On Sept. 12, 2009, I was invited to a cookout, where I was going to meet my friend’s son, who was in town from Florida. That morning, I got my eyebrows done and went to the gym and to the grocery to find a last-minute contribution to the cookout. It started to rain, and I started to worry that the party might be canceled. I spent so much time deliberating what to take that the bakery employees asked me if I needed help three times.

I settled on a giant Penn State cookie and texted this photo to my friend Liza to see what she thought.

 Normally, I mock the Penn State fanaticism that consumes central Pennsylvania and refer to it as “Cult Nittany.” But my friend, her husband and son were all alums. Liza agreed; it was appropriate.

The cookie was a big hit, especially after I ate a big piece and ended up with bright blue teeth for the rest of the evening. But not even a face full of icing could stop what was set in motion that night, because five months later, the Floridian visitor proposed to me along the St. John’s River, and a month after that, I moved 1,000 miles to be with him.

It’s hard to believe a year has already passed since we met. I was hoping to mark the anniversary with another giant cookie, but …

… which I don’t really understand, because I used my heart-shaped silicone pan. Silicone, as in non-stick.

It didn’t matter, though. It was just as sweet — if not sweeter — than the first big cookie.

To celebrate our first anniversary, we spent Saturday wandering around St. Augustine.

We pretty much ate our way through the city, and I’ll be posting  recaps of our foodie experiences this week. Coming tomorrow: a chocolate factory tour and wine tastings.

Oh, and those rabid Penn State fans I mocked? On Saturday, I asked a stranger in a Penn State T-shirt if he thought “we” would “beat ‘Bama.” I guess I’m marrying into Cult Nittany.

I’m OK with that.

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