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Posted by DuskVamp (681 posts) -

A tale that started on Giant Bomb nearly 1 year ago that turned into the best 2 week vacation of our lives.

A vacation of discovering British food, prehistoric monuments, scary Indian restaurants, lots of tourist attractions and of course, plenty of rain and snow.

Where it all started.

I've been coming to Giant Bomb for over a year now. I started as a lingerer, just watching quick looks and reviews until making an account, and then lingered some more until ever writing in the forums.

As I'm sure is the case with a lot of you guys, most of my friends didn't play games. So I got all of my game news and chat online.

In most of the threads that I looked at and were interested in, one user always stood out to me and I always liked reading what he had to say on things. He quickly became the first user that I ever followed.

We didn't talk much initially, until I asked him for some advice on a creeper. After that we ended up PMing back and forth every day for weeks, turning our correspondence into essay long responses. After a few months of this we started talking through IM, eventually adding each other on Xbox Live and playing games like Red Dead Redemption, Halo, Call of Duty, Portal 2, Saints Row 2 and Borderlands together, among others. This again carried on for a bit until we started talking on Skype, at first just voice chatting and then video. We would talk for 8 hours straight, a lot of the time even longer, most days of the week, but it wouldn't feel like we were talking for that long.

Our Saints Row 2 experience wasn't glitch free.

After months of this it was obvious to both of us that we wanted to be more than just friends. It's not something that either of us came to Giant Bomb or the internet looking for. We've both had “real” relationships in the past and weren't lonely and desperate for anything we could get. Which is how “internet relationships” are usually portrayed and thought of. We knew it would be difficult. He lived in Chicago and I lived in Wales. But plans were then made for him to come to the UK and for us to meet face to face. We had to see if we still felt as strongly about each other in person as we did talking online. We decided on February, and it was the most nerve wracking thing in my life leading up to it.

Our first meeting.

He was arriving at Heathrow, so I drove down to London the night before and stayed with my brother and his family. I had that weeks Bombcast to keep me company for the drive, but I was so nervous that I missed everything that was said and has since had to listen to it again. It was my first time on the tube and I was going by myself, which is scary in itself. I got to the international arrivals gate and stood next to all the suited men holding name cards and thought that I should have brought one myself for a joke. My stomach was turning and I was texting my friends and brother to try calm my nerves. I eventually went to sit down, but as I did I saw him walking down, looking around for me through the crowd. I walked over to him, thinking how much taller he was, me being 5”2 and him 6”2. Gave him a kiss and a big hug. It was all feeling very surreal.

My brother text me saying that he couldn't get off work early, so wanted us to stay the night at his before driving back to Wales, so that he could give him the big brother talk. This didn't help calm his nerves. He's just flown 8 hours across the world, met me for the first time and now my brother wanted to interrogate him straight away. We got back to my brothers, watched some TV and waited for him to get home.

My brother can be very protective.

When my brother got back we ordered a curry and he said that he wanted to take him to go pick it up and pick up a mattress from his mother-in-laws. They were gone for around an hour and a half. It was obviously him wanting to interrogate him. Thankfully it all went well. He had the seal of approval from my brother and my sister-in-law.

I realise I'm getting far too in-depth so I'll try to cut out all the in betweens.

The real start to the vacation.

We spent 2 nights at my mums house in a snowy and rainy Wales. Not the nicest welcome to the UK. Then drove down to our hotel in Bradford on Avon. We were told we had a free upgrade to a deluxe room with free breakfast, so we were very happy. We had brought my Xbox with us, naturally, so straight away connected it up and played some Rayman Origins. That night we drove down to Bournemouth to see stand up comedian Omid Djalili, who some of you might know as Yusuf Amir in GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony. He was hilarious, one of the best stand ups I've seen. We started our drive back at around 11pm, it was a 2 hour drive through pitch black country roads, covered in thick fog. It wasn't the most relaxing drive.

We stayed in Bradford on Avon for 4 nights, walking around the town center and visiting Bath which was near by. One day we drove down to Stonehenge. It was amazing to see, but so bloody freezing in the middle of that field! Playing games and watching DVD's like Garth Marenghi's Darkplace. Whilst there, he tried his first ever Full English Breakfast. It was a delicious one too, so I knew he must like it. I was trying to dispel the stereotype of the UK having terrible food. Thankfully he agreed that it was delicious... unless he was just being polite.. though how could he not think that, Full English Breakfasts are amazing!

Me, taking it all in.
A delicious way to start the morning.

The Scary Indian Restaurant.

We had trouble finding places to eat near our hotel. We were walking past an Indian restaurant on our way home from the town center that we weren't sure was open or not. It was empty so we just poked our head in to see. Straight away the owner came over and took our coats, so we felt kind of obligated to stay. As he took mine he smiled and said “We don't get much service in here”...

He sat us down right in front of the window at the front of the restaurant, trying to entice people in we thought. He brought us our drinks and some popadoms as a starter. I was facing the door and noticed the owner walking out 3 or 4 times with a big cooler box and returning 5 or 10 minutes later. The kitchen staff were lingering around, looking round the corner at us. A hooded man walked out from the kitchen, staring at the floor as he walked past us and came back with a plastic bag containing food. We started worrying about where our food had come from, I was getting a bit paranoid, not wanting to eat it, especially it being chicken. Near the end of our meal the phone started ringing. The owner answered and started arguing with the caller saying things like “No, not one person! I don't owe anyone money!” We kept looking at each other awkwardly, whispering that we'll just ask for the rest to be bagged up so we could leave. The owner, still arguing, started saying “Don't threaten me, Justin!”. As soon as he was finished arguing, we called him over, said it was delicious and asked if we could leave.

Where did it come from??

Sorry this was such a long blog, but I thought it might be interesting to share our story on the website that we met on. Thanks for taking the time to read it, if you did. There's more to our story, I might blog about the rest of our vacation if anyone is interested at all. Thanks :)

#1 Edited by DuskVamp (681 posts) -

A tale that started on Giant Bomb nearly 1 year ago that turned into the best 2 week vacation of our lives.

A vacation of discovering British food, prehistoric monuments, scary Indian restaurants, lots of tourist attractions and of course, plenty of rain and snow.

Where it all started.

I've been coming to Giant Bomb for over a year now. I started as a lingerer, just watching quick looks and reviews until making an account, and then lingered some more until ever writing in the forums.

As I'm sure is the case with a lot of you guys, most of my friends didn't play games. So I got all of my game news and chat online.

In most of the threads that I looked at and were interested in, one user always stood out to me and I always liked reading what he had to say on things. He quickly became the first user that I ever followed.

We didn't talk much initially, until I asked him for some advice on a creeper. After that we ended up PMing back and forth every day for weeks, turning our correspondence into essay long responses. After a few months of this we started talking through IM, eventually adding each other on Xbox Live and playing games like Red Dead Redemption, Halo, Call of Duty, Portal 2, Saints Row 2 and Borderlands together, among others. This again carried on for a bit until we started talking on Skype, at first just voice chatting and then video. We would talk for 8 hours straight, a lot of the time even longer, most days of the week, but it wouldn't feel like we were talking for that long.

Our Saints Row 2 experience wasn't glitch free.

After months of this it was obvious to both of us that we wanted to be more than just friends. It's not something that either of us came to Giant Bomb or the internet looking for. We've both had “real” relationships in the past and weren't lonely and desperate for anything we could get. Which is how “internet relationships” are usually portrayed and thought of. We knew it would be difficult. He lived in Chicago and I lived in Wales. But plans were then made for him to come to the UK and for us to meet face to face. We had to see if we still felt as strongly about each other in person as we did talking online. We decided on February, and it was the most nerve wracking thing in my life leading up to it.

Our first meeting.

He was arriving at Heathrow, so I drove down to London the night before and stayed with my brother and his family. I had that weeks Bombcast to keep me company for the drive, but I was so nervous that I missed everything that was said and has since had to listen to it again. It was my first time on the tube and I was going by myself, which is scary in itself. I got to the international arrivals gate and stood next to all the suited men holding name cards and thought that I should have brought one myself for a joke. My stomach was turning and I was texting my friends and brother to try calm my nerves. I eventually went to sit down, but as I did I saw him walking down, looking around for me through the crowd. I walked over to him, thinking how much taller he was, me being 5”2 and him 6”2. Gave him a kiss and a big hug. It was all feeling very surreal.

My brother text me saying that he couldn't get off work early, so wanted us to stay the night at his before driving back to Wales, so that he could give him the big brother talk. This didn't help calm his nerves. He's just flown 8 hours across the world, met me for the first time and now my brother wanted to interrogate him straight away. We got back to my brothers, watched some TV and waited for him to get home.

My brother can be very protective.

When my brother got back we ordered a curry and he said that he wanted to take him to go pick it up and pick up a mattress from his mother-in-laws. They were gone for around an hour and a half. It was obviously him wanting to interrogate him. Thankfully it all went well. He had the seal of approval from my brother and my sister-in-law.

I realise I'm getting far too in-depth so I'll try to cut out all the in betweens.

The real start to the vacation.

We spent 2 nights at my mums house in a snowy and rainy Wales. Not the nicest welcome to the UK. Then drove down to our hotel in Bradford on Avon. We were told we had a free upgrade to a deluxe room with free breakfast, so we were very happy. We had brought my Xbox with us, naturally, so straight away connected it up and played some Rayman Origins. That night we drove down to Bournemouth to see stand up comedian Omid Djalili, who some of you might know as Yusuf Amir in GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony. He was hilarious, one of the best stand ups I've seen. We started our drive back at around 11pm, it was a 2 hour drive through pitch black country roads, covered in thick fog. It wasn't the most relaxing drive.

We stayed in Bradford on Avon for 4 nights, walking around the town center and visiting Bath which was near by. One day we drove down to Stonehenge. It was amazing to see, but so bloody freezing in the middle of that field! Playing games and watching DVD's like Garth Marenghi's Darkplace. Whilst there, he tried his first ever Full English Breakfast. It was a delicious one too, so I knew he must like it. I was trying to dispel the stereotype of the UK having terrible food. Thankfully he agreed that it was delicious... unless he was just being polite.. though how could he not think that, Full English Breakfasts are amazing!

Me, taking it all in.
A delicious way to start the morning.

The Scary Indian Restaurant.

We had trouble finding places to eat near our hotel. We were walking past an Indian restaurant on our way home from the town center that we weren't sure was open or not. It was empty so we just poked our head in to see. Straight away the owner came over and took our coats, so we felt kind of obligated to stay. As he took mine he smiled and said “We don't get much service in here”...

He sat us down right in front of the window at the front of the restaurant, trying to entice people in we thought. He brought us our drinks and some popadoms as a starter. I was facing the door and noticed the owner walking out 3 or 4 times with a big cooler box and returning 5 or 10 minutes later. The kitchen staff were lingering around, looking round the corner at us. A hooded man walked out from the kitchen, staring at the floor as he walked past us and came back with a plastic bag containing food. We started worrying about where our food had come from, I was getting a bit paranoid, not wanting to eat it, especially it being chicken. Near the end of our meal the phone started ringing. The owner answered and started arguing with the caller saying things like “No, not one person! I don't owe anyone money!” We kept looking at each other awkwardly, whispering that we'll just ask for the rest to be bagged up so we could leave. The owner, still arguing, started saying “Don't threaten me, Justin!”. As soon as he was finished arguing, we called him over, said it was delicious and asked if we could leave.

Where did it come from??

Sorry this was such a long blog, but I thought it might be interesting to share our story on the website that we met on. Thanks for taking the time to read it, if you did. There's more to our story, I might blog about the rest of our vacation if anyone is interested at all. Thanks :)

#2 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3821 posts) -

@Napalm: Yeah, that's me. Good catch in the first post. Wasn't expecting that so quickly, haha.

#3 Posted by Little_Socrates (5694 posts) -

This was a cute read. I'm happy to see that there are people getting really close through GB, and even close enough to start relationships.

That said, did I miss the part where you guys were engaged? You referred to your siblings as in-laws, and I know that's probably just the easiest way to say it, but I just wanted to fact-check that bit.

#4 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

That was actually very sweet! I'm a little jealous.

#5 Posted by DuskVamp (681 posts) -

@Little_Socrates: No, we're not engaged. Sorry, I meant my brothers in-laws. They went to his wife's mums house to pick up an extra mattress, since it was an impromptu stay.

#6 Posted by Hot_Karl (3309 posts) -

I always find it really interesting when people find themselves getting close to one another on forums like this. I mean, you do have other ways of communicating (Skype or Facebook or whatnot) but still, it's not something you see everyday, Internet relationships.

This was a pretty nice little read though. Hat's off to the both of you.

#7 Posted by Jimbo (9937 posts) -

That was sweet and very ballsy of both of you. Well done! Duder must feel like he won the lottery - pretty gamer duderette and a chance at British citizenship ;)

#8 Posted by ShaggE (6636 posts) -

I love stories like these, thanks for sharing!

There's nothing like joining a website (or playing a game) and unexpectedly hitting it off with somebody.

#9 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@VinceNotVance said:

I always find it really interesting when people find themselves getting close to one another on forums like this. I mean, you do have other ways of communicating (Skype or Facebook or whatnot) but still, it's not something you see everyday, Internet relationships.

This was a pretty nice little read though. Hat's off to the both of you.

We'll find our loves one day, dude. Until then, it's just redheads in back alleys during late nights.

#10 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

I also met my girlfriend on the Internet, isn't the Internet just great? My friend lives 6 hours away from his GF (Wales - Sheffield), I live only an hour away from mine. (Warwick - London)

Best of luck with the long distance thing, may you come across many a cheap plane tickets.

#11 Posted by DanielComfort (157 posts) -

Totally adorable.

#12 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

See, I've always said this could happen. But eeeveryone usually goes "Nah, finding someone on the internet is never happening it's a myth"  
What a sweet story. 

#13 Posted by Hot_Karl (3309 posts) -

@Napalm: I find it funny that you specifically mentioned "redheads" to me. What alleys should I be searching for these mythical creatures?

#14 Posted by Getz (3140 posts) -

B'awwww.

Unfortunately I'm too much of an asshole on these forums for anyone to want to initiate 1-on-1 conversation with me.

#15 Posted by Vinny_Says (5721 posts) -

Jeff already said it once but GB really needs to get into this dating service thing.

#16 Posted by CheapPoison (743 posts) -

I got nothing of value to add here.. but i think it's pretty neat so!

Daaaaaaaaaww!

#17 Posted by VisariLoyalist (2998 posts) -

@Vinny_Says said:

Jeff already said it once but GB really needs to get into this dating service thing.

RYAN AND JEFF NEED TO GET TOGETHER ALREADY

#18 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

Technically, it should be Duderess.

#19 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4606 posts) -

Based on my experience with Indian restaurants, it sounds like you got off lucky, honestly.

Yay internet friends!

#20 Posted by BoG (5192 posts) -

This is adorable. GiantBomb is a magical place. Now, if only Sweep would let me take him out to dinner...

#21 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@VinceNotVance said:

@Napalm: I find it funny that you specifically mentioned "redheads" to me. What alleys should I be searching for these mythical creatures?

We had a very specific discussion in the redhead topic some year ago about redheads, asians and black girls. Or well, I think I introduced those to the equation. I think you just mentioned redheads.

#22 Posted by Ghostiet (5289 posts) -
@Vinny_Says said:

Jeff already said it once but GB really needs to get into this dating service thing.

DuskVamp and Wrighteous, are you ready to become the face of GIANT DATE?
#23 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3821 posts) -

@Little_Socrates said:

That said, did I miss the part where you guys were engaged?

That's just what I need. The whole mighty power of the internet asking the old "So when are you guys getting married?" thing, haha. No pressure, or anything.

@Jimbo said:

Duder must feel like he won the lottery - pretty gamer duderette and a chance at British citizenship ;)

I really do, she's cute, a gamer, and she's got a British accent! Thanks everyone for being so nice. I think we were both a bit nervous about "outing" ourselves like this.

@Getz said:

Unfortunately I'm too much of an asshole on these forums for anyone to want to initiate 1-on-1 conversation with me.

Chicks dig bad boys. Keep posting about your sweet tattoos and how your arms are all sore and muscley from waxing your motorcycle collection all day and you'll be set.

@MarkWahlberg said:

Based on my experience with Indian restaurants, it sounds like you got off lucky, honestly.

Without exaggerating, I'm pretty sure there was no kitchen in that restaurant. I think they just went down the road and ordered our food from another Indian restaurant. Considering he was screaming on the phone and kept being "threatened" I think that "restaurant" was actually some kind of British money-launderer.

Thanks again, everyone, for being cool about this. The concept of sharing this was a bit terrifying.

#24 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@Wrighteous86 said:

I really do, she's cute, a gamer, and she's got a British accent!

Why thank you.

#25 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3821 posts) -

@Ghostiet said:

@Vinny_Says said:

Jeff already said it once but GB really needs to get into this dating service thing.

DuskVamp and Wrighteous, are you ready to become the face of GIANT DATE?

We've jokingly discussed starting "The Giant Bomb Xtreme Girl Advice Podcast" together - we're not experts, but we thought it'd be a fun and funny thing for us to do together given how we started and since we're so far apart. If people don't totally rip apart the idea, we might give it a go someday.

Oh, and the obligatory:

#26 Posted by Hot_Karl (3309 posts) -

@Napalm: Whatever happened to that redhead thread? It was a good one. Back in the days before Brad was leaving and Will had his orgasm face or whatever.

#27 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@Getz said:

B'awwww.

Unfortunately I'm too much of an asshole on these forums for anyone to want to initiate 1-on-1 conversation with me.

If you still have a beard, we can stroke each others beards. Are you ready?

@VinceNotVance said:

@Napalm: Whatever happened to that redhead thread? It was a good one. Back in the days before Brad was leaving and Will had his orgasm face or whatever.

It was rezzurected a few months ago and then dropped sharply, again. I don't know, but we must contact immediately!

#28 Posted by PeasantAbuse (5138 posts) -

I hate everything, but this was a good read! Good luck with everything Wrighteous/Duskvamp

@Getz said:

B'awwww.

Unfortunately I'm too much of an asshole on these forums for anyone to want to initiate 1-on-1 conversation with me.

Asl? ;)

#29 Posted by mderbs311 (59 posts) -

Very nice read! It's always a pleasure to read stories like this, that tend to brighten my day, as it leads me to start thinking about all the romantic possibilities of my future! Thank you for taking the time to share it with us! If you are willing to make a part two, i would be willing to read it!

#30 Posted by Draugen (682 posts) -

Awww, bless. That's a sweet story.

#31 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

I think the feminine of duder would be duderess.

#32 Posted by dudeglove (8157 posts) -

Whiskey Media should give you a special t-shirt or achievement or dinner with Brad or something for hooking up.

#33 Edited by TaliciaDragonsong (8699 posts) -
@Napalm: You rang?
 
My apologies to the thread btw, I thought this was some older one but whoa!
This is super cute, awesome and amazing!
Congrats and may you collect many coins, dogtags and other collectibles together!
#34 Posted by believer258 (12102 posts) -

That is an awesome story. I'm glad you both found someone, good luck to you!

However, I can sympathize with this fellow.

@Getz said:

B'awwww.
Unfortunately I'm too much of an asshole on these forums for anyone to want to initiate 1-on-1 conversation with me.

If someone does this to me it's to argue about something. Luckily I'm much nicer in real life. I think. Maybe not.

#35 Posted by EvilTwin (3324 posts) -

Did anyone else immediately think Like Crazy?  This shit won't end well.
 
But in the meantime, enjoy the halcyon days you young lovers!

#36 Posted by NTM (7519 posts) -

Great, this just reminded me of 07... Depressing. It's kind of funny.

#37 Posted by SSully (4276 posts) -

What a great post. Its awesome reading mainly because I thought initial post about going to England was interesting. So seeing the other side of the coin is neat! Plus its a nice little story about two people getting together thanks to giantbomb.

Also nice because oddly enough I am also from Chicago and me and my girlfriends dream vacation is to London. I hope to make the trip someday soon!

#38 Posted by Yummylee (22295 posts) -

I read it all whilst listening to this and now I can't stop bawling like something just fell on my toe.... OK not quite, but it added a little something to it all the same ;P

#39 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3821 posts) -

@EvilTwin said:

Did anyone else immediately think Like Crazy? This shit won't end well. But in the meantime, enjoy the halcyon days you young lovers!

No lie, that movie was showing on my flight home. 2 hours after we kissed goodbye, I'm flying away from a girl I love, and then I see in Play magazine that if I turn to channel 5 I can watch a movie about an American guy in love with a British girl, and trying to make the distance work. This will be a perfect capper to the trip, I think. What serendipity, what a coincidence!

...I cried my fucking eyes out from the beginning of that film until the end. Luckily the plane was practically empty.

@NTM: 07?

#40 Edited by theredcoat24 (218 posts) -

cute story

glad to see I'm not the only American on this site with a British girlfriend

#41 Posted by BraveToaster (12588 posts) -

This whole experience sounds like a Seth Rogen movie just waiting to be filmed. On a serious note, it's cool that two people can have a relationship like this.

#42 Posted by CosmicQueso (572 posts) -

Oh man that's awesome... glad you all had a great time.

#43 Posted by NicksCorner (432 posts) -

Nice read, I wish you all the best :)

#44 Posted by mordukai (7184 posts) -

If this leads to a wedding then the GB staff have to come. Can you imagine, a GB table with Vinny, Brad, Jeff, and Ryan. Patrick can come too but no one is allowed to give him any alcohol.

#45 Posted by buzz_clik (7014 posts) -

@DuskVamp: N'awww, you guys are cuter than a basket of buttons.

Also, I want curry now.

Moderator
#46 Posted by EvilTwin (3324 posts) -
@Wrighteous86: Lol, I know what you mean.  Depressing as fuck.  Just don't overstay your visas and everything will work out I'm sure!
#47 Posted by PixelPrinny (1030 posts) -

Aww that was a cute and touching story :D Well... 'cept maybe for the scary restaurant part, but that was just funny from an outsider's perspective lol Best wishes to the both of you~

#48 Edited by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

I met my fiancée (only 3 months until I'm calling her something else) when my ex-girlfriend's friend accidentally added her to an MSN chat, and we were online (then phone friends) for a few months before finally meeting. People get weird when they find out we met online, but fuck em, it's becoming more and more common every day.

I'm really happy for you guys and have no doubt that you will make it work. It is a beautiful story.

#49 Posted by Getz (3140 posts) -

@Napalm said:

@Getz said:

B'awwww.

Unfortunately I'm too much of an asshole on these forums for anyone to want to initiate 1-on-1 conversation with me.

If you still have a beard, we can stroke each others beards. Are you ready?

You have not yet realized the depths of my readiness...

#50 Posted by Equal_Opportunity_Destroyer497 (560 posts) -

Very heartwarming story. Hope things work out well for you both. And I suddenly have a powerful lust for some breakfast...