Nataly and Eli
How We Met
Eli and I met at a college wakeboard tournament in Nicolaus, CA in August of 2015. We are both adventure sport enthusiasts, and I was the Vice President of the Wakeboard Team at Sacramento State in California at the time. My wakeboard team decided to host a competition in the middle of the summer as a fundraiser to raise some money for our team. A few of our members had met Eli and some of his friends at a different tournament a few weeks prior, and invited Eli, and his company at the time, to come to our competition to shoot some photos for their website. I grew up competing in wakeboarding, so I volunteered to judge the competition. I was sitting on the boat all day judging, and Eli was sitting on the boat taking photos. Well, since there’s only so many people and so much to talk about on a boat for 10-12 hours a day, we got to talking and really clicked, as friends. Neither of us were looking for a relationship, so that was never on the radar, at least I thought.
At the end of the day, Eli got my phone number for “business purposes” to get in contact with other people through me in the wakeboarding community. He then proceeded to give me his business card incase I needed to contact him for anything. “Why would I need to contact this guy?” is what I was really thinking, so I threw it away! HAHA.
A few days later, Eli ended up adding me on Facebook and we started messaging about him coming out to the competition, and how his company was hosting one in a few weeks that he invited me to compete in. I didn’t end up going to the competition, but he was still very persistent to see me again. We lived in different towns, about 2.5 hours away, so meeting up was generally very difficult. He ended up coming to shoot more photos of me and my teammates wakeboarding and we were supposed to go out on a date later that night, but I completely blew him off (and I felt SO bad!).
Over the course of about 3 months, Eli was SO persistent, and finally convinced me to drive up to Chico, CA to go on a date with him. I drove up one night after I got out of class, and we went to dinner at a Mexican Restaurant and then we went to go get drinks with his friends. We REALLY clicked and I was almost kicking myself for not going on a date with him sooner.
There were a few rough patches within the next month on deciding “was this really what I wanted?” I had just turned 21 and was not looking to settle down. But I guess thats what they always say, true love finds you when you least expect it. So, within the next month from our first date, we started dating and have been together ever since! We just celebrated our two year anniversary, and got engaged a little over a month prior to that. We have travelled all over together from Mexico, to Europe and Ireland. And are very big outdoor enthusiasts; we even have our own blog!
How He Asked
I graduated from Sac State in May of this year. It was always a big things on my bucket list to visit Europe, so we decided to book a trip for after I graduated. We wanted to go in the off-season for tourism, so we waited to go in September. We did a 10 day excursion consisting of 2 days in London, 1 day in Paris, and 7 days in Ireland. We rented a car and drove all around the country of Ireland. We were getting close to the end of the trip, and on the second to last day we were visiting the place I was most excited to see, the Cliffs of Moher on the western coast of Ireland. They are known as the “Grand Canyon” of the ocean over there because they are over 700 feet tall and it truly feels like you are living in a post card. The beauty is incredible. It was pouring rain when we got there, but we still decided to hike up to the top of the cliffs to take in their beauty. We kept walking, through the 50mph wind gusts, trying to find a spot to stop and take a photo. Eli is a photographer and had his camera on a tripod, but we were afraid that the wind gusts would knock it over. So we found a spot to set up his GoPro to take a photo. Eli clipped the GoPro onto this cement wall, and came over next to me to take a photo in front of the cliffs. Or at least, what I thought was a photo…. He posed next to me for a quick second, kissed me, and THEN got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.
His exact words, “This has been the best adventure of my life, and you are my greatest adventure of all. I want to spend the rest of my life adventuring with you.” Of course I said yes!