Brandi and Max
How We Met
We met in February of our freshman year at UC Santa Barbara (2008), outside of the De La Guerra Dining Commons. We had both gone to Late Night meal with our friends and sat at tables next to each other. Max had seen Brandi around campus and Santa Barbara throughout the year but was always too nervous to say anything. Because the year was almost coming to an end, he knew this was his last chance. So after we both left Late Night, Max ran up to Brandi outside of her dorm and told her “I think you’re really cute.”
After a few months of getting to know each other, and bonding over our similar big-family and growing-up-in-the-ice-rink backgrounds, we started dating. We’ve made our home in the San Francisco Bay Area with our rescue pup Olive and will be married just after our 10th anniversary.
How He Asked
MAY 7, 2017, For our 9th anniversary, we decided to vacation in Puerto Rico. On the day of our anniversary, Max planned to take Brandi to the Island of Vieques to see the wild horses and spend some relaxing hours in paradise. The morning of our anniversary, we rented a car from San Juan and drove to Fajardo. From there, we took a 1-hour ferry to Vieques. After a failed attempt at biking uphill with the high temperatures and humidity, a local tour guide drove us to the South Side of the island to where the most beautiful secluded beaches are.
Neither of us had seen water so clear. Almost every beach we had to ourselves. Always exploring, Max suggested we take a secluded dirt road to Playa Navio, known for its hidden caves. After making camp in a shady hideaway sheltered by palm trees, Max made his move.
“DO YOU KNOW YOU’RE THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME? THEN THIS SHOULD COME AS NO SURPRISE…”
As we sat together on the sand, newly engaged, we talked all about the planning Max had done leading up to this moment: asking my parents for their blessing, picking out the ring. It was so romantic knowing we were the only two people in the world who knew that we were engaged to be MARRIED!
A few hours later, we decided to head to Esperanza for lunch. It was a long walk back, almost 1.5 hours. Luckily, a local named Luis “Ras,” offered us a ride in his big red truck on his way to work. As we blasted reggae in his car and admired all of the horses hanging out on the beach, he was the first person we told about our engagement. He dropped us off at Duffy’s, where he worked as a cook.
Naturally, we stayed for some fish tacos and a drink to celebrate. As the ferry to take us back to Fajardo drew near, we walked along the water at Esperanza, trying to take in every moment of this beautiful island.