Our Love Story

It all started on Valentine’s Day in 2010 at the San Jose International Airport in Costa Rica. Christina had stalked the message boards for their study abroad program and knew some mysterious boy by the name of “Jeff” was arriving at 12:53pm on Delta and was looking to share a cab. She didn’t have a photo or a phone number, and had not mentioned to him that she wanted to meet up, so she did what any normal person would do: stand directly in front of the only exit to Customs and yell “JEFF!” at any male between the ages of 14 and 57. After numerous confused and skeptical stares from non-Jeffs, “the” Jeff finally appeared (with an equally confused and skeptical stare).

After sharing a cab from the airport, they learned that they would be living only a few streets apart for their 6 months abroad. They naturally agreed to walk to and from class together every day and through these 20 minute talks formed a mutual crush. After travel, dancing, bus rides, beaches, ziplines, and parties, they stumbled into an accidental, yet wonderful relationship that was never meant to leave Costa Rica.

Flash forward to senior year of college back in the US, they found themselves spread apart between North Carolina and New York. They flew, they drove. They laughed, but they also cried. It was a hard year that almost ended their story early (mainly because Christina was a big princess), but Jeff didn’t give up on her (despite his better judgement). However, Jeff decided he wasn’t waiting around, and when he landed his first job in NYC, he told Christina to move up or give up. Christina took her sweet time, but eventually decided to jump in.

Their first year in New York City settled all the doubts. The easy, spontaneous, loving and supportive relationship they had started in Costa Rica was rekindled. They explored their new city, made new friends and started a life together that was worth committing to. Christina stayed at NYU for medical school and Jeff continued his software engineering work with Carrot. They moved into a studio on the Lower East Side, which has become their tiny and loving home for the last 5 years. They expanded their family into three with Anchovie the bun, and created many fantastic NYC adventures and memories.

Despite being lucky enough to have a comfortable life in a safe place, they craved to see more of the world, and learn about different cultures and lifestyles. And they had grown so much from their first trip abroad, they wanted to see how much further they could push themselves. In 2015, they left to travel the world. They visited 5 continents and 27 countries together. They worked on farms and communes and in hospitals and jungles and mud pits together. They hitchhiked and fixed flat tires together. They were stretched and challenged, and in every moment there was positivity and patience and support and laughter and love. That’s when Jeff knew he found the “one” (Christina was a little ahead of him, guys!)

The weekend of their return home to the US (coincidentally on Valentine’s Day weekend exactly 6 years after they met), Jeff took Christina on a special date. On the way home (while their entire families watched from a rooftop above), they took a chilly stroll through Brooklyn Bridge Park (a special place to them both) and Jeff got down on one knee and proposed. Christina said “are you kidding?” due to him giving her a fake wedding ring that was actually a mug like 4 years ago, but then “yes, of course!” And the rest is history!

Christina’s Story

Born in Gainesville, FL to Jay and Susan Brown. She’s the oldest of three with two brothers (Anthony and Michael). She was a girl scout, soccer player, competitive swimmer and lifeguard in her youth. Although Christina initially aspired to be the person who paints the lines on the road, she eventually switched her goal to medicine.

She went to Davidson College because it was a small school and found her way into a Sociology major. She studied abroad in Costa Rica in college to improve her Spanish. After college she worked in the ER as a medical scribe in NYC before starting medical school at NYU (possibly because some boy convinced her NYC was a nice place to live). She’s been trucking away at medical school ever since and is going to start Pediatrics residency this June!

Christina loves romantic scavenger hunts, and has a hard time pressing the right elevator buttons, telling you whether she likes chocolate or not, knowing right from left, and with the English language in general. But despite these quirks, she is a wonderfully brilliant person who brings great wisdom, love, and laughter to anyone lucky enough to have her as a part of their lives.

Jeff’s Story

Born in Needham, MA to David and Dianne Escalante. He’s the oldest of three with a brother, Mike, and sister, Lily. He was interested in music from an early age, playing saxophone in jazz bands for more than 10 years, as well as drums, piano, and guitar. He ran cross country, played ultimate frisbee, and was a camp counselor in high school.

After graduating high school, he attended Hamilton College, a small liberal arts school in upstate New York, and ended up as a Neuroscience major. During college, he freelanced as a graphic designer and very amateur web developer, and DJ’d professionally. His love of brains and technology led him to programming. Jeff also studies abroad in Costa Rica, where he met Christina and took a programming course, which he failed.

He moved to NYC after college to start his first job as an intern at Carrot Creative, because they were the only employers crazy enough to hire him given his questionable/non-existent credentials. Luckily, they took a good risk, and he has been exploring and growing as a programmer ever since, and was able to reach a senior position within a couple years. Currently, he works primarily on open source tooling and workflow, with a variety of physical installations and a bit of management and business development sprinkled in.

He loves baby bunnies, and dreams of someday creating a robot that will make custom pancakes. Jeff is excited for his next adventure with Christina and for becoming a part-time farmer and/or construction worker in their hopefully newly acquired backyard.

Bridal Party

Lily Escalante
Family roller skating date in Costa Rica
Lily is basically a professional ballet dancer, and Christina once was a ballet dancer, but not for long.
Needham, MA
Needham, MA
Erin Epstein
Freshmen Biology Class at Eastside High
Erin and Christina were terrified of each other at first sight.
Gainesville, FL
Jacksonville, FL
Alanna Ford
Orientation at Davidson College
Alanna rescued Christina from the side of the highway after a car accident.
Cumming, GA
Washington, DC
Nami Patel
Pre-Medicine at Davidson College
Nami taught Christina to love spicy food, and also saved her life at least once.
Chicago, IL
Chicago, IL
Nina Tschinkel
Lifeguarding at Davidson College
Nina gave Christina her first (and fanciest) home in NYC.
New York, NY
New York, NY
Kristen Hayashi
San Jose International Airport in Costa Rica
Kristen met Christina within minutes of meeting Jeff. She is also a member of the illustrious tripod.
Danville, CA
Boston, MA
Elena Delvac
Roommate at Davidson College
Elena disapproved of Christina’s college cooking habits, but to this day is the first person to call on both the good and the hard days.
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Lucy Flournoy
Adopted Roommate at Davidson College
Lucy lived with all boys senior year, so she became the fifth official roomie of 003 (Christina’s College apartment).
Columbus, GA
Dortmund, Germany
Mike Escalante
At birth!
Mike was Jeff’s first best friend, except for when Jeff tried to swindle him out of all his toys, which happened regularly.
Needham, MA
Needham, MA
Anthony Brown
Jeff’s First Family Christmas in Gainesville
Anthony is a troll at heart like Jeff, and also an accomplished freestyle rapper.
Gainesville, FL
Gainesville, FL
Michael Brown
Jeff’s First Family Christmas in Gainesville
Michael and Jeff are strangely similar people, except that Michael reached maturity at a significantly earlier age.
Gainesville, FL
Davidson, NC
Adam Vorchheimer
Freshman Dorms at Hamilton College
Adam enjoys throwing pumpkins off balconies, and losing bets on the superbowl to Jeff, which lead to unfortunate situations 😉.
Summit, NJ
New York, NY
Florian Suermann
Taking classes at the University of Costa Rica
Florian is key member of the International Anti-Brothel League, an organization that opposes brothels and works to ensure that no decent people ever attend them or make use of their services.
Dusseldorf, Germany
Berlin, Germany
Carl Sednaoui
At a tech meet-up in NYC
Carl joined Jeff and Christina in riding the NYC subway in their underwear.
Paris, France
New York, NY
Jason Knebel
At a tech meet-up in NYC
Jason loves reciting facts so much that his friends made up a drinking game where they drank when he stated one.
Severna Park, MD
New York, NY
Barry Cheng
At a tech meet-up in NYC
Barry has attended every Halloween Party that Jeff and Christina has thrown in a fantastic costume.
Fort Lee, NJ
New York, NY (by way of Fort Lee, NJ)