Karen and Ryan

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How We Met

Ryan and I first met in 2009, living across the hall from each other in the dorms freshman year of college. What started as innocent flirting and casual hang outs with friends soon turned to a relationship. We both were weary about dating each other for two reasons: I vowed to only focus on school and not worry about dating and he lived in California when he wasn’t in school, 3,000 miles away. Almost 6 years later, we’ve built a life together and now, a marriage soon.

How He Asked

Ryan and I were on vacation in Orange County, California visiting family and also attending his aunt’s wedding. We visited about twice a year, so there was nothing unusual about the trip. We flew in on a Friday and the next morning Ryan and his parents told me the bride’s son (Ryan’s cousin) had car trouble and was stranded in Las Vegas (a 4 hour drive from Orange County). Ryan volunteered to go pick them up and I agreed to go with him because we didn’t have any plans yet that day (or so I thought.) During the drive, Ryan said we needed to kill some time because his cousin was getting a tow truck and didn’t know where he’d be for us to pick him up. Ryan said he found a place for us to check out and headed that way. I fell asleep on the way and woke up in the middle of the desert (literally) with no civilization in sight.

I kept telling Ryan this wasn’t a good idea and we didn’t know where we were and we should turn around and he convinced me it was fine. So we pulled up to a place called Roos-n-More Zoo.

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It had exotic animals that were brought out of cages by trainers and handlers that you could interact with.

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We were there about 15 minutes before I realized that they not only had Otters there, but Ryan signed us up to actually get to play with one. (Fun fact, my last name is Otter so this was a dream come true.) We were given a time slot and had about 15 minutes to look at the other animals before we were called over to meet Snorkel the Otter. While visiting and playing with him, with Snorkel on my lap, Ryan got down on one knee and said, “Karen Otter, in the presence of this Otter, will you marry me?”

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The photos tell the rest, but this was the most surprising and exciting day for both of us. Oh yeah, no one was stranded in Las Vegas either.

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I was completely shocked, had no idea and he didn’t do too bad on the ring either ;)

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