A Perfect Pandemic Love Story: The Bayluses
By Taylor Binnix Baylus and Alycia Edwards
"When the world shut down" in March 2020, Taylor Binnix and Danny Baylus were living alone in their respective homes with their respective pets. That June, they connected via an online dating platform. Prior to their first meeting, Danny had been on many first dates with women he met online, but Taylor’s first experience with online dating was at the start of a life-altering global pandemic. Neither of them expected success with online dating… that was, until their first date, which lasted an incredible six hours.
The limitation of "distractions" such as group outings and public events allowed Taylor and Danny to get to know each other quickly, yet meaningfully. They merged households in February 2022 when Taylor moved from Baltimore City to Danny's home, just north of Timonium. In summer 2022, the couple threw a large, outdoor "engagement" party in Patterson Park (Baltimore City). Taylor recalls, "Our guests were surprised when we announced that our engagement party was really a surprise wedding! Danny proposed immediately when we arrived. Everyone applauded. Then our brothers ushered our guests to take their seats and proceeded to emcee our wedding ceremony on-the-spot. Our nieces threw flower petals in the grass, and we recited our vows with nearly 200 attendees as witnesses. We had a spontaneous, casual, fun, special, thoughtful, beautiful, and unforgettable wedding celebration! We ended the night with a delicious beer-and-pizza reception at a nearby brewery." The Bayluses travel often. They enjoyed visits to Cancún, Mexico in 2020; Pawley’s Island (South Carolina), Rehoboth Beach (Delaware), and two cruises in 2021; and Disney World in 2022. A Disney cruise is forthcoming in summer 2023. The couple shares, "We are exploring options for our honeymoon. We would like to go somewhere exotic where we’ve both never been. We’re considering a river cruise on the Rhine in Europe, or a wild animal safari in South Africa, or seeing volcanoes in Iceland!" Their love of travel runs so deeply that Danny has made it his career; he is a Travel Advisor for AAA Mid-Atlantic. Danny says, "My love for travel started with a family trip to Ireland in 2014. I've always had a passion for helping people. Finding a job helping people plan their vacations of a lifetime was a dream come true. Every day is different. I love the challenge and excitement of customizing experiences in unique ways based on clients’ needs and preferences." As for Taylor, she is employed by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as a Research Program Manager. Her research focuses on suicide and mental health, specifically, the socioenvironmental predictors and impact of suicidal ideation, suicide death, and suicide clusters among adolescents. She elaborates, "With my interdisciplinary training and first-hand experience supporting a loved one through a suicidal period, I am committed to using evidence-based decision-making for translating research into action steps for preventing suicide. In my professional role, I support a diverse team of researchers in management and outcomes of large international multicenter NIH-funded clinical trials." As for hobbies, Taylor is an avid ultimate frisbee player and dancing enthusiast. She enjoys learning, crafting, traveling, socializing, and supporting others. Indoors, she likes cozy relaxing evenings with sweet treats and delicious beverages, and inspiring bursts of energy for organizing and creating. Outdoors, she prefers long runs, adventurous bike rides, and intimate nature hikes. Danny is a baseball enthusiast, brewery connoisseur, and home-cooking extraordinaire. He and his friends formed a recreational softball team in 2017; since then, the team has played in over 15 softball seasons and won six championships. On weekends, Danny enjoys exploring breweries locally and around the state. At home, Danny is the master chef; he is creative in the kitchen, always incorporating interesting spices, finding new recipes for at-home date night, and experimenting with cooking techniques (air fryer, roasted, grilled, instapot, slow cooker, etc.)
But perhaps the Baylus' most important role is pet-parenting to Bear (a German Shepherd mix), Royal (a grey tabby cat), Addie (a tortoise shell calico cat), as well as many fish. Taylor reflects, "While the pandemic was devastating to society in many ways, we are grateful that it brought us together. We are excited about being rooted in the greater Baltimore area, and we are eager to see what the future has in store for our family."
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