Jessica and Patrick

Where to Propose in Whittier, Alaska

How We Met

It was September 1, 2014.

Patrick was on his way to Anchorage from Seattle where he spent the weekend at a friend’s bachelor party.

Jessica was headed home to Anchorage from Phoenix (by way of Seattle) where she and a friend took a much needed girls trip.

Jessica was seated next to a crying little girl – directly across the isle from Patrick. (This is going to be a LONG flight, they thought).

On a full flight, Patrick had the entire row to himself. He invited Jessica to sit by him. They spent the entire flight sharing stories, laughing, and ‘getting drunk on a plane’ – cue the Dierks Bently song now.

That night, Patrick asked if he could take Jessica to dinner.

Since then, Patrick and Jessica have enjoyed traveling to new places, cutting a rug at all the weddings (13 to be exact), countless concerts and Broadway shows, and spending time with friends and family around the fire pit in the backyard. They are looking forward to their big day and all the others to follow.

How He Asked

From Her Perspective:

We went to Whittier under the pretense of going camping for the weekend. We had never been to Whittier together, nor have we been on the ocean in the whaler, so it sounded like a great time. The night before we left, Patrick told me to “pack warm and bring layers because it’s going to be miserable, but it will be the BEST WEEKEND EVER!” I thought those were very conflicting statements, so I asked how he could guarantee that. He couldn’t and I thought no more of the conversation.

Once in Whittier, we had to make two trips with the boat; one to drop off the camping gear and shrimp pots and a second to transport me and Andrea to where we were camping. While the boys were making the first trip, Andrea and I were at the Whittier hotel having *a drink*. Andrea pointed out a bottle of liquor called Green Siren. We couldn’t tell if it was Vodka/Gin/Tequila/Etc., so we asked the bartender and instead of telling us, he poured us a shot. Turns out it was absinthe! On an empty stomach, Andrea and I split the shot of absinthe and a cider and a half. By the time the boys got back we were feeling pretty good!

We got on the boat and found Patrick in his underwear, soaking wet. Apparently the boat washed up and was lodged on some rocks, so he had to get into the water to break it free. We made it to the beach we were camping at and set up camp. Then Patrick tells me he wants to take me “to this really cool beach.” So off we go… or so I thought. Before we could go to the beach, we had to pull the shrimp pots they dropped earlier. That was quite the ordeal. After what felt like an hour of going in circles while Andrea and I bailed water out of the boat; the pots were pulled and we were on our way. By this time I’ve had two cans of wine (equal to a bottle) so my memory is a little hazy, but I do know we get to the beach and it was BEAUTIFUL! You can see Whittier from one side and the open ocean from the other. Patrick asked Ben to take a picture of us and while I’m oblivious – posing for epic Alaskan adventure pictures – Patrick starts talking to me… he pulled his hand out of his bibs to reveal a white box as he got down on one knee and said “Will you be my wife?” I immediately started crying and 10,000 questions ran through my mind at that instant, but the only thing I could verbalize was “are you sure?!”

From His Perspective:

I didn’t tell a soul. The only person who knew was her dad. He helped me with the whole process of buying the ring. I got the ring and the next weekend I was thinking we were going camping for Memorial Day. Ben called and asked about camping, so I invited them, not really thinking about my plans. (My original plan was for it to be just me and her, but then I thought ‘she wants pictures’ so I let them tag along). I didn’t tell Ben until the moment I did it.

When we got to Whittier, Ben and I took the boat to drop off all the gear and we told the girls to get some food at the hotel. We dropped the shrimp pots and took our gear to the beach where we were camping. The boat ended up getting washed up on shore while we were unloading cause the tide was going out. I was down to my underwear, in the ocean up to my waist, trying to get the boat pushed out – yelling at Ben to hurry up. It took a long time. We finally got it in the water and started heading back to get the girls. I asked Ben, “how drunk do you think those girls are?” He said, “oh they can’t be that drunk, it’s pretty early.” We pulled up to the dock at the hotel and Jessica and Andrea came running down – they were lit! They had a shot of absinthe because the bartender just gave it to them. I’m thinking ‘man, she’s drunk already?’ Cause I had this plan in my head. The only day I was like ‘ah, this is going to be easy’ nope! She started drinking.

We set up camp and then went to pick the shrimp pots. They were all yelling at me to hurry, but it’s a process cause I don’t have a hydraulic anchor pull, so I was pulling it by hand. We’re taking on water – so I’m yelling at the girls to start bailing the boat out. They’re getting mad. I’m being a jerk on purpose – just yelling at everybody – to make them mad at me to divert their thought process. We get all done and I say I want to go to this beach. My favorite beach in Whittier; Picket Point. It’s this spit of beach where you can see both sides of the water. We pull up to the beach and I go set up the GoPro and say I want to take a group photo, but I put it on record instead. We have some beers and I said “Hey Ben, Take mine and Jessica’s picture in front of the boat and the mountains.” He said “sure, no problem.” So I go give him the camera and say “Do NOT stop taking pictures, no matter WHAT!” and he said “Are you ******* proposing?!” and I go “Yup!” He got all excited and runs over and starts taking pictures.

I started talking to her and telling her she’s my best friend and that I love her and got down on a knee and asked her. And she said “Are you sure!?”