Natalie and Nathan
How We Met
Nathan and I met through a mutual friend while we were in college. I worked with this kid in the local coffee shop and needed something to do on a Saturday night and so he invited me to go with him to this house party at his friend Nathan’s apartment. It sounded like fun, so I tagged along. I had heard a little about Nathan and his long term girlfriend, so I never went past the point of “he seems like a nice guy.” Fast forward to about a year later, I found myself single again and preparing to move away when I started hanging out with a single, unattached Nathan and another one of our mutual friends. I thought he was super fun and we got along really well and he was verrryyyy easy on the eyes. So I just kept inviting him to do things with us, and he kept showing up. Then, our mutual friend ended up not always being able to meet up – she would have to work, she was out of town, etc. And the more the two of us started hanging out alone, the more and more and more I liked him.
He was easy to be with. I didn’t feel like I was on guard or like I needed to behave differently around him. I could just be myself and that was the best feeling in the world. However, I was moving north to live back in my hometown for my student teaching and Nathan was still enrolled in college. I half figured that this relationship would just end up being a summer fling and we’d both move on once school started in the fall. Obviously, that is not the course of events that transpired. We made the long distance thing work for two years before Nathan graduated and moved up north to be with me. It’s been a dream to have him around all the time, even almost three years later. Everything about this relationship has surpassed my expectations in the best way.
How He Asked
We had been planning a road trip down the coast of California for months, and we were both super excited to hit the road. Our plan was to make it to Portland (we live in Idaho) and then head down to Oakland/San Fransisco. It was a lot of time in the car before we reached our AirBNB house for the weekend. We made up for all the hours sitting down when we took the ferry from Oakland to Fisherman’s Wharf. Nathan and I walked alllllll over the city. We accidentally stumbled on Lombard street, down to the financial district, through Chinatown and Little Italy and ended up on the other side of the pier, where we ate lunch before walking alllllll the way back the pier where we met the ferry. So, it’s safe to say that we were both wiped out from our excursion. The next day we headed for Monterrey and Carmel-by-the-Sea. We decided to have lunch in Carmel, so we headed there first. Nathan and I explored the boutiques and briefly visited the boutiques before we decided it was lunch time. We found a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant advertising fish tacos and I was sold.
After we ordered, Nathan excused himself to restroom. There were mostly only public restrooms, so he had to leave the restaurant to find one. He was gone for what seemed like forever. Finally our food arrived and still no Nathan, so I shot him a quick text. When I asked him what took so long, he just got this little boy grin on his face and told me he’d tell about it later. I figured he’d found a cool shop on his trip to the bathroom and I’d find out about it after we ate. That is not what happened. After our meal, I had forgotten about the “I’ll tell you later.” We headed back to Monterrey to go explore the area by the aquarium. The whole day Nathan was super sweet and he just wanted to do whatever I wanted to do, not that he normally isn’t. This was just a different level than I was used to. I chalked it up to him being excited about being away on vacation in the sunshine, but I soaked up every minute of it. We accidentally found our hotel, so we checked in and made our way up to our room. Nathan was insistent on having a nice dinner at a nice restaurant in our fancy clothes…only he forgot to bring his. I told him that we could do something different, since he didn’t have fancy clothes, but the man was on a mission! We googled the nearest Ross and headed out to find him some nice clothes for dinner. Before we headed back to the hotel Nathan wanted to walk on the beach.
Now, if you remember, we had literally walked all around San Fransisco the day before and all around Carmel and Monterrey that day, so walking MORE on the beach was not really high on my list of priorities. He convinced me that since it was our only night in Monterrey, we should walk on the beach while we’re here. So we made our way down to the beach. He wanted to walk down the beach to a place that was less crowded, which I was all for since I’m not a big people person. We walked side by side, dodging waves and driftwood and making jokes until we felt like we’d walked far enough away from the other people. I turned to look out at the waves of the bay – crystal clear water against a bright sky. I heard Nathan behind me say “Hey, Natalie” and when I turned around to look at him, he was down on one knee! “I can’t imagine my life without you. Will you marry me?” And in my head I couldn’t believe this was real. I had imagined it happening, but this was real! It took me a second to remember that I was supposed to say yes and as he slipped the ring on my finger, it’s like I slipped into tunnel vision. I could hear that Nathan was talking, but it was hard for me to focus. The extended bathroom break in Carmel was him calling my father and discussing his intentions for the afternoon. The insistence on a fancy dinner was to celebrate. The ring that was now on my finger belonged to his great-grandmother. I was in a blissful blurry fog – and it was amazing!