Finding love at a Petworth bus stop

Petworth residents Staci Maiers and Christopher Woods at Ali'i Kula Lavender in Kula, Hawaii.
(photo: Kimberly Bloede Photography)

When Staci Maiers and Christopher Woods agreed to go out on a first date, they hadn't met in person yet, so they thought they'd meet up for the first time downtown at a fancy restaurant. Instead, they accidentally met at a bus stop nearby their homes in Petworth on the way to the date. Turns out, they only lived only a few houses away from each other. And the rest, as they say, is history. 

As way of some background, I first met Chris Woods many years ago at Domku, and in chatting over a few beers we discovered we had something in common. My house. Seems Chris and his then wife had put in a bid to buy the house that my wife and I were also bidding on at the time and that we ultimately purchased twelve years ago. Fast forward almost a decade, and Chris, then a divorced father of two beautiful kids, was living in a home near Grant Circle. I would run into him and Staci at the Grant Circle Socials and around the area. She's awesome and he's a great guy; together they make an adorable couple.

Staci Maiers is a relative newcomer to Petworth, having bought her house at the end of 2013 and moving in on New Year's Day 2014. They started talking online a few months later in May on a dating app and quickly clicked. When they agreed to go out on a date the next month, they knew they both lived somewhere in DC, but neither realized just how close they actually lived to each other -- literally right around the corner from each other. 

"I had been living in Petworth for just six months when the bus stop meeting happened," Staci said. "Although I take mass transit all the time, I had never taken that particular bus so I had no idea what the schedule was like." 

That awkward first date meeting at a bus stop led to a marriage last month.

Their story was recently covered by The New York Times in their Mini-Vows section, and it's too cute of a story not to share.

Petworth bus stop love stories can turn into dream Hawaii weddings....
(photo: Naomi Levit Photography)

From The New York Times article:

...Mr. Woods, on his way to their first date ... was doing a double take. “I walk over to the bus stop and see a beautiful blonde woman standing there and think to myself, ‘Wow, that looks a lot like my date,’” Mr. Woods recalled. “As I’m getting closer I’m thinking, ‘No, it can’t be.’”

Ms. Maiers, who was wearing flip flops — her high heels were still in a plastic bag — was mortified.

“I was going to do my last-minute prep on the bus,” she said. “I turn around and see this 6-foot-3-inch guy who looked exactly like he did in his online photo, and I was shocked. Oh my goodness, it was so awkward. It completely threw me off of my game.”

Despite the awkwardness, they decided to skip the bus and take a cab, making their way to a restaurant.

Their paths seemed destined to finally cross.

"Years ago when Chris got his MBA at George Washington University, he lived on Belmont Street in a group house, and I was living in my condo on Chapin Street in the Meridian Hill neighborhood. We were half a block away from each other back then -- and never met.” Then many years later in Petworth, their houses were five doors apart on the same side of the street (near Varnum and Grant Circle).

"Chris and I have been together for nearly three and half years," Staci said. "We first met online and had our first date on June 20, 2014. We were engaged on May 9, 2016 at Chateau de Fere-en-Tardenois in France, and our wedding was Thursday, September 28th in Hawaii." 

So how did their story end up printed in the New York Times? Staci filled out a form on the Times' website about their upcoming wedding, and a reporter liked their story and contacted them to ask if they could feature it. 

"I filled out the Vows submission form for the New York Times and told our story of how we met," Staci said, explaining how the story was picked up. "The reporter (Vincent Mallozzi) wrote me and said he thought our story was 'warm' and wanted to feature it in the Mini-Vows section. I mean, who runs into their blind date at the bus stop before the date even begins?"

"We moved in together and are still in Petworth." They're now living in Chris' house and renting out her house. 

Just a nice story of love, Petworth-style.

Read their full story on The New York Times website... and if you see them on the bus, say hi.

(photo: New York Times / Rachel Thornton Photography)