Thanksgiving, a holiday that brought them together, is a significant occasion for Richard and Dina even though they don't live in the US.
Dina Honour was hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in November 1997. For Dina, it had been a difficult year after a breakup. Richard Steggall, 25, was a Brit visiting New York for the first time with a friend whose brother lived in the city. Richard and his friend went to the Thanksgiving party along with the brother who was Dina's friend. Dina was surprised to see her friend bringing 2 guests along. "I was not happy," recalls Dina to CNN. "But then I got a look at him. And I said 'Okay.'"
"I didn't know what Thanksgiving was at the time, to be honest, I had no idea," says Richard today. "Growing up in the UK, I was vaguely aware, but I had no idea of the significance of the holiday whatsoever."
Upon arriving, Richard first noticed that showing there uninvited was a bit of a faux pas. But he also fell under Dina's spell right away. During dessert when Dina offered a slice of pumpkin pie and some whipped cream, a traditional delicacy for Thanksgiving, Richard was happy to accept it because he had never tried it before. The two got to talking and realized they had a lot in common.
When Richard had to fly back to London, he was accompanied by Dina. They said their goodbyes on the platform of the subway and Dina recalls having a sense of assurance when the train's doors shut. "That's the man I'm going to marry," she recalls telling her sister.
Dina called him the very next day, and Richard broke up with the girl he was seeing back home. After many long-distance calls, Richard felt like seeing her again. He called her over to the UK for Christmas. Richard and Dina made their way to his parent's house on the morning of December 26, a British holiday known as Boxing Day. Dina was "holding court," drinking and conversing with his relatives. "My parents were so happy that I had met someone, and it was clearly love from the start -- and I think they will tell you that they could completely see a change in me, and see how happy I was," says Richard.
In the spring of 1998, Richard visited New York for three months. The long summer days they spent together solidified their resolve to stay together permanently. Richard also got an amazing job opportunity working with the UN, and the two started living together.
Thanksgiving marked the beginning of the couple's tale, which continued at Christmas. They started a new chapter in their relationship on New Year's Eve 1999 when Richard popped the question. "I believe I accidentally kicked him in the shin in excitement," she says.
The Manhattan Penthouse on Fifth Avenue in New York City served as the location for the couple's wedding in April 2001. Richard and Dina continued to enjoy their lives in New York after a "wonderful" honeymoon in Australia, eventually welcoming two boys. Richard's work first took him to Cyprus, and then to various places abroad.
By the year 2022, Dina and Richard have settled in Berlin. Dina is an author and editor, while Richard continues to work for the UN. There's Some Place Like Home: Lessons From a Decade Abroad, a book by Dina, who is an author now, was released in 2018.
Thanksgiving is still a significant occasion for Richard and Dina even though they haven't lived in the US in almost 10 years; after all, it was the holiday that brought them together. "The kids know the story, it's become part of our family lore," says Dina.
"We still spend hours and hours and hours talking," says Dina. "Dina offering me that pumpkin pie was the start of that conversation, which has now been going on for 25 years," says Richard.
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Dina Honour