Engagement story: Heather Landis and Jordan Devries

April 29, 2013

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Mason County Press introduces Bridal Stories. Engagement, wedding and anniversary stories will be posted on Mondays, with the deadline on Friday. For details, click on the link in the sub-menu.

Our debut Engagement Story is Heather and Jordan.

She and 23 Cubans were muy contentos.

Heather Landis and Jordan DeVries took a trip to Key West to celebrate their fourth anniversary as a couple. Jordan surprised Heather with a trip to the Dry Tortugas National Park.

When they arrived on the island, they discovered they were the only people camping overnight. When the tourist boat left, they discovered they had the island to themselves.

As the sun began to set they made their way to the top of Fort Jefferson and he surprised her with a bottle of their favorite wine from Cedar, Michigan. Heather poured two glasses of wine and when she turned around there was a rainbow over Fort Jefferson and Jordan was on one knee. She said, ‘Yes’ and they enjoyed the sunset engaged not knowing another adventure was only hours away.

At 3 a.m. Heather was awoken by an incoming storm, Jordan went outside the tent to tie down their rain gear and the two began to hear voices. Heather was still in the tent when the voices got closer and ran past the campsite only to return in seconds yelling, ‘Gringo! Gringo! Gringo!’ Jordan grabbed their marine radio and pretended to call the National Park Service as three men approached him as others continued to run past the campsite.

Jordan tried speaking to the men but his Spanish only excited the men and they began speaking faster and faster. Knowing Heather was still in the tent he walked the group away from the campsite and continued to try to speak with them. When Heather heard the voices of women and children she decided to exit the tent and try to find a park ranger, who resides inside Fort Jefferson.

As they tried speaking to the group they discovered that the visitors had no idea where they were. With no electricity or running water, Fort Jefferson is a very rustic camping experience and as no English was understood it was difficult to explain why this large structure was present on such a small island. Not knowing if they would understand Heather said, ‘National Park?’ one of the men’s eyes lit up and responded, ‘USA? USA?! USA!!!’ she said, ‘Yes’ for the second time that night and this time brought just as much excitement.

The man began to leap up and down screaming, ‘Happy! Happy! Happy!’ others kissed the ground, stomped their feet. When Jordan and Heather returned from their trip as a newly engaged couple they were able to share two very special stories regarding the joy of starting a new chapter of life, their own as well as that of the 26 Cubans.

Heather is the daughter of Phil (and Sue) Landis of Manistee and Cindy Lentz of Whitehall. She is a 2004 graduate of Whitehall High School and received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in history from Grand Valley State University and a Master of Science degree with a major in historic preservation and urban planning from Eastern Michigan University. She is employed by the City of Scottville as the Main Street manager.

Jordan is the son of Steve (and Cindy) DeVries of Bourbonnais, Ill. and Rosemary (and Jack) Meyer of Douglas. He is a 2002 graduate of Saugatuck High School and received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Grand Valley State University. He is employed by the Mason-Lake Soil Conservation District in Scottville as administrator.

Jordan and Heather are planning an August 2013 wedding along the Little Manistee River in Stronach, Michigan.

WSCC: I am