Ashley and Michael

How We Met

Michael and I met when we were about 9 years old, in the year 2000. Our families knew one another and we would see each other at different parties over the years. In fact, one summer we spent a weekend together with our families in Long Beach Island, New Jersey. We jet skied, water tubed, went to dinner, and hung out in the backyard together. At this point, I was probably in the 4th or 5th grade, and I had a major crush on Michael. I would get so excited when I knew I was going to see him. I would run to the bathroom to fix my hair and make sure I looked OK when I saw him. Everyone knew I had a huge crush on him. I used to write about him in my diary and would always talk about him to my friends. He was my childhood crush. Over the years during middle school and high school we lost touch and did speak or run into each other.

Ashley and Michael's Engagement in Napa Valley, California

Fast forward to 2009, we both wound up getting accepted to Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. We spoke a little bit on Facebook about how we were both going to the same school and we exchanged numbers. A week before we left for college, we ran into each other at a house party in our hometown of Staten Island, New York. We briefly said hello and spoke for a few minutes about how we were so excited for Quinnipiac. The very first night of college we saw one another on the shuttle line going out to the bars. After that night, the rest is history. We continued to call/text/see each other almost daily and started dating and fell in love. We would go out every weekend with our friends and would even travel back to Staten Island together for long weekends/holidays. I could not believe my childhood crush was now becoming a reality. We were very lucky to spend our college years growing together and working towards our careers. We both graduated undergrad in 2013. I stayed for another year for my masters and he moved to Blacksburg, Virginia for medical school and graduated in May 2017. Reuniting at Quinnipiac lead to our beautiful 8-year relationship.

Where to Propose in Napa Valley, California

How He Asked

In early 2017 I planned a trip for us to visit my brother in San Francisco, California. I booked our flights and also arranged for us to spend a night in Napa Valley and visit some wineries. I figured this would be a nice way to celebrate Michael’s graduation from medical school. I was very anal about the trip. I planned all of the winery tours, booked a hotel, rented a car, and made many dinner reservations. Most importantly, I typed out a full itinerary for the week ahead of us. However, little did I know, there was one key detail that was missing from my extensive planning.

On the second day of the trip we headed to Napa Valley, checked into the hotel, and went on our way. Our first stop was Silver Oak Vineyard, where we tasted some wine and saw some really cool bottles. Next, we headed to Castello di Amorosa where I had arranged a private tour with tour guide Marla.

We spent most of the afternoon on this tour, going to each and every part of the beautiful and unique castle. We learned and saw a tremendous amount. Michael was so excited to video most of the tour on his GoPro and we also stopped to take several pictures. After about an hour, the tour guide told us she wanted to take us to a great picture spot at the very top of the castle and then we would go downstairs to taste some wine. “Go up those stairs, take a picture, and come back down to meet me,” she said. We walked up the stairs and turned left. There was an open area with some tables and chairs and some other castle visitors. We didn’t like this spot for a photo and figured we were in the wrong place. We walked back and turned to the right this time. There it was- a beautiful breathtaking view, perfect for a picture.

He set up the GoPro and told me it was going to take a picture of us every 5 seconds. We posed, then hugged, then kissed, and then he started talking to me. I was so confused and tried to go in for the hug because I wanted more pictures. Again, he started talking to me and telling me he had wanted to do this for a while. I was still confused and thought he was just trying to be romantic on our vacation. All the sudden he got down on one knee, pulled out a ring, and asked me to say yes. I truly could not believe it and was in total shock.

It was a beautiful day and was more than I could have ever imagined! He did an amazing job!!! We got to spend the rest of the trip celebrating as new fiancés. When we came home, we had a small gathering with our closest family and friends to welcome us home from the best trip of our lives!

Our Video

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