WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Brian Lapersonerie works at a watercraft company in Sebastian. He walks the shoreline near the inlet a lot and remembers the moment Sunday when he came across a rum bottle on the beach.
"And it looked like there was something in it," he said, "and sure enough it was a message in a bottle."
It was a note that Memphis newlyweds Steven and Ashley Walko had penned on their honeymoon on Grand Bahama some 150 miles away.
Off in a kayak they went one week ago, rum bottle and message in hand. Steven said, "We went ahead and stuck the note in it and sealed it with nail polish to keep it from leaking while it was floating along and hurled it off the kayak."
Ashley Walko loved the romance of it all but said, "We really didn't expect it to come back, and we didn't expect it to come back this fast."
But come back it did--moved by the ocean current and, for the romantic in all of us, propelled by love and hope too. The message Lapersonerie found said, "We threw this bottle near Fortune Beach. If you find it please write to us."
The couple even included money for postage but Lapersonerie found them via Facebook and they talked about a newfound friendship.
And for Ashley and Steven--who meet strangers every day in their work as emergency medical technicians--the bond is one they will have forever. Ashley said, "I feel it was a really good sign from above, the universe or whatever you believe in. Somebody thinks this was the right thing."
A fairy tale ending they will remember for a lifetime.