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  • 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 :)

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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..

(2011-2017)

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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.

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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.

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Time passed and we continued living.

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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.

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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<