Jenifer and Vincent

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How We Met

Vincent and I were high school friends in Garden Grove.  2016 will be 20 years of knowing each other.  We had the same mutual friends but never really talked.  He recalled saying that he was interested in me in high school but I always had a boyfriend so he never had a chance to ask me out.  After high school, Vincent lived his life and I did too.

Vincent went to the Navy and served for our country for 8 years while doing AMP for the Navy.  I went to school and pursued my education in Child Development and became a teacher.  I picked up the trade of being a wedding florist along the way working as a free lancer during the summers.  During the Navy, Vincent moved all over the world and he travel to many different countries such as Japan, South Korea, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Guam and Iraq.

After serving in the Navy for 8 years, Vincent moved back home to be with his family.  Thanks to Facebook, Vincent and I reconnected.  I loved to bake at that time.  That phase in 2011, I was making red velvet cupcakes, pumpkin pie and macarons which lured Vincent to talk to me.  Years later, he told me he doesn’t like desserts but it was just an ice breaker for him to get to know me.

We started talking and he asked me out on three different occasions.  One was Valentine’s Day but I was so oblivious of it all I didn’t realize it was Valentine’s Day.   He asked me what I wanted to eat and he took me to my favorite restaurants in Orange County.  I love it when a guy wine and dines me but I didn’t think anything of it.  He took me to Javier’s in Newport Beach, Anqi in Costa Mesa and Charlie Palmer.  I thought he was just being nice and wanted to take me out.

Keep in mind that I am a girl with not many girl friends but my close friends are all guys.  So I thought he wanted to climb up the friends ladder as well.  But this man was persistent and he asked me, “Will you go out with me?” And all three times, I denied his request and gave him a lame excuse, “Oh! I don’t want to be in a relationship, ” “I don’t want a boyfriend,” “I see you like a friend and brother.”

One night, Vincent invited me to his birthday through Facebook, but I didn’t want to go because he didn’t invite me personally via text or phone call.  So, I didn’t plan on going but my sister called me and invited me to go hang out with her since she was bartending that night at the bar that Vincent threw his birthday party.

So I decided to go hang out with my sister and keep her company.  That night was weird because all his friends knew that he liked me and gave me this weird look, but I didn’t get the memo that he did.  I didn’t think too much of it.  We had a great night with drinks and it was a blur to me.

Towards the end of the night, Vincent didn’t want me to drive so he told his brother to drive my car and that he would drive me home.  I fought and refused but Vincent was persistent.  I sat in his car and he held my hand, finger through finger and I thought, “What the heck is going on?” I asked him questions and was confused.  He then had enough courage to say, “I like you Jenifer.” Vincent said that Hennessy gave him the courage to say that.  I was oblivious and didn’t know that he really liked me.  From then on, we were inseparable.

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How He Asked

As a matter of fact is, I think our proposal is the best proposal ever. I promise, It’ll be well worth the read. Let me tell you a more descriptive story about what happened. I hate surprises. I always instigate and find out what the surprise is and Vincent always loves surprises but I always tend to kill the surprise. It’s just my nature. I can’t help it. I always find out before the surprise actually happens, but Vincent is still persistent about surprising me. I’m a hopeless romantic and good thing Vincent is too. I love cheesy pickup lines and Vincent has the best ones that always makes me smile. His corny jokes that no one laughs at, I’ll laugh at.

During this trip, Vincent hasn’t been the most pleasant person to travel with. He keeps on complaining and I’m more of a free-spirited person going with the flow kind of person with no cares of the world. That’s because I’m on vacation. I like to enjoy myself that way. So…here goes.

We went on a Catamaran trip on Wednesday, and I don’t do too well out to sea because I get motion sickness. But knowing me, I don’t let anything stop me from doing what I love, which is going out on adventures, exploring, seeing the world and nature. If you know me, I’m a big sucker for animals. I might be scared to touch them but I fight for animals rights and I take into consideration of our world.

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After we got off the catamaran, they stopped by an island called “Isla Mujeres.” The Captain had told everyone on the boat directions on what to do but I was sleeping because the Dramamine made me sleepy. I asked Vincent, “Did you hear all the instructions he said?” Vincent nodded. I asked him, “What time do we have to meet back at the catamaran to go snorkeling?” Vincent said, “1:50.” Vincent asked the captain, “Is it safe to leave my backpack on the boat?” The Captain said, “yes. Nothing will happen to it.” So we left our personal belongings on the catamaran and took only what we needed, which were our wallets, selfie stick and phones.

Being the care free person that I am, I wanted to rent a golf cart to drive around the island, and Vincent just wanted to stay in the area to sit down and snack and drink. I didn’t want to snack because I’ll be full for lunch. So I persuaded Vincent, “Let’s grab a couple of drinks and drink and drive while we go around the island on the golf cart.” Vincent always gives in to me so we left the dock.

We drove around and fed sea turtles at an aquarium and drove back to the loading dock. Vincent was worried because it was 20 minutes left for us to be back at the dock. He wanted to go back on the same road we took to get back but we drove 40 min off so I told him no, make a full circle because we are closer to the dock by continuing the road. Even though we had a map, we still didn’t know our way around the island. Vincent listened to my instructions and continued the road. We made it to the loading dock at 1:30p.m. I told him, “see? We made it 20 min before they’re going to leave.”

We got to the dock but the catamaran was no where to be found. OMG!!! Where is catamaran number 9??? Where did it go? Now Vincent was flipping out yelling and blaming me that it was my fault. I started to get frustrated and yelled back at him. I tried speaking Spanish to the people on the island but my Spanish is so limited. I didn’t know how to say boat or catamaran in Spanish. OMG! We were so frustrated. Lost, hungry and not knowing the language is so difficult.

We found the captain’s team mate, we asked him, “Where is Julio?” He said, “Julio left the island to go snorkeling?” Vincent and I started to get even more pissed. We said, “Julio told us to be back at the loading dock at 1:50 and we are here 20 min early at 1:30 where is he?” The team mate said, “He left at 1:15 not 1:50.” GOSH DANG IT!!! Vincent said, “I thought he said 1:50 not 1:15.” Then I started flipping out and blamed Vincent. “It’s all your fault we missed the catamaran because you heard 1:50 and not 1:15.” But then again, the captain had such a strong accent, Vincent didn’t hear him correctly. Then Vincent said, “If we hadn’t listened to you and listened to me and just stayed at the dock we would never have missed the boat!” Blaming each other didn’t help the situation at all.

I started walking another direction and Vincent went the other direction. Then I thought, damn, Vincent doesn’t have his phone on because due to internationals calls. So I followed him. We didn’t know how to get back on our catamaran and get back home. We were so flustered and our anxiety really hit the roof.

The team mate came back to us and was on the phone with Julio. Thank God. Julio told the team mate to tell me and Vincent that we needed to go to an exclusive restaurant on the island but that we need to get a taxi to get there. So we tried to flag down a taxi but there were no taxi’s available. So we had to walk to a taxi stop area. We told the taxi driver to take us to the restaurant. He took us and Julio still wasn’t there yet. Vincent and I sat at the table in silence because if we opened our mouth, we would say things we would regret or hurt each others feelings. I gave him a few minutes to cool down but he was still outraged. About an hour later, Julio came to the restaurant and docked there with the rest of the group. Seeing the group was a big sigh of relief for us.

We came back to our hotel and talked it out. But I still blame Vincent for having us miss the snorkeling and the catamaran.

That night we had dinner reservations at 7:00. Vincent was so tired I tried to wake him up but he wouldn’t wake up. We were late to our reservations and got down stairs at 7:30. Luckily, they said they weren’t busy, they let us in.

Friday came and that morning, Vincent said, “I’m going down stairs to check on breakfast.” I told him, “Wait for me.” Vincent said, “No. I’ll just go for a bit and see what they have and I won’t eat and I’ll come get you.” I thought, ok something is up but, “ok.” I nodded. I let that go. All we did was hang out at the pool and I did my homework online. It was dinner time and Vincent said, “They replenish snacks for us in the hotel.” I told Vincent, “No. If you eat it they will charge me!” Vincent said, “No. It’s free. If you don’t eat it then they won’t replenish it, so eat it.” Ok I thought, fine. Vincent, “I’ll put it in the backpack if you want the snacks.”

I started doing my homework and all of a sudden I felt a sudden urge to snack so I went to his back pack. I opened it up and grabbed the bag of peanuts but to my surprise, I saw two red boxes. I said, “What is that?” Vincent played dumb. I said it again, “I want to see! What’s in the red box? What is it?” Vincent said, “Oh nothing.” And smiled. Knowing me, Vincent knew I would go in his backpack again to find out, so Vincent said, “I’ll be back” and took the backpack with him. That was suspicious.

After he got back to the hotel, I gave him the stinky eye and kept on asking. I wouldn’t drop it. Vincent said, “Don’t worry about it. It’s nothing.” Ok. I’ll let it go. Vincent said, “Get ready for dinner.” I thought, um…its really too early to get ready for dinner. It was 6:30 and our dinner reservations was at 8:00. But oh well…I got done with my homework and I got ready.

I had a feeling that it was going to be important so I put on my make up and got dressed. We walked down stairs and we walk by the jewelry store and I told him, “Oh look at the beautiful rings!” Vincent gave me a dirty look. Hahahaha We went to the bar and grabbed a couple of drink and it was 7:56 p.m. I was talking to another couple and Vincent abruptly cut me off and rushed me that we had to go. I thought, that’s funny, we were late to another reservation before and he didn’t care, how come tonight we can’t be late? That was suspicious.

We walked outside but towards the buffet area. I told him, “NO MORE BUFFET FOOD! I’M SICK OF IT! I CAN’T STAND IT ANYMORE.” Vincent assured me that we weren’t eating the continental American/Mexican food anymore. He said, “Wait here.” He then blind folded me, but there were many steps I had to take. Vincent decided not to blind fold me anymore because it wasn’t safe because we had a couple of drinks and I could fall and hurt myself because I’m accident prone.

We walked down towards the beach and there was an empty table for two with tiki lights lit, with a candle lit dinner, rose petals all scattered on the floor and a big heart written on the ground of the outside of the table. Just like in the movies. I thought, “Oh wow! This is romantic!” We sat down for a while and no one came.

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Vincent left the table and told me that he was going to tell them that we were here and that we are ready. So I sat patiently waiting for him. Then the waiter came and he said, “CONGRATULATIONS!” I said, “For what?” The waiter said, “oh por nada!” and played it off. I thought, hmm…something is fishy here. Then the waiter said, “For a romatic dinner for two in the moonlight.” I laughed. Vincent came, and I told him what had happened. Vincent then gave his phone to the waiter and told him to take pictures and record.

Vincent said, “Oh look babe. Something is on the ground. It says something. But it was too dark for me to read it. So Vincent read it to me, “I love you.” I said, “That’s sweet honey. Thank you.” then he got down on one knee and silence, nothing came out of his mouth. I said, “Wait! What? Don’t do this now!!!” Vincent, “babe?” I could not believe my eyes, Vincent was down on one knee and he finally said, “Will you marry me?” And I forgot what and how I was suppose to react and my body just froze because I’m in shocked about what I should be doing. Vincent, “Um…say something.” And the waiter is still taking pictures of us. Hahaha I said, “yes! Of course!”

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Vincent was down on one knee and he finally said, “Will you marry me?” And I forgot what and how I was suppose to react and my body just froze because I’m in shocked about what I should be doing.

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Vincent, “Um…say something.” And the waiter is still taking pictures of us. Hahaha I said, “yes! Of course!”

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As we ate our dinner, which were lobster Vincent said, “Will you be my lobster?” I thought, “Why?” Vincent told me that lobsters mate for life.

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I never knew that. I had to call my sister Liz to ask her because I didn’t know that. Hahaha

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During our dinner, Vincent told me the reason why he was so mad about the Catamaran leaving was because he had left the ring in the backpack on the boat. He had no one else to put it in the hotel because he was afraid that I would see it. Now I understand why he was so upset.

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Hahahah The reason why Vincent left in the morning without me was because he had to finalize the dinner reservations. He thought of many different ways on how to propose and the beach manager said to slip it in my champagne. Vincent said no. Good thing he said no because knowing me, I’ll probably chug the champagne and swallow the ring whole!

Towards the end of our night, we walked up to the hotel, I screamed so loud because I saw something moving in the dark. I thought it was a big spider! But to my surprise, it was a baby turtle trying to find it’s way back into the ocean. I told Vincent to help me pick it up to put it back into the ocean because I was scared. Then we saw 2 more sea turtles. Vincent grabbed two and handed me one of the sea turtles. (I’ll show you the video later). I grabbed one sea turtle and we placed them on the sand and the sea turtles swam into the ocean. That truly was the topping of the best night of my life.

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What a wonderful man I am about to marry. A man with many surprises. Although we have our ups and downs, I know that in the end, our love will conquer anything and we can surpass anything life throws at us. Thank you so much for making my life always interesting. Can’t wait to spend my whole life with you my love, my best friend and my adventure in life.

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Special Thanks

erik | 
photographer