Message in a Bottle


If you're spending this Valentine’s Day wondering how you can find that one true love, here's the story you need to see. It is a most amazing tale of a young woman who went looking for a pen pal, but found true love, and how she did all this will astound you.

Our story begins here at Virginia Beach. It is March 1986.

20-year-old Iantha Blair of Terre Haute was walking the beach alone when she stumbled across an empty wine bottle. That night Iantha wrote a message, put it in the bottle and sealed it tight.

“I went out on the beach and just threw it as far as I could throw it,” she said.

That's the original note Iantha is reading, but how could she 25 years after she threw that note and the bottle in the ocean?

Enter Bryan Horning. Turns out in 1986 Bryan was a sailor stationed in Norfolk, Va. He and some buddies were walking the beach 25 miles down the ocean shore from where Iantha had tossed the bottle.

“We seen something out in the water flashing,” he said. “We said well lets race out there to it and see who gets there first.”

Bryan won that race and back on the beach he discovered the note inside. On a dare he wrote back to the young woman who'd put that message in a bottle, and that’s where this story gets even more interesting.

Bryan included his photo. Iantha took one look and thought, “He’s hot!”

That one letter soon turned to regular letters, which soon turned to regular phone calls, which of course soon turned to 'I can’t live without you'.

Soon after they met face-to-face. By this time they say, they’d already fallen in love.

“And he ran out, picked me up, swung me around and hugged me and gave me a kiss,” Iantha said.

It was as they say love at first sight, which of course is very romantic, but that was 25 years ago. Could all that 'message in a bottle' romance stuff stand the test of time?

Twenty-five years, and two kids later... yeah, it was real.

These days, Iantha and Bryan laugh about how they met, and they’re still trying convince friends that the really did meet in a bottle.

“I say, ‘oh I met her in a bottle’,” Bryan said. “They say ‘oh you got drunk, did ya?’.”

“Once you say bottle, letter, ocean, then you have to say the rest of it so I just don’t go into detail,” Iantha said.

But Iantha and Bryan decided they would go into detail, just this once, so the rest of us could know the real life story of a young woman who put a message in a bottle.

Maybe a reminder to all of us that once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale.

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