This trip wouldn’t be possible without my boyfriend’s family links with the States and there would be no link if it wasn’t for a young Vince Schoenstein falling head over heels in love across the Red Cross ballroom. I’ve heard variations of the romantic tale of Vince and Moira but now I’ve had the opportunity to hear it first hand.

Vince is a beautifully poetic man and the way he talks with such grace and awe of his late wife could restore any pessimists faith in love. They met during the war when he was an American soldier visiting the UK. Moira caught Vince’s eye while he was waiting for his cousin, who never showed and he still doesn’t know why, they danced and the rest is history. His story brought goosebumps to my skin and is one of true love.

“We were on the ferry across the Mersey and I wrapped my coat around her. I gave her the biggest kiss, I’d never kissed any girl like that before. I looked right at her and told her ‘I’m going to marry you one day’ and she said ‘That’d be nice’. I’d only met her three times!”

Fuelled with coffee and war stories we hit the road to find Half Moon Bay. Beautiful blue skies, golden sands and clear water (yes the Pacific really is that cold). Standing there knowing 48 hours earlier I’d been walking through the Manchester rain in boots and a coat made it all feel a little surreal.

Later, an American Bar experience. A first for both of us. Beer pitchers, nachos and huge TV screens at Marvin’s Garden and St. James’ Gate.

Current Location: Belmont and Redwood City, California
War Stories Heard: 5
Sunburnt Noses: 1