Jenny and Christopher
How We Met
We first met at a Colombian restaurant. I was so nervous! I acted silly and after realizing the restaurant was packed I suggested we go to another location about 15-20 minutes away. I drove in front, fast. I just wanted to get there and get to know him better. He drove behind thinking that I was a little crazy and probably trying to ditch him. On the way there, we went through a toll. I erroneously assumed that he had a toll pass. I looked back and he was not there. I thought I gave the wrong impression and he left.
Lucky for me, he made it through the toll, for which he later got a ticket (oops!) and finally met me at the restaurant. I am so glad he still was willing to have dinner with me and listen to me ramble about myself and my life growing up in Colombia. Always a gentleman, even walked me to my car. Needless to say I was dazzled, I had to see him again somehow! I told him I had an extra ticket for movie and my girlfriend couldn’t make it so maybe he could go with me. Obviously, the movie ticket was already for him, but I couldn’t let him know that. However, I am sure he figured it out, he is brilliant after all. surprisingly, he agreed to it.
We watched “San Andreas,” a movie so bad it was hilarious, we laughed and joked the entire movie. It was instant infatuation… if I was a cartoon I would have had hearts in my eyes. He then suggested we go for a walk around the lake down a few blocks. He told me about being in the track team since middle school and all the way through college, how passionate he is about the mountains, he told me about his family and how he has moved 10 times since 2007 (now 11) and about his work as a sports editor. I was so intrigued that I didn’t even notice we had been sitting outside and talking for hours… it was three in the morning! After that, he asked me to a proper date, picked me up of course, like the gentleman that he is, we had a great dinner and we have been falling in love ever since.
How He Asked
If there were to be a competition for most elaborate proposal, Christopher would win first, second and third place. But thing is, he did not do it to win anything other than my heart (which was already his). He planned an intricate scavenger hunt to express how he feels for me, or in his own words, “to show [me] how valuable [I am] and that [I am] the one who he will give [his] everything to.”
It began with a clue I received during a visit to our dentist that pointed to the restaurant where we had our first date. I thought it was a sweet and creative way to ask me out on a date, and since he is a romantic I didn’t think much of it. After we had dinner, the waiter gave me an envelope instead of the check which had a second clue that pointed to the movie and to the nearby park with a lake where we had our second date. He had tickets bought, seats picked for “everything, everything.” Very fitting since he is my everything.
As promised, we went for a romantic walk around lake Eola and right in the middle of our conversation some guy interrupts us and starts talking to Christopher. I have to admit that I felt annoyed that our moment was interrupted but that annoyance only lasted for a second because this happened to be Christopher’s old roommate and he was there to deliver my third clue! Unfortunately I had no idea what it meant but with a little help, I found out he was taking me on a surprise trip to Memphis!!
Since we had agreed to take a trip to celebrate our second anniversary and he said he would take care of it, I assumed this is the purpose, our anniversary. He told me to pack for cold, hot and fancy things. Once in Memphis we arrive at the most beautiful hotel I have ever seen. The Peabody and its duck march is majestic and elegant and so much more than I could ever expect. I got my next clue there, which to my surprise said that we were meeting his aunt Jenny (great name right?!) and his cousin Austin the next morning and then go explore the city.
The next morning we arrived to his aunt’s house. Aunt Jenny and her daughter Austin made us feel so loved and welcome, they even had an incredibly delicious brunch laid out for us to enjoy together. During our conversation, they asked me what brought us there so I explain the experience so far. Welp! aunt Jenny gets up and brings me an envelope with my next clue! It said I could not open it until the next day so of course the curiosity was killing me but this was too magical, I couldn’t ruin it.
We went around Memphis, went to Mud Island and then to the zoo where we had so much fun.
I don’t know which one we enjoy more, animal watching or people watching. In the middle of the zoo visit, Christopher told me I could open my envelope now, so I did. My next clue said we have another adventure and this time we’re going to San Diego, his #2 city. I have to admit that I broke down in tears, I was overwhelmed with love and gratitude for this wonderful man.
Before we left Memphis, we did have to go to a fancy dinner, after all, I was told to bring a fancy outfit. So we went to Restaurant Iris. Definitely a very romantic evening. Next morning comes and we arrive to San Diego. Obviously, our first stop was In-and-out, which if you don’t know, if the best fast food burger ever!!
We then went to the aquarium. I have a weird fear to eels, and he took the chance to scare the life out of me, but the back of the aquarium has the best view of the endless ocean, so I couldn’t stay mad.
From there, we head over to our hotel, the Marriott in Coronado Island, and then guy at the front desk just gives me a smirk and an envelope when I asked for my key… yes, it was my next clue! This one said that we were having an adventure kayaking with sea lions and then watching the sunset over the Pacific together.
It was my second best experience during this trip, just the most magical day, especially if you add in the fact that after our kayaking experience we went to a park “to walk around” and a friend of Christopher’s randomly comes up to us and hands me another clue.
My next clue said that we are going to yet another city, this time it is none other than Christopher’s favorite place in the world, Denver, Colorado.
Again, the waterworks because how can you not feel your heart overwhelmed with love with these kind of surprised. We finished our stay in San Diego by watching that promised sunset and having a romantic dinner under the stars, in front of the ocean at our hotel.
The next day we arrive to beautiful Denver. It is definitely just as beautiful as he has described, with lots of 18ers (mountains for rock climbing), some of which he has climbed a few times. At this point we are pretty tired, so we just spent the day relaxing, walking around in the area and enjoying each other’s company. The next day we went indoor skydiving, because it counts when you are afraid of heights like I am. After that, we went and had dinner at the Marriott where we were staying.
At this point, I feel kind of anxious because I haven’t received any other clue and I don’t want this scavenger hunt to end. Christopher obviously picks up on this, as he can read me like a book, and tells me that I may find some extra direction when I go back to my room. I ask for the check and head to my room where I rush through the door and can’t find any clue anywhere. Turns out it had been left under the door and I totally stepped over it… oops!
Once I got to the clue, and Christopher stopped laughing at me, I was able to read it. The instructions were that I had to go rest because we had to leave at 3.30AM the next morning.
I was a bit apprehensive, but at this point I have to know. The next morning, Christopher drove us about 2 hours towards the mountains. I was asleep of course, so I am glad he is a very experienced driver. We made it to 5 miles before the very top of the mountain and had to stop short of the top due to snow.
We got lucky and happened to stop at this beautiful lake. It was surrounded by snow, which I had never seen before, and all of nature was asleep still. I got into my parka and we walked around, talked, held hand and laughed together as we watched the animals come out and a set of baby birds learning to fly and land on the water. We then sat down on this bench and just took it all in as the sun started to rise over the mountains. In my mind, I am just wondering if this is really my reality or if it has been a wonderful dream I am about to wake up from; and then… and then I hear the sweetest words come out of his mouth: (I can’t remember the exact ones but it was something like this)
“This is what I wanted to show you, for you to see how the sun rises over everything and nature wakes up back into life. This is what our relationship is. It is a new beginning in our lives, for us to start our life together. I love you, Jenny, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” To this, I responded, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you too, I love you.” So then he said, “well, then I just have to make sure that you never go away… he then went down on his right knee and said “will you marry me?” I started to cry and said “yes, forever!” but then he thought I asked if it was forever, so we laughed and I said, YES! I want to marry you, and be with you FOREVER!!
As we were about to leave, it just so happened that another couple was there with a professional photographer for their anniversary and once we told them that we just got engaged, they agreed to take our photo so we have the best pictures of the moment we got engaged!
On our way down, we are laughing and holding hands, elated and in-love, all I keep asking myself is, how did he do this!?! How was the timing so perfect!? I still don’t know, but I do know that he must love me at least as much as I love him to have planned all this just for me.
The next thing is, of course, to call my parents and let them know of this huge surprise. The surprise turned out to be for me because they already knew, in fact my whole family knew. Turns out that Christopher had a lovely letter translated to Spanish (since my parents do not speak English) and he video-called my parents to ask for my hand in marriage about 2 weeks before our trip. The act of a true southern gentleman.
Once the excitement settles down, I get to admire my ring, and it is just the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. It fits my personality so well, and how could it not?! Christopher designed it himself, with the help of a friend of his who is a jeweler, just for me. He picked the most flawless diamond he could and even added the sapphires that I love, and happen to be my birthstone. Of course, the wedding band is included and it matches the ring – I cannot wait to wear it!
Finally, I got my prince and he is giving me an experience way better than any fairy tale, better because it is real life and when I wake up he is still my reality and I could not be any luckier. And oh, the cherryon top… he got us first class tickets on the plane back home, because his bride to be deserves nothing less than that. He even wore the T-shirt I got for him when I graduated PA school, which says “Sorry, this guy is already taken by a smart and sexy Physician Assistant.”
If this is not the best engagement story then I do not what is. I am the luckiest girl in the world, to have met this wonderful man and to somehow have earned his love and devotion. I pray I get to spend the rest of my days getting to show him how much he means to me each and every day.