreamed of.

– Genevieve K

When my boyfriend and I met, I lived in Washington DC and he lived across the country in southern California. We were long distance for a long time, and then he moved to the east coast to work right here in Waterford CT at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. A few months later I followed him north to teach at a summer camp across the state. Finally we lived in the same town, and now we have a cute little apartment together in New London. Going from 2,600 miles apart, to the same coast, to the same state, and finally the same town was hard but it gave us an amazing relationship and a great story 🙂 Eastern Connecticut is our home and we love building our lives in this community!

– Allie D

I LOVE eastern Connecticut!! Born and raised in the Midwest, I moved to the region in 1984 and have been here since. The best of everything is here, or near! Beautiful landscape, quaint towns, great restaurants and so close to beaches, mountains and big city life within a couple of hours!! I also met the love of my life in eastern Connecticut!!

– Lori T

I moved to Norwich to start a new life with me and my boys, a 2 month old and a 2 year old at the time. Came here with just what a could carry and slept on couches of family members until I could get on my feet. I got a job working at Foxwoods where I made friends which felt like family. My best friend Jeffrey Szankovics became my boyfriend, after years of friendship and courtship he purposed. In front of all my family he asked me to be his. I did lose my job at the casino but found my current job working for the housing authority of New London, a place I am passionate about. Within a year of my new job and 2 years into our marriage we bought our own home right in New London. My children are now 9 and 11 and thriving in the school system here!!! This region gave me the life I have now, I went from nothing to being filled with the love and the safety I came looking for!!! I love my family and my town!!!

– Maitee S

Met my hubby of 15 years at Work Out World in Waterford which is now Renegade. I thought he was too young for me, the hunk who kept doing pull-ups in front of my treadmill. He proposed at the Steak Loft, and we got married at the edge of the beach at the Water’s Edge. Still the kindest, most understanding, most accepting, honest and loving man I’ve ever met. June makes 16 years married, 19 years together….seems like just yesterday!!! My soft place to land.

– Nancy C

We met in Groton in 2000 during a 4th of July barbecue. That summer and into the fall, we spent time together at my school Connecticut College, having dinner at places like Margarita’s in Mystic, Seaman’s Inn in Mystic, Bangkok City in New London, Paul’s Pasta in Groton and having coffee at Dunkin Donuts. And all the while he kept telling me we were just friends. Then one November night, Election Day of 2000, we had dinner at Friendlys in Mystic. After dinner, we sat outside and he took my hand. He asked if I wanted to take the next step from being friends. I was so happy he finally realized we should be together. My senior year at Connecticut College passed quickly and we spent our first year anniversary at Buckley House in New London. For New Year’s Eve, he took me to Waters Edge in Westbrook Connecticut, and it was there we were engaged as the balloons fell at midnight. Later that year we were married at Connecticut College.

– Rochelle D

#ECTLoveStory Met my future husband at Electric Boat in Groton in 1988. First date at the Gondolier in New London. He proposed at Fort Griswold in 1991. Married at First Church of Christ in Groton in 1992, reception at CT Yankee Inn in East Lyme. Just celebrated 25 years. Love Southeastern CT. Favorite spot is Harkness Park.❤️

– Terry A

First date 1974: Dinner at Golden Palace Chinese Restaurant, followed by a James Bond movie at Garde Arts Center. It was such a good date, we got coffee at Friendly’s afterwards. Still married 41 years later.

– Ruth R

Born and raised in Niantic. Left to join the USAF at age 17, lived in Maine, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Turkey, but always came back to be driving distance to the shore. After retiring from L&M 28 years, I spend a lot of time on the Thames River watching and photographing boat action. Enjoy visiting the Coast Guard and subbase. Been to 4 Coast Guard graduations, and 3 homecomings. Now live in Montville. Met my to-be wife at New London High School.

– Seth B

#ECTlovestory. We were 2 kids who were neighbors in the small town of Voluntown. Road the school bus through elementary school, then attended 2 different high schools, NFA and Norwich Tech, but life kept us crossing paths we both worked at Mr Big department store in Norwich. Fast forward through the years, we both volunteered at the Extreme makeover project (being from V-town of course we would) I catered a holiday party to which his kids attended. I catered a breakfast at Three Rivers Community College where his son got up to speak, I immediately knew who his dad was. A couple more years pass and I’m working at the CT Renaissance fair at Dodd stadium and I get a message through a dating site, yes this is the Debbie you grew up with. We arrange to meet at Jack’s pizza for lunch, catch up on the last 25 yrs but go our separate ways. While listening to WCTY I hear him win some tix to Dodd Stadium and send a FB message, hey just heard you on the radio! His response, would you like to go to the game? My answer, sure. We have been together ever since, just got married on October 14, 2017. Eastern CT brought our lives in full circle and we couldn’t be a more perfect fit. History, familiarity of people, places and things gave us a jump start to our new adventure together!

– Debra W

Got engaged at Griswold Inn 45 years ago and it was lovely. Moved out of area years ago but always have dinner there and stayed there when we visit friends and family. Spent our wedding night at the Lighthouse Inn in NL when it was grand! ❤️ Wonderful memories.

– Rene M

My fiance and I love the amazing food and friendly service at Buon Appetito Ristorante & Pizzeria, great for date night!

– Megan C

“He’s the peanut butter to my jelly!” We met on the dating website OKCupid. Our first date was was supposed to be at a Max Group Restaurant. I was an hour late for our first date and he thought I stood him up.. 1 year later we got engaged and moved to Mystic so my significant other could start his new job at Ocean Blue Catering / Mystic Aquarium. 5 years later we’re celebrating our 3 year wedding anniversary!!  <3 I even documented our whole “how we met” love story here –>

– Amylu M

My first time at the Mystic Marriott was for the 236th Navy Birthday Ball where we got engaged that night. Fast forward to our wedding in Feb 2013 at the chapel on the subase and post luncheon at…the Octagon. A few months later I moved to Connecticut and started working at the Mystic Marriott (kind of meant to be). Love brought me to Connecticut and I love living and working in this great community !

– Jennifer C

My husband proposed to me at Eastern Point Beach- now we visit every summer with our family, and I think of his proposal every time we are there <3

– Nicole D

My wife and I would drive up and down the dirt road before walking at Bluff Point trying to induce labor when she was 42 weeks pregnant. I don’t think I’ll ever not think of that while we are there.

– Jacob D