Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

From This Day: Patricia Cvejkus and Joshua Candamo

TAMPA ó The big box wrapped in Christmas paper didn't impress Patricia "Trish" Cvejkus as Joshua Candamo kept ribbing her to open the gift he'd bought her.

"We were celebrating at his mother's house on Christmas Eve, and his 3-year-old niece was opening her gifts and showing each one to me," said Cvejkus, 33, a lawyer who lives in Carrollwood. "There was so much going on I just thought, 'Really? You want me to open this, now?' "

Josh was persistent, though. Trish pulled off the wrapping paper to find a gift she needed: a large jewelry box. Inside the bottom drawer was a ring box.

"I got down on one knee and everything," said Josh, 37, owner of a tech consulting firm. "The only person I told about the proposal was the cameraman, so everyone was silent as she opened the drawers and then they were all excited. There were a lot of tears."

After getting engaged on Christmas Eve 2013, the Candamos were married on Jan. 24 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in front of 160 family and friends. Most traveled to Tampa from Trish's native Pennsylvania or Josh's home in Caracas, Venezuela.

"We had a bilingual ceremony so that all the guests could understand," Trish said.

The Spanish language was one of the many things Trish and Josh discovered they had in common when they met in April 2011 at the 13 Ugly Men White Party held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

"I saw him over there with his friends, and I just inched my way over to him to meet him," Trish said. She made such an impression that Josh followed her when she left, sneaking into the VIP area to keep hanging out. He invited her to the after-party, and the connection was so electric they decided to go on a proper date the next time they met.

"She is very caring, funny, smart and just a wonderful person," Josh said. "Family is a big part of my culture, and the fact that she is close to her family and was willing and happy to be close to my family is what drew me to her."

Traveling and having active dates such as kayaking and hiking strengthened Josh and Trish's bond. He suggested they consolidate households, and they moved in together the month before he proposed. Trish brought her two Rottweilers, Zeus and Athena, who are now 9, and the adjustment was less than graceful for Josh's pristinely landscaped back yard.

"Within a few days, I didn't have any grass or plants," he said. "It was one of those things where you just throw up your hands because there was nothing you could do."

Eventually, a friend offered the solution of fencing off one area of the yard just for Trish's big babies, and that plan got Josh his lovely yard back.

"That was the only thing that was not great when we moved in together," Josh said.

The couple picked the first available 2015 date on Sacred Heart's jam-packed calendar and set to work planning a Tampa-themed reception at the Davis Islands Garden Club. Tables were named after Tampa Bay area landmarks such as the DalŪ Museum and Ybor City. Flamenco guitarist Andrťs Rieloff, a friend of Josh's, flew in from Chile to perform the couple's first-dance song, Besame Mucho. Whisky flowed and everyone devoured every drop of Trish's favorite, lobster bisque, before the dance party moved from Davis Islands to the Sail at the Tampa Convention Center via a water taxi with a "Just Married" banner on the rear.

Trish and Josh cut out early to complete their wedding photo shoot, returning to the roof of the Floridan Hotel with all the lights lit up and overlooking the Tampa skyline. In one of the last photos, Josh scoops his bride into his arms and kisses her during a big dip under the sign.

"Josh is always trying to get me to do my best or better," Trish said. "And he loves me as much as I love him."

Comments
Where to find kid-friendly, not-so-scary Halloween fun

Where to find kid-friendly, not-so-scary Halloween fun

Spare the gore and take the kids to these family-friendly Halloween parties planned at theme parks and attractions in the coming weeks.Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writerCreatures of the Night at ZooTampa The weekend nighttime Halloween party at...
Published: 09/18/18

Tell Me About It: Busy couple seeks ways to downsize for the future

Q: Over a decade, my salary has tripled (Iím quite well-paid now), my work hours and responsibilities have increased, and ó because Iím so frequently tired or short on time ó my "outsourcing" has increased, too. Think: frequent takeout, a dog-walker,...
Published: 09/18/18

Tell Me About It: Parents want bully brother to be his best man

Q: Iím getting married. Thatís awesome. However, my parents want me to ask my brother to be my best man. The idea of letting my brother, whoís spent his whole life being the biggest jerk he can manage, stand up and give a speech about me makes me wan...
Published: 09/17/18

Tell Me About It: Mom is frustrated by teenís dislike of academics

Q: I have a 15-year-old son who is obviously bright but hates school. My husband and I canít helicopter him to success because (a) we donít want to be helicopter parents, and (b) he has developed ninja-like skills when it comes to evading any attempt...
Published: 09/14/18

Tell Me About It: In search of ways to stop the family over-talker

Q: During extended family get-togethers with my side of the family, there is one person who does 95 percent of the talking. When I ask someone else in the room a question about their lives, this person always jumps in and takes over the conversation ...
Published: 09/13/18
Busch Gardens reveals plans for Tigris, Florida's tallest launch roller coaster

Busch Gardens reveals plans for Tigris, Florida's tallest launch roller coaster

Busch Gardens will open Florida’s tallest launch coaster in spring 2019, company officials announced Wednesday. The triple-launch, tiger-themed roller coaster called Tigris will hurl riders 150 feet into the sky, turn them upside down and swirl...
Published: 09/12/18

Tell Me About It:

Mom-to-be decides who will join her in deliveryQ: I am six months pregnant with my first child. Iíve been fixated a bit on who to have in the delivery room with me, I think because itís one of the few elements I can control in this pregnancy. Should ...
Published: 09/12/18
Tampa’s first KittyCon is coming, and cat lovers are purring

Tampa’s first KittyCon is coming, and cat lovers are purring

Kitten Lady and the owners of Cole & Marmalade will be at KittyCon.
Published: 09/11/18

Published: 09/11/18

Tell Me About It: Momís support shouldnít sacrifice her principles

Q: My 27-year-old daughter recently broke up with her live-in boyfriend. Now she wants me to tell her Iím on her side of every dispute.Itís her life, sheís an adult: Got it. But should I really be expected to tell her she acted well when she didnít? ...
Published: 09/11/18