• Victoria Chadsey

Falling in Love from The Gulf to the Pacific <3

Updated: Apr 3

"Plenty of other fish in the sea" ... "Just wait, the right one will come around when you least expect it"... All these sayings you hear can start to take a toll, creating an impatient heart and igniting your curiosity on why you haven't yet found that "Cant stop smiling, pinch me, Lost without you" Kind of Love.

This is a story, so if you are not into the talk story vibe you can pass by this blog now; but if you are interested in what I call true love then continue on reading...

Josh Riccio, the one I saw walk the halls of our high school and knew of as the "island kid" 2 grades above me who skim boarded, surfed and always seemed to have a beaming smile on his face. The one who graduated from our highschool (Manatee High School) and did something I had ALWAYS DREAMED OF; Josh moved out to Maui, Hawaii.

I didn't know much about Josh, yet I did know that we shared a ton of friends in our small hometown of Bradenton, Florida.

Josh and I both grew up surfing the beaches of Anna Maria Island, same crew of friends, same peak of waves... YET we never crossed paths with any sort of conversation. He was just another Island Kid in our awesome community of outdoor activity seeking kids :)



Years past by now, both of us growing into who we are today. Going to college, meeting new friends around the world and enjoying life. All while still connecting with family and friends back in Bradenton and visiting home as we could... still never crossing paths.. Josh now living his life out in Hawaii and myself working as a manager for Marriott Hotels and living out what I thought was my dream at the time..




A few years continued to pass and I was living in my own home back in Bradenton, working hard at my career and continuing to live that "Island life" surfing, fishing, diving and cruising in the boat with my dad and brothers any chance I could! Without getting into to much details a very unfortunate thing came about in my life... my father, my best friend, fishing buddy and man who taught me so much about the ocean had passed away due to a battle with cancer. I was completely broken. My heart was SO FULL of love with my dad around, we went on outdoor adventures before school. after school, on the weekends on college breaks and everything in between; little to say a man that was ALWAYS there for me.


During this time...friends reached out, my family stood by my side... & then an angel sent me words from a man I hardly knew.

Thinking to myself two things...

1. WOW, Josh Riccio messaged me :)

2.WOW, What an awesome guy to show sympathy and emotion to a girl he has only seen in the hallways of school and out in the lineup surfing..

From here we had a nice light conversation, concluding with Josh inviting me out to Maui "If you ever need some clear Pacific water to practice your breath holds, you have a friend on Maui" ... If only you could have seen my jaw drop reading that message and imagining myself with that cute island guy I knew from grade school... An amazing text to receive yet at the time too much to think about so that dream just seemed to float around.



Time passed and we continued living.



3 months later Josh had a trip planned back home to Florida for the Surf Expo in Orlando, Fl. Strong force winds, rain and Hurricane Irma decided to blow through during his trip, cancelling his Surf Expo and bringing him back to his hometown in Bradenton on Anna Maria Island to help his family prepare for what was forecasted to be the storm of the decade! ...Word got out that THE Josh Riccio was in town and low and behold that storm passed and brought our home break some Gulf Coast SURF.



YES SURF is here and so is Josh Riccio, a perfect time to message him and catch some waves!

ME:"Heard that you were in town, you going surfing?" ... Within seconds that typing bubble popped up and Josh and I made plans to meet up for a sunset surf session.

>Fun Log waves at 3 piers<

As the Sunset Surf session came to an end we played it cool, smiling ear to ear we both said "see ya in the morning to check for waves"...

*Pearl Riccio Photo
Paddle Boarding- Anna Maria Island

... The next day Josh and I crossed paths again the next morning at the beach, glad to see each other showing up for the morning surf check it was hard thinking about anything else, yet the surf was flat. It didn't take Josh long to convince me to join him for a paddle boarding adventure. (At the time I knew he was the SUP guy out in Maui, yet I had no idea how talented, competitive, committed and successful he was with his paddling career) So little to say I was impressed with his set-up, gear knowledge and setting me up with everything I needed at the drop of a hat with this spontaneous first day date of ours :) Skipping through some details to describe the BEST first date I have ever had; If you know me you know I LOVE ACTIVITIES and our date went a little something like this...

In order of activities:

1)Paddle-boarded with Dolphins chasing mullet, headstands on the SUP, selfie photos, sunshine and glassy water.

2)Invited me inside for a fresh made smoothie (Extra Peanut Butter :)

3)Headed out on beach cruiser bikes and rode through the streets on the island we grew up on..

4) Rode the bikes to a secret coconut tree spot he knew of, where he scaled the side of the palm tree and got me a coconut which he opened up from a corner of a sharp rock. This is where I drank from my first ever fresh-off the tree coconut.

5)I then had to go to teach my outdoor bootcamp class and yoga class... then you know who showed up to both my group fitness classes that evening, JOSH. (I was shocked and unbelievably excited)

6) After the fitness classes we grabbed dinner at our favorite local spot POPPOS and brought it back to my house.

7)Closing the night watching the stars on the roof of my house, where he then gave me my first true love fireworks of a kiss goodnight.

Talk about a first date, this will be a day I will never forget; Refueling my heart <3


Jack Johnson Concert 2017

Time passed and Josh's travel plans back to Maui got pushed back by several months; a week after our first date we went to a Jack Johnson concert and on the way into the concert...Josh officially asked me to be his girlfriend..WOW someone pinch me at this point.

After these amazing moments we were having Josh decided to stay in Florida for a little while longer and moved in with me into my house. Life was great, yet deep down all along I was thinking about life in Maui and taking a break from where my heart was weighing heavy missing my father at every turn in Florida. So low and behold after 5 months dating in Florida, the decision was made to MOVE TO HAWAII. I quit my job, rented out my house, loaded all my things into a storage unit, packed 2 suitcases, shipped my car to

Shipping my car FL--> HI

Maui and was beyond nervous and excited about the adventure that was soon to unfold.

Skipping through a few points (Check out my other BLOG post "Lucky to Live Hawaii"

for more details on my experiences in Maui.



Fast forwarding to the present moment, I have now lived in Maui, Hawaii for 2 years and I AM BEYOND grateful. Maui has magical powers of healing, instilling a lifestyle of living in the present moment, supporting others as a part of your own ohana-family, providing amazing connections with nature, peace and an active lifestyle. This is where true love has led me too today, living my dream in Hawaii. Now owning and operating my own recreational activities business "In-House Retreats", spending time daily in the ocean where I connect with my waterman of a father, and feeling the love and presence of my guardian angel from my true love Joshua Matthew Riccio.

Waterfalls In Maui

Love in the Pacific Ocean

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