Ryan and Pedro
How We Met
The Catskills in up state New York was once home to numerous resorts for summer vacations and one of those resorts was the inspiration for the film “Dirty Dancing”. Now the Catskills resorts are either abandoned or now house summer camps. Stagedoor Manor is one of those summer camps and is the magical setting for where I met the love of my life. To this day I still describe it as “love at first sight”. Pedro got off the bus and he was the only person I noticed. I have never met any of these people before and Pedro was the only person I was looking at. Pedro is from London and was one of many of staff members that were hired from the United Kingdom. First thing I noticed were his eyes. So soft and gentle and beautiful. I knew then and there I found my soulmate. We were both counselors in the boys dorm so I knew we both would have plenty of time to get to know each other. And that is what we did. Got to know each other, hangout together, spend days off together. Camp was in session from June through to August. We had gotten really close and really enjoyed being with each other and we knew we would have to have a talk before camp ended. We were at the local bar, Bummies and we stepped away for a bit to chat. He gave me key chain he got me that day when he was at Woodstock. He knew how much I liked going there and wanted to get me something, I was so flattered and that moment was another one of the many reasons I knew that he was my everything and I wanted him to be my forever. He would be heading back to London and I had one more year of university left. We were sitting there and talking and I just remember looking at him and knowing that this is what I wanted. A long term relationship was going to be hard, but at that point it would be even harder to imagine him not being my boyfriend. We decided we would give it a go and it has honestly been the most positive, amazing, life changing decision I have ever made in my life.
How He Asked
I must preface this story with the following: Ever since Pedro and I met, he has always told me that he does not agree with marriage and it is something that he would never want to do. My Christmas present from Pedro was a trip away to Fiji. We had been living in Auckland, New Zealand at the time and it was going to be the perfect way to round up our year long stay in New Zealand. It was our second night at the Warwick Fiji Resort (and April Fools day) and Pedro had made dinner reservations for around sunset. He informed me the day before that he already gave them our order because that was the policy. Pedro always does these grand gestures and so it wasn’t something that seemed odd or out of the ordinary. We got all dressed up (as we do when having a dinner date) and headed to the front desk. I was a bit confused and wondered why we weren’t going to one of the resorts many restaurants. Pedro informed the front desk that we were there and we waited. He must of noticed at how confused I was and he pulled me outside. He pointed to this beautiful gazebo adorned with lights and beautiful linens that was extended out into the water. He looked at me and said we are having dinner out there and are waiting for the waiter to come get us to take us out. I was shocked and excited. It was such a beautiful setting for a nice romantic dinner and catching the sunset was going to make it even better. I hugged Pedro and thanked him for yet another amazing grand gesture and we were then greeted by the waiter who escorted us to our dinner (little did I know that wasn’t going to be the last grand gesture of the evening). Pedro is a photographer and we both have really nice cameras. We travel a lot so we take a lot of pictures everywhere we go. This occasion was not going to be any different. We had his tripod and his camera with us as we journeyed down the path to our dinner oasis. It was the perfect spot for sunset pictures so I knew there was going to be a substantial amount of time dedicated to these photos. As we sat down at the Lagoon Bure and were greeted with a stunning glass of champagne and enjoyed the colorful view for a couple minutes. Pedro then insisted that we get a photograph before the sun goes all the way down and uses the assistance of our lovely waiter. I do my normal things of standing there to allow Pedro to set up the shot. He was also talking to the waiter, I assumed about some settings on the camera. He walks over to me and says “Before we take the picture there is something I need to tell you…….” He went on to tell me that he hasn’t been honest to me for the three and a half years we have been together. He really has wanted to marry me for a very long time and got down on one knee, took a box out of his pocket and presented me with the most beautiful white gold ring with thirteen diamonds. I don’t think I had ever seen anything as pretty. I was speechless, really didn’t know what to say. I went from thinking I was never going to get married to being proposed to in literally the most beautiful place on earth. This was Pedro’s April Fool’s Joke of a lifetime. I said “yes”, he put on the ring and we embraced in the most beautiful sunset of pinks and purples and oranges. The rest of the dinner I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him, my fiancé, my future husband and my best friend. I have never been more happy in my entire life.