Melissa and Austin

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How We Met: We met on Cinco De Mayo in 2010 at a local bar. I was out with a few girlfriends who had gone to the same local high school as Austin. I was home instead of at college studying for my final the next day. He approached my girlfriends so that he could be introduced to me. He had noticed me across the bar as I was just as tall as him! We were quickly introduced and I was intrigued. However, I wasn’t looking for love because in 13 days I would be leaving for a 6 week study abroad trip to Rome. (Losing my dad 15 months earlier, I had decided it was time to spread my wings and do the things he was unable to do in his short 40 years here). “He’ll want nothing to do with me once he finds out I’m about to take off to be halfway around the world for the beginning of the summer”, i thought. when he introduced himself it was one of the first things I told him after my name, so he knew I probably was a waste of time. ” oh wow I just studied abroad in Rome last semester for 4 months” he said after I told him that’s where I would be going. Immediate connection. We talked about Rome until it was last call. I told him I had an exam the next morning at school .. So once numbers were exchanged I received a text about an hour later “Good luck on your exam tomorrow, you’ll kill it”.  Holy keeper! Long story short we said we loved each other before I even left 13 days later, Skyped twice daily, and it became  the quickest 6 weeks of my life!

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How He Asked: Over the almost 5 years of dating we have traveled to California, Vermont, Florida, Colorado and Texas together. We are always answering the question “so when is your next trip?!” We both have a passion for exploring as much as we can. This trip to the central California coast was planned in November 2014! We decided it was time to head north, a bit different than our usual SoCal trips It happened while walking through Point Lobos State Reserve  We would stop along the way to set up the tripod and snap pics of ourselves as the view was unreal at every turn. I wanted so badly to take the most scenic trail, according to the park ranger. Austin kept saying no, no well go this way and it loops to that same lookout. We kept hitting dead ends (which still had amazing views!) and I kept saying “see! We should’ve went the other way!”  The sun was starting to set and the lighting coming through the trees was glistening like a fairy tale. We reached the base of these crooked stone steps that brought you up to overlook Pinnacle  Point. He set up the tripod and told me to go check it out up top. March 12, 2015, 6:10pm. Little did I know he was setting up the camera to take a video. He came up the steps and set his gopro down on a rock beside the lonely tree. I had my sunglasses off because it was a little darker in the wooded area.  I was using my hand as a visor and looked around toward the rest of the trail out to the ocean.  Austin grabbed my hand, and as I turned around he was getting on one knee holding the most beautiful ring.  I was in such shock that I couldn’t even make sense of any of my own words. I should have just kept quiet! I cried instantly as he was trying to finish his words; Telling me I bring out the best in him, he loves me and my family and wants to spend his life with me. It was the happiest moment of my life. We stayed at the park to watch the sun dip into the Pacific Ocean.

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