Sarah and Erik

How We Met

Erik and I met at the climbing gym in October 2013. I was climbing with a friend when he came over and asked for a belay from one of us. We agreed and continued to chat throughout the night. I remember thinking what a great climber he was and it certainly helped that he was tall and super handsome! At the end of the night, he asked if I wanted to grab drinks but I declined. I ran into him a few more times at the rock gym, each time chatting and climbing together then reconvening with my friend to talk about how sweet he was. Each time he would ask me out for drinks and I would decline (silly me!) But after that, I didn’t see Erik until after the New Year. That time, I went up to him toward the end of the night and asked if he wanted to go get dinner. He was surprised and happily accepted! Of course, there was a catch though; Erik is in the Navy. At the time, he was stationed in Newport, Rhode Island but he has orders to move to Hawaii just two weeks later! We were both disappointed that we hadn’t met earlier (he had been climbing at a nearby rock gym for months before switching to mine). But we spent every single day together, talking for hours and hours and laughing endlessly. At the end of the two weeks, Erik had to drive cross-country to ship his car and I had a climbing trip planned with our friends in Kentucky. So we drove together, stopping in Pittsburgh (his hometown) on the way. It was there that we made the decision to stay together and try to make it work with a 6,000-mile gap between us. We made every effort to see each other. Including, him driving 24 hours straight to Las Vegas just to hop on a plane and come back to Rhode Island for two days. We made it through a long deployment, writing letters to one another, sending emails, and care packages. There was one point where I didn’t hear from him for two months. But each time I did, my heart soared and I fell more and more in love with him. We continued to do long distance for over a year and I moved to Hawaii in May 2015.

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How He Asked

Erik and I were visiting his family in Pittsburgh for the holidays. This particular night, we had plans to go to his Grandmother’s house for dinner but we were running late due to a vicious game of Monopoly. I didn’t have time to do my makeup or my hair and we just ran out the door. Erik’s uncle was visiting for just two days so his mom suggested we go to the Duquesne Incline, a historical cable car incline that overlooks the whole city. Everyone agreed, which was surprising because it was getting late. When we got there, Erik was in such a hurry to get on the incline. I kept reminding him to be patient but his mom told us we should just go up and we would meet them up there. I didn’t find it suspicious at all! We walked into the cable car and were joined by four or five other people. Erik started saying sweet things to me, which wasn’t unusual at all. But next thing I knew, he got down on one knee, and honestly, after that I don’t remember much besides him asking me to marry him. I started crying and said yes, of course! It was only after he slipped the ring on my finger that I noticed the photographer in the cable car with us. I was so excited that when we walked out, I felt like I was walking on air. We took some more photos outside and his family joined us for champagne at a beautiful restaurant overlooking Pittsburgh after.

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Special Thanks

J.W. Ramp
Photographer