Victoria and Evan

How we met: I attended public high school for the first time in my life at the start of my junior year. On the first day of school in homeroom, I met Evan (we were in the same homeroom since our last names were close alphabetically). We exchanged a few words then went forth with our classes when the bell rang. A few hours later, we saw each other again in our Health Class! He remembered me and said hi, and for the remainder of that class and year, we stayed friends. On the first day of senior year in homeroom, I noticed Evan was not there and never saw him in school. In February of that school year, my best friend (who went to my old high school still), asked me if I knew a guy who used to go to my high school but now went to her’s. When she told me his name, I told her I knew him and after asking me, she gave him my number. Evan texted me shortly afterwards and we began talking. He asked me out and our first date was on Valentine’s Day. I had a great time and did not find it weird he took me out on that day even though we were not a couple yet. Four days later, we went to a basketball game together at his school. After the game that night, Evan walked me to my car and asked me to be his girlfriend. I was so happy and I said yes!

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How he asked: For Christmas 2014, Evan’s parents gave him a long weekend’s stay at his stepdad’s condo in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. I suggested the weekend of Valentine’s Day (2015) because Evan and I could celebrate Valentine’s Day and our anniversary (February 18). Evan liked that idea and we reserved the condo for that weekend. Among exploring and bike riding, Evan had planned activities for us that weekend! He told me his main surprises were on Valentine’s Day; Evan had the entire day planned for us.

In the early afternoon, Evan took me to my first surprise – a trail ride at Arnett’s Gulfside Trail Rides! The farm was so pretty with beautiful horses and scenery and kind people. One of the trail guides (the husband who owned the business with his wife) told us that they had overbooked and Evan and I may have to leave earlier than our designated time for our trail ride. We told him we did not mind. Shortly, the gentleman told us they were ready for us and that we would be riding with him and another guide. Evan asked him if he did not mind taking pictures of us with my camera (Evan had insisted I bring it for the ride), and the man said he did not; Evan was also wearing his GoPro on his chest mount. Once on the horses, we started our tour with me behind the first guide, Evan behind me, and the gentleman bringing up the rear. Fifteen minutes into the trail, we reached a wide part of the path. The trail was within a scenic nature preserve and it was a beautiful day with perfect, crisp weather. The trail guide in front looked back and stopped, saying Evan’s saddle looked a little loose. She asked him if he would not mind stopping and jumping off so she could tighten it.

He got off and walked over to me (I was still on my horse). Evan, standing next to my horse, asked me how I was doing and I said good. Then he reached into his pocket and said it had been five years since our first date. He pulled out a wooden box and brought it towards me while saying how much he loved me. Then he asked THE question and opened up the box. Part of the proposal was a blur because I could not believe he was asking THE question! I did not expect this to happen on this trip! I was shocked, surprised, but most of all, beyond happy! I said yes! He slid onto my finger the most beautiful ring I had ever seen.

I started crying happy tears and hugged him the best I could while on my horse. I was speechless and could not stop smiling! The guides (and all the other people back at the farm) were in on it because Evan had planned this a month before our trip! The guide with my camera had taken pictures of the entire proposal aside from pictures of us riding. 

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We continued our trail ride while I was on cloud 9. Everyone congratulated us when we got back to the stables. They did such a great job making our ride so memorable for Evan and I. Evan concluded our special day with a great dinner at The Vue, a restaurant on the beach that gave us the best view of the sunset (Evan made reservations for a certain time so we could watch the sunset). It was the most perfect Valentine’s Day and best weekend ever!