Bogart and Bergman. Gable and Leigh. Wimmer and Vitello.
This is the story of a modern day fairy tale set in Cloverdale, and not one you’d see on Supernatural or Smallville. It starts with Candice Wimmer, a 2005 Lord Tweedsmuir grad who met her current husband, Mike Vitello, while in her sophomore year at tiny Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia.
“I played softball and Mike played baseball,” she says proudly.
Wimmer spent her freshman year at Tallahassee Community College and transferred to Thomasville for a sports scholarship. There, she met Vitello, who is from Florida but was at school in Georgia. (Yes, it’s confusing.)
After graduation, and after dating for two years, they parted ways – but only physically – when Candice was forced to move back to Cloverdale.
“She came home thinking she’ll never see this guy again,” said Kathy Wimmer, her mother. “She was down in the dumps for a while, and she decided to go away.”
Candice went to Dubai, trotting around as a flight attendant for two years while Vitello was in Florida. They kept in touch via Skype and the occasional plane trip. When she returned to Canada, Mike flew up and proposed, and the two never looked back.
“Everyone says it’s like a fairy tale story, but I just think we grew up a lot when I was gone,” she said. “When we were apart for the two years, we just realized we needed to be together.”
Wimmer and Vitello currently live in Orlando, where he works in sales for a company called Altria. Vitello’s parents live in Flagler Beach, Fla. (near Daytona) and Wimmer’s parents have just moved to Chilliwack.
“I think we’ll be here for a while,” says Candice, admitting she doesn’t mind the Florida sun. “Cloverdale’s home, I miss the mountains, and it’s beautiful… I don’t miss the rain.”
As for her parents, Kathy and Kim, they can’t wait to see her again. Kim is planning on retiring soon, so the pair plan on making plenty of trips to visit their daughter in the Sunshine State.
“We’re both really sad because it’s a tight-nit family and she’s daddy’s little girl,” said Kathy. “We wish her well… but, she’s on the other side of the continent.”
Luckily for them, they won’t have to wait long.
Candice (now 25) and Mike (26) were legally married in a court-set ceremony in January, and their actual wedding is planned for September 29.
“He’s a good guy and she’s happy,” said Kathy. “I’m thrilled.”
*contributing editor to the Cloverdale Reporter