Love in Vienna - IES Abroad Alumni Garland & Brenda

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Jill Kruidenier
February 13, 2014

Garland and Brenda Reiter met on the IES Abroad Vienna Program in Spring 1975, but their romance didn’t begin there. In fact, Garland dated Brenda’s roommate for a while. The fateful moment that reconnected them wasn't until the following summer, when they bumped into each other while traveling separately around Europe with friends.

Brenda explains, “My friend saw him at a restaurant in Paris and they decided we should all go out together the next night. Garland ended up joining us traveling to Barcelona, Ibiza, and Formentera for several weeks.”

The couple had stayed in touch while they finished their studies—Brenda at St. Lawrence University and Garland at Santa Clara University. After graduation, she worked in New York City and he went to work for his family farming business. A few visits back and forth and pretty soon Brenda decided to move to California. Six months later, they were engaged and got married in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey in October 1978.

Although they didn’t date in school, Brenda says it’s nice to have common memories. They returned to Vienna once many years ago; though, Brenda comments, “It had changed a great deal by then. More vibrant and a lot more young professionals.” They are looking forward to going in September for the IES Abroad reunion.

Today, the Reiters live in Santa Barbara, California and have three sons. Garland owns a large farming operation growing berries for Driscoll’s and Brenda does part-time interior design work. As for their 35+ years together, Brenda says the key is to, “Find time in your busy lives to spend time alone together.”

She continues, “Having common interests really helps whether its skiing, hiking, traveling, camping etc. It helps the bond and is wonderful when kids come along that you all can enjoy something together. Also, communicate!”

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Jill Kruidenier

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